iBegin® Interactive Software

Bob Hayden-Gilbert Want to learn piano or a wind instrument?  Perhaps concerned by having to practise alone not knowing if you're doing the right thing?  Then iBegin® is for you! If you learn with iBegin® you'll be able to learn at your own speed in your own home, or if you're already having lessons, you can use iBegin® to extend your learning time. Click this link for more information iBegin® for wind instruments. For iBegin® Piano, please click here. You'll be playing simple tunes and reading music after just two introductory, free lessons.

If you're learning a wind instrument, you can even learn with a friend who's also learning with iBegin® should you wish, and you can learn different instruments at the same time. iBegin® was written for beginners to enjoy learning their instrument whilst being accompanied by a virtual wind band, so you'll never practise alone. You'll learn how to put your instrument together, how to play your instrument, how to maintain your instrument, how to read music, music theory and learn how to use Sibelius® - the award-winning music notation program.  You will not find the same combination of information in any other tutorial package and the first section is free! Updates are also free!

A little introduction about iBegin® and its author, Bob Hayden-Gilbert:
iBegin® was written with the help of my ex-students who are now professional musicians, as well as professional musicians from orchestras around the world, who contributed their experience to enable iBegin® beginners form the right playing habits right from the moment that they first pick up their instruments. iBegin® Piano was written entirely by me, and based on a lifetime's experience, more than 60 years, of learning and teaching piano. If you'd like to know more about me, please visit http://www.crhg.info

If you're wanting to learn a wind instrument and you've never handled a wind instrument before, iBegin® will guide you in putting the instrument together as soon as you take it out of the instrument case, teaching you how to play the instrument  and teaching you to read music note by note at the same time.  You can even adjust the speed of the music to suit yourself without altering the pitch of the music!  If this interests you, please visit iBegin's sign up page to download your free section. If you are under 13 years old, please ask your parent or guardian to sign-up for you. If you're already taking music lessons, you can use iBegin® to learn and practise between lessons. If you're wanting to learn Piano, you'll learn 5 notes at a time, hands separately and be able to play simple tunes after just one lesson.

If you've not yet chosen the instrument you'd like to play, please click here for information which will help you make a choice. On this page, you'll find information about instrument makers and the sounds that instruments make.

Quick start
If you know which instrument you want to play, piano or wind, please sign up here. After you've signed up, you'll be able to download your free section of iBegin®, which contains the first ten lessons in the series of 45 lessons for wind instruments, and the first two lessons for Piano.

Which computer operating system will I need?
You will need a computer with a sound card running either Windows® or Mac OSX® to use iBegin®. iBegin® will not work on the Android OS unfortunately.

What previous beginners and professionals say about iBegin

From Joel, Holland, aged 14, on iBegin® Alto Saxophone

Hello people

The book I have been using (iBegin) has helped me a lot. It is easy to read and you start off easy at the beginning. As you get further in the book it starts to get harder and harder.  I  gained a lot of experience in such a short time, only eight weeks, and soon joined the school orchestra which I was very happy about, all due to iBegin® Alto Sax. It tells you not only how to read the music but also how to clean your instrument, and what part is which etc.  I am really happy that I used this book because it helped me a lot in learning how to read music and knowing which fingers to use. There are a lot of simple exercises to do which is a very good way of learning. This book is a very good book and I am very happy that I got to use it.

I recommend this book to all the people who want to learn an instrument.

From Guto, Wales, aged 15, on iBegin® Trumpet

iBegin® Trumpet helped me improve significantly since I first received it. The illustrated, interactive tutorial covers everything from when you first get the trumpet/cornet right the way through to an advanced level. It was so simple and quick to set up. The interactive software not only teaches how to clean and how to use the instrument to a good standard, but also contains many scores and parts from beginner to an intermediate level with an adjustable playback function for people who don't know the tune.

Overall, iBegin® is like having your own tutor at home and what I like about it is that you can play it whenever you want and is a useful addition to a weekly half-an-hour lesson with a professional tutor.

From Andy Scott, Composer and Tutor of Saxophone Royal Northern College of Music, United Kingdom, on iBegin® Alto Saxophone:

iBegin® is an ingenious addition to teaching resources that are available to saxophonists worldwide. A proven winner, iBegin® takes you through step by step, explaining clearly and logically what is required to become a good musician. With specially written scores and parts, iBegin® is, importantly, fun!  You can even learn with other instruments and play along to professional CDs.

I wish that I'd had this when I was first learning the saxophone.

Andy Scott

Composer, Tutor of Saxophone Royal Northern College of Music, United Kingdom, Vice President of the International Saxophone Committee.

From Karen Partyka, Thailand, Secondary Music Teacher on iBegin® Alto Saxophone:

The thing I liked about iBegin® was I did not have to wait for my lesson each week to learn new notes. I could move onto the next iBegin® lesson as soon as I was ready. The instructions were clear and being able to hear the note I was supposed to make made it easy to realise when what I was playing was right or wrong.

I liked being able to play along with orchestra and see how my part fitted in and also being able to slow my part down if it was too difficult.  Also the number of different pieces I could try to play gave me the opportunity to play different styles of music.

Having good information at my fingertips was great, and the advice on how to keep the instrument clean and take care of it was invaluable.

I would definitely recommend this for a beginner and was glad that I'd had the opportunity to learn with iBegin!  It was like having a virtual teacher in my computer!

Click here for pictures of beginners learning with iBegin®.

A little more explanation

Free section?

Yes, the first section is free so that you can see if you like learning with iBegin®.

How many sections are there?

Three for wind instruments and two for piano.  The first section is free, which you must download to see if you like iBegin®, There are two more sections for wind instruments and one section for piano, which cost US$13.50 each.

What if I buy iBegin® and then don't like it? Will you give me a refund?

No, because the free download is for you to see if you like iBegin® or not.

I'm not an absolute beginner.  Can I buy just the last sections without downloading the free sections?

No, because you need to see if the format is right for you before you decide to buy.

Can I buy each section separately?

Yes. After looking at the free download, you can buy as much or as little as you want for wind instruments or the second section for Piano.

Can I learn with a friend?

If you're learning a wind instrument, yes, and you don't even have to play the same wind instrument.

So what is iBegin®?

iBegin® is unique, illustrated interactive software designed for beginning pianists and wind instrumentalists, written by me, Bob Hayden-Gilbert, a professional musician and teacher with forty years of experience, in conjunction with the advice I received from my friends and ex-students who are professional instrumentalists.

How will I learn?

iBegin® students practise with their own part or with a synthesised full wind band, and have recourse to interactive fingering charts and sound bytes of notes, so that they can check to see that they're playing the right notes.  iBegin® encourages beginning instrumentalists to practise by being accompanied by its interactive scores.

What resources are there to use?

Beginners can also use iBegin® as a reference tool, as it contains illustrated, interactive fingering guides for each note, instrumental maintenance instructions, basic music theory, basic instructions on how to use the Sibelius® notation program (download the demo here), an interactive fingering chart and interactive scales and arpeggi.

Who has learned to play their instrument with iBegin®?

Many beginners have learnt with iBegin®. The current record for iBegin® beginners to complete iBegin® is 8 weeks, held jointly by a secondary high school student and a music teacher who wanted to learn saxophone. When you complete iBegin®, you'll be a competent school orchestra or band player. Beginners have learnt with iBegin® all over the world, in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, China, Thailand and Australia.

What if I'm already taking lessons?

If you're already taking lessons, you can use iBegin® to learn new notes and for extra practice between lessons without it interfering with the work that your teacher's set you to do.

So why should I choose iBegin®?

No other beginning instrumental guide gives you as much as this.  With iBegin®, you can learn by yourself without fear of playing a wrong note, using a wrong fingering or mis-pitching.  Simply play from your computer's screen or print out your part and choose to be accompanied either by your own part or by a full synthesised band.  You can even slow down the music to suit yourself!

Do I have to pay every month for iBegin®?

No. There are no recurring costs - you own each part of iBegin® once you've paid for it, but please don't pass it on to anyone else.  It took me 4 years to write ten iBegin® books plus another 3 years to test it, plus an additional 7 years of field testing, and I was not paid to write or test it.  You can read about my life's work at http://crhg.info

So how much will iBegin® cost me?

The first section is free, so that you can see if you like learning with iBegin® or notIf you buy both remaining two sections of iBegin® the total cost of iBegin® is US$27 for wind instruments, or US$13.50 a section, which is roughly what you could expect to pay for one individual lesson from a tutor.  As you can see, iBegin® is not going to cost you a fortune and is not sold with tricks like capturing your credit card numbers or Paypal® details for next month's payment in the hope that the buyer will forget to cancel.  You can buy as much or as little of iBegin® as you want and when you want.  Having bought iBegin®, it is yours to keep.  There are no time-expired access restrictions hidden in the file, but, as I asked before, please don't give it away. It took me four years to write and another five years to test.

Can I buy iBegin® in a music shop?

iBegin® is not available for sale from music shops.  The reason for this is that software changes so often that it makes printed CDs out of date almost from the time that they're printed.  A few years ago, a well-known maker of computer software, sometimes known as "The Evil Empire Of The Pacific North-West", released an update which changed the way it opened Sibelius® files.  This effectively ruined 8000 CDs that I'd had printed, most of which I'd distributed to music shops in the UK, Europe and Australia, so I'm not doing that again.  As iBegin® is now available from the internet, I can change its content immediately, like adding new parts and scores or correcting mistakes. iBegin® users will have access to free updates.

Is iBegin® available in other languages?

Not at the moment, but write to me and if there's enough demand, I'll make a version for whichever language is most sought after. You can use the contact form at http://ibegin.info/contact

Is there an iBegin® for stringed instruments?

No, but there was a Russian student who learned Double Bass using iBegin® Trombone and a fingering chart for the Double Bass.  Where there is a will, there is a way!

What about Brass Band instruments?

Cornet, Trumpet and Flugelhorn beginners can use iBegin® Trumpet.  Tenor Horn in E flat beginners can use iBegin® Alto Saxophone in conjunction with a Trumpet fingering chart.  Euphonium beginners can use iBegin® Euphonium with a Trumpet fingering chart.  E flat Bass beginners can use iBegin® Alto Saxophone in conjunction with a Trumpet fingering chart. If you have any problems, contact me and I will help you get started.

Where can I download the first free section for my instrument?

Just click here: Sign up and download  If you are younger than 13 years old, please ask your parent or guardian to sign up for you.  After you have signed up, you will be directed to the download page.

Please let me know how you get on by using this contact form or you can ask me any questions that you may have about iBegin®:

If you like iBegin®, please tell everyone about it.  If you don't, please tell me through the contact form.

Why are there no advertisements on the iBegin® site?

The idea of iBegin® is to enable beginners to learn with a virtual wind band for wind instruments or a virtual piano for the piano. That's all the web site is designed for. The site should be quick to load, easy to use and not cluttered with advertisements that have no relevance to beginning musicians.

iBegin® - Changing the way beginners learn

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Updated 11th April 2017