Sight-reading singer trying to relearn the piano: any suggestions?
March 4, 2009 7:55 AM   Subscribe

I am a sight-reading singer trying to relearn the piano. I used to take lessons and still remember how to play the piano, but have not practiced in quite some time. I am not looking to become concert-quality, but just so that I can maybe play along with myself when trying to learn a song or play something relatively simple for my own enjoyment. Is there a book or something I can get or something I can do to help me relearn the piano? Thanks!
posted by Twevy to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
You're going to need to qualify what you mean by sight-reading. Because if you mean that you can sight-sing (look at a piece of music and sing it because you are that well versed in music theory and have that much experience in pitch) then the books I would recommend are completely different from what I would recommend if you meant that you were actually an ear-trained singer (that you can look at a piece, listen to it played, and sing it back).

In general, I would recommend Hanon "The Virtuoso Pianist" because the dexterity that builds is useful for absolutely any piano playing - from enjoyable sitting around plunking things out to serious pieces of music. But that isn't a "method" book. It is an exercise book.

There are myriad exercise books out there that are worth getting. But again, when you clarify what you mean by what kind of a singer you are, I'll know better what to recommend.
posted by greekphilosophy at 8:12 AM on March 4, 2009

The Complete Piano Player was recommended to me in this AskMe, and it seems like a pretty solid resource thus far.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:35 AM on March 4, 2009

The Alfred Basic Piano Library series should meet your needs and take you to whatever level you aspire to. I recommend the All-in-one Adult course and that you start at Level one even if you think you're not a total beginner.
posted by birdwatcher at 9:54 AM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm always fascinated by the variance in skill that people translate into "I know how to play the piano". For some people, that means they can play fairly complex songs from memory, for others it's "Heart and Soul".

If you really need to relearn the piano, you ought to at least check out the Alfred course birdwatcher recommends. It's what I'm using to teach myself in preparation for taking lessons. The first book has a fair amount of info on music reading, which I already know how to do - but the exercises that go along with it are usually worthwhile. It's interspersed with some exercises, as well, though I can't really comment on their usefulness. Conversely, my girlfriend (a singer who took piano lessons years ago) seems to enjoy puttering around in Book Two from time to time. Hope this helps.
posted by McBearclaw at 10:59 AM on March 4, 2009

Response by poster: great, i think i'm gonna check out the alfred course. thanks, guys!
posted by Twevy at 10:23 AM on March 9, 2009

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