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Produced by the award-winning maranGraphics group, Maran Illustrated Guide to Piano is a valuable resource to a wide range of readers-from people who want to play a few songs for their family in the living room to those who aspire to become serious musicians. Maran Illustrated Guide to Piano shows the reader the best way to perform each task, while the full-color photographs, music examples and clear, step-by-step instructions walk the reader through each task from beginning to end. Thorough topic introductions and useful tips provide additional information and advice to help enhance the readers' piano experience. Maran Illustrated Guide to Piano is packed with essential information for readers who are sitting down in front of a piano for the first time, and will provide more experienced players with a refresher course on the basics and the opportunity to add more advanced techniques to their repertoire. Maran Illustrated Guide to Piano will cost less than the price of one private piano lesson and will be a permanent resource that will provide years of enjoyment.
1. Piano Basics 2. The Basics of Reading Music 3. Basic Hand Positions 4. Playing Scales 5. Playing Chords 6. Beyond the Basics of Reading Music 7. Tips to Improve Your Playing 8. Special Playing Techniques 9. Improvising and Playing with Others 10. Styles of Music 11. Buying and Caring for Your Piano 12. Quick Reference
Posted June 6, 2005
For all the many self-help, how-to books published The Maran Family has polished the book-led guide to learning to a fare-thee-well. This well-conceived and very well written book is an excellent introduction to the joys of sitting down in front of a piano keyboard and actually creating music instead of fantasies.As one of the maranGraphics books (others include such wide ranging topics as Weight Training, Computer Guides, Dog training, Guitar, Yoga, and Knitting and Crocheting!), this volume uses the technical consulting of Frank Horvat, a composer, performer and piano teacher, and then applies the approach to the keyboard in a highly visual series of photographs and schematics that begin a survey of the types of keyboard instruments, the history of the piano, and progress to the basics of what makes a piano make music and ultimately walks the willing student through a very sound technique of learning.As a life-long pianist I am amazed at the facility developed in this beautifully designed book. For those who question learning to play the piano by a 'how to' book, just peruse the careful steps and clarity of instruction offered by this helpful guide. Much musicology is included and many examples of fine piano music are used in the lessons. Whether it is the classical route you wish or the popular medium of chord based music or the intricacies of blues and improvisation, the steps are here. At the end of the book is a fine discussion on how to choose your piano from the many types that exist and even a discussion on the various periods of piano music history (although brief these are succinctly to the point).Terrific for the adults who moan 'if I'd only taken lessons as a child' as well for the young students who are willing to commit to the goal of learning to 'make their own music', this Illustrated Guide to the Piano is a solid source of didactics. And for those addicted to the computer, there are even 'MP3 files available to listen to and play along with for all the chords, scales, exercises and practice pieces in this book.' Truly a book for the 21st Century! Grady Harp
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