|Music & MP3 Information|
Five Great Practice Ideas I Learned From My Piano Students!
Sometimes the teacher learns more from the student than the student does from the teacher. Hopefully, not too often, but today I would like to share with you some great practicing ideas that have come from my piano students over the years:
1. A Colonel in Virginia that I taught for several years got up at 4AM every weekday morning and practiced on an electronic keyboard with headphones so he wouldn't disturb anyone at that time of the morning. "I love the early morning", he said, "because it's so quiet and peaceful and I'm fresh and raring to go. No phones are ringing, no people walking into the room, no disturbances at all. I practice for a half-hour, have breakfast, and then hit it for another half-hour -- all before I have to show up for work. When I get home in the evening, if I'm too tired to practice, I don't feel guilty because I've already got my licks in for the day. And if I'm up to practicing some more -- well, it's a bonus!"
2. An elementary school teacher in Indiana told me she took each piece I assigned her and transposed it into all 12 keys -- not written out, but at the piano -- in her head. She said "It doesn't always sound so hot, but I find that if I keep at it day after day, I can at least get by in the most difficult keys, and it makes the easier keys seem real simple. And it gives me a perspective that I just wouldn't get it I just played it in one key -- the key it is written in. I've learned that each key has it's own "feel", and some keys are bright (like "D") and some keys are mellow (like "Db").
3. Another piano student with a similar idea, who was the Minister of Music in a Catholic church, said he took one whole month of the year and devoted it to mastering just one key. Since there are 12 months in the year and 12 Major keys, that works out perfectly. So in January he played everything he could find in the key of C, and transposed anything that wasn't in C into C. In February he went up 1/2 step to the key of C# (also known as Db enharmonically) and played everything in Db and searched for pieces written in the key of Db, and so on. By the time the year was up, he had a pretty fair grasp on the 12 Major keys. I suggested that he devote the next year to the 12 minor keys, and the next year to the modes, and the next year to polytonality, etc., etc. -- but as I recall he decided to just recycle through the 12 major keys, since he used them so much more than the ones I suggested.
4. Still another piano student took an idea from me and twisted it a bit. I suggested that she play along with pieces she liked on tapes and CD's, so she would get a feel for the motion of the song. (I used to do that by the hour when I was a teen-ager, and it paid off big time for me!). She took the idea and tried it and liked it so much that she started getting videos of people playing the piano. She arranged her TV and video player so that she could be at her piano while the video was playing, and she would play along with the pianist on the screen, following her/his hand motions and arm motions and finger position and thereby getting a feeling for the flow of the music. (Patterning). Her creativity is paying off for her -- she is advancing rapidly. (And by the way, don't think she is "copying" the person she is watching -- not at all. It's the same principle as watching Michael Jordan moving toward the basket, or watching Sammy Sosa swing a bat -- it just gets you in the right groove before you apply your own style to it.)
5. A doctor I have taught for years makes a idea file of things he has learned about piano playing over the years. He notes where in a given book or tape or video I discuss such and such a topic, and files that alphabetically. Then later when he needs to refer to that idea, he simply looks up the idea in his file, locates the video or cassette or book, and presto -- he can review that idea or concept almost instantly. It's like a card catalog in the library -- makes finding things so much faster than flipping through endless books trying to find that idea you saw long ago.With the advent of the computer a person could store and categorize ideas such as this very quickly.
Hope this gives you some ideas of your own!
Duane Shinn is the author of over 500 music books and music educational materials such as DVD's, CD's, musical games for kids, chord charts, musical software, and piano lesson instructional courses for adults. His instant piano chord finder software titled "How To Find Any Piano Chord Instantly!" has been used around the world. He holds advanced degrees from Southern Oregon University and was the founder of Piano University in Southern Oregon. He is the author of the popular free 101-week online e-mail newsletter titled "Amazing Secrets Of Exciting Piano Chords & Sizzling Chord Progressions" with over 58,600 current subscribers.
Play Piano As Fast As Possible!
One of the rules of practicing we all hear over and over is "Be sure to practice slowly." (I'm guilty of this too!) Often the result of this is a feeling of inhibition, which leads to tedium. Picture yourself filled with excitement and yearning in setting out to learn a new piece. Suddenly a voice from the darkness whispers: "Don't touch those keys! Sit erect, play slowly, stay strictly in time, watch that fingering..." and your smile is gone. I'm beginning to feel a cramp just talking about it.
The Dos and Donts of Getting Your Child to Love Learning an Instrument
We all know that music can be inspiring, entertaining, and exhilarating. There are few things more enjoyable than listening to good music. If you're lucky enough to be able to play a musical instrument, you know the joy that can come from strumming those strings, tapping those keys, or blowing those reeds. It's immeasurable. But, with all the amazing aspects of music, why is it such a struggle to get your child to enjoy learning how to play an instrument? Some children naturally enjoy the learning process, while others rally against it like it with all their will.
How to Download Music From The Internet
Most of you have probably heard of the RIAA's quest to crush online music piracy. The illegal sharing of copyrighted songs via the MP3 format over the Internet costs the music industry billions of dollars. This is conventionally done using illegal file sharing programs like KaZaa and iMesh. This article explores the legal ways to download and enjoy music from the Internet.
How To Write A Song
Did you ever wish that it was your song playing on the radio? It could be. It is not that hard once you know the formula. With a little creativity, a little knowledge, a little luck and a good formula to follow, your song could be one of the next biggest hits.Songwriting comes easy for some, and is very difficult for others. I have actually written songs in my sleep, and immediately upon awaking, written it as quickly as I could get the words on down on paper.What I want to discuss here is popular songwriting, like the songs you hear on the radio. A good pop song, whether rock, country, middle of the road, is composed of two things: a catchy tune and some good lyrics.There is a formula that most great songwriters use to write great songs. It regards the structure used to write a song. Granted, it is music and it is art, so the rules are not hard and fast. But if you want to increase your chances of getting your song on the radio, it is a good starting point.Here is the formula. Verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus.Write that down on paper leaving plenty of space between each word and this will be your script.VerseThe verse is the part of the song that tells the story, the part that leads to the chorus. Each verse is usually different, telling a different part of, or adding to, the story. It usually explains how you got to the things you are singing about in the chorus.Chorus.The chorus is the part of the song that is repeated after each verse. The lyrics are usually the same each time the chorus comes around. The verse usually leads to the chorus, and the chorus is usually the pay off for listening to the verse. Does that make sense?Here is a lame example (you did not think I would give you my best work, did you?):(verse)My dog is sick, he's got a tickHe's my best friend, don't let it end(chorus)Oh, woe is me, can't you seeWoe is me, will I ever be free(verse)My car broke down, just out of townIt got towed in, but it's broke again(chorus)Oh, woe is me, can't you seeWoe is me, will I ever be freeNow, if you would kindly stop laughing at my lame song for a minute, I want you to think about whether or not you understand my point. Songwriting is story telling. The verse tells the problems, the chorus expresses the results or the emotions.All right, now that you have that mastered, let's tackle the bridge. Ah, yeah, there is more to the song than the pain and the release. We need the diversion. That is what the bridge is; it is the diversion from the verse and the chorus.The bridge may have a slightly different melody to it, or it could even have a different rhythm or a different tempo (Elvis' "Suspicious Minds" did a great job on this technique).Let's go back to the lame song and add a bridge: (verse)My dog is sick, he's got a tickHe's my best friend, don't let it end(chorus)Oh, woe is me, can't you seeWoe is me, will I ever be free(verse)My car broke down, just out of townIt got towed in, but it's broke again(chorus)Oh, woe is me, can't you seeWoe is me, will I ever be free(bridge)Tomorrow is a better day, I've got a new truck on the wayMy dog just had a flea it seems, so once again I'll live my dreams(chorus)Oh, woe was me, can't you seeWoe was me, but now I'm freeThe bridge offers a solution to the problems I was having. You don't want to leave your listener on the edge of suicide, you want to give them hope.Notice, I also changed up the wording of the chorus. This was done to reflect my new found joy.One more thing on formula. It can be anyway you want, but most verses and chorus come in lines of 4. So, instead of this:(verse)Oh, woe is me, can't you seeWoe is me, will I ever be free(verse)My car broke down, just out of townIt got towed in, but it's broke againit would be:Oh, woe is me, can't you seeWoe is me, will I ever be freeMy car broke down, just out of townIt got towed in, but it's broke againThe same goes for the chorus. Again, if you are creative, do it however you want. But for a new songwriter, this gives you some guidelines to scratch out and start carving out your new creation.One more thing, do not make the notes to the melody so high that your fans cannot sing along. We are certainly all not Stevie Wonder.
Taking iPod Culture into Clubs as Well as Cyberspace: Jonny Rocket Interviewed by The G-Man
Already making plenty of noise in the marketplace is a new concept called Playlist, which exists both as a club and as an online music competition (see www.ipod-dj.com for details on how to enter and what you can win).
Discover The Perfect Place To Perform
Once you know what your Unique Selling Proposition is as a musician (we covered this in the last issue), it's time to ask yourself what kind of venue you want to be letting those talents out in. This is the process that will help you determine your "Perfect Performance Venue" so that you don't waste your energy and efforts searching for performances in the wrong area!
Soul Band for a Party
Was the request six months ago, a sixtieth birthday party, the client said. It got me thinking. There is a whole untapped market out there for people who lived as teenagers and twenty somethings through the sixties and seventies. They are all coming up to this big sixtieth birthday date and they all love the kind of music I love to play and earn my living out of! More than that, their kids are off their hands, their mortgage is paid up and they can afford to splash out on a big celebration.
An Interview with Jon Bon Jovi ? 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Cant Be Wrong
The idea originated with singer Jon Bon Jovi. Jon kept upping the ante with his label and ultimately they consented to a four-CD set of essentially new material. Here, he talks about this 20th anniversery project (100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong) and the things that make Bon Jovi unique.
Free, Legal Music Online
Almost everyone has heard about the massive crack down on Internet music piracy that has been occurring over the past few years. Napster was taken down (although it has now returned as a pay service), other file sharing programs now require users to pay for a license and the RIAA and other similar organizations are doing their best to hunt down copyright offenders and put an end to their crime sprees. The consumers on the other hand argue that their actions hurt nobody, that there is no damage done to anyone by their not buying an album. Furthermore, they claim, MP3s allow them to sample a CD before purchasing it, thus actually helping sales.
Chords or Melody First... Which is Best?
There are basically two ways you can compose a piece of music. The first and most traditional way is to write out the melody and then harmonize it. Some call this working from the top (as opposed to the chords on the bottom.) The second approach is where you create some kind of rhythmic harmonic pattern and improvise (or compose) the melody on top. Now, which one is best for New Age music?
Tips for Buying Digital Pianos and Keyboards
Buying a digital piano could be a very delicate attempt, especially if you have no idea about pianos in the first place. This article is written to help you out how to choose the best digital piano.
How Has Eminem Risen to the Top?
How is it that a little white boy from Kansas City has becomethe most well known rapper in the world? Starting from nothingand eventually moving up to a multi-millionaire, Eminem over thepast seven years has been in the eye of the public everywhereyou look. He has essentially entered a black man's business andgone to the top over the course of a few years, but how?
Right Hand Guitar Playing Tip
This lesson can open for you a secret of high-speed guitar playing. If take the given technique for 2-3 weeks you'll feel progress in high-speed playing of complex passages.
Legend Vega Releasing New Pop CD
Legend Vega is scheduled to release her newest CD this summer, Personal Space. Fans characterize Legend's style as a cross between Mariah Carey and a female version of Ricky Martin. She was born under the lights of Broadway in New York City but raised to the beat of Salsa and Merengue on the hot sands of Puerto Rico. Legend Vega is an experienced singer, songwriter, and model. She has just finished recording her newest CD with all of her own material. Her mainstream pop style and her Latin background make her an excellent crossover artist for the U.S. market. Her album features a broad mix of pop music recorded in English but with many Latin influences.
Liberate your iPod
When Akio Morita came up with the idea of the Sony Walkman all of his colleagues at the thought he was completely insane. The general consensus was that people wouldn't want to walk around the streets wearing headphones. Everyone thought the idea was ludicrous and that it would never catch on.
Play Piano in the New Age Style
It's not what you play, it's how you play it. These words summarize the art of piano playing in general and New Age piano playing in particular. You could take 2 chords, and, if you were in the moment and in flow, communicate the utmost emotion and power.
Buying A Guitar - Do You Know What To Look For?
Buying a guitar is an important decision that my students have often asked me about. They want to know what they should be looking for. This is an important question because no two are ever exactly alike. There is a wide variety of types, styles, colors, makes, and models to choose from. The question is, which one is right for you? If you don't know what to look for when you're buying a guitar, you could end up spending a lot more money than you really need to. On the other hand, getting a "deal" may also get you a lemon. Following are some important questions to consider.
Top 50 Music Quotations
Discover the phenomenonal complexity of music and reflect on the way it can positively influence your life with this sound collection of riveting quotes...
Performance and Gigs
"For optimum amp tone onstage, plug your amp into your own AC outlet.." - Eric Johnson
The Downfall Of The #1 Southern Gospel Station
Back in the 90's we had a local Southern Gospel station (I can't remember the name. You'll see why if you keep reading). They were known for their motto, "If it doesn't say it, we won't play it." They were determined not to play watered-down Gospel music-even if it was Southern Gospel. And they did a good job.
|home | site map|
|Copyright © 2005 www.mymusicfiles.com|