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My Book
Old 01-08-2014, 09:00 AM   #1
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My Book

Today or tomorrow I will publish my eBook on Amazon. Could you take a look at the description, and let me know if you have any comments? Thanks.


What a great feeling to read a review that says your book is so funny and interesting that it will appeal to everybody, not just piano students! I've never gotten that feeling, nor any reviews like that because my book, while admittedly hilarious (hey, did you see the cover?), would be excruciatingly boring to anyone who isn't interested in piano or sight-reading. So, if you don't play piano (and don't want to), this book is not for you. What are you doing here? Go away!

Anyway, on December 10, 2007, I decided to become a great (or at least, good) piano sight-reader. Although I was already an OK jazz piano player (Google Al Macy Jazz), with 4-6 gigs per month, my sight-reading was lousy. Really lousy. Most seven-year-olds who had had a year of lessons could probably read music better than I. So, I vowed to learn everything I could about sight-reading, and sight-read TWO HOURS EVERY DAY FOR AT LEAST A YEAR!

That year stretched out to six, and I learned a lot about what works, and what doesn't. I wrote this book for other adults who want to improve their piano sight-reading (OK, also to show how clever I am, but mostly for others). I kept a careful OCD-like record of my progress, so you can hear exactly how I sounded (via web clips) at three months, four months, two years, etc. In the book I relate what worked and what didn't so that you can benefit from my experience. I answer your questions about how to become a better sight-reader. For example:

Should you hire a teacher? How long should you practice each day? Will you inevitably improve if you just do a lot of reading? How can you find enough practice music? Which are more important, notes or intervals? Is it OK to glance down at your hands occasionally? How far ahead should you try to look? Can practicing with your eyes closed help? How can you get better at leaving things out when you are having trouble? What can you do about the fact that the notes on the bass clef are in different places than on the treble clef? How does understanding the harmonic structure of a piece help you play it? Does it help to sight-sing a piece before playing? Should you analyze the tune before starting? If so, what do you look at? Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Where is Jimmy Hoffa buried? The answers to some of those questions might surprise you.

I also present my very own soon to be patented (not really) method for forcing you to attend to intervals instead of notes. If you find yourself so fixated on the note names that you can't work with the intervals instead, this trick might solve your problem.

So, if you want to take your sight-reading to a whole new level, and want some tips that will help, or are just curious about what the future will hold for you, this book will definitely help. Definitely, definitely. And there are no Rain Man jokes in the book. Zero. Definitely zero.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:35 AM   #2
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So that's what you've been doing lately.

Nice book idea. I think the description reads and sets the stage well and the reader knows what to expect. The humor works better in the intro part, once in the core (That year stretched out to 6) is it less effective and you might consider just describing the book in a more serious tone.

You also might want to see if you can reduce the use of "I" and involve the reader a bit more in the outcome (you learn vs I teach).
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:40 AM   #3
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Good luck and great picture. When are you changing your avatar?
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:57 AM   #4
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Al, to those of us who know you and see your book cover, the most obvious suggestion on how you can improve your sight reading is "put on your damn glasses!"

The book sounds great. The best of luck with it.

When does the sequel hit the bookstands?
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:00 AM   #5
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But will I be able to play the piano? Cause I can't play it now! <rim shot>
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Al, to those of us who know you and see your book cover, the most obvious suggestion on how you can improve your sight reading is "put on your damn glasses!"

The book sounds great. The best of luck with it.

When does the sequel hit the bookstands?
The sequel is Becoming a Sex God -- or Not!
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:51 AM   #7
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I have no interest in learning how to sight read but if I did I would buy your book just for the humor alone . In fact I still might just to see how OCD you got . That alone would be worth a chuckle .
Congratulations !
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:54 AM   #8
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Great description! Congratulations on completing your book, Al. What a neat project to keep a retiree busy.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:25 AM   #9
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Not interested in learning to read music, but I sure do love the cover pic. Good luck with it Al.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:43 AM   #10
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I was wondering what you were up to, Al, and now I see it was all worthwhile!

We seem to be developing a school/flock/gaggle of published authors here. I wonder who will be next?
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:49 AM   #11
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Congrats and good luck T-AL!

BTW, doesn't the OP belong here?:

http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...log-64204.html


-ERD50
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:03 PM   #12
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That's excellent, I hope it's a success! I agree with your thoughts about intervals. We typically work from charts that don't have specific notes, just chords and melody. There's an interesting app called iReal Pro that is a digital version of the venerable "Real Book".

Good luck!
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:52 PM   #13
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Makes me wish I could play. Maybe I will get the book for DW who took 6 years of lessons as a kid. We have a piano, albeit out of tune.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:57 PM   #14
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Al, all the very best with your book.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
The sequel is Becoming a Sex God -- or Not!
Can't wait to see the cover
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:11 PM   #16
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Good luck with the book. Any ER.org discounts? I have been playing the piano for 40 years and would be interested to see what you have to say.
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:29 PM   #17
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Good luck with your book Al! The humor is a great feature to include with your subject matter.
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:34 PM   #18
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Good luck with the book. Any ER.org discounts? I have been playing the piano for 40 years and would be interested to see what you have to say.
All ER Forumites can get it for $2.99. There's also the free sample for those of you who are just curious (first 10% of the book).

I clicked the Publish trigger, so hopefully it will be up in a day or so.
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:26 PM   #19
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Love the cover.

I can and like to sight read lots of things, electical or electronic diagrams, cars, women to name a few. Playing instruments is one of many negative skills. Soo, sight reading music will not be in my future.

You gonna do a book on palmistry?
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:24 PM   #20
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Re-learning how to play the piano after 10 years of reasonably useless lessons in childhood is on my ER to-do list, so I'll bite. I sight read choral music reasonably well but definitely could work on my intervals there, so it might be useful on both counts.
Look forward to it!
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