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Hands-On Piano Lessons Reviews

Updated Reviews.

2) Play Piano Like a Pro Multimedia eBook
and
Piano Tricks of the Trade DVDs,
by Ron Worthy

(Click HERE to enter the Multimedia eBook product site)
(Click HERE to enter the Beginner to Intermediate DVD product site)
(Click HERE to enter the Intermediate to Professional DVD product site)

What You Get     Suitable For     Lowest Price     Risk: Order Security + Guarantee     Course Creator Bio     What We Think     Which Courses Should You Buy     Product Site

Note: "Mr. Ron" Worthy offers three excellent courses. Because we don't want them to hog three spaces, we reviewed all three in one page. Following is a description of all three, with commonalities and differences.

What You Get:

Play Piano Like a Pro Multimedia eBook:

 Multimedia eBook
 Multiple Audio Files
 Multiple Video Files
 Chord Vocabulary lists
 Free Karaoke Player
 Personal Guidance by Phone (!)
 1yr Membership to Digital Sheet Music Lessons site:
   Over 500 Songs in Sheet Music and MIDI
   Thousands of songs in Digital Sheet Music
   24 Extra Music Lessons
   Free Music Resources
   Music Dictionary
   Extra Songs, Lessons, Exercises, Worksheets

Piano Tricks of the Trade DVD for Visual Learners - Beginner to Intermediate (2006 version)
 DVD containing 25 Video Lessons

 Personal Guidance by Phone (!)

Piano Tricks of the Trade DVD for Visual Learners - Intermediate to Advanced (2007 version)
 DVD containing 25 Video Lessons

 Personal Guidance by Phone (!)
 

Suitable For:

All levels:
   Beginner , Intermediate , Advanced , Professional.
   Also suitable for Children of 8 years and above.
  
With adult assistance, also suitable for Children under 8 years old.

All courses compatible with both PC and Mac.
DVD courses
also playable on CD and DVD players (No need for a computer)

Lowest Price:

  • Multimedia eBook: $97.00

  • Beginner to Intermediate DVD: $147.00

  • Multimedia eBook + Beginner to Intermediate DVD Bundle: $197

  • Intermediate to Advanced DVD: $147.00

  • Beginner to Intermediate DVD + Intermediate to Advanced DVD Bundle: $197

  • Gold Bundle: Multimedia eBook + Both DVDs: $297.00

For Multimedia eBook click here .

For items marked in black click here .

For items marked in blue click here .

Risk: Order Security + Guarantee:

No Risk Order, Full Guarantee.

Orders for all three courses are processed by a PayPal, over a secure and encrypted connection, so order and credit-card details are very safe and secure. Payment can be made via your PayPal account, or using your Credit Card.

All Courses are fully guaranteed by Ron Worthy and his company RAW Productions to be one of your better investments in Music Education. If you feel they are not - just contact Worthy.

This is REALLY our way of doing business. Two thumbs up!

Course Creator Bio:
Our grade: Excellent!
Unlike many course producers, "Mr. Ron" Worthy is a gifted pianist and songwriter, that has been playing piano and electronic keyboards virtually all of his life. Gaining formal piano education since he was 4 years old, Worthy has developed his own unique style, and has played in countless bands and with some of music's greats. Worthy has written other books and courses (which are outside our 5 best, though).

What We Think:

Until Learn and Master Piano arrived, we considered these the best courses around. Now, however, they have to settle for 2nd place and "Best below..." status only.

The 3 courses are extremely efficient for beginners and advanced players alike, and the intermediate to advanced DVD is truly effective even for professionals. However, the course's eBook+2DVD format and high price make it difficult for the course to battle Learn and Master Piano's 14DVDs, 5 CDs and physical book, offered at a lower price.

The strength of both Learn and Master Piano, and of Worthy's programs is is that these courses don’t only quickly teach you how to play the piano, as some other courses do -  They also teach you how to be a very good pianist. To demonstrate what we mean - it’s like the difference between learning to speak and becoming a very good singer. Most piano courses focus on the first only, but Learn and Master Piano and Worthy’s courses teach you quickly and effortlessly how to play, then move on to increasing your fluidity, creating your own playing style, and more.

Of the several piano programs authored by Ron Worthy, three (!!!) made it into our top-5 list. These programs are a multimedia eBook for beginner to intermediate students, a DVD course for beginner to intermediate students, and another DVD course for intermediate to advanced pianists.

Although this seems like overlap, there is a reason for this. Worthy sees "real" piano playing as playing by ear. Yes, it is important to know to play sheet music, but the purest form of piano playing is ear playing: You hear a new song on the radio - and you can play it; You remember a song you loved in your youth - and you can go play it; You're in front of the piano and your friends throw a song's name - and you give them your interpretation of it. Jazz, Rock, Gospel and Blues piano would be nowhere without ear playing.

Worthy's courses are arranged according to the sight reading vs. ear playing line. Although all his courses teach ear playing, his multimedia eBook focuses on playing using sight reading and sheet music. The beginner DVD and intermediate DVD, on the other hand, focus entirely on ear playing.

  • The multimedia eBook is the best course under $100 that uses sight reading.

  • The DVD courses are the best beginner and advanced course under $150 that teach ear playing.

All three courses provide personal guidance by phone, by Ron Worthy himself. In fact, he actively encourages his customers to contact him if they have specific lesson plans, and he hosts teleseminars to his students. No other program we know of offers anything like this.

The next paragraphs describe each program separately. Following the descriptions, we will help decide which course fits you best.

Play Piano Like a Pro Multimedia eBook:

This course is based on a comprehensive eBook, and a host of audio and video files.

The eBook and the surrounding files teach you the following subjects:

  • Scales, Chords, Chord Inversions, Chord Progressions, Arpeggios...

  • Music Theory

  • The patterns behind the keys

  • Reading sheet music - sight reading

  • Playing by ear any song you hear

  • Training your ear for the above

  • Practicing correctly

  • Finger independence, strength, energy

  • Right hand, Left hand, Two hand playing

  • Playing alone

  • Playing in bands

  • Gaining fluid piano performance

  • Building harmonies and melodies

  • Songwriting

  • Improvising and playing your own music

  • What to do and what to avoid in playing

  • And the list goes on...

Course is based on several genres: Jazz, Blues, Rock, Pop, R&B and Gospel. It is well structured, and utilizes a unique four step approach to learning notes and chords. As such, it succeeds in producing a mental-breakthrough of seeing and visualizing chord patterns almost immediately after you start the course. We consider this extremely effective.

The course also includes a "Karaoke player" that enables you to see the keys and chords used in the audio lessons. You can play music and exercises, and see the keys on the player light up. You can also control the playing speed, or freeze it, to observe specific chords and patterns. We consider this a thoughtful addition to the course, as is the chord vocabulary.

Also included is membership to Worthy's huge digital sheet music lessons site. This site provides thousands of songs you can play, including hundreds in MIDI files which can play your electric piano if you connect it to your computer. It also provides 24 extra lessons teaching you how to read music and improve your sight reading, and numerous songs, lessons, exercises and worksheets which bolster your playing to levels no course by its own can achieve, due to course size limitations.

 

Beginner to Intermediate 2006 Tricks of the Trade DVD:

Taking a very different approach than the eBook course, this DVD teaches piano to visual learners, who don't want to bother with learning sheet music. The DVD focuses on one thing: bringing you from complete novice to skilled intermediate level, as quickly and easily as possible. It does not spend your time or effort teaching you how to read music, or leading you through sight reading exercises; for that Worthy developed the eBook course. Rather, the DVD immediately starts teaching you what piano playing is all about, going through the following:

  • Scales, Chords, Chord Inversions, Chord Progressions, Arpeggios...

  • The patterns behind the keys

  • Keyboard harmony and Rhythm concepts

  • Melodic techniques

  • Memorization techniques for chord progressions

  • Playing by ear any song you hear

  • Training your ear for the above

  • Practicing correctly

  • Finger independence, strength, energy

  • Right hand, Left hand, Two hand playing

  • Playing alone, Playing in bands

  • Gaining fluid piano performance

  • Building harmonies and melodies, melodic riffs

  • What to do and what to avoid in playing

  • Creating your own playing style using Modes and Improvisation

  • And again, the list goes on...

Course is based on several genres: Jazz, Blues, Rock, Pop, R&B and Gospel. The DVD assumes no previous knowledge in piano. However, if you do know some piano, the course enables you to progress quickly while checking your previous playing style and eliminating mistakes and bad habits.

The Beginners DVD easily takes you to intermediate playing level. It does dive into more advanced topics, but if you're already an intermediate or advanced player, Worthy has another DVD for you:

Intermediate to Advanced 2007 Tricks of the Trade DVD:

This DVD was developed only for intermediate to advanced pianists. Beginners should not buy this course, except when bundled with the Beginners DVD forming a complete beginners to advanced course.

Like the Beginners DVD, this DVD doesn't deal with sheet music, and focuses on ear playing only. However, it is equally effective for advanced sight reading students who want to improve their ear playing and master advanced piano playing techniques, as it is for intermediate to advanced ear-players. This DVD teaches and instills several advanced piano techniques, such as:

  • Rhythm Changes

  • Advanced left hand techniques

  • Advanced patterns

  • Jazz techniques

  • Contemporary music and pop techniques

  • Pick Up Notes, Suspended Chords, Quartal Harmony, Secondary Dominants

  • Playing 10ths

  • Improvisation, improvisationand then some more improvisation

  • Focus on advanced topics in creating your own unique playing style

  • Playing and Performing in front of audiences

  • Playing solo, Playing in bands

  • Harmonic movements for easy songwriting

  • Eliminating bad playing habits

  • Advanced Do's and Don'ts

  • And as usual, the list goes on...

As this DVD is for students who already know how to play the piano, a lot of focus is put on eliminating mistakes and bad habits the students may bring with them. As always, the numerous video lessons pack a strong punch, enabling students to progress quickly, learning advanced techniques, methods and ideas.

As stated before, professionals we consulted with consider videos a must have for courses of this type, and this is even more true for intermediate and advanced levels. To fully benefit from your learning, at these levels you must see exactly how things should be played: the correct posture, hand placement and movement, exercises etc. This DVD course excels in providing the visuals, and Worthy truly amazes with his playing abilities - far better than the playing in about 95% of the courses we tested.

As with the beginners DVD, this course can be used even without a computer on your DVD. We found this very convenient for band playing sessions you might have as an advanced player.

 

Which Courses Should You Buy?

If you can afford to buy Learn and Master Piano, you'll probably be better off buying it, as with 14DVDs, 5CDs and a book it now surpasses even Worthy's "Gold Bundle" 2DVDs and eBook format, and at a lower price. If, however, you cannot afford to buy that course, Worthy sells his courses as standalone units for a lower price than Learn and Master Piano. To select which of his courses suits you the most, you must first determine whether you are a beginner or intermediate student:

Beginners:

First you should decide what you prefer to focus on, sight reading or ear playing:

  • If you learn better by watching, prefer to focus on ear playing, or just want to learn piano or electronic keyboard as quickly as possible, buy the 2006 beginners DVD for Visual Learners.

  • If want to use sight reading and enjoy the digital sheet music lessons site, buy the multimedia eBook course. This is also the best course we found under $100.

  • If you want the fastest results and the most thorough teaching, purchase the multimedia eBook + Beginners DVD Bundle.

  • If you want to buy a course that will bring you from beginner to advanced levels, buy the 2006 Beginner's DVD + 2007 Advanced DVD Bundle.

Intermediate/Advanced:

  • No big decisions here: the 2007 Intermediate to Advanced DVD is the one for you.

  • If you want to refresh your basics, and benefit from the tips and tricks Worthy provides in his beginners course, buy the 2006 Beginner's DVD + 2007 Advanced DVD Bundle.

The bottom line:

Until very recently, our testers voted Worthy's courses the best piano and electronic keyboard lessons courses around, and by a wide margin. Although more expensive than most others, they are also much more professional and we decided they were well worth the difference. However, a short while ago Learn and Master Piano arrived and KO-ed the other courses. Mr. Worthy's courses remain as good as ever, and if you don't want Learn and Master Piano, or can't pay the price, they would be an excellent alternative. Worthy's single courses (eBook only or a single DVD) are less expensive than Learn and Master Piano, so if saving is a high priority you might want to buy them. Buying more than one product, however, brings the price closer to Learn and Master Piano, and makes the purchase harder to justify.

Product Site:

For more information about "Mr. Ron" Worthy's courses or if you would like to order the courses, click the following links:

For Multimedia eBook click here .

For Beginner to Intermediate DVD or Multimedia eBook + Beginner to Intermediate DVD Bundle click here .

For Intermediate to Advanced DVD or Beginner to Intermediate DVD + Intermediate to Advanced DVD Bundle click here .

 

Next: 3rd Place & Best Course Below $100 - Rocket Piano >>

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