Piano Tricks of the Trade – How Does It Compare?

Product Overview

Mastering piano tricks of the trade can take years – unless you have a teacher that knows how to cut through the clutter. That’s the focus behind “Mr. Ron’s” products:

  • Piano Tricks of the Trade
  • a multimedia eBook
  • his monthly lessons
  • and his DVD for “Visual Learners”

Mr. Ron believes in teaching one step at a time and having the student repeat the lesson over and over. In this way, the chord or progression becomes imprinted in the student’s mind. I can appreciate the logic behind this approach; too many instructors teach you a chord and move on. Becoming skilled at playing one or two chords at a time can add permanence to the lesson.

Students are encouraged to play daily; however, Mr. Ron says 5 to 15 minutes of study are all that’s needed to master the material. That may depend on the individual, although I can’t imagine many people having a problem picking up a basic routine with that amount of exposure to it. Perhaps the greater challenge, for busy adults anyway, would be fully committing to a daily regimen of piano exercises – no matter how brief.

Includes Topics

Piano Tricks of the Trade includes:

  • The Time Signature
  • Basic Rhythm Notation
  • Rhythm Note Divisions
  • “Clapping” Exercises
  • Finger Numbers
  • Keyboard Geography
  • The Treble Clef
  • The Bass Clef
  • How to Use the Black Keys
  • Scales Steps
  • Your First Melody
  • Chord Inversions
  • Left Hand Chord Exercises
  • I-V7 Chord Progressions
  • I-IV-V7 Chord Progressions
  • 16-Bar Right Hand Melody Exercise
  • Arpeggio Exercises
  • Easy Pop and Smooth Jazz “Two-Handed” Chord Progressions
  • I-ii-V7 Chord Progressions (Audio)
  • ii-V7-I Chord Progressions (Audio)
  • Preparatory Exercises
  • Major Triad Exercises
  • Video Instructional Clips
  • Lead Sheet Interpretations
  • ii-V7-I (9th, 11th and 13th) Chord Progression Studies (ALL 12 Keys) as used in JAZZ and Cocktail Piano

In addition to the program, Mr. Ron includes one year’s access to sheet music and lessons to help you learn to read music. He also provides his personal phone number to call him for assistance. It’s hard to beat that level of support.

There’s no question that Mr. Ron is an accomplished musician, and this is reflected in his learning materials. We should give fair warning that his website is a bit of a jungle in terms of content. He utilizes a lot of text formatting to emphasize key words and phrases, which can become tedious. Further, every so often your reading is interrupted by a testimonial or a sales pitch or some graphic element to further excite visitors. No doubt, Mr. Ron has employed an equally talented web marketer to promote his products. Perhaps the services of a graphic designer are in order.

Stand-Out Features

The lessons are engaging and well planned out. But even if a student struggles with a particular task, help is a free phone call away. And it will be Mr. Ron himself on the other end of the call. This greatly contributes to the value of this seemingly pricey package. Also, many bonuses are included with your purchase to sweeten the pot.

Best of all, you can hear Mr. Ron’s own superb playing ability when you visit the site…Just make sure your speakers are turned on.

Cons

Some may feel Piano Tricks of the Trade isn’t truly for beginners; it’s more for those who have at least acquainted themselves with the basics. Also, his lessons don’t come as cheaply as the competition’s. But the value of the program can be priceless for the eager student.

Recommendation: Recommended

Mr. Ron’s unique lessons and his no-nonsense advice simply work. If you’re looking for a program that will grow with your skill level, this is it. The premium price is matched by a slew of extras. You won’t be disappointed.

Posted by Tania Gleaves

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