We’re all familiar with the situation – the time comes at the end of the year to set yourself some tasks for the year ahead for the purpose of self-improvement.
1) You’re going to eat less carbs
2) You’re going to go to the theatre more
3) You’re going to have a dry-ish January (ahem) or maybe…
4) YOU’RE GOING TO LEARN AN INSTRUMENT. The piano, perhaps.
The naysayers begin to start chipping in about it being a short lived fantasy, but you won’t have any of it. You’ve got willpower, of course you have. How could you have come this far if you didn’t’?
‘Ha ha ha’ you laugh in the face of the cynics, zipping around town with your beetroot, kale and spirulina juice shouting down the phone about your new positive attitude, the wonderful production of Alan Bennet’s latest offering and your ROCKETING energy levels. Here we go 2015!
A few days pass. A week perhaps. But .. wait. Hold on. What’s happened?
Why is there an empty bottle of wine at your feet?…whats that pizza box doing there… and… why are you watching ‘Take Me Out’?!
Don’t give up hope, future virtuoso. You’ve still got an instrument to learn and at least that hasn’t been tarnished yet. These excellent books will help you maintain your New Year’s integrity and give you a running start to be the superstar pianist you’ve always meant to be.
COOL FACT: A lot of these book are currently in our massive January Sale, so grab them whilst they’re hot. By which I mean cheap.
1) New Classics To Moderns: Book 1
What better way to introduce yourself to the piano than the classics? It’s not as though you’ll ever feel embarrassed by how out of date they are, is it? Get to it.
2) Denes Agay’s Learning To Play Piano – Book 4 – All You Need To Know
Dene Agay – somewhat of a legend in the learning to play piano camp – is a pretty solid bet to plucky new players. Thorough progression of melodic peices and studies, some slightly more sophisticated technique and the all important theory tips. It’s accessible and enjoyable too.
3) The Joy Of First-Year Piano (With CD)
More first time piano goodness from the main dude Dene Agay. This one with a DVD and a ton of tips for those wanting some solid grounding for a promising future of ivory tinkling.
4) A New Tune A Day: Scales & Arpeggios
Wonderful resource (and award winning, mind you) for learning all types of instrument – this addition to the series contains all common scales and arpeggios for treble and bass clef instruments. Perfect as a reference resource for the teacher or thorough study aid for student. Includes a transposition table for the geeks.
Buy the sheet music for A New Tune A Day Scales & Arpeggios here on musicroom.com
5) John Thompson’s ‘First Scales & Broken Chords’
This is something for those who potentially may need a little more of a gentle introduction into the fabulous world of black and white keys. John designed this to be the easiest possible approach to playing the piano, complete with an amusing (and sometimes bizarre) family of characters and illustrations to help emphasise the information being taught.
Buy the sheet music for John Thompson’s Easiest Piano Course here on musicroom.com
6) The Classic Piano Course Book 1: Starting To Play
Who wouldn’t want to have Fur Elise and Swan Lake under their belt? Jump in at the deep end, we say. Start swimming about with the classics.. and the swans.. in the.. lake.. of… music.
The ideal tutor course for adults, or gifted younger beginners wishing to learn at a faster pace.
7) Pauline Hall: Piano Time 1 (2004 Edition)
Great all-rounder for young beginners and rather attractive illustrations also. Techniques, duets and a great range of pieces. Simple five-finger tunes to start with then separating the hands gently to learn two parts.
- Covers the (unfortunately) essential music theory and technical skills you’ll need to give you bona fide confidence
- Contains a treasure trove of music to play and enjoy, from Wedgwood’s own pieces to all the classics and pop tunes
- Packed with easy to digest information presented as top tips and fact files with generous teaching advice included in ‘Pam’s noticeboard’
- If you fancy a bit of trivia there’s also facts on the great composers and their music, with recommended listening to broaden your knowledge
- Accompanying CD features interactive activities and a huge range of backing tracks to make even simple pieces sound great!
- Starting to read music (pretty essential)
- Basic rhythms and time values (helping your beats land in place)
- Major and minor diatonic harmonies to keep you in balance, spiritually and musically
- Inversions and intervals – a bit more advanced but still key to understanding what makes music sound ‘good’
- Playing and recognising music by ear (VITAL for those too lazy to read music – i.e me)
- Technical skills such as voicings, pedalling and developing your dexterity
10) Absolute Beginners: Piano (DVD)
GO MODERN TECHNOLOGY and buy a DVD which can teach you to be the boss of the keys instead of reading books! Genius.
- Correct posture and hand position
- How to find your way around the keyboard
- Basic music notation and reading
- How to learn note names
- How different rhythms work
- Playing with both hands separately and together
Along with a ton of special features!
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