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27
3.4 out of 5 stars
Piano for Dummies (PC/Mac)
Price:£20.30+Free shipping
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
To try to get the full multi media experience, I loaded the disc onto my Mac laptop, and connected it to the electric piano. But the interactive section - where it is supposed to pick up on what you are playing, still didn't work. So I was left with the music, the audio, and able to follow both through the lessons.

I tried this with my 11 and 10 year old. Both enjoyed the first lesson, and worked part way through lesson 2, but then became bored. The music is very old school, and didn't really appeal to their age group. It felt more as if it were aimed at the beginner adult.

This does take you through the very beginner end of learning the piano, at a reasonably slow pace, covering both theory and practice. I can see that for some, it would be useful. However, I found it far too slow. This was compounded by the fact that you have to go through the programme each page at a time. There is no facility to jump forward, or skip pages. This is very annoying when there is more than one of you trying to learn at once - as you can't enter in user names and bookmark the page you were at.

To be honest, I'm not sure whether to recommend this or not. If you are a techy minded person, the old fashioned nature may be irritating. If you aren't keen on computers, then an old fashioned teach yourself book would be better. If, on the other hand, you are keen to learn, have never played before, and haven't studied any music theory - then this could be a handy way to cover the basics.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Do you remember when the first PC based training was launched using little video clips and audio files? Things have moved on a lot since then with a rich interactive approach being used by many providers. Unfortunately this isn't one of them and this CD (yes just a CD which comes rattling around in a large box - again just like software did in the old days) is definitely of the old school.

In essence what you get is a screen read out of a book with little icons you can press to access a video or audio clip or extra information. You navigate by clicking on the forward or back arrows so you can do one page at a time. Yes you can navigate to other sections by using the menu but the whole thing just looks and feels so old fashioned.

Sadly this impacts on the content which suffers. It is a pretty traditional run through with, at least in the early stages, many of the hoary old piano favourites for beginners making an appearance.

So the piano teaching content would get it perhaps a three star rating as it is solid enough but the presentation is so out of date that I am afraid I cannot give it more than the bare minimum.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 17 May 2011
I have really enjoyed this course and got a lot out of it, especially in terms of working on rhythym and note reading.

Points to consider as you look at this piano course:

- It is my opinion that this course will work fine if you have an acoustic piano (with a laptop so you can have the course directly in front as you play). Connection to the computer is nice, but not essential. I found playing with the music provided extremely helpful though I was not connected. The best thing is being able to adjust so many things- tempo, which hand you're playing with, or the section of music that's being reviewed. Great!

- This may not be worth the purchase for anyone who knows music well from another source, like guitar or voice. A great deal of time is spent on the basics of note reading and rhythym that those with music experience will already know. Great for those with little to no music background.

- Songs and teaching style are quite traditional, so some people may not relate to it well. It's understandable to include universally recognized and musically simple pieces like "Jingle Bells" in a beginner's course, but I thought I'd bring it up. There are also some rather dumb jokes included that I think may turn some people off.

- I would buy or download extra beginner's sheet music in order to get more practice in these basics than the course provides.

- 150 lessons sounds like a lot, but it is basic and will take the user to an advanced beginner's or low intermediate level.

Well worth the money for most people.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 14 July 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A very basic package that is excellent for beginners, and I guess that is the target audience here. Works best if you can put it on a laptop and have it nearby when playing / teaching. There is a great deal of variety in the teaching methodology and it works well as a refresher to go back to. All in all good value for money and perfect for piano dummies.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Piano for Dummies is an interesting way to get into learning the piano. It contains a single CD ROM that will play in both a PC and Mac. The Mac installation was very easy and was ready in a couple of minutes from installing.

The software itself takes you though the basics, and I really mean 'basics'. I'm learning piano for the first time alongside my 6 year old daughter and at least the first 10 lessons here were covered in only a couple of lessons with her piano tutor. That said, it's useful to have these bite sized lessosn for those who don't have a lot of time to sit down in one go and it does make the course a bit more punchy.

Once you understand the basic notes and timing, a few simple songs are included to take you through the practical. These don't really go anywhere near a level that would have you 'properly' playing the piano and it's fairly certain that you'd need to follow this up with a more advanced course once the Piano for Dummies course is finished, but at the same time it will be less daunting for those starting from scratch, especially children.

So while could easily give this product a harsh review for being simple, I think it does the job for those who are totally new to music and the piano. The only other thing I'd mention is that you'd ideally need to have your computer near to the piano or keyboard to get the most out of this. An iPad or tablet version would be even better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 17 July 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Yes ,if you are an absolute beginner , like me , then this will be a great course for you , because it works best for people who have no musical experience , which I suppose is the point of it all anyway. This course will be much cheaper than actual piano lessons - you can play the parts over and over again. There's constant feedback for where you're going right or wrong , and there are plenty of lessons to have a go at , so why not give it a try?
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As with most of the "...for Dummies" range, this does deliver on it`s promise - but with caveats. I`ve flicked through a few of the different books from this series in shops, and always figured that they were not particularly different to any other basic introductions. And this is the same - and more to the point, if there is one thing the world already has plenty of, it`s books telling you how to play the piano! I was a bit surprised that this isn`t more progressive, or at least, modern, or different. It`s the same old songs as usual, hymns, carols etc., and it`s not very interesting. Having it playing on your PC or laptop whilst you tinkle the ivories may be helpful, as it probably focuses your learning, and obviously it is more fun and cheaper than forking out for lessons from an increasingly frustrated tutor! 150 lessons sounds like a lot, but each one is very short, and they are very easy to follow. Also, it won`t take you that far in terms of development - it really is for beginners, maybe up to very low intermediates. If you really haven`t touched a keyboard before, then perhaps this is a good start, but that`s all it is.
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VINE VOICEon 19 July 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Not so much for dummies, actually for beginners. This package is so basic that you won't benefit from it if you have ANY experience. It's OK for a novice then, although the light hearted jokey theme running through the package is obviously aimed at younger children - I'd say age 4-10 years maximum!! This is CD based and not DVD, so don't expect state of the art graphics and sound, 'cos you don't get them. Annoyingly, this is yet another software product that has a box about 10 times bigger than it actually needs to be. A small DVD case or even a CD jewel case would have been quite sufficient. I know this is done to make customers believe they are getting more for their money, but it's a decpetion, and a waste of resources. So, a very basic and fair to middling starter package, although there are better ones out there at around the same cost. My guess is you are paying for the "Dummies" trademark, so shop around for a DVD based program that features a more comprehensive learning package, and one that can be used by adults too.
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on 22 November 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I loaded this onto my windows PC and connected an Axiom midi player keyboard via USB. The software loaded quickly and ready to be used. The only problem was there was always a millisecond delay between when I played the note on the keyboard and when the sound actually came out of the speaker. (which can be irritating when you are trying to play to a metronome) I tried the settings but just could not fix it.

I started on the lessons and found it very easy to follow and enjoyable. You have the choice to click on videos of people to talk you through the lessons, or follow the flashing notes type of learning. The package also gave some history of music, posture, and reading of notes etc.

I would recomend this product for beginners to medium level students, kids or adults to get the concepts of playing the piano.

Another useful function was that when I closed the program, it knew exactly where to pick up from whenever I reloaded the program.
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VINE VOICEon 18 November 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The software takes you through the very beginner end of learning the piano, at a reasonably slow pace, covering both theory and practice so that you become competent and fluent while boosting your confidence. It is a fun way to learn the piano.

It is very easy to follow and enjoyable. You have the choice to click on videos of people to talk you through the lessons, or follow the flashing notes type of learning. The package also gave some history of music, posture, and reading of notes etc.

I would recommend this product for beginners to medium level students, kids or adults to get the concepts of playing the piano.

Another useful function is that it picks up from whenever you stopped.
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