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Secrets to Better Piano Playing
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Great book!
As a beginner pianist, I believe that this book is definitely worth its price! The advices are delivered in a very clear and convincing way which my piano teacher had not explained to me. It definitely improves the effectiveness of my practice sessions and also help me realized some important improvements that I should make that I had not previously noticed. Overall, it's a great book and I would definitely recommend it!
— May 19, 2017 by Evan J. (New York City, NY)
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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A must buy
Recently I bought "Secrets To Better Piano Playing”, written by David Hicken. I found his music via YouTube, Spotify, iTunes and was very impressed by the sound and technique of how the piano is played. Inspired by that, I bought his book and after reading it, I understand what the secrets are behind his beautiful music.
I am glad I bought the book. I am taking a lot of inspiration out of it, improve my techniques and is a must to buy.
— March 30, 2017 by Emiel (Netherlands)
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Just what I was looking for!
One of my retirement goals is to re-learn to play the piano. I took lessons 50 years ago but quit when I took up the trumpet in the school band. Bought an old piano during mid-life crisis but quickly became frustrated. I could read music but not nearly fast enough, so I picked my way through a piece many times and played mostly from memory. This book and David's playing are an inspiration to do it right this time. - Dave
— March 12, 2017 by Dave K (Sunbury, Pa)
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Great advice
I quit practicing piano for 20+ years. Just recently I work very hard to get back to the level of piano ( 8th grade of Royal School of Music) where I was before. The practice was challenging, and it involved a lot of frustration and disappointment. I even injured my left hand pinky due to long hours of practice. I feel grateful after reading this book, it provides me with a lot of invaluable advice. First, I organize my piano practice into several shorter sessions. Secondly, I annotate the fractures, and pay special attention to these fractures during practice. The result is incredible!
— February 21, 2017 by Vincy Fung (Yorba Linda, CA)
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Helps with every aspect of my piano playing.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It helps with playing faster passages how to practice, how to pick a teacher, how to pick a piano, where to put the piano, and much more. This is not one of the many piano gimmick out there. He admits that you cannot learn piano in just weeks. He says " It takes patience and discipline." However with the help of this book, you can become an amazing pianist. I (am) fifteen years old and I love this book!
— February 17, 2017 by John Mark Tarwater (Edinburg, Texas)
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Great advice in this book
I took lessons from 7 years of age to 13, and I hated it the whole time. I wish I would have had this book back then. Now, I am playing again after not playing (seriously) for about 30 years. The book breaks it down into exactly how you need to approach learning and how to be successful. I found a lot of good gems of advice and I can see myself getting better very quickly. I'm glad I purchased this book.
— September 2, 2016 by Tere (Phoenix, Arizona)
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Invaluable advices
It gives me a great pleasure to read Secrets To Better Piano Playing by David Hicken. He is a great artist, a master and a teacher in one person. I admire him and its’s a mercy that I have read the book. The book is understandable for non-native English speakers too and it’s an enjoyable reading for everyone who learns piano in any level. In my opinion, the book is essential to know the basics. I like music and piano so much. This book gives me the inspiration to start again playing the piano after a long break. I follow Mr.Hicken’s advice. I think there is a good virtue in the book which gives me the motivation to improve my abilities and helps to achive my goals step by step. I think it is worth investing strenght and energy to become better day by day. I have picked up new techniques. I have recognised some changes in my style of playing the piano, I have learned where I should change my techniques and got the answers to some techniqal questions.
— August 31, 2016 by Eva S. (Siófok, Hungary)
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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great book
it's a book talking about the real things that differ between middle to excellent pianist. it contains infirmation and really good tips on how to play the piano in a good way. recommended to begginers and pro as well, great book :)
— August 28, 2016 by gil.brami88@gmail.com (ashdod , israel)
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Money well spent.
A collection of really useful tips and instructions, that will guide you on your musically journey.
— August 16, 2016 by Harry (Germany)
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Very good investment
I strongly recommend to read this book to everybody who is really interested in playing the piano but due to lack of time (or not enough money) can not afford a personal teacher. This book is more suitable for somebody who have some previous experiencies with playing the piano.
Book is written in very friendly style. When you read it, it is like a friend whispering to you and giving really useful advices.
This book is exactly what I needed after years not playing the piano. It will really help you to start again.
Enyoj!
— June 4, 2016 by Patricia (Slovakia)
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Really helpful information
As a beginner I was looking for any advice on proper ways to learning the piano, and of course any advice from one of my favorite current composer's in my mind is critical. David's book needs to be read more than once, especially if your a beginner, not because it's difficult to understand, but because it contains loads of useful information. Most helpful to me is his advice on what to look for in a quality teacher. Whether you just beginning or a seasoned player, or if your a fan of David Hicken as I am this is a must read. Thank you David for your book and your music.
— March 10, 2016 by Chris Strisko (Chicago, IL)
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Great textbood to supplement lessons
I've played for years and this is the first book I've found that is really a powerful assistant that you can use to supplement lessons, or to just provide direction when you don't have access to lessons. I play reasonably well, but I know I could improve with some guidance on what to work on and how. I've looked at a variety of books and courses available on line, but this book really works for my style and needs. It's opened my eyes to things I never would have thought of on my own, and I'm able to see the change in my playing which is exactly what I was looking for. There are parts of it that would be great for a beginner which I didn't need, but that still left a lot of value for me. I highly recommend it to anyone who has desire to play well.
— February 21, 2016 by Creighton Miller (Benicia, CA)
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Learn from a real Master
First I have to say that I do not write a review for anything unless it is extremely good or extremely bad.

When I first heard about this book, I was wondering if the price was justified for an electronic copy of a 109 pages book. Nevertheless, I had seen what the author is capable of doing at the piano by watching some of his videos on YouTube. And since he was offering a money back guarantee, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to take a chance; Am I ever glad I did.

I usually get bored very easily while reading and I never thought that I would enjoy this book so much. But this is so much more than just reading enjoyment. This book is packed with invaluable tips from how to choose a piano, to where to place it, to how to choose a teacher, to how to practice without wasting your time so you can get the best results. I could go on with a huge list of wonderful tips, but I think that anyone reading it will be able to see what I am talking about. The book is very well written, easy to understand and best of all, does not contain any useless (and boring) material that too many writers throw in their book only to increase its volume. The Author gets right to the point in everything that he teaches in this book.

When it comes to value, I can honestly say that one would have to pay hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to learn what this book is teaching from their private teacher (assuming that their private teacher can actually teach what this Author has to offer). Prior to reading this book, I had been learning to play piano here and there, giving up and starting again almost from scratch countless number of times over the years. After reading this book, my passion for learning the piano has become stronger than ever. Ever since I read the book from cover to cover for the first time, I have been able to keep my motivation to practice every day and I think that I have done more progress in a few months than I ever have before.

In his book, the Author recommends reading it over and over again, and I can not emphasize enough how important that is. The book is so jam packed with useful tips that one can only assimilate them all by reading it many times over. If some time after reading the book you ever find that your motivation for learning the piano is going down, read it again and I can assure you that your motivation will come back.

Finally, I would like to say that I am not surprised to see that all the reviews for this book are so good. Do yourself a favor; if you are hesitating about purchasing this book, take a chance just like I did and you will be glad you did. Honestly, you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by doing so. The only one thing that I regret about this book is not having discovered it any earlier.

Happy reading and happy playing.
— February 21, 2016 by Philippe Gingras (Penticton BC Canada)
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Such a GREAT book!!!!
Just can't say enough! Everything in this book helped me. I am 14 and have played for 6 years. It has excellent tips, and was easy for me to understand. Taught me techniques that I didn't know. Even my Mom read the book and thought it was awesome and informative. Thanks so much David! You are awesome and I respect and look up to you.
— February 21, 2016 by Colin Cameron (Courtenay, British Columbia)
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Get on the right track for better piano playing
In the book "Secrets to Better Piano Playing" David Hicken shares some of his accumulated experience and wisdom about learning and improving piano playing. The book is well written and easy to read and understand and David get right to the point about what is important when learning piano playing. Getting your priorities right from the start can save a lot of time and with this book David can help you get on the right track when it comes to learning and improving piano playing. I will recommend this book to anyone interesting in learning about piano playing.
— February 15, 2016 by Torben (Denmark)
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Exactly The Book I Needed
I am SO glad I ordered this book. It is exactly the book I needed to help me see how I could improve my piano playing, and more importantly, my piano practicing. This book helped me to understand how to get the most out of my time spent at the keyboard. I just wish this book was around when I started playing piano as a kid. I would probably be a much more accomplished pianist as an adult. I cannot say enough about this wonderful book. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to know the CORRECT way to practice and play the piano.
— February 15, 2016 by David C (Inverness, FL)
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Sit down 1-on-1 with a Master, and just learn . . .
Prior to purchase, I analyzed this book as best I could through the limited options online. This photo is somewhat misleading as it is offered only as a downloadable PDF, requiring printing and binding upon one's own recognizance if one wishes to hold it as a book in-hand. The table of contents indicates single-page chapters throughout this large-print 110 page manual, so I suspected it contained no sheet music examples for exercises. This might actually be a Good Thing, I figured. Perhaps this might be a genuine collection of practical music and piano-playing advice from someone experienced in all manner of professional efforts spanning years, like sitting down with the man himself for a straight one-to-one discussion of what a mid-level player like myself really ought to be focusing on in merit, practice, and performance. If such practical real-world advice truly could extend his demonstrated techniques to me as a student, then risking $30 on a blind purchase might be worth it in the long run . . .

── Best Music Book I have ever read! ──

Not the most "entertaining" necessarily, but by leaps and bounds the most practical. It is ALL I had hoped it could be, and so MUCH more, as if written specifically for me and where I am as a piano-playing student of Music. I took copious notes and plan to re-read it again while adopting a new regimen of practicing twice daily. Given his obvious talent and decades of drive and experience, I harbor no delusions of someday matching his skill levels, but if nothing more, I will certainly be able to play WHATEVER I want, and play it well, even possibly within the year, by putting into practice what David advises here in this wonderful guide. I feel as though I just scored a TRUCK LOAD of personalized instruction, weeks and weeks worth (perhaps months), for the embarrassingly low cost of a paltry $30! * SO * glad I took the chance to order it!
— February 15, 2016 by Tom Bryant (Phoenix, AZ)
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Made my practice time easier and more efficient!
I started playing the piano fairly recently (7 months ago) and was close to giving up trying. Then I purchased this book and things quickly changed. Using David's pointers I now find it easier to learn a new piece and I now also know the importance of scales and arpeggios. I also went out and found myself a good music teacher.

This book is written in plain English, I'm not a native English speaker and I had no difficulty following the instructions.

Thanks to 'Secrets To Better Piano Playing' I now have the knowledge on how to tackle my 'piano-time'!
— February 15, 2016 by Annelie (South Africa)
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Secrets to better piano playing
I found this item to be very useful and easy to read. I play piano for church groups and choirs. I always like getting tips from pianists. This book made me rethink my practice technics and I approach piano practice in general.
— February 14, 2016 by Sergey Z (Sacramento California)
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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“Patience and discipline”, so simple, so true, so effective.
Hi, I just started to learn piano since one year and i find this book is great!
It gives practical tips for studying and advices all around piano playing.
A simple written book (also good for non english speaking peoples like me) that can be read as a tutorial or as a story as well.

Thank you!
— February 14, 2016 by Eric (Switzerland)
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Great guide!!
Its been around 11 years that I don't play the piano , and your book taught me lots of great ways to start again.
The best phrase of your book is: patience and discipline.
In my case, I just think that it would be better if you could put some pictures after every explanation, for example: elbow position, finger position and etc.
I recommend this book to whoever wants to, or already plays the piano.
— February 14, 2016 by Matheus (Curitiba, Brazil)
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Great book!
The book is comprehensive and detail yet very simple and easy to understand. Although I'm a pianist myself but the book give many important feedbacks and an emphasis to many important points that I may overlooked previously. I enjoy reading it very much and it also becomes my great resources for teaching the students in the correct track. THANK YOU so much for the book as well as all your beautiful musics !!
— February 14, 2016 by V. Lin (Singapore)
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Like having a coach at your finger tips
David's book is like having a coach always at your finger tips. I have the ebook version in my phone where it's always handy to read his words of direction and encouragement.
— February 14, 2016 by Jim (Kansas City, MO)
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A School of Life
This is one the best books you can buy...
It doesn't teach you how to play the piano,
it teaches you how to enjoy the learning process,
how to keep strano and go on,
and how to maximize your efficiency and effort.
It is about passion, commitment and dedication.
Priceless.
— February 14, 2016 by Vittorio (Germany)
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The truth about Piano playing
About halfway through my classical training I find this gem. David really hits the nail on the head, he is factual about the truth, and on point with the details. Every pianist must have this book if they want to get into the mindset.
— February 14, 2016 by Josua van As (Vaalpark, Free State, South Africa)
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Takes the mystery out of learning the piano
Looking for a book for my daughter on a better way to learn the piano I was lucky to come across this book. David's lays it out quite simply and his practical tips and practice methods are easy to follow; while still aiming for high achievement.

I like the fact that he tells it like it is. The writing style is personal and reaches out to the reader. Recommend it for a child that it learning the piano or for that matter any other instrument.

Personally, I am returning to the piano after some 30 years of being away and this book has helped me progress faster than I other wise would have. It has taken the mystery out of learning the piano.

Thank you David
— February 14, 2016 by GS (Canberra, Australia)
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Great Book For Amateur Pianist
I would consider myself an amateur pianist. This book was very helpful on understanding basic piano skills as well as more advanced techniques.
— February 13, 2016 by Mose (Ohio)
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This is a book you must have
This book is amazing. This is what I was looking for. I believe in simplicity. A data is valuable only if it works and David's instructions do. Follow them and you will get the results. I can find all the tools I need in this book to improve my piano playing. It gave me so much. Thank you.
— February 13, 2016 by Istvan (England)
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Great reinforcement
I really enjoyed David's book.

Sometimes someone telling you what you already know intuitively helps more than any basic instruction.

Thanks David, very much.

CS
— February 13, 2016 by Chuck Schmieler (Edenton North Carolina)
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It's Fundamental
David's book is a fundamental strategy for building the skills needed in your quest to master the piano.

Be prepared to work at this quest and following David's advice you will make the best use of your time actually practicing rather than thinking you're practicing the piano.
— February 13, 2016 by John Marien (NH, USA)
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Simplicity and Effectiveness
David's book is concise, to-the-point and set out in a clear, easy-to-read format. It gives you exactly what it promises- a set of guidelines that will systematically improve your piano playing as you continue to play.

If you're expecting a book that will magically improve your ability to play within the span of minutes, this isn't the book for you (and I wish you good luck in finding it). Instead, following the instructions in this book will give you a really solid framework for getting more bang for your buck every time you practice.

Definitely worth it.
— February 13, 2016 by Simon Bourke (Perth, Australia)
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All piano students should read.
I took very traditional lessons in the mid 1970s and played for a few years at church while in High school. Went to college, professional schooling, training, and in the military and didn't play again until my first son started lessons about 9 years ago (~ 30 year gap in playing). Obviously, I forgot many things, and developed many bad habits/practice techniques (or lack thereof). Reading this ebook has helped immensely in getting back into a proper practice routine, learning how to identify the problem parts of the piece I'm working on, and how to go about getting it right.

I appreciate the short, concise, to the point nature of the book.

Recommend to all students of piano -- you will learn something.
— October 23, 2015 by George Miller (Grenada, MS)
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Great Book, also for non professional :-)
For me it was a bit of a "mind liberation" as I learned playing piano in a very tradional way....2 years of "solgège" then you were allowed to start with the instrument. I played so many years classic music and now since 10 years I tried all kind of different styles, to find the way I like to play. And your book just gave me this last touch of - yes you can do it....And I do!
Thank you for your music and for the great tips!
— October 10, 2015 by Christine (Zürich, Switzerland)
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Awesome Tips!
I have read through David's book several times! I have been playing for 40 years along with teaching students. Secrets to Better Piano Playing has provided me with some great insights and tips that I have used with students that instantly produced results for them! Thanks David for taking the time to write this book and share your "best practices." I recommend this book to everyone who longs to enhance their playing!
— October 9, 2015 by John Kulikowski (Glassboro, NJ)
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Zen and the art of teaching piano
Simplicity may seem obvious, however sometimes it is just what you need.
Clear concepts, no shortcut, finally a guide to keep in mind.
Considering all the doubts and areas that can be useful.
Very well written, also suitable for a non english speaking student.
Thank you Mr. Hicken
— October 8, 2015 by Gabriella Caporaso (Milano (Italy))
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Excellent tips, highly recommended.
Highly recommended ebook for any aspiring pianist. This ebook is full of tips on how to become a better pianoplayer. For me the tips about how to hold your hand and the importance about the hand position was very useful. I'm usual the type of guy that tries to play a full page with both hands. It gives me moderate results. Mr Hicken got some very useful tips how to fix this. After reading this ebook I know how to adjust my practising methods to improve my piano playing. Highly recommended ebook. Full of fantastic tips.
— October 8, 2015 by Guy (Belgium)
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A Must- Read for Budding Pianists
We are very fortunate to get to know Mr. Hicken in person. My oldest son began to study with Mr. Hicken almost two years ago in his Honolulu Studio. I am amazed at how much he has improved ever since. Mr. Hicken is not only a great composer and performer, but also a wonderful teacher. Words can't describe our appreciation to Mr. Hicken for his dedication to educating the next generation. I am so happy that I was able to purchase his new book "Secrets to Better Piano Playing". My youngest son is seven. After I read Mr. Hicken's book, I applied Mr. Hicken's methods in my youngest son's daily piano practice. The result is absolutely amazing. He has progressed from beginner's level to intermediate level in less than six months. I highly recommend anyone who is serious in studying piano to read Mr. Hicken's book. It will certainly save you tons of money in piano lessons. I am looking forward to seeing Mr. Hicken's book in print on shelf in book stores. I have no doubt that it will help so many young budding pianists to realize their dreams. Thank you so much, Mr. Hicken. We can't wait to read your next book.
— October 8, 2015 by Wei Martin (Honolulu, Hawaii)
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Right to the point:no pain no gain
There are many helpfull ideas in this book,many aspects of piano playing are discussed with a no nonsense approach but what I like the most is the emphasis on work,discpline and patience.David never promises (piano) heaven on earth without any effort.that's quite different from many other teaching methods but it's right to the point.
I'm working for a few months the way he suggests and my progress is much faster then before.The method to take on new pieces is really very efficient.I can't follow all his suggestions because lack of time but for the time spend I'm very satisfied and I will certainly continue with his book as a guide.I'm also very pleased that he answers questions by email,this was allready a great help.
I strongly recommand this book to anyone who wants to improve his piano playing and wants to work on it.
For all those who don't want to take the effort:try to turn your mind and follow David's method.
— October 6, 2015 by Paul Noëth (Bonheiden Belgium Europe)
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A fantastic learning resource
This book is a fantastic learning resource. Not only does it teach a very specific set of techniques on how to become a better piano player, but it also teaches what type of mentality one should have in order to succeed at improving skills. It really gave me motivation to practice as well.
I highly recommend it for all, both beginners and advanced piano players!
— October 6, 2015 by Christina Hansen (Norway)
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Amazing!
A absolute must read, easy to follow suitable for beginners to advanced players. Really helpful in accelerating the learning process of David's pieces. Just incorporate these tips and tricks in youR everyday playing and be prepared to see improvement overall in your playing.

An essential read for all pianists!
— October 6, 2015 by Ethan P ((Melbourne, Australia))
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Wonderful
This book took me from a traditional piano player, playing with the ways of the only teacher I've had for 12 years, to having a professional's point of view on how to correctly play the piano, rather than just the way easiest for me. I realized that to play any piece the correct way, and for it to come out the best for me, i had to consult a professional. The best way to do that is to read this book, which brings a wonderful insight into how to correctly play the piano, and devotes its beginning chapters to helping new players begin playing and encourages them.

10/10 would recommend
— October 5, 2015 by Oleg Borisiuk (Syracuse, New York)
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Spectacular!
For me, this was an important and very helpful book because I taught myself to play the piano. Needless to say my technique and skills are not what they would be had I received formal training. This book gave me ideas that I would not have thought about on my own concerning ways to improve my playing.

Great book!
— October 5, 2015 by T. Osborne (Seattle, WA)
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Essential !
Thank you David for this wonderful book ! It's really helpful, giving you the way to become a better pianist. Since I have it, I improved my piano playing faster than these 10 past years.

This book is simply essential !
— October 5, 2015 by Maxime Dussubieux (Ennevelin, France)
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A fabulous book!
I just wish that I had had such a wonderful book available for me to devour when I was struggling to learn piano all those years ago.
— June 27, 2015 by Dorothy Windell (Dayton, Ohio)
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Honest book about playing piano
There are numerous sites these days claiming to teach you how to play the piano. I have tried a number of them with little success. This book provides sober and honest advice.

I will try to do the same with this review. This is not a book that will teach you *how* to play the piano. It does not promise that. It says secrets to playing *better* piano. Ultimately, you are going to have to apply butt to chair to make it happen. It covers a broad range of topics, from buying the piano, selecting a teacher, posture and all the way to encouraging you to really "listen" to music.

As someone who played piano more than 20 years ago and who recently started playing again - I can say that this book is exactly what I needed. Cut through the noise and explain what it's going to take to become a better piano player.

Overall I think it is a good book - but perhaps the only criticism is that it is fairly short. It is just over 100 pages but I easily read through it in 2 evenings. However, that is also a benefit. It is the kind of book that I would read a few times - to remind myself of the areas and topics covered. Perhaps in future - David will throw in some sheet music or scales to boot. I would have loved to have something practical to get busy with right after reading the book - perhaps some exercises than can help with fingering, sight reading, mastering different keys and so on.

Ultimately I would say it's a must read if you're serious about playing the piano. For the price of one lesson, it's worth it.
— February 14, 2016 by Pieter (Canada)
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