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By Dr. Joel Pierson
$23,115 pledged of $8,000 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About this project

Do you suck at piano?

Is there someone you know who just isn’t as good as they say they are? Do you wish that there was an instructional piano book for adults that pulled no punches, told it like it is, and wasn’t afraid to put you in your place?

This, my piano flunkies, is your book. For all of you people who used to take piano lessons and are thinking of “getting back into it”, You Suck at Piano is your jam. For those of you who wish you could crank out a simple tune… You Suck at Piano will get you there.

The key is honesty. Learning to play the piano is difficult, folks. And most piano books lie to you. They say “you can do it!” when in fact you’re not so sure you actually CAN do it.

You Suck at Piano takes a different approach. It’s a brutally honest and fun method to improve your piano skills, complete with 50 arrangements of famous piano pieces, irreverent comic strips about the composers and the terrible lives they led, and cocktail recipes to drown all of your piano related frustrations.

I have been an instructor for years and at the end of the day I am just passionate about music, and teaching people to make, understand and play music. 

You'll Actually Learn How to Play Piano

I’m Dr. Joel Pierson, and I’ve made a career out of music and mockery. I’ve worked with some artists of great repute (New York Philharmonic, Kronos Quartet), and am well steeped in pop culture from working with artists like Wayne Newton and Ke$ha and touring with My Chemical Romance and Linkin Park.

 

 

I’ve performed on all seven continents (yes, including Antarctica), written music for films (including additional music for The Internship with Owen Wilson), and had a recording contract with Warner Brothers Records. I have a Ph.D in music composition, and was in a band with Father John Misty in high school. My music has been performed by over 20 major symphony orchestras, and I once sat in with the Saturday Night Live band (I didn’t actually PLAY with the SNL band, I literally just sat with them while they played, in case there was a piano-related emergency.) I also enjoy performing old cartoon scores for children, but most of all, I’m here to provide tough love about your lack of piano chops.

Joining me is illustrator Kevin Nagler - an artist with such a twisted sense of humor that when I asked him to illustrate Swan Lake, all the swans he drew were dead (and we’re pretty sure it was YOUR bad piano playing that killed them).

And together we are committed to producing the most original, odd, and hilarious piano book ever written.

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Why We Need Your Help

Believe it or not, the idea of a snarky piano book is too forward thinking and honest for most traditional music publishers. So let’s shake things up! In order to do so, there’s a whole mess of people that I need to employ to make this project a reality.

Piano Swag - The Rewards

I've been brainstorming some wacky, limited-time-only awards to thank you for your help in realizing my vision. For as low as $1 you can participate in the production of this genre-bending piano book. I’m signing books with notes to whomever you choose. Kevin my illustrator will crudely draw you (or someone else) on a cocktail napkin. You can pick up a coffee mug with your favorite composer’s bust on it, or score a sweet “Know Your Composers” poster (full of misinformation and inside jokes).

At the higher levels you can get your face put in the book’s “Piano Wall of Shame”, a comic strip dedicated to your lack of piano skills, or even some face time with Kevin and I. We even have piano keyboards with “You Suck at Piano” engraved on them!

A Peek at The Book

 

 

 

 

 

Risks and challenges

Obviously I can’t do this alone. I need you and your terrible piano playing. I need your friends and relatives who also can’t play very well. The most significant challenge right now is to get this initial funding. If I can get the book finished, I’d like to begin working on “You Suck at Piano 2: You Still Suck”, “You Suck at Christmas Piano”, and a children’s version called “You’re Soooo Good at Piano".

My goal is to get You Suck at Piano finished, printed, and shipped by the holiday season. What a great gift for someone who needs to be made aware of their lack of piano proficiency. So please donate to the cause, and thank you for your support! Now go practice… I can tell you need it.

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    Thanks!

    You are acknowledging to yourself that you too suck at piano. Congrats. I’ll send you free updates and I will write you an email telling you how bad I imagine you are at piano.

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    YSAP Digital Book + Updates

    A digital copy of You Suck at Piano + access to updates.

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    YSAP Book + Bumper Sticker

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    Signed Book, Sticker + Personalized Note

    A signed copy of You Suck at Piano with a note written to whomever you wish regarding their piano playing, and a bumper sticker + access to updates.

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    Signed Book, Sticker + Digital Download

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    Personalized Doodle + USBD

    USBD (Updates, Signed book, Bumper sticker, Digital download), plus a crude drawing by my illustrator Kevin of you playing the piano on a napkin.

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    8.5 x 11 Personalized Drawing + USBD

    USBD (Updates, Signed book, Bumper sticker, Digital download), plus an 8.5 x 11 drawing by my illustrator Kevin of anyone you choose being terrible at the piano.

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    Composer Mug + USBD

    USBD (Updates, Signed book, Bumper sticker, Digital download), plus a coffee mug with the composer of your choice on one side and a “fun fact” about them on the other side.

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    "Know Your Composers" Poster + USBD

    USBD (Updates, Signed book, Bumper sticker, Digital download), plus a 18” x 24” “Know Your Composers” poster.

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    Mug, "Know Your Composers" Poster + USBD

    USBD (Updates, Signed book, Bumper sticker, Digital download), plus a coffee mug with the composer of your choice on one side and a “fun fact” about them on the other side AND an 18” x 24” “Know Your Composers” poster.

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    Personalized Bust + USBDMP

    USBDMP (Updates, Signed book, Bumper sticker, Digital download, composer mug and poster), plus your bust (or someone else’s) drawn into the “Piano Wall of Shame” which will appear in the book.

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    Skype/FaceTime One-on-One + USBDMP

    USBDMP (Updates, Signed book, Bumper sticker, Digital download, composer mug and poster), plus Joel will give you a call over Skype/FaceTime for an hour to either give you a piano lesson or to talk to you about music and failing in general. Includes a follow-up chat.

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    Comic Strip Dedication in Book + USBDMP

    USBDMP (Updates, Signed book, Bumper sticker, Digital download, composer mug and poster), plus a 1-page comic strip dedicated to your terrible piano playing, which will appear in the book, or a short animation to appear in the digital version of the book.

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    Arrangement + USBDMP

    USBDMP (Updates, Signed book, Bumper sticker, Digital download, composer mug and poster), plus Joel will arrange any piece of music you’d like for any level of piano difficulty.

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    Electronic Keyboard + USBDMP

    USBDMP (Updates, Signed book, Bumper sticker, Digital download, composer mug and poster), plus a portable electronic keyboard with “You Suck at Piano” engraved on it!

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    Joel Plays Your Party, Drawing + USBDMP

    USBDMP (Updates, Signed book, Bumper sticker, Digital download, composer mug and poster), plus Joel will travel to you and play piano at a party, all the while talking about how you wouldn’t have been good enough to play the party yourself. Receive a personal portrait drawing from Kevin. (US Continental only. Please contact prior to buying.)

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    Joel and Kevin Come to YOU! + USBDMP

    USBDMP (Updates, Signed book, Bumper sticker, Digital download, composer mug and poster), plus Joel AND Kevin will come to you, anywhere in the world! Joel will play your party, and Kevin will draw portraits of your guests. USBDMP (Updates, Signed book, Bumper sticker, Digital download, composer mug and poster), plus Joel will travel to you and play piano at a party, all the while talking about how you wouldn’t have been good enough to play the party yourself. Receive a personal portrait drawing from Kevin. (Please contact prior to buying.)

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