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I started playing the piano 4 months ago and have reached the stage where I can play some basic chords with my left hand and at the same time notes with my right hand. I'm using the Complete Keyboard Player book 1 by Kenneth Baker and I've reached about two thirds of the way through. Obviously the further I progress in the book the more difficult the pieces become, so the longer it takes to master each piece.

Is it OK to begin to play the pieces further along in the book before the earlier one is completely mastered, thereby giving my practice sessions some variety? Or should I stick with the each piece until it is perfect each time I play it? I'm tempted to try the later pieces but I don't want to get things out of sequence and learn the wrong techniques.

  • Thank you all for taking the time to answer my question - much appreciated and I'll keep going as I believe I will get better in the end! – Steve Smith Mar 17 '17 at 6:00
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    It's good to read that you appreciate the answers. Please consider to mark the most helpful one as 'accepted'. – Arsak Mar 19 '17 at 10:24
5

I've said something along these lines before, but I think it's worth repeating.

There is a reason for repetitive practice, and achieving perfection. It teaches you a lot. But it's also probably the single best way to ensure that you give up on this silly piano thing after a year or so.

That's not a good thing.

So, you need to practice until perfect, but you also need to have fun making music. Find a few songs you like, and just play along. Don't aim for perfection. They might not even be from the same book. Just be aware that the different sorts of practice serve different purposes, and that you are going to learn different things as a result.

I know multiple piano players who are technically better than me, but can only play the pieces that they've rehearsed to death. And have absolutely no ability to play without starting from sheet music. That's not a problem for them, but it doesn't work for me. You can do both, by the way. I just don't have the time, or (to be honest) the inclination, to be a good classical/sheet music player. But I do know what to do with a chord chart. That's much more important to me, personally.

So I'd sit back, and figure out why you're doing this in the first place. Once you have an idea, structure your practice routine to reach your goals. It's going to be hard work either way, but some hard work is more valuable than others. Whatever you do, don't practice yourself into complete boredom, and then give up. Nobody wins in that situation.

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Well, I'm going to take a slightly different tack here from Israel Marquez and 33232. As a piano teacher for more than 50 years, recently retired, I've seen many students lose interest through not getting into new material soon enough. I agree with the answers that say it's important to progress somewhat slowly, but I also believe that tackling new challenges is useful, provided you don't jump too far ahead or spend too much time away from the level you are actually at. Attempting new, higher levels can stimulate you to have more motivation when working on what is already familiar.

Another bonus to exploring ahead of yourself is that you can thereby get a sense of where the method is headed. You may find that you want to broaden your horizons by taking on some additional instruction that uses differing approaches.

As long as you don't dive too deeply into material that is going to discourage you by being too advanced, I think you'll be fine. Be yourself! Do what feels right.

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You need to be careful. This book is made so that you can progress gently and not practise something you will struggle with, especially technique.

Piano practise can sometimes be tedious but it's necessary to become an expert(I am assuming that, of course).

I spent hours practicing all there is to learn in the classical form as my aim was to be a classical improviser. The hard work paid off!!

You will also find that learning gradually, even if you feel "bored" is the best way. As your basics get stronger, you'll find that the more complicated things will be easier with strong foundations. As an example, after I was done with all the classical stuff, I turned to jazz basics and it took very little time because all is based on classic, or almost.

Piano playing is a journey. A really long marathon and there's no sense in sprinting.

Have a look at this: http://www.true-piano-lessons.com/

May I suggest having another workbook to entertain your intellect?

Good luck!

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As user33232 said, it's better to have all the basics well settled. If you try harder pieces and don't have a solid required technique you'll end frustrated. In all the instruments, the key for mastering them is to start slow.

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