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The Piano Handbook: A Complete Guide for Mastering Piano Spiral-bound – Dec 1 2002


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Frequently Bought Together

The Piano Handbook: A Complete Guide for Mastering Piano + Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-One Course, Bk 1: Lesson * Theory * Technic, Comb Bound Book
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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat Books; 1 edition (Dec 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879307277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879307271
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 2.9 x 27.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Carl Humphries is a pianist, composer, and music journalist. He studied piano and composition in London, Turin, and Berlin, and has performed at some of the most prestigious classical and jazz venues in the UK. His workshops and lecture/recitals are in demand at music academies and university music departments throughout Europe and in the US.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Open the lid of your piano and you'll find a neat arrangement of black and white keys: the keyboard. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 6 2004
Format: Spiral-bound
I'm a piano novice, and had been using a software program to further my studies. It had the same problem that a lot of beginner piano books have--the material is slow moving and BORING. Uninteresting songs/exercises make learning drudgery. I happened to be browsing the music section at a bookstore and found this book. I knew I had to have it as soon as I flipped through it. It had a wealth of material, unlike most beginner books, and the thoughtfulness of layout and detail were exciting. It's really a beautiful piece of work.
I'm still near the start of this book, as I'm only working on song #15, but I'm having a good time with it. I've found that even the simpler songs in here are interesting. And I've learned more about reading music in a few weeks with this book than nearly a year with the software program. I highly recommend this book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Cleone Cannon on Sept. 25 2003
Format: Spiral-bound
Thank you, Carl Humphries, for this book. I have used similar techniques in teaching my students over the last 20 years. I have been trying to write this book for about 3 years, but find myself too damn busy teaching lessons and performing. This book includes everything, from the basics to the most advanced. AND, it doesn't ignore the 20th century. What I mean is that so much great music was made in jazz, rock and latin music in the past 100 years and I find that the local "Ivory Tower" (the BYU piano department) tends to either ignore it or pooh-pooh it.
Also, Humphries shows how these recent styles are related to their influences, including "classical" composers like Debussy and Schoenberg, without making the styles seem like lesser entities of their "legit" ancestors. Now I can start giving my students this book, instead of continuing to promise them that I'll get my book done--and then not delivering for God knows how many years.
My critiques of this book are that I wish there had been more emphasis on ear training, application of jazz voicings and structures and improvisation. There is a CD included, which I love, of all the written material in the text. But while Mr. Humphries does write that ear training is vital, there is little in the text to work with. I have my own approach to this, so it's okay, but I'd love to see it in his book because not only was it the original way to communicate music, it is also the more effective. Don't get me wrong; I am into the whole sight reading thing, but it is so limited in conveying emotion and "feel" that you can get from learning music by ear.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lorenzo Gonzalez on July 16 2003
Format: Spiral-bound
This really is the best of the few decent books in this category - and one of only a small handful that don't treat you like an idiot. Concomitantly, if you ARE in idiot, this book won't work for you. As other reviewers have noted, the pace is definitely fast compared to the 'graded' lesson books commonly used by piano teachers. But using the CD, and practicing every exercise until you truly understand it - you WILL go far, and fast, with this one. I've carefully checked every other "teach yourself piano" title I've seen in the local stores, and even bought and returned a few. This one, however, is a keeper. By the end of the book, you'll be playing some fairly impressive classical pieces (more than enough to impress your friends - unless they're experienced pianists!). Along the way, you get a very nice background in piano history (great photos an illustrations!), and you'll gain a good, solid understanding of reading music. (hm - except for all those british musical terms. Feh. Luckily, American-style is included as well.)
Generally, you really, really should try to get a teacher. But if you just can't afford it, this book is the next best thing. Combine it with a few videos/DVDs (like the "Van Cliburn competition" - YES!, or even buy "The Pianist" or "Shine" right here on Amazon) so you can get an idea of how pianists hold and move their hands. (not that you'll move like these people for a long while!).
There is a crazy typographical error in my edition of the book, where an entire paragraph is repeated! This is only a little sad, because the space could have been put to use for more of the author's great information. It's not enough to drop my rating! The binding (at least in my edition) is spiral - a VERY SMART move, as it sits nicely on the music desk.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Vladimir on April 29 2005
Format: Spiral-bound
Very nicely done! Print quality is outstanding. Spiral bound, it's perfectly sized to fit the note holder on my keyboard. Music exercises are well selected to gradually increase their complexity as you move along.
In a nutshell: if you're a piano newbie like me (I have played guitar since I was 13) and unless you can get a very good personal teacher (and I hope you know already that just because someone can play a piano does't mean they can teach you how to play, trust me on that one) this is the second best thing that can happen to you. Get this book - you won't regret it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27 2004
Format: Spiral-bound
I found this book by browsing Amazon.com and bought it based on other people's recommendations. I just received my copy and am totally thrilled with it! It is a visually stunning book and beautifully written. I am so happy to have found this book; it is very likely I would never have heard of it otherwise. Many of the pieces are beyond my playing level at this point, but it is a wonderful inspiration to me and gives me a great incentive to push forward with my studies. The accompanying CD is awesome; the pieces are played by the author and provide needed listening experience -- a very important feature missing in other books of this type.
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