5.0 out of 5 stars
Packed with info. Covers all of the bases for a piano student.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Sometimes, less is more
As a musician of varying sorts for over forty years, including a church organist, rock keyboardist, and now would-be jazz pianist, my experience with keyboards in general and pianos in specific is intermediate to advanced. Still, I’m always eager to learn more and having only played piano for seven years now, that is usually where I focus my energies of late, both studying piano music, and playing and performing on the piano. For that reason and as luck would have it, not only have I read three of the four books contained in this one, I still have two of them in my possession. That made it easy for me to compare this “4 in 1” book with the originals and size it up in what is (I hope) a meaningful manner.The first thing I noticed is although this book claims to be four books in one, the publishers did not simply combine the existing books using their individual volume formats. A serious attempt to edit and consolidate was made with this book, making it flow very smoothly while also making it much more comprehensive and useful. While it is true that the bulk of the material is more or less re-printed as is, nearly all of the material has revamped titles and overlapping material has been shortened or eliminated. Since I could not refer to all the originals (and indeed, had not read the music theory volume until I got this book), I can’t say for sure how much of each book made it into this compendium, but I can say that the material is very well-organized now, and does not rely on any one book (or two) at the expense of the others. Overall, the information is stacked and dense, but it remains cleverly laid out, marked with various “dummies” icons, and maintains all the usefulness these books are known for.Read more › Go to Amazon
4.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent resource to have - whether you are a ‘dummy’ or not!
While the first section of the book is really intended for 'dummies’ - things like what to look for when buying a piano/digital keyboard, the later sections cover all the required material all the way from beginner to an intermediate level. There are several things I like about this book and should have given 5 stars for it, but:1. End of the day, you can’t learn everything from a book - need direct practice and some instruction time from a professional teacher (unless you are a born genius, of course!). This book can take you only so far. After that you still need to practice a lot and also get some face time with some pros/teachers.2. More importantly, I feel there are less exercises and simpler examples at the beginning. The toughest part of learning something new is in the basic stages. That part should be really taken slow, with lots and lots examples/exercises. You can never overdo that. While this book does try to cover a lot of ground, still not enough for the early stage, IMHO.3. Nitpicking: the print for the music could have been a little bit bigger.In spite of that, this is one of the 'must have’ books you should have handy, as it provides lot of valuable information, pointers to references for further learning, and website access to all the songs for you to listen and practice while reading this book.For those of you who want to learn without a teacher, there are some software in the market, that can connect your notebook to a digital piano/keyboard through USB/MIDI cables, and such software can guide you real time with playing songs, track if you pressed the right key or not, within the tempo or not, etc. I believe such a software along with this book will get me more complete instruction than otherwise. Go to Amazon