OLD MIDI Setup From Museum of Musical Instruments in Brussels

OK, so this photo is of a pretty OLD MIDI setup, but I’m a sucker for nostalgia!

In this post, I’ll show you how to hook up your electronic piano or keyboard to your computer and begin taking advantage of the fabulous technology known as MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface).

There will actually be very little video about the actual hookup, since that part is very simple. In fact, here’s what you need:

  • A MIDI-enabled piano or keyboard (look for the MIDI In, Out and Thru connections on the back)
  • A computer with an available USB port
  • A USB-MIDI interface, like theĀ E-Mu Xmidi 1X1 V3 USB MIDI Interface found at Amazon (about $25)

And here’s what to do:

  • Plug the interface into your computer and let your computer automatically install the drivers. If it does NOT, you may need to use the CD included with your MIDI interface, or simply download the latest drivers from the manufacturer’s website
  • Using a MIDI cable (available online or from your local music store), or simply using the interface itself (like the E-Mu), connect the MIDI OUT port from your keyboard to the MIDI IN port on the interface
  • Using another MIDI cable, or the interface itself, connect the MIDI IN port from your keyboard to the MIDI OUT port on the interface

That’s it!

This video goes a little more detail on all this:

Now comes the REALLY fun part!

You can now use your keyboard to enter music into notation programs like Finale NotePad, AND you can record performances – NOT the audio, but the actual performance as MIDI events (also known as sequencing) using a free tool like Anvil Studio.

Check out this video for all the details:

I hope this blog post and these videos gave you just enough information to be dangerous with your computer and electronic piano or keyboard! Once you get the hang of MIDI and begin using these software tools, you’ll find a whole new world of musical creativity and fun, literally at your fingertips.

So, jump in, play around, and explore the amazing, musical world of MIDI!

AND…

Please leave a comment if you enjoyed this post, have any questions, or might like me to put together a more formal course on the subject. Thanks!

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New Age Piano

by Bill Romer

For some reason, “New Age” piano always gets me in the holiday spirit. I’m not exactly sure why.

I start thinking about snow and cold, moonlit nights, and sitting around a darkened house late at night after the kids are in bed, playing or listening to piano music. There’s something that’s very peaceful and meditative to me about new age piano, especially when it’s music that I associate with the holidays.

Here in the US, we’re getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks, and if there is an actual “Thanksgiving Song,” to me it would be “We Gather Together.” I probably have some elementary school anchor to that song somewhere deep in my consciousness… I don’t know.

Anyway, that’s why I decided to put together my latest video piano lesson, New Age Piano… FAST!, where I show you just how simple it is to create your own New Age piano sounds for just about any song you like (but it does work better for simple, traditional melodies, like this one:

And for the next few days, I’m offering this brand new course for a very special introductory price. But that’s only until this Sunday, November 17th at Midnight, so…

Click Here Now To Claim Your Discount Copy,
While There’s Still Time

And you’ll be enjoying the smooth, peaceful sounds of New Age Piano – from your OWN piano – in just a couple of hours!

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Simple – But Effective – Left Hand Piano Techniques

September 25, 2013

I get quite a few questions about what to play in the left hand on the piano, and I realized that a lot of what I play – especially in dueling piano shows, where my job is to get people to dance or sing along – is just ridiculously simple. So, I put together this [...]

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Piano Accompaniment Tips

September 23, 2013

Here’s a quick video with a few tips on how to accompany yourself or another singer or instrumentalist on the piano. I cannot overstate this – BE CONSISTENT in your rhythmic and harmonic patterns. Some variation is OK, but it’s your job to provide a solid foundation for the singer WITHOUT distracting the listener from [...]

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Yellow Submarine On The Piano

September 12, 2013

As a “Thank You” to Lee Clarke, one of my students who introduced me to a fantastic website and Apple app for learning songs, I put together a quick video lesson to show you how to play The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” on the piano. The website is wikifonia.org, where you can get a bunch of [...]

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C Blues Piano Scale

August 27, 2013

Here’s a quick lesson on playing the C blues scale on the piano. It’s a simple little scale and, combined with the nifty chords I teach you in this quick lesson, you’ll be making some pretty cool, bluesy sounds on the piano in no time!   It helps me to think of the C blues [...]

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C Major and F Major Piano Scales

August 16, 2013

Here’s a quick video about how to learn scales super-fast by visualizing and feeling the “shape” of the scale on the piano keyboard.   To reinforce this pattern concept, here’s a color-coded image of the C Major Piano Scale. The red keys represent the first grouping of 3 keys – played by your thumb (finger [...]

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How To Play Piano Chords That Sound Good

July 16, 2013

You may have learned how to play piano chords from a piano teacher, a music book you picked up, or even a YouTube video, but you probably learned the simple mechanics of playing chords – basic fingering, which notes go to which chords, and so on. Perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones, but I’m [...]

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Famous Piano Players: Oscar Peterson

March 22, 2013

  OK, first of all, I have to thank James for his comment on my earlierĀ post – he got me to go check out Oscar Peterson playing with Andre Previn on YouTube, and it is phenomenal. Check out the duet, starting at about 2:45 into the video:   Andre Previn is definitely the topic of [...]

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Irish Piano

March 16, 2013

Well, I’m in Joplin, MO for St. Patrick’s Day, but I wanted to post a little Irish piano lesson on my blog, so I fired up my smart phone and put this together for you. Not the highest production values in the world, and I hadn’t had my hair done yet, but hopefully you can [...]

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