Sunday, August 30, 2009

Another useful tome!

Yeh I know yet another book, this guy must be crazy you say to yourself!
The Pop Piano Book is such a thorough examination of how to become comfortable creating your own accompaniments from lead sheets in the following styles:
Pop Ballad
Pop-Rock and Hard Rock
New Age
R'n'B Ballad
R'n'B Funk
Country & Country Rock
Slow Gospel
Fast Gospel
The author Mark Harrison starts with a comprehensive section on contemporary harmonic and rhythm concepts before launching into all the above mentioned styles. Midi files of all 800 music examples are available.
Not for the complete beginner, this is a must own book if this is your game on the keys!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Keyboard Grimoire!

Yesterday, one of my colleagues popped his head into my class to ask if I would assist a prospective IT student.
I recognised David immediately as one of the few piano players to have gone through the music programme offered at this college.
Having worked out that he was already skilled up IT wise way beyond what we could offer we got talking about piano which was when he mentioned that I should get my hands on "The Keyboard Grimoire".
Well, I thought I had a fair handle on scales but this tome goes way beyond what I know.
The book is designed for guitarists to find their way around a keyboard for sequencing it so it works for both genres of instrumentalist.
Well worth searching out and adding to your piano resources if your are into impro at all!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Independence - it's coming!

Wow, I am really pleased to report I am finally achieving noticeably greater independence between the hands.
So it seems it is just practice over time that results in a gradual improvement rather than suddenly a thing that becomes automatic!
Oh well, it is still encouraging.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A really excellent on-line resource!

Aswell as my goal to learn to read well enough to play any genre of music, I am also interested in using the keyboard in a band context. I am therefore, delighted to have discovered David Sprunger's website and the wonderful array of video lessons he provides based around his rhythmic patterns. I was initially drawn to his blues piano lesson section working through all the free videos before realising that it might be a good idea to purchase his very reasonably priced ($19.95US) original Pattern Piano and Keyboard lesson pack which I have done and am starting to work through.
Once I have completed it, I am looking forward to purchasing the complete Blues piano lesson series.
Well worth a look if you are not interested in learning to read and only interested in chordal accompaniment.

Or a Yamaha S90XS.............................maybe!

Really impressed by Yamaha's latest offering and may purchase the S90XS instead of the Roland RD-700GX.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Starting to get serious about playing keyboards

I have just ordered John Thompson's 4th grade tutor as I am getting through the 3rd grade book pretty quickly.
I am rapt that my ability to read the bass clef is becoming far more instinctive and so I am getting quicker at familiarising myself with each piece. I am also still amazed at how much easier I am finding memorising piano music is in comparison to the guitar. It is almost automatic once I have decided that I wish to work further on a piece and I am starting to get a core of memorised repertoire together which is fantastic.
Typically, I am already looking at upgrading my Digital Piano and I am most impressed with Roland's RD-700GX depicted above. Apart from the reported brilliant sound and touch etc I am really interested in the USB stick feature that allows the use of the keyboard to run backing tracks.
Once Michelle and I move to Denmark, within the next month or so, I am hoping we will get back to playing and performing music again. With some hard work, I hope I have my keyboard chops up enough to make use of them and being able to use it to run backings would allow us to create a massive sound for a duo.
I was contemplating purchasing a laptop to run the latest version of Mainstage to do the job but I think this maybe a more elegant solution.
I really feel gaining these keyboard skills is rounding me out as a musician and adding new and exciting possibilities for the future creation and performance of music.
Why have I not chosen to start this journey earlier! Bewildering!