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Piano For Dummies [Paperback]

Blake Neely
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 4 1998 For Dummies (Computer/Tech)
At first glance, a piano may seem like an intimidating instrument that would be very difficult to learn how to play, but despite what your seventh-grade piano teacher may say, playing piano isn't brain surgery. It just takes time, practice, and patience.

Piano For Dummies starts at the very beginning and walks you through everything you need to know to turn that oversized hunk of furniture into an instrument that can make beautiful music. If you don't know how to read music, this book explains in friendly, uncomplicated language all the basics of music theory and applying it to playing the piano. And if you've been playing piano for a while – or took piano lessons when you were a child but haven't played since – you can pick up some valuable tips to improve your playing or use the book as a refresher course.

Here are some of the topics you'll find in Piano For Dummies:

  • Buying a piano: Acoustic versus electronic
  • How a piano works, and how to care for one
  • Left- and right-hand piano techniques
  • Examining keys, scales, melodies, harmonies, and chords
  • Plenty of musical examples to play
  • The history of piano musical styles
  • Advice for piano teachers
  • A Top Ten list of pianists you should know about

Piano For Dummies also includes a glossary and a free CD, which includes audio of all of the examples in the book so that you can play along.

So if you've always wanted to learn to play piano, but you don't have the time to take piano lessons, you can pick up the basics in Piano For Dummies; you'll be tickling the ivories with ease in no time!

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Product Details

Product Description

From Library Journal

Instruct: to provide with knowledge, especially in a methodical way. That is, in fact, what Phillips and Chappel of Cherry Lane Music do in this logical, pedagogic introduction to keyboard instruments, music theory, and piano technique. The chapter on the famous?or is it infamous??"Part of Tens" includes information about past and present masters of the instrument, ways of expanding your interest beyond the scope of the book, and tips on finding a teacher. Printed musical examples are plentiful, and an accompanying audio CD is included. This book intends to be fun and funny and succeeds in a vaudeville sort of way. Students are encouraged "to continue to seek knowledge about your instrument long after you tire of the jokes" and told that "piano teachers and method books shouldn't be forsaken forever." The do-it-yourself phenomenon has made the "Dummies" books very popular. This one is particularly appropriate for school media and public libraries.?Janet Brewer, Murray State Univ. Lib., KY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

Play-along audio CD included! The fun and easy way to get started on the piano

A Reference for the Rest of Us!

Perfect for all keyboards?not just piano

Find out how to have some fun with your piano

Don't leave your keyboard in the corner collecting dust! Open the book, run through a few simple exercises with virtuoso Blake Neely, and soon you'll be tickling the ivories with the best of them. From basic scales to old favorites, classical themes, blues, boogie-woogie, and more, this friendly beginner's guide and songbook doesn't miss a beat.

All 97 songs and exercises from the book on audio CD

Play along with "Oh Sussannah." " The Beautiful Blue Danube." "Swanee River," " Ode to Joy," " Greensleaves," " Danny Boy," Berry-style blues, a boogie-woogie bass line, " Hank the Honky-Tonk" riff, and much, much more

Discover how to:

Familiarize yourself with the keyboard

Understand the language of music

Have fun when you practice scales

Impress friends with great grooves and riffs

Play classical, rock, blues, and country

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
To be perfectly clear, when I say keyboard I mean the type that produces musical sounds. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Now I can play Dec 31 2003
I bought the book the other day and breezed right thru it. It's great in that you can skip around the book to the sections you NEED to read (or refresh yourself on). I keep it handy because I often refer to it. It is thorough in explaining various aspects of reading music, playing, etc. The humor interspersed makes it enjoyable to read rather than boring but the humor doesn't detract from the content and lesson. Glad I bought it and you should buy it, too, if you want to teach yourself how to play!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I feel like a dummy for buying this book June 9 2003
I bought several books on learning the piano at the same time. I found this book to be the least useful. As several other reviewers mentioned, the author's sense of humor is pathetic and he tries to throw in a "zinger" every other paragraph. "Thats's right, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, pengiums and parakeets...". Believe me. I not exaggerating on this. I cringed at almost every one of the author's attempts to be humorous. However, this was not enough to discourage me from continuing to read the book. That occurred after having to read over 50 pages before the author presented the first exercise. An excercise that it does not use a middle C hand position, requires you to move your hand, does not indicate which fingers to use for which keys, etc. After looking at this first exercise, I decided not to continue. I suspect that the author has never taught a single piano lession.
I also picked up two books called "Total Piano" and "Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course" both of which I've found quite good so far. If you have a digital piano with a MIDI interface, check out "Teach Me Piano". I've been using it for a few days now, I can't say enough good things about this piece of software.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for DUMMIES!; Great way to begin! Sept. 29 2001
By Marquis
I bought this book 2 months ago and started practicing an hour from it daily. The results were shockingly great and speedy. After a week of practice I would go back and shoot through the preliminary songs as if they were child's play!
My one problem with it is the way you're presented with practice material. It's never specified how long or often you should practice something before moving on. Just be patient and ONLY MOVE ON ONCE YOU'RE COMFORTABLE WITH A PIECE. Do that and this minor problem won't affect you at all.
I really like the play along cd. It does help alot. Also, the humorous way in which you're presented with all of the material this book contains will have you learning great amounts of theory and technique without even realizing it. This book is great as a reference book as well.
So, although it's challenging (sight-reading in particular), you'll soon learn that with a little consistence and assiduity you'll be on your way to "tickling the ivories with the best of 'em"!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could not put this book down! Dec 1 2002
By J.J.
I have been playing for only 6 months and am taking lessons and found this book a great help in learning about the piano. It is fun to read and has slot of very useful information and ways to remember things about the piano. Some interesting history behind the piano and ways to buy and maintain the piano. I have more pages in the book dog eared than any other piano book I have. You must get this book and the CD that comes with the book is a real help in learning timing and the way a song is to sound.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Okay, so the title and book cover design are extremely overused (whoever came up with the original title must be just rolling in dough from the licensing fees), but this is a really good book for those with absolutely no previous music experience. It gently walks you through the basics of learning piano, and you'll be playing tunes for the family pet before you know it. Highly recommended, CleverJoe gives it three big thumbs up.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Introduction for Adults June 27 2000
I was looking for an introductory book for adult piano student. Although I could do without the title "dummies," the cartoons, and the jokes, the meat of this book was the best of all the others on Amazon.
Most of the other books teach very little except simple popular ditties. This book actually had -- yes -- scales and other exercises for both the left and right hands, with fingering techniques simply applied, but fully explained.
And for those who want some tunes, there are (in addition to the standard ditties) actually some worthwhile classical adaptions, such as some of the best-known themes from the Bach cantatas.
I was quite impressed with how much basic and even intermediate material was included in the book, and explained with clarity and simplicity.
Since I read music already, I was able to skip many of the first chapters and get right into the practice and technique material, so I can't comment on how clear the music-reading chapters would be for a total beginner. However, I expect that if they are as good as the rest of the material, they should be fine for that purpose as well.
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By A Customer
This book is aimed at the LOWEST possible common demoninator. I certainly won't be purchasing any more dummies books. Filled with pathetic one-liners and bad analogies, any useful content is obliterated by forced gags and the consistent ending of every paragraph with a bad pun. This is not only the worst edited book I've ever seen, but it also failed to introduce all musical notation before presenting it on a score, leaving me wondering what I'm supposed to do when I reached certain symbols (ie: the rest symbol). Not reccomended at all.
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