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Hear and Play Review

The Secrets to Playing Piano By Ear
(Jermaine Griggs)

The Secrets to Playing Piano By EarJermaine Griggs recently produced a 300 page volume (don’t strain your piano playing wrist lifting it) called, The Secrets to Playing Piano by Ear. Here are the pros and cons of his piano book. Fortunately, the pros outnumber the cons, as I just spent $85.00 U.S. for the volume and accompanying C.D., and I hate to get ripped off! By the way, the book is only $69.95, but we pay more here in Canada – now that’s a rip off!

Griggs gives you the following basics :

1. All basic fingerings for major and minor scales and modular scale information
2. Chord progressions
3. Sight reading tips

Griggs then gives you some advanced tips:

1. Chord substitutes
2. Increasingly complex chord progressions
3. Altered 7th, 9th and 13th chords
4. Turn around and blues chord progressions
5. Ear training

Griggs then channels all of the above knowledge into:

1. Gospel music melodic dictation and harmonization

Griggs also gave me Piano Player Plus, Sound Library and Chord Power on C.D. The online book gives you instant access to audio examples of his book’s musical figures and examples.

Here is a small demo video that we put together for you

Griggs does not give you the following:

1. Perfectly aligned charts. His typesetting is adequate but not amazing.
2. Basic hand position tips and insights into playing a scale in a continuous manner
3. Information on wrist flexibly in aiding piano playing
4. Knowledge of a variety of scales outside the major, minor and modular
5. $1000.00 a week cash for life (then again, nobody seems to want to give me that)
6. A free grand piano and an all inclusive Hawaii vacation (can’t seem to get that either)


Since there is no such thing as a "Perfect" method for learning piano or any other instrument, I still think that "The Secrets to Playing Piano By Ear" is definitely something that you should have in your library. It is great for a slightly more advanced student, however the stark begriming piano student may want to supplement it with additional material.

One other bonus is that through my relationship with Jermaine, I've been able to get him to throw in a few bonus items (3 additional piano software programs). Click here to learn the secrets to playing absolutely any song  on the piano in virtually minutes! I highly recommend it.



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