I am really enjoying playing the piano this way. I started learning 50 years ago and had an older sister who was much better than me so gave it up. As you can imagine that put me off. Now this is pure joy and just for me.
I have downloaded some more from your website but what I mustn’t do now is go forward to more difficult tunes until I am fairly proficient. Having said that I do hope to play like Hugo, and then I would be entirely happy. I have downloaded Blue Danube as Strauss was one of my favourites when my sister was playing - also Tales from the Vienna Woods. I didn't get that good to play it myself!
I wish you the best of luck with it.
Regards, Marian –oddzanendz 7 Feb. 2009
I purchased the beginners book for Ambrose Method and as a teacher
I am very impressed and are keen to try out this system on children. I am
interested to know if there are further tutor/music/song books available.
If so, details please. I appreciate that plenty of music can be downloaded.
Regards, Graham Cousins -grahamc7459 7 Feb. 2009
Got it yesterday and my wife was up all night going through your book, I awoke to hear music on the piano that we have had for 40 years (first time ever). I just wanted to say thank you and I have left positive feedback and 5 star rating. My wife is already talking about getting your other books once she masters this one. Thank you again, Dennis. -sellyourstuff4$$ 03-03-2009
“One of the best things I've found about Piano Tabs is that I've been able to learn a few classical pieces that had previously seemed far too advanced for what I had perceived my skill level too be. It is ideal for beginners but can also bring out the best in intermediate level and self taught players" David Reade, Chelmsford Aug-2008
James Catterall, Professor of Music Education, University California LA:
“Two years of piano can increase children’s academic levels up to two letter grades, math scores up to 40%, and social skills up to two grades level”
The Important Elements of the "Ambrose Piano Method"
1. Have fun first. Choose your favourite songs and make music before you learn the theory
2. The music font size is kept large so you can read it easily
3. A note on a coloured line (through it) is always a black note. A note in a space between lines is always a white note
4. The lines are printed in the same pattern of two’s and three’s as the black keys. Visualise the coloured lines in their 2 and 3 groupings. See the lines as the black keys
5. Play the notes shown like reading letters across the page. When notes are in line vertically play them at the same moment in time
6. Where the stems of the notes go down play them with your left hand and when they go up use your right hand. Right hand usually plays the red, green and purple notes; left hand usually plays blue, and orange notes
7. The number above or below the note is the finger used. Your thumb on both hands is 1 and the little finger is 5. All fingering is optional and numbers are a suggestion only, use whichever fingers you find more comfortable
8. Faded notes (tied notes) are held down and not played twice
9. Practice each hand part separately when perfect play both hands together
APM uses coloured lines to represent the black keys on the keyboard (board of keys) to tell you which notes to play. Stickers are placed on the black keys using a different colour for each group of five black keys. The lines on the page match the pattern of the coloured black keys.
Placing the Stickers on the Black Keys
Firstly identify the exact middle of the piano / keyboard using a tape measure. To the right of the centre there is a group of three black keys. Place 3 red stickers on these 3 black keys. Place 2 more red stickers on the black keys to their left, the pattern must look like this: I I I I I
Position the long end of the sticker starting near the back of the black key (next to the lid of the piano).
Then place: - blue stickers on the 5 black keys to the left of the red keys
green stickers to the right of the red keys
orange on the left and purple to the right, as below
You now have 5 groups of coloured stickers placed on adjacent groups of black notes
I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I
Removing the stickers
The stickers can be peeled away with a finger nail and the glue removed with a little neat vodka on a tissue, if it hasn’t worked for you, drink the rest.
APM in more detail
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Absolute beginners
Part 3: Notes for professional piano teachers, please see the bottom ¼ section of this listing
APM is a new form of writing down music that makes learning to play the piano simple and fun. The concept was developed by Russell Ambrose, who was frustrated trying to read traditional music. Conventional notation can take years to learn and most students give up before they master it.
There are two elements that affect your enjoyment and progress in learning to play the piano: ease of READING music and ease of PLAYING music
§ Ease of reading is simple. It is a visual system that links the black keys to coloured lines on the page. Reading every note on the piano can be learnt in minutes and there is no need to learn the names of the notes or to know any music theory before you can start playing tunes
§ Ease of playing is achieved by you selecting your favourite tunes to play. Knowing a tune allows you to get started without learning the timing and note durations. You can learn the theory (the boring stuff) after experiencing the delight of making music
§ You will be able to play your first tune in the first hour
We all hate reading instruction manuals and most find unfamiliar music boring. You will want to practice and you will make rapid progress as a result
The Ambrose Piano Method website contains many popular pieces, graded by difficulty and style. And you can listen to the tune to help you get it right
Apart from the number and colour of the lines there are no other differences to ordinary music. This allows easy transition to reading traditional notation once you are a proficient player
Progressive piano teachers should embrace this innovation when they see how quickly their students learn. They are usually pleased to teach you in this method if you ask them to. But don’t expect a good reaction from all piano teachers. Here is a response from someone who responded anonymously to a job advert of mine, using my words from the advert in quotation marks:-
...go to music school, lazy dummy, and learn musical theory and notation for at least five years "full or part time".... and then, in case of your "remarkable success" you will maybe "clever enough" to know how to scratch your first scores with your own hand and not "direct from a keyboard". Forget about it, it’s not for beginners at all...
I think you should start to realize who you are, and who special music software’s designed for. It’s for professional musicians after ten or more years of musical education only, and not for silly amateurs (as I can see from your request) who don’t even understand what "music lessons" mean.
Don’t expect professionals, who obtained music specialty through the years of hard work, to spend time on your "fun", or to make the learning process easier just because you want it, as well as to score something for you, presumptuous idiot....
Don’t even address your stupid offer to experienced professional musicians because it’s not for them.....
Regards, Experienced piano player and teacher.
firstname.lastname@example.org March 2009
RA – fun isn’t it. It's a fake email address! I wanted to ask her if she would reconsider if it was proven that Piano Tabs advanced her students progress by two years, but I suspect not.
There are only 12 distinct tones (called notes) in music which are played by pressing keys on the keyboard. These groups of 12 keys are repeated about seven times on a standard size piano (less on smaller keyboards). Keys are either black or white
Note carefully the repeating pattern of the black keys in 2’s + 3’s along the keyboard. These identify the 12 different notes
The left hand end of the piano is called the bottom of the keyboard and the right hand end is the top
The notes on the right (top) are higher in pitch than those on the left (bottom) of the keyboard which are lower in pitch
Coloured Lines Staff lines (Staves in plural)
The staff lines are printed in coloured groups upon which the music is written. Piano Tabs coloured lines are in the same pattern of 2’s and 3’s as the black notes on the keyboard are. The coloured lines represent coloured black notes and the white spaces between the lines represent white notes
Notes are shown as coloured dots with a black surround. Dots in the white spaces between the lines show the white keys to be played. Dots with lines through them represent the coloured black keys. Piano Tabs notes are identical in time duration and meaning to traditional notation notes
Coloured lines represent Black notes
The horizontal coloured lines represent the black keys. Familiarise yourself with the pattern of the two lines and the three lines which copies the pattern of the black notes (2’s and 3’s). Black notes always have a line through their middle
The seven white notes (keys) can be identified by their position between the lines and by their names A to G. White notes never have a line through them
The Piano Keyboard
A note is shown as an oval dot. When a line is through the note a black key (note) is played. When the dot is between lines a white key is played
Visualise the lines on the music as the keyboard. Coloured lines = Black notes coloured with stickers
The main differences to traditional notation is the use of 15 coloured lines in place of the 10 black lines for the three octaves normally shown on sheet music. Anything that can be written on 10 lines can be written as clearly, possibly more so, on 15. Using a distinct space and colour for every note enables instant identification of all the notes over the whole keyboard.
You will enjoy playing straight away; theory can be left until later when you are ready to understand more about how music works.
Notes for Professional Musicians
Source: Giles A, (1983). Reading music. Clavier, 17(8), see the 6th paragraph, link: - http://www.music.sc.edu/ea/keyboard/ppf/1.2/1.2.PPFke.html
“More piano students give up piano study because of reading problems than for any other single reason. People don't give up activities that they enjoy. But if each piece presents a learning prospect to be dreaded, the result is predictable. We should not be surprised that the country is overrun by millions of people who 'used to play the piano,' but who now cannot pick out a single-note melody at the keyboard.”
See Professor of music Denver University Jerald Lepinsky on the same subject:-
http://www.meloz.com/elegantsolution.html “It is now unnecessary -- and it should be unacceptable -- that we relegate most of our citizens to a role of illiterate spectators in their favorite art! The great educational deficit among normally educated people is music. Most adults remember just one lesson from their music classes” -- "Music is too difficult!"
Most of us are reluctant to try a new computer program because we hate opening the manual and having to decipher it. Most piano students have the same attitude with every new piece of music
APM is simple to read because each of the twelve notes has its own space on the lines (a chromatic scale) sharps and flats are no longer difficult to read. Both left and right hand lines represent the same notes. Notes outside the normal range are as easy to read on ledger lines as any other note. Beginners have no difficulty read music over six octaves. The benefit is that Piano Tabs cuts out years of tedious struggle. The time saved can be spent usefully, on learning how to play music. An instant start is achievable for everybody and this opens up the world of music to those with less natural ability. Instant gratification works to keep students interested and enjoying making music.
WYSIWYG - Key Signatures, Tonality, and Accidentals,
What You See Is What You Get. Piano Tabs uses a chromatic staff with no sharp or flat signs and no need of a key signature to play the right notes. This makes all notes and key signatures equally easy to read and play. In traditional notation it is much more difficult to read music in some keys than in others. B Major is as easy as C Major in APM.
Clefs and Staves
Unlike the traditional diatonic staff, the staves repeat with each octave, on the octave. This means that a note has the same appearance in every octave. This makes notes easier to recognize and play and there is no need for different clefs. This is a significant advantage over the use of four different clefs as in traditional notation (treble, bass, alto, and tenor) where the staves look identical but whose notes are different.
Interval Relationships compared to Traditional Notation