Roll Call!

Introduce yourself to the Playground Community.
aMRAZing Me
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:38 am

Re: Roll Call!

Post by aMRAZing Me » Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:36 pm

Hi everyone, I'm Barb and I live in sunny California. I'm 52 and a single mom to a son and daughter who are grown. I have a three year old grandson and a cute little miniature dachshund named Emerald, who is almost 12 years old. I took lessons for a year or two as a kid but quit for reasons I can't remember. I always regretted it so I bought the keyboard/playground sessions bundle last year around this time but never really got serious. Today I bought the lifetime membership, thanks for offering the discount several times a year! I can't wait to start playing my favorite Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Jason Mraz songs. As I listen to the radio, I make note of songs with cool piano parts to play in the future. Elton John and Billy Joel, anyone? Can't wait!

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Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 5:45 pm

Re: Roll Call!

Post by Aplaca » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:50 pm

Hey all,

Thought it was about time I made my first post! The names Chris and I'm from the sunny lands of north east of England. Started playing almost a year ago now at the grand old age of 25. I got incredibly bored plodding through the piano grade books :( and decided to search for greener pastures and that's when I stumbled upon this software.

I was working through the grade 4 exam pieces from Trinity College when I installed playground and found it was incredibly refreshing to mix up the exam pieces with some well known modern/pop/rock/etc songs.

Just finished the rookie bookcamp and moved onto the grade 5 exam book. If I could give any advice to new joiners it is to keep at it! A song you are stressing about today is a song you can play with your eyes shut before you know it. Although maybe I'm not the best to give advice considering I've only been playing a year and I can't even spell my username correctly :lol: it was supposed to be Alpaca! Can't hit the correct keys to save my life! :D

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Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:48 pm

Re: Roll Call!

Post by Facing » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:12 pm

Hello everyone

I'm fifty years old and I've wanted to play piano since I was a little girl (7). At that time there was a speckle painted piano in the basement of the house my mom and step dad bought. The previous owners left it behind. :D

My step dad got it tuned and painted it a solid brown. I got lessons for about a year before that marriage ended and my mom and I moved away.

Fast forward many years and I bought my own piano which I still have but can't play - or at least not anything beyond little songs about ducks and popcorn. I hate little songs about ducks and popcorn.

I live in the country and the distance to town combined with my work schedule doesn’t allow for traditional lessons. I've tried.

Hubby is learning guitar with Rocksmith which led me to jealously search the Internet for something like that for piano. A couple weeks ago I found Synthesia and two days later I bought a Yamaha DGX 660. I downloaded the trial version of playground sessions a few days after that.

Next pay I will get my wallet out again although I've not yet decided between the annual or lifetime package. Anybody know if I can upgrade from the one to the other?


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Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:41 pm

Re: Roll Call!

Post by briggsm » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:56 pm

Hi All,

My name's Mark Briggs (username: briggsm). I just hit the big 40 years old. Always tinkered with the piano since a kid, but never could get past much more than 1-handed, 1-note-at-a-time "Twinkle twinkle little star". Since 5th grade I played trumpet, up until a little past college. So I feel right at home with the Treble Clef. But Bass Clef... Where the heck was that my whole musical life?! That has, and still, throws me off. I can figure out each note, but usually still takes me seconds to get it.

I'm a computer engineer/programmer by trade... So my brain generally works 1 task at a time. Translated into the piano world, that's 1 hand at a time. Throwing a 2nd hand in there just causes brain freeze - or whatever you call it! Though with some practice - and David Sides' tips, I've thankfully managed to make some good 2-hands-at-a-time progress - feels great!

I tried out this app for 30 days the first time. Liked it a lot, but wanted to try all the other similar programs out there. There's some other nice ones too, but nothing quite like this one, so I came back & signed up. Looking forward to learning more & trying to stay in touch with you all in the forums. And if I get brave enough, share some videos too!

My wife has also just started to get an interest in playing piano - thanks to Playground Sessions! She heard me practicing "Ain't No Sunshine" - and she loves that song! We've been playing together (her on Bass, me on Treble). We pretty much have it down (Rookie - Hard) now. Now she's even starting to brave learning the right hand as well. She has virtually no experience with the piano, but she's really getting into it - the background (accompanying) tracks are great & make playing a lot more fun. Thank you David Sides & Playground Sessions team! And thanks to everybody else for sharing your experiences!

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Re: Roll Call!

Post by sw1tch73ch » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:07 pm

Hi Mark!


I have some minor advice for new Playground Sessions users.

a- If you are on a Mac or PC, you can adjust the tempo in tiny 1 beat per minute steps. You don't have to go that low, but I use the tempo to slowly work my way toward full speed. When you first starting using two hands together, you can play "off the clock" without starting the metronome and just work out where your fingers should go. Then you can use the Tempo tool to start out slow and increase the speed as your fingers get used to working together (but doing separate things).

b- Practice the "one hand" parts until you feel like you can play them automatically - or in your sleep as the saying goes. Both hands one at a time until you got it down. Then do the start slow method above for both hands together.

c- you might consider picking up a second account so you can each track your own progress. I think there is a discount for the second account - you will want to check on that.

d- Explore the app, learn all the tools (like the tempo controls), there are two hands at the top that if you click them to turn them on, they song will play for you (if you don't play anything yourself, it won't try to grade your performance) so you can hear what it "should" sound like when you work the lesson.

e- You might look into a computer based Flash Card program to help you learn the sheet music, especially the bass clef. I'm using an app called Anki. It doesn't come with any cards by default, but there is a massive library which includes Music notation.
== Just keep playing. Just keep playing. Just keep playing, playing, playing! ==

-- jbs --

PJ Mac
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Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:53 pm

Re: Roll Call!

Post by PJ Mac » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:25 pm

Hello Piano Gang,
This is my introduction.

My name is Patrick. My screen name is PJ Mac. I joined Playground Sessions on January 25, 2018 and am currently working my way through Bootcamp (20 of 53 lessons completed so far).

I'm an old fart, as they say, having turned 72 this past June. Way back in the 1960s and 1970s, I played in a rock band that evolved into a South Chicago blues band. We had a chick singer who turned into a very well-known singer and then became a very well-known Hollywood actress married to an even better known Hollywood actor, but I won't share her or his name. My humble claim to fame is that I was the person who discovered her at a fraternity party. I played bass guitar in the band(s), then rhythm, then a little lead, and handled the harmonica parts. I taught myself how to play the piano by transposing chords on the guitar to chords on the piano. As such, chords on the piano are my forte, but my left hand, when not playing chords, is a huge weakness. After may years of not having a keyboard, I decided that I wanted to "formally" learn the piano and conquer my untrained left hand. I bought a Yamaha PSR-EW400 as my entry-level keyboard, and after much research, decided upon Playground Sessions as the online learning program for me. So far I am quite happy with the program. I'm already looking into a keyboard upgrade, with the Kawai MP11SE Stage Piano at the top of my wish list. I'll probably settle for the MP7SE.

The songs I'm currently working on are: Lean on Me, When I'm Sixty Four, Minuet in G Major, and my own arrangement (from my band days) of Unchained Melody. The melodies come pretty easy, and my ear is very good, but it's the left hand I need to train and gain control over.

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Re: Roll Call!

Post by Jerry.Burgess » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:45 pm

My name is Jerry Burgess and i am pretty new playground sessions. I have been using it for about a month or so now. I am brand new to musical instruments/notes but always wanted to learn the piano the most. I had a father that played drums, and made lots of mix tapes growing up so i heard music alot in the house, just never learned one. My younger brother taught himself to play the guitar and my wife was in band and she always talks about how she enjoyed it. Since being with my wife for 10 years she has had this old Roland e-30 keyboard(that happens to have midi connections, :) ) thats been in our house for 10 years now with no one ever using it. So i finally decieded to get playground sessions and give it a go. I have been enjoying the bootcamps, and getting used to the fingering. Was tough at first because my fingers and forearm would camp up pretty quickly, but that doesn't happen as much now for the simpler lessons. Since i started i am at level 19, and about 3/4 through rookier, and about 3/4 through the rookie right hand course. I plan on doing i believe what sw!tch said and complete rookie with fingering on, then go back through and do it with just the notes and maybe even with everything off. I enjoy reading other peoples progress and enjoy the community aspect. Hope to hear from everyone and to keep learning.

PS. I do have one small suggestion. When you play the lessons on slow tempo and get a 100% it keeps that score even if your playing the normal tempo. I can usually get the slow tempo 100% but there are a few songs on normal tempo i get mid 90% but if i continue on it will show 100%. I think i would like to mainly see the score of the normal tempo(even if you get a 100%) by slowing it down. Probably cause im kinda of completionist and wnat 100% on all the normal tempo too lol.

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Re: Roll Call!

Post by Sandhya60 » Thu May 10, 2018 8:53 pm

I agree..are you saying you still get credit for the session even if you do not play it at the correct tempo? I thought you only get credit for each session if its at the standard tempo and if you get at least 80%? The problem I am having is I dont like the tempo bar, its almost impossible to get the exact match to the "computer" game aspect. that is my major complaint, I want to learn the music and play the music not worry if the curser is .00000001 off of the note. :x
Im diggin the Piano Cat mmmmmaaaaannnnn

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Re: Roll Call!

Post by andrewwegierski » Fri May 11, 2018 2:25 pm

Sandhya60 wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 8:53 pm
I agree..are you saying you still get credit for the session even if you do not play it at the correct tempo? I thought you only get credit for each session if its at the standard tempo and if you get at least 80%? The problem I am having is I dont like the tempo bar, its almost impossible to get the exact match to the "computer" game aspect. that is my major complaint, I want to learn the music and play the music not worry if the curser is .00000001 off of the note. :x
In that case, my best advice is to rely more on your ears than your eyes! As long as there's no latency (delay) from the keyboard controller to the app, you can't go wrong with listening to the metronome and not worrying about the scroll bar. The bar is only there as a visual guide to how the written notation sounds in real time.
Andrew Wegierski

Customer Support Representative
Music Arranger

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Re: Roll Call!

Post by Paulopedia » Thu May 31, 2018 11:30 am


Hi. I'm Paul. I just started playing. I bought a lifetime membership a couple of days ago. I bought my first graded, weighted, hammer action, 88 fake-ivory keyed, digital piano (a Casio Privia PX-560M) about a month ago. I recently learned what a MIDI audio interface is. I bought one and I have zero issues with latency. It also enables me to hook a bunch of gear together and use it simultaneously... which I wouldn't be able to do otherwise. I'd highly advise anyone serious about this kind of thing to get one (you can see mine on the table next to the Xfinity box)

FYI: The midi audio interface enables me to listen to any sound source I want while using playground sessions. For example, I turn down the sound of PGS virtual piano and my own physical digital piano and I use either Addictive Keys or Pianoteq 6 VST piano Libraries (sampled and physically modelled respectively.) However, I still hear the countdown and accompaniment from PGS. And, I can mix them at whatever level I want and listen through headphones or studio monitors etc... And, as I alluded to before, the audio interface eliminates the latency (lag) you get when you plug directly into a computer.
Last edited by Paulopedia on Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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