Customer reviews: Play Piano in a Flash!

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Play Piano in a Flash!

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Having caught Scott’s PBS show I HAD to investigate further. I am in that group of adults who always wanted to play piano, but never had formal lessons. That PBS show inspired me to buy a slightly-used Casio keyboard & order this book. I totally enjoy Scott’s sense of humor, & his light-hearted book begins with the basics, covering the important parts to enable a “newbie” like me to play a favorite song without having to sweat thru weeks of practicing scales, memorizing chords, etc. I absolutely LOVE his approach, & truly laughed out loud reading about Scott’s first “gig” @ a country club dining room, playing piano.

Scott advocates a style of playing where the left hand plays chords, the right hand plays the melody. He also advocates making things as simple & enjoyable as possible, suggests beginning with a song you’ve always wanted to play, & a music style that appeals to you, & learn just the chords for that particular song. It all makes perfect sense to me!

If you want to learn the “classical” style of piano, I suggest “don’t buy this book”. But for me Scott’s teaching method is a revelation! Along with adhesive key stickers I also purchased a Broadway Show “fake” book, & I hope to be playing Ethel Merman tunes in no time!

Thank you Scott for this wonderfully refreshing approach to playing piano!

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This book will give you everything you need to get started playing the piano. The book is a very easy read with concise, right to the point instructions and doesn’t offer you anything but the basics, hammering home the key points.

You should find that (assuming you have at least some basic knowledge of music) that you will be able to play a few recognizable songs within a matter of days! I am not saying you will play them like a seasoned pro, but you will play them in a way that would impress your friends or family and will prompt them to ask, ‘when did you start taking lessons?’

I love how Scott just dives right in and gives you what you need to know to play right away. The book is short and sweet and offers just enough content.

I also purchased his fake book and the first song I started working on was “Hey Jude”. The music notation is in the key of C (from what I understand the easiest key to play) and I would say after a few hours I could play it somewhat decently. After a week, I had it nailed. Not just a riff or two, but the whole song atart to finish! I was blown away by my progress and look forward to learning more and more songs.

For roughly $10 you can’t go wrong with this book. Just be sure and keep an open mind when you read it and please don’t listen to piano snobs who will tell you ‘oh this is just shortcuts and nonsense’. They are just jealous that they spend thousands of dollars on lessons and probably wish they learned piano in this manner to begin with.

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“Play Piano in a Flash” covers some, but not all, of the basics you need to know in order to play piano. It also gives you some improvisational techniques that you can use when you become an intermediate player. Because this book provides an incomplete coverage of beginner topics, it should not be your primary source of instruction. It does make a good secondary piano book though.

The best thing about “Play Piano in a Flash” is that it inspires you to WANT to play the piano. Few music books do this. Scott Houston rightfully believes that people are more likely to continue learning to play an instrument if they play songs that they WANT to play, rather than songs they are TOLD to play. If you don’t love classical music, for example, you will lose interest if you spend much of your time practicing classical music.

Scott Houston’s writing style gets a bit annoying. The corny stuff that made his “Play Piano in a Flash” special on PBS so interesting just doesn’t come across well in print. However, this isn’t a novel; it’s not like you’re buying a piano book for its excellent prose. The way to judge a book like this is by what you get out of it. I found that I was much more interested in learning to play the piano after watching his PBS special and reading this book.

If you were to buy only one introductory piano book, I would recommend The FastTrack Keyboard Method – Book 1 by Blake Neely and Gary Meisner. But there’s no reason to only buy one piano book. In fact, these two books compliment each other quite well.

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