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Because you are in possession of (or plan to be in possession of) a piano or keyboard, you may need this book to figure out how to play it. Or you may want to read music. Maybe you already know how to play, and you want to improve your playing skills or develop your style. Could be you’re interested in knowing more about pianos and their performers. Or you may need some help buying a keyboard or finding a teacher. For any of these reasons, this is the book for you.
You can use Piano For Dummies as a teaching aid or just as a reference book. Even if you already know how to play music, you may run across some new tricks or techniques in these pages.
Of course, you should continue to seek knowledge about your instrument long after you tire of my jokes. Piano teachers and method books shouldn’t be forsaken forever for Piano For Dummies. But, hey, what a revolutionary way to start playing the piano — by having fun with a great book!
Piano For Dummies
How to Read (and Listen to) This Book
Don’t think you must start reading Piano For Dummies from the beginning. This isn’t Gone With the Wind. There’s no cliffhanger in Chapter 4. You can open up and start reading from any page or chapter that interests you. If you need to know something from a chapter you skipped, just flip back to that chapter, read what you need to know, and then flip ahead.
Also, this book is smaller in size than most piano books, so you can easily set it atop your piano, keyboard, or airline pull-out tray as you read. Just ask the flight attendant to hold your drink and peanuts for you.
You have eight different parts to read. Take your pick, starting anywhere you wish.
Part I: Warming Up to the Keyboard
Part I serves as your introduction to the family of keyboards, how they work, where to sit to play them, which hands to use, and how to operate all those black and white keys.
Part II: Getting Sound Dou/n on Paper
In this part, 1 explain the many symbols, lines, and dots that most people call “music,” and I also show you how to translate those symbols, lines, and dots into actual songs.
Part III: One Hand at a Time
Everything comes together in Part III, which shows you how to play the melodies of lots of well-known songs. I also talk about the importance of scales and how they can help you master the piano. At the end of this part, I get the other guy involved — the left hand.
Part W: Living in Perfect Harmony
In this part, you can discover the world of harmony — what it is, how it’s made, and how to use it to fill out the sound of the songs you play.
Part V: Technique Counts for Everything
Read this part to help dress up the music you play with some neat tricks, techniques, and styles. Beware: After word gets out that you’ve read this part of the book, people will always ask you to play the piano at their parties.
Part I/I: So Many Toys, So Little Time
This part is your guide to selecting, buying, and caring for your keyboard, whether your instrument is brand new or a family heirloom. The excitement you experience from this part may lead to breaking open your piggy bank and going shopping.
Part I/ll: The Part of Tens
This part offers a few lists to help you have more fun with the piano. I tell you about some of the great masters, past and present, of the instrument. I also show you some avenues to pursue if you want to expand your interest beyond the scope of this book. I end the part with a list of tips to help you find a teacher who’s right for you.
I also throw in a glossary of musical terms and an appendix to tell you about the CD that comes with this book. What? The book comes with a CD? You thought that round thing attached to the back of the book was a cool little drink coaster? Sorry, you’ll have to find a napkin instead. This CD features recordings of every song in the book, as well as other fun audio examples. The appendix gives you a complete track listing of what awaits you on the CD.
Icons Used in This Book
Specific icons alert you to information you may want to pay closer attention to, skip past as fast as you can, or tell your Mom and Dad all about.
When you see this icon, you know some handy-dandy information follows that can save you time, save you money, save your memory, or save you from electrocuting yourself.
Some of the information in this book gets a little more advanced. You may find yourself skipping these parts to keep your brain power to a minimum, or you may be surprised by how fascinating and fun you find it.
Piano For Dummies
Sometimes I get really excited about a particular CD, book, or other musical paraphernalia I enjoy. This icon alerts you to those things you should check out at a store or library near you.
On the CD, you can hear every song example in this book and other fun audio clips. You can play along or hear how the song sounds before playing it yourself. Take a listen when you see this icon.
When I digress into the swamp of technical jargon, I give you fair warning with this icon. Don’t tear the page in your haste to flip past if you don’t care for technical jargon.