Play Piano Today: David Sprunger
I can’t recall exactly how I came across David Sprunger’s “Play Piano Today” course, but the sales video blew me away. For just $29.95 (under £20) I got 44 detailed videos and a 47 page eBook. What a bargain.
David’s methodology is “play first, understand later”, and it worked brilliantly for me. Here is the video that started it all, and there are plenty more on David’s YouTube Channel. This video is what gave me the idea that I might, one day, be able to play the piano. And this was my first foray into actually playing.
It was David’s course that taught me the tetrachord, and how everything grows from that seed. And it was David who taught me the 1, 3, 5 chord pattern, and all its variants.
The course modules cover various music styles such as blues, gospel, salsa, etc and the emphasis is on “listen, then play”. There is no coverage of written or sheet music, it is entirely extemporaneous.
Included in the course was a “Recommended Order Of Study”, but I had trouble matching it to the actual course modules, so I just worked through the modules in order. That worked just fine.
The eBook had loads of songs to play, which I guess are familiar to US students, but not so well known to us in the UK. And the US plays the wrong (?) tunes with some of the songs. Not a show stopper, though.
One of the interesting comments made in the course is that, by knowing patterns, it is easy for a pianist to “shift key” to match the singer’s vocal range.
Apparently school trained pianists find “key shifting” to be a nightmare. My conversations with several school trained pianists confirmed this, and also helped me to understand the reason I never learned music (and several other topics) at school. School methods suck!
You can find more up-to-date course information on David’s website PlayPianoToday.com. The site is beautifully laid out, with a full index of everything you get, and several free downloads. There are no upsells, no pushy sales techniques, no “time limited” arm twisting. Everything is “download and keep forever”, or you can get it on DVD.
Go take a look. Highly recommended (and, no, I don’t get paid for this).