Have questions because the website seems to be a little vague about how this works.

Introduce yourself, show your set up, discuss tips, ask questions, and more!
Post Reply
estes53
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:30 pm

Have questions because the website seems to be a little vague about how this works.

Post by estes53 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:44 pm

Is this the normal sequence?-
Bootcamp Rooky to the end.
Rooky Songs, until you feel you are ready for intermediate.
Bootcamp Intermediate to the end.
Intermediate Songs, until you feel you are ready for Advanced.
And so forth.......?

Second question-
Are the songs labeled free the ones you get with the points?
or
are those always free and the points allow you to choose a song that you would otherwise have to pay for?

Thanx, Alan

andrewwegierski
Posts: 665
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:37 pm

Re: Have questions because the website seems to be a little vague about how this works.

Post by andrewwegierski » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:49 am

Alan,

Thanks for the post here. I think the website is purposely vague in a sense because with Playground, you are your own teacher, and that means you can set up your own curriculum however you'd like. That sounds like a good plan to me, though. The point of the boot camp is to provide you with enough piano technique and music theory instruction so that you can launch into learning songs of your interest. I'd advise to go through the entire rookie boot camp before jumping into songs; however, you can jump into any song at any time if you feel you're ready! (Lean on Me is a popular first song choice.)

To answer your second question, you're probably wondering about your free song credits. Those allow you to essentially choose any desired song from our song store and get it for free. One credit = one free song. Occasionally, there will be free songs (I remember one weekend, Soul Bossa by Quincy Jones was available for free for a limited time. If you need help with that process, let me know.

Best,
Andrew
Andrew Wegierski

Support Tech & Music Arranger
andrew@playgroundsessions.com

scirocco
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:25 am

Re: Have questions because the website seems to be a little vague about how this works.

Post by scirocco » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:30 pm

I went straight from Rookie to Intermediate lessons without spending time limiting myself to Rookie songs. I didn’t find it a problem.
Probably the only thing I found a bit tricky was moving into songs with more sharps and flats. Maybe spending time on more Rookie level songs would have made that transition easier.
Intermediate is not all that much harder than Rookie; the main thing it is doing is getting you to play chords with the left hand. The actual songs are not too difficult.

andrewwegierski
Posts: 665
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:37 pm

Re: Have questions because the website seems to be a little vague about how this works.

Post by andrewwegierski » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:15 pm

scirocco wrote: Intermediate is not all that much harder than Rookie; the main thing it is doing is getting you to play chords with the left hand. The actual songs are not too difficult.
Yes, correct! Just to elaborate on that: the intermediate style arrangements usually follow a few rules:

-the meter is 4/4, 3/4, or 6/8, etc, the exact meter of the song. This lends to lots of smaller note values. You might notice that Rookie arrangements are commonly in 2/2 or 3/2, etc. Essentially, this allows rookie songs to have durations of only whole, half, and quarter notes. So you'll start to see some eighth notes in Intermediate arrangements.

-the left hand almost always follows chords in close position with each other. You'll start to see chord symbols and usually no more than three note chords in an easy harmonic rhythm - whole notes, usually.

-the right hand is still single notes, but now is less simplified - the rhythms may be a bit more challenging.

Andrew
Andrew Wegierski

Support Tech & Music Arranger
andrew@playgroundsessions.com

AQJ
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:05 pm

Re: Have questions because the website seems to be a little vague about how this works.

Post by AQJ » Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:48 pm

andrewwegierski wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:49 am
Alan,

Thanks for the post here. I think the website is purposely vague in a sense because with Playground, you are your own teacher, and that means you can set up your own curriculum however you'd like. That sounds like a good plan to me, though. The point of the boot camp is to provide you with enough piano technique and music theory instruction so that you can launch into learning songs of your interest. I'd advise to go through the entire rookie boot camp before jumping into songs; however, you can jump into any song at any time if you feel you're ready! (Lean on Me is a popular first song choice.)

Best,
Andrew
I get the idea that you want us to be our own teacher, but I don't think that this is really helpful to keep users in the dark asking them setup their own curriculum. For instance, I don't know the difference between bootcamp and course as I just play them in sequence in order to finish the more songs that I can.

Don't you have any valuable knowledge to share with us?

Overall, I'm starting to enjoy a little bit more PG, but I'm still unsure about the proposed structure. For instance, if I am supposed to figure out myself how to gauge my learning curve and the order of the lessons, why am I not able to write down some notes on the music sheet?

Thanks

User avatar
pavel
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:43 am

Re: Have questions because the website seems to be a little vague about how this works.

Post by pavel » Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:50 am

AQJ wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:48 pm
Don't you have any valuable knowledge to share with us?
perfect question to Quincy Jones. With all respect to Andrew Wegierski, he is only Support Tech

.

sw1tch73ch
Posts: 411
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:23 pm

Re: Have questions because the website seems to be a little vague about how this works.

Post by sw1tch73ch » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:57 am

So the out-of-the-box plan would be work the boot camps in order, first lesson to last and Rookie to Intermediate to Advanced, with a few songs of the appropriate skill level between the "tours." This set of courses are really meant to get you learning and enjoying playing songs, so getting a few under your belt is a good idea before moving up. The Rookie songs are really pretty simple, but sound pretty good given that most have a "backing band" for you to play along with, filling out much that is missing in the Rookie arrangements. You can do as many of each level of song before you move on as you want. I'd say doing five Rookie Songs is about right, though I did purchase or otherwise acquire (using free song credits and freebie opportunities) a few more than that.

There are also courses that will be unlocked as you work through the boot camps. I'd get into the ones you unlock before moving up to the next level too, or even as a side track if you're still in the middle of a boot camp when they unlock.

You'll also find the options for turning off the finger numbering and seeing the letter names or even no numbers or letters. My personal advice on these is to practice the lessons with the numbers at first. When you can complete each lessons with the finger numbering, you'll want to change the display to show the letter note names so you get familiar with the names of the notes you're working on. Once you have a feel for the note names, turn them off too and play with the notes bare - no number or letters to guide you and just play from the sheet music. This will aid with learning to read the music. This will accomplish two or three goals at least - learning how to position your hands (using the finger numbers), reinforce familiarity of the staff notation and note names (there is a set of lessons in the Rookie Boot Camp that discusses notation), and muscle memory of where the notes on the staff are on the piano keyboard so that your fingers and arms "know" where the notes are and you need to look down at your hands less frequently. You will always need to look down, so don't feel you've failed when you do. Once you complete all three settings for each lesson (Numbers (the default), Letters, neither) then move on to the next lesson. This will prevent you from feeling like the finger numbers or note letters are a crutch you come to depend on. To reiterate: Start each lesson with finger numbers, especially early on to get the hand positions; then use the letter names to reinforce where each letter is on the staff; finally play each lesson bare.

One of the discussions we've had in the FaceBook group is about how much you need to practice - and one mantra is "Don't practice until you get it right, practice it until you don't get it wrong." Don't feel like you need to rush or are competing against other students. We all started from different strengths and experiences and will advance at different rates. Your real goal should be to play better or more difficult stuff than you have before.

Finally, some general advice.

First, keep in mind you can adjust the metronome, slow it down until you can play the lesson at the slower rates. On PC and Mac you get fine grain adjustments, down to 1 Beat Per Minute faster or slower. Slow it down until you can play the lesson, even if it seems ridiculously slow. The folks at the best Music Schools teach playing very slowly and getting the notes correct. Playing the correct notes slowly is much much better than playing the wrong ones quickly. Work up to the full tempo - or even past full tempo in small steps, or at least small enough steps you can keep playing the right notes. When you can play the lesson several times in a row to the level of accomplishment you think is appropriate (some folks are happy at 90% - but I aim for 100%) then increment the tempo.

Second, take breaks. Don't play ten hours in a row non-stop. Early before you have developed finger strength, you might even only work in 15 minute increments. If your hands start to hurt, you should stop and work on other things. Listen to the songs you are working on, get the song into your mind - now that you are learning the positions of the notes and how they sound, you will begin to hear them in the music.

Third, there are external resources you might explore. Sight Reading of Music requires your mind to know the notation, so things like flash cards can be handy. There are YouTube videos by Playground Sessions and others with lessons, not interactive like in the app, but still good additional training.

Fourth, look for other aids to learning, like charts that list the notes and keys and notation relationships.

Oh! And on the Finger Numbering, before I forget, you will hear David Sides say that the finger numbers are just suggestions. Everyone's hands are different and what he can play comfortably, you might find impossible. You are free to make adjustments as you need. The finger numberings suggested are chosen carefully and should work for most, but your experience may be different.
== Just keep playing. Just keep playing. Just keep playing, playing, playing! ==

-- jbs --

andrewwegierski
Posts: 665
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:37 pm

Re: Have questions because the website seems to be a little vague about how this works.

Post by andrewwegierski » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:44 pm

pavel wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:50 am
AQJ wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:48 pm
Don't you have any valuable knowledge to share with us?
perfect question to Quincy Jones. With all respect to Andrew Wegierski, he is only Support Tech

.
Pavel, I would be happy to discuss a lesson plan with you. Email me. Yes, I am a support representative, but I'm also a professional musician and a staff arranger for Playground.
Andrew Wegierski

Support Tech & Music Arranger
andrew@playgroundsessions.com

Pharmacisticus
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:16 pm

Re: Have questions because the website seems to be a little vague about how this works.

Post by Pharmacisticus » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:35 am

My story so far...

I played (under duress) for about 18mths as a pre-teen, I'm now 43.
I started on the Bootcamp rookie and am about 1/3 the way through.
Recently, I've gone back to the courses to really cement reading music rather than just trying to learn by playing songs.
The courses are drier than learning on songs but are more theory based and are improving my sight reading much faster than the bootcamp.

If I was to start again I'd gp straight to the courses, and if I was feeling a bit bored maybe do a bootcamp or 2 to 'freshen up' a little.

Hope that helps.

Pharmacisticus

Post Reply