Improvisation and Musical Form
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 New Age pianist Michael Jones's music to hear an example of this kind of free-form improvisation.
Now, some of you want to create something that will give the listener a slightly more cohesive experience. How is this accomplished? By forming the music into a shape - an ABA shape for our purposes here. To give form to music does not require as much theory and technique as most people think. In fact, it is as simple as applying the principles of repetition and contrast.
Now in most new age piano music there is some kind of form that the composer uses whether it's extended "A" form ala Michael Jones, or extended "A" extended "B" and back to "A" again as in some of George Winston's music. Think in sections people. A section of music can last for as long as the person who created it is involved with it- that is, as long as the inspiration is fresh.
As soon as the music sounds dull it's time for a change - the next section of music. This is the point where a composer will add something-new (contrast) or, if she is smart, end the piece. If the music does not have that freshness, that touch of inspired in the moment fantasy, you'll be able to detect and hear it. Some composers are so in touch with their feeling that they can take you on a 20 or 30 minute journey using very little means - but by using the elements of repetition and contrast maintain listener interest.
First, get your "A" section. The first few bars (8 usually) is more than enough to propel you forward. You must adopt a listening attitude to hear what is coming next. You don't force nor will it into being. This will not give you what you want, which is, I'm assuming, inspired content. Listen, listen, listen and the music will come. If it doesn't just do what Beethoven did.
He worked on 3 or 4 pieces at a time. When the inspiration dried up on a particular piece he was working on, he just moved on to another and picked up on the others later on. You can do the same. Be bold and go forward. Don't be afraid of making mistakes. Be afraid of not trying.
Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music's online piano lessons. He has been helping students learn how to play piano in the New Age style for over 14 years and works with students in private, in groups, and now over the internet. Stop by now at http://www.quiescencemusic.com/piano_lessons.html for a FREE piano lesson!
Benatar and Geraldo - Still Rockin on a High Note
Most people look forward to the summer months because they bring warmer temperatures, vacations, outdoor gatherings, and longer days. Those are all fine and dandy, but what really gets my fires stoked for the warm season is when the Queen of Rock (a.k.a. Pat Benatar to the uneducated) takes her show on the road. Always the dutiful parents, Pat and her husband/producer/lead guitarist Neil Geraldo wait for school to let out before beginning a tour so that they can bring their children along for the trip. Some kids get to visit Disneyland or the beach during their summer breaks; these kids get to see the country and the throngs of fans who think their mother is the bomb-diggity.
So You Wanna Learn How To Start a Record Label?
Well, you love music so much that you have decided you want to start a record label of your own. This can be a very exciting step and a fun one. The good news is, anyone can start their own record label if they know the right steps. It won't be an easy road by any means, but it is possible if you really desire to do it.
Its Jewish Music, But Is The Music Jewish?
A while back I was driving along the Jerusalem highway scanning the radio stations. On one frequency, a very intense dance beat was exploding out of the speakers. I was about to move the dial some more in search of a Jewish tune when the vocalist started in. Shock of shocks, he was a heavily Hassidic singer, complete with eastern European pronunciation. And what was he singing? "Kumee oy'ree ki va oy-reich.." from 16th century Rabbi Shlomo Alkavetz' classic Sabbath poem, L'cha Dodi. Before he had began his rendition I had been expecting something like "Oh baby, the way you move with me ..."!
Performance and Gigs
"For optimum amp tone onstage, plug your amp into your own AC outlet.." - Eric Johnson
Top 7 Donts for Successful Improvisation
1. Don't try and make something happen. Trying blocks the creative flow and will result in blocks.
The Future for Independent Record Labels
Small independent record labels are facing a different fight today to obtain a share of the music industry. The best possible means in which small labels were able to get their CD's sold vanished in 2003 when Southwest Wholesale Records and Tapes closed the doors. The ability to have their music placed in a position to be sold along the same shelves as the major record labels is becoming increasingly more difficult. The absence of competition on the shelves has generated an increase in profits for the major labels. What can smaller more nimble labels do to compete with the major labels?
Music For Self Improvement
Would you like to pop in a CD and have a better quality of life, and even self improvement? There are three ways you can use music to accomplish this.
Shut Up And Sing
What is it with these performers and their politics? Do they really think that people who pay $100 or more to hear them sing want to hear them utter political opinions? The audience pays hundreds of thousands of dollars to see and hear a performer PERFORM. You want to spout politics, run for freakin office, you moron! When performers use a paid venue to play politics they are abusing the paying audience, the venue, the sponsors and everyone connected to their artistic performance. It's an inappropriate venue and inapproprite behavior to voice your political viewpoint, you jerk! And they wonder why people boo.
Setting Up In-House Retail Sales
Now, that you are familiar and likely connected with online music sales sites, such as CD Baby, or combination online/offline retail sites, such as The Orchard, you are probably comfortable in having your music distribution and sales fairly covered.
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.
Piano Playing For Adults: More Fun Than Sex And Not Nearly As Dangerous!
OK, so I lied about the fun part.
10 Music Download Legal Points
Everybody's doing it: downloading music and sharing files. People who share music files on the Internet argue that downloading is legal; today they can be sued by the record industry. Can one be sued without a great intrusion into personal lives of an individual?
Can You Really Learn To Play a Musical Instrument From an Online Course?
Out of the 250 million people in the United States, about 25 million of them play an instrument of some kind, or used to when they were in school and would like to pick up where they left off. Another 30 million or so sing in a church choir, a barbershop quartet, or at the very least, in the shower.
1959 Stratocaster Vintage Guitars
Mid 1959 Stratocaster vintage guitars have a slabrosewood fingerboard with white "clay" positiondots. The fingerboard radius of this Fender guitaris 7.25". The bottom fingerboard is flat. VintageFender Stratocasters made July 1959 and afterbasically will have rosewood fingerboards. Theneck now has a very thin "D" backshape, by theend of 1959 it gets even thinner.
Is the Mainstream Ready Once Again for Dance Music?
Not since the heyday of Dance/Pop Artists like Taylor Dayne and Paula Abdul has Dance Music been a mainstream category. Today, "Dance Music" as defined by Billboard's Dance Club Chart represents only a very small segment of the music market. But thanks to the recent CD Release "Sleeping in the Nothing" from Kelly Osbourne and another upcoming CD release from Entertainment Media magnet Paris Hilton, that could very well change.
How to Play Piano Using a Few Chords
How many chords do you need to create a piece of music? Would you believe that it doesn't really matter and that whole pieces of music have been created using just one chord? For example, if you play a D minor 7 chord, you could use the bass note D to create a drone effect and anchor the whole improvisation. It could last for a few seconds or many minutes.
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.
Avoiding Injuries When Playing Guitar
To avoid any sort of injuries when playing guitar a common sense approach is recommended. Just what do I mean by that?
The Revolution has begun - and it will not be Televised The new Artist Development Paradigm
In reflecting on the world of the Music Business in 2004, there were some very profound and dramatic changes that changed the nature of the Music Business itself. 2004 will always be remembered as the year the 'Big Five' became the 'Big Four' and don't be surprised if you're reading at this time next year and we're telling you about the 'Big Three'! Beside the Sony/BMG merger, 2004 will also be remembered as the year labels utilized aggressively utilized video games as a marketing vehicle for the launching of many of their artists.
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