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Right-Hand Techniques for New Age Piano


Recently, I had a student ask me to offer some techniques for using the right hand. Usually, it's the left hand that causes the most difficulty but I had to think about it because up till then, I really did not have any "techniques" for the right hand.

How to Create Interesting Textures


A lot of new age piano music consists of repeating patterns, or textures in the left hand while the right hand improvises a melody. This approach is really a good one! It frees you up to create in the moment. First you decide what chord or chords you'll be using in the left hand. You then create an ostinato or arpeggio that lays the foundation for the entire piece.

New Age Piano Playing and the Sustain Pedal


There are 3 pedals on most pianos. The one on the left dampens the strings and makes the sound come out softer. The one in the middle - I have no idea what that one does, but the one on the right - the sustain pedal - this one is the pedal I have my foot on when I play the piano.

Form - Giving Shape to Your Music


Do you ramble on endlessly with your improvisations? If so, good. This has its place in music making and in new age piano playing in particularly. Just listen to Michael Jones's music to hear an example of this kind of free-form improvisation.

Review: The Bled - Pass the Flask


Released in 2003, Pass the Flask turned this little quintet from Tucson, into a mainstream success overnight. Classifying this band as ?metalcore? or ?indie? or ?hardcore? is quite futile, because for every genre you pick, someone is going to disagree, and have a solid backing for their view. Everyone however can agree that whatever The Bled are doing, they are doing it well.

Music & Intelligence: Will Listening to Music Make You Smarter?


Will listening to music make you smarter? Will learning to play a musical instrument make your brain grow larger than normal?

Win Friends & Influence People Through Music -- Is It Possible?


The idea that studying music improves the social development of a child is not a new one, but at last there is incontrovertible evidence from a study conducted out of the University of Toronto.

Interested in Improving the Sound of Your Stereo? Consider Records


Introduced in 1982, the compact disc was intended to provide better sound than the 40-year-old long-play record album, popularly known as the LP. Using a laser rather than a diamond needle for playback the compact disc was smaller, more convenient to use, and less susceptible to damage than the LP. A bonus was that the format was said to offer ?perfect sound forever.? ?Forever? isn?t that long these days; improvements in digital sound have come along in the last twenty years and the music industry introduced two new formats this decade that are designed to improve upon the ?perfect? sound of the compact disc. Those formats are the Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD) and DVD Audio (DVD-A.) Over the years, various audio publications have criticized the sound of compact discs, describing the sound as ?harsh?, ?brittle? or ?sterile? compared to the sound of the LP. After years of research, SACD and DVD-A were introduced several years ago and introduced sound that was said to be cleaner and more natural than that of the compact disc. In addition, these formats offered multi-channel sound, and artists such as Pink Floyd offered special multi-channel versions of their albums to entice sales. It hasn?t worked, and sales of both formats peaked in 2003. What is interesting, however, is that both formats still trail the LP in sales!According to the Recording Industry Association of America, the combined sales of SACD and DVD-A were less than those of the LP in 2004. The music industry is in a slump at the moment, and sales of all formats were down last year. But sales of LPs were down 13% from 2003, while combined SACD and DVD-A sales were down 33%. It would appear that the new formats are failing, even though they are said to be superior to the compact disc. The LP, on the other hand, continues to have steady sales. While the major labels are still somewhat hesitant to release new product in LP form, labels that specialize in reissuing older material, such as Classic Records, are releasing as much product as their manufacturing capacity will permit. It is worth noting that much of this reissued product comes in the form of high-quality, limited edition LP pressings that often carry premium prices of up to $50 per title. Why are records continuing to sell while the new formats fail? There are several reasons why records are outselling the new, ?superior? digital disc formats: Format wars. Like VHS vs. Beta in the 1970?s, the SACD and DVD-A formats are largely incompatible. While players have been introduced that will play either one, most players play either one format or the other. Worse, neither one will play on a traditional CD player. You must replace your player to play either one.Multichannel sound is difficult to use and requires purchasing new amplification equipment. SACD and DVD-A both have multichannel capabilities, but neither format?s players have digital outputs. Both must be connected to amplifiers or receivers with special SACD or DVD-A analog inputs. Most of the music fans who preferred the sound of records to compact discs still prefer the sound of records to either SACD or DVD-A. Most will agree that while the new formats sound better than compact discs, the unique ?digital? sound of compact discs is still there. Many listeners aren?t interested in sound quality. Arguments can always be made about the sound of compact disc vs records vs SACD vs DVD-A, but millions of consumers are content to listen to music in MP3 format on portable players. MP3 format is inherently inferior in sound quality to all of the other formats, but MP3 players are selling as fast as companies can make them.The day will never come when records again become the dominant music format. The convenience of portable players for CD, SACD, and DVD-A discs and MP3 files outweighs the advantages in sound quality that records offer over those formats. Nevertheless, it appears that a small but steady market for records remains very real, and that that market exceeds that of the new ?improved? SACD and DVD-A formats, which will probably soon go the way of the forgotten Elcassette, Minidisc, and 4 track tape formats of the past.

Composing George Winston Style


If you're a fan of New Age piano, no doubt you've listened to some of George Winston's music. What I find fascinating about his songs is how he creates them. Most improvisers/composers start with the melody, usually because it's the easiest way to begin.

Be An Organized Church Pianist


Playing in front of a congregation each Sunday is no easy feat. Make sure you are well prepared before giving your best for God and before others.

Music & Emotions: Can Music Really Make You a Happier Person?


How many times have you turned to music to uplift you even further in happy times, or sought the comfort of music when melancholy strikes?

Vintage Guitar Collectors Can Still Find Deals


If you're a recent vintage guitar collector, the stories you've heard are true. You once could step into pawn shops or flea markets and find vintage Gibson Les Pauls and Fender Stratocasters for $50 to $100. True. These guitars now sell for thousands of dollars on Ebay and Gbase.

Music & Citizenship: Can Playing a Musical Instrument Help Your Child Become a Better Citizen?


Disregard the popular image of rappers with their ghetto blasters, terrorizing neighborhoods with eardrum-splitting cacophony. Consider instead our delightful school bands and orchestras? and ponder on whether those students might be becoming our best future citizens.

Music Downloads: Free & Low Cost Ways For Musicians To Get Their Music Known All Over The World


Music downloads are highly compressed audio files transferred onto a personal computer from an Internet website or P2P (peer to peer) program. From IPOD's to MP3 players galore, music downloading is seen as the fastest way for a musician to get his or her work out to the public. Many musicians have developed world-wide followings by adding downloadable music files to their web sites.

Songs Await Singer


I Want To Grow Old With You (C)

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