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Joined: Nov 2019
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Hi everyone! Yesterday, I finished week 4 of the course. I'm really enjoying it so far. I like the concept of pointer chords and the specific inversions and chord simplifications that have been taught up to now. Nothing too fancy has happened yet, of course. I'm trying to force myself not to look at the keyboard as much as possible so, in a way, there's a bit of a secondary benefit that I'm trying to squeeze out of the material. Plus, my first pass at each song also functions as sight reading practice.

Yesterday, I also watched David B's video from his week 17 and I was like "Wow! By week 17 we'll already be able to do that! AWESOME!" Those kinds of arrangements, or as I like to fondly call them, "fills and frills" are exactly the kind of stuff that I'm dying to learn! This motivates me to keep going strong, but I must resist the urge to move too fast. :-)


Talão

Yamaha U3 and Kawai MP11SE
My piano journey (playing since July 2019)
10 weeks into Duane Shinn's 52-Week Crash Course
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Originally Posted by Talão
Yesterday, I also watched David B's video from his week 17 and I was like "Wow! By week 17 we'll already be able to do that! AWESOME!" Those kinds of arrangements, or as I like to fondly call them, "fills and frills" are exactly the kind of stuff that I'm dying to learn! This motivates me to keep going strong, but I must resist the urge to move too fast. :-)
Everyone has his own approach to the method. David is a model and encourages us to master each lesson before going on.
My method is quite different since I prefer to go ahead in order not to get stuck in one lesson. I'd rather do several lessons at the same time going back and forth.
By looking at David's output, his approach is more productive than mine, no doubt about it. I have not been able to record one single piece yet.
Anyway, my congrats, and please keep posting and practicing.


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Originally Posted by Sol Finker
Originally Posted by Talão
Yesterday, I also watched David B's video from his week 17 and I was like "Wow! By week 17 we'll already be able to do that! AWESOME!" Those kinds of arrangements, or as I like to fondly call them, "fills and frills" are exactly the kind of stuff that I'm dying to learn! This motivates me to keep going strong, but I must resist the urge to move too fast. :-)
Everyone has his own approach to the method. David is a model and encourages us to master each lesson before going on.
My method is quite different since I prefer to go ahead in order not to get stuck in one lesson. I'd rather do several lessons at the same time going back and forth.
By looking at David's output, his approach is more productive than mine, no doubt about it. I have not been able to record one single piece yet.
Anyway, my congrats, and please keep posting and practicing.

Absolutely. You go with what works for you. Everyone's learning path is a bit different. I say that to my students all the time and encourage them (and show them how) to use different approaches (I teach applied math in business).

I was working through week-5 material today and "Très Jolie" gave me a little bit of trouble, in a humbling way. "Oh yeah? You think this stuff is easy for now? Take this!" :-) I kept at it until I was able to play it through cleanly. It's been great fun and a nice contrast to the classical side of my daily practice. Switching from Duane to J.S. Bach is quite a thing!


Talão

Yamaha U3 and Kawai MP11SE
My piano journey (playing since July 2019)
10 weeks into Duane Shinn's 52-Week Crash Course
Joined: Nov 2021
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Originally Posted by Talão
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
Originally Posted by Talão
Yesterday, I also watched David B's video from his week 17 and I was like "Wow! By week 17 we'll already be able to do that! AWESOME!" Those kinds of arrangements, or as I like to fondly call them, "fills and frills" are exactly the kind of stuff that I'm dying to learn! This motivates me to keep going strong, but I must resist the urge to move too fast. :-)
Everyone has his own approach to the method. David is a model and encourages us to master each lesson before going on.
My method is quite different since I prefer to go ahead in order not to get stuck in one lesson. I'd rather do several lessons at the same time going back and forth.
By looking at David's output, his approach is more productive than mine, no doubt about it. I have not been able to record one single piece yet.
Anyway, my congrats, and please keep posting and practicing.

Absolutely. You go with what works for you. Everyone's learning path is a bit different. I say that to my students all the time and encourage them (and show them how) to use different approaches (I teach applied math in business).

I was working through week-5 material today and "Très Jolie" gave me a little bit of trouble, in a humbling way. "Oh yeah? You think this stuff is easy for now? Take this!" :-) I kept at it until I was able to play it through cleanly. It's been great fun and a nice contrast to the classical side of my daily practice. Switching from Duane to J.S. Bach is quite a thing!

What level are you in classical music?

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Originally Posted by ~~Handel~~
What level are you in classical music?

I'm not taking exams like RCM/ABRSM etc. so it's not easy to say what level I am at. I've been playing for a bit over 2.5 years and can do a decent job at things that are rated at around Henle levels 2, 3 and sometimes 4, such as, Clementi's sonatina in C (Op. 36, No. 1), Beethoven's Sonatina in G (Ahn. 5, No. 1), Chopin's Waltz in Am (B150 Op. Posth.), Chopin's Prelude in Em (Op. 28, No. 4), Schubert's Ständchen (Serenade) (No. 4 in D 957, arr. by August Horn), Satie's Gnossienne 1 and Gymnopédie 1, etc. I'm currently working on Bach's Little Prelude BWV 924, Grieg's Cowherd's Song (Op. 17, No. 22), Mozart's Minuet trio KV 1e/1f, and piece No. 7 in Burgmüller's Op. 100.


Talão

Yamaha U3 and Kawai MP11SE
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Great thanks,

I want to wait until I am more advanced and then I will start the course.

I am going to keep an eye and see if I can buy it at discount since I am not in a hurry.

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Originally Posted by ~~Handel~~
Great thanks,

I want to wait until I am more advanced and then I will start the course.

I am going to keep an eye and see if I can buy it at discount since I am not in a hurry.

Just to clarify: Duane's course is for the complete beginner, meaning he starts from absolute zero knowledge. The fact that I already knew a bit is simply allowing me to move a bit faster through the early weeks (I've completed 5 weeks worth of material in 2 weeks' time). There will eventually be a point where the course catches up with my abilities and I'll start to move much more slowly. I know, for sure, that it will happen no later than week 17.


Talão

Yamaha U3 and Kawai MP11SE
My piano journey (playing since July 2019)
10 weeks into Duane Shinn's 52-Week Crash Course
Joined: Nov 2021
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Oh, I am more interested in improv once I get a solid base.

I wonder if has something else.

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Hi everyone! How is everyone doing?

I finished week 9 today and started week 10. I'm having a blast so far. These two weeks have forced me to slow down considerably so that I really get what's being taught. The course has now entered into some unfamiliar territory for me, which is awesome.

Question on the Jolly Coppersmith song (page 62 of Book 1): It seems like there's a misprint on the LH notes of measures 9 and 10. The first ledger line above the bass clef appears to be too close to the A line. Meaning: I think those chords are supposed to be C chords, but the black dot crossing the middle C line should not be touching the A line, right?

In the week-9 and week-10 videos Duane starts to hint at several "fills and frills" that we're going to learn and starts to encourage us to throw them in, including:
- playing melody notes as octaves, or octaves+3rd, or octaves+6th
- walk-ups or walk-downs
- echos
- etc.

I managed to successfully play the LH walk-up from measure 4 to measure 5 (from a C to an F in octaves, as he shows in the video) for the "In the Good Old Summertime" song (page 18 of Supplementary Songs Book 1) and felt so proud of myself. It sounds silly, but that simple thing gave me such a sense of accomplishment :-) Like I'm starting to become a real pianist! I couldn't stop smiling.

Then I worked on "My Bonnie" (Supplementary Book 1 page 26) and played the melody first with octaves and then with octaves+3rds. These are not landing perfectly (and relaxed) every time yet (my LH is better at landing octaves both in precision and relaxation due to practicing a Schubert piece for several weeks). I'll keep applying this technique to other pieces until it feels easy. Next up is "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain!"

Cheers!


Talão

Yamaha U3 and Kawai MP11SE
My piano journey (playing since July 2019)
10 weeks into Duane Shinn's 52-Week Crash Course
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Advanced to Lesson 16. Some of the songs as written have gotten easier and are mastered more quickly. Rather than vary much from my ‘24 practice sessions per lesson’ plan, which really corresponds to 7-10 days per lesson, I review the pieces as written as part of my initial session of the day (which also includes Scales, Chords and Arpeggios, and three Hanon exercises). Then my shorter subsequent sessions each day are spent on the fills and frills practice, trying to achieve competency and keyboard awareness for the variations before I try to work them into songs.

My biggest difficulty thus far is recognizing when in a piece of music a particular f&f is appropriate. For example, to do a walkup or walkdown one must recognize a couple measures ahead of time that the upcoming chord spacings are a fourth apart. My pea brain is play-as-I-go and doesn’t yet do well looking ahead.

I, too, am looking forward to Lesson 17. I have hopes that practicing that lesson will propel me to a new level since it will require work on adding the variations to a song. Should start it toward the end of this week.


John F
Pramberger 5'9" small grand
Roland HP 605
Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course for popular music
Also venture into Alfred’s Adult All in One, and in Laughlin’s New School of American Music
key-notes.com for classical music
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Originally Posted by Docc
Advanced to Lesson 16. Some of the songs as written have gotten easier and are mastered more quickly. Rather than vary much from my ‘24 practice sessions per lesson’ plan, which really corresponds to 7-10 days per lesson, I review the pieces as written as part of my initial session of the day (which also includes Scales, Chords and Arpeggios, and three Hanon exercises). Then my shorter subsequent sessions each day are spent on the fills and frills practice, trying to achieve competency and keyboard awareness for the variations before I try to work them into songs.

My biggest difficulty thus far is recognizing when in a piece of music a particular f&f is appropriate. For example, to do a walkup or walkdown one must recognize a couple measures ahead of time that the upcoming chord spacings are a fourth apart. My pea brain is play-as-I-go and doesn’t yet do well looking ahead.

I, too, am looking forward to Lesson 17. I have hopes that practicing that lesson will propel me to a new level since it will require work on adding the variations to a song. Should start it toward the end of this week.

Yeah. I think that the "adding frills on the fly" thing will only come with lots of years of experience and practice. My plan for now is just to learn each arranging technique (what I'm calling f&f), practice it, annotate it with "when is this appropriate/feasible?" and then prepare a piece in advance by spending some time with the sheet music before touching the piano. Then literally add notes to the music like "walk up here," "octaves+3rds here," "echo here," etc. By the end of the 52 weeks, I hope to have an organized document summarizing all the arranging techniques with details on how to use each one.


Talão

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Finished week 10 today. Boy this one was challenging, with 7 pieces from the supplementary song book. Those took a long while to get decent with all the add-ons that Duane suggested on top of the printed versions. I noticed that it gets particularly challenging for me when I try to combine LH Alberti bass with RH octaves (with or without 3rds). If it's another kind of bass, I don't struggle as much with the RH octaves.

I may try recording my arranged version of the last piece (Yellow Rose of Texas). I added to the original version:

- LH swing bass.
- LH octave walk-down from m.8 to m.9.
- RH octaves+3rds throughout.
- RH walk-down in octave+3rd triplets (where the triplet is top 2 notes, bottom note, top 2 notes of the octave+3rd like Duane demonstrated) from m.15 to m.16.
- A slight modification in the last beat of m.14 and first beat of m.15 to lead better to the RH walk-down above.

If I get a nice take without too many tries, I'll link the video here.

On to week 11!


Talão

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Love the conversation in here with the progresses of Docc and Talao. Keep it up. I, currently, am at a standstill. It's what happens when I take out other materials for variety and then my brain explodes and goes in different directions. Still playing my song from Week 31. If I just focused on it, it could have been done, completed, and maybe recorded for progress like a week or 2 or 3 ago. Boy does time fly! Wondering if I should hunker down and take it more seriously - or just move on. I mean, I can play it as is. With the modified version, I tried some cute stuff - but my brain can't take it serious enough to do thing like focus, put on the metronome to identify any problem areas, etc. I am glad people are progressing. It is very encouraging!

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I completed my 24 practice sessions on #17. I have no trouble with the piece as written, and I can handle swing bass, arpeggiated base, and the swing base in root-inversion 1-inversion2 to a reasonable degree. I can do a middling octaves and octave thirds with the right hand, and walkups and walk downs IF I plan ahead and see where they fit. I can manage a facsimile of a 2:1 walk down, but I’m too tense and my right arm barks. But, there are a lot of other f&f Duane demonstrates, rapid runs the best example, that I just can’t handle yet. I can’t react and move that fast.

So, my solution is to expand the range of music I work on to avoid boredom while still getting multiple Shinn sessions daily. I warm up with a couple of finger independent drills and Hanon 1,6 and 9. Then I spend 15-20 minutes on the pieces, now in Lesson 18. In using spaced repetition, my second session is a Robert Laughlin course which starts off with blues chord progression and blues scale. Later I move to a program by David Graf, which includes scales, arpeggios and chord drills, then the program by Lang Lang, and finish with a classical lesson from key-notes.com. The key to my spaced repetition as encouraged by Duane is that after each of these other sessions, I review the current Shinn pieces, working on one different arrangement technique each time I come back to them.

May sound like a lot, but I am a retired 73 year old and recently ‘retired’ from playing golf, so time is not an issue. I would estimate that I get 30-60 minutes on the Shinn pieces, spread over 4-6 sessions in the day. The other course materials each use a different type of music so I get exposed to a wide variety of genres. I keep searching for the holy grail of piano learning; Shinn remains at the top of the list.

Docc


John F
Pramberger 5'9" small grand
Roland HP 605
Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course for popular music
Also venture into Alfred’s Adult All in One, and in Laughlin’s New School of American Music
key-notes.com for classical music
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Lesson 18 much the same. Mastered the as written quickly, then did the rest of my sessions working to improve variations, mostly RH octaves and LH arpeggios, swing with a bass note 2 octaves below the chord.

Continuing with several other courses which work different genres.


John F
Pramberger 5'9" small grand
Roland HP 605
Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course for popular music
Also venture into Alfred’s Adult All in One, and in Laughlin’s New School of American Music
key-notes.com for classical music
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