Contrary to my own kind of mental block I’ve had for years, and possibly your own belief about your ability to play “flashy” piano licks and styles, boogie woogie piano is amazingly easy to play, and all it takes is a little analysis of some bass patterns and right-hand licks, with a few turnarounds and endings thrown in for good measure.
In this video, I’ll show you how I built a simple boogie woogie piano piece by putting together some basic elements, and how you can do the same.
No, this piece won’t make it onto the “Boogie Woogie Top 40” charts, but it will give you some nice tools to add to your piano arsenal, and maybe even dig more into boogie woogie piano.
If that’s the case, I suggest you check out my Boogie Woogie Piano… FAST! DVD/online video piano course, which is on sale for a very special “Back To School” price until Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 at midnight!
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)
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
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!
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!
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 video to show you how you can create a quick left hand piano accompaniment for just about any song.
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 their performance.
Don’t worry, you’ll have your turn in the spotlight 🙂
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 lead sheets absolutely free!
The app is called Capo and will allow you to slow down or speed up mp3 files to help you learn new songs. I haven’t tried it myself (I’m an Android guy at the moment), but I do plan on checking it out as soon as I get a chance.
Anyway, Lee had requested I put together a quick lesson on several songs. While I don’t normally take many requests (unless I get a lot of the same request), I decided to put this one together for Lee – and for you 🙂
This is a super-easy song to learn (even though it’s in the key of Gb), so check it out and get it into your repertoire today!
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 1), index finger (2) and middle finger (3). The green keys represent the second grouping of 4 keys – played by your thumb, index finger, middle finger and ring finger (1,2,3,4). The yellow key (C) means that you can start the 3-note pattern over again with your thumb, or simply play the yellow key with your pinky finger (5), if you’re going to be coming back down the keyboard.
And here’s a color-coded image of the F Major Piano Scale:
Scales may seem like one of the boring parts of learning to play piano, but, believe me, learning how to learn them fast – AND learning which chords to play them with – can dramatically improve your piano playing.
In fact, I’ve just put together a video piano course that shows you exactly how to do just that.
So, if you really want to take your piano playing to the next level by learning 19 unique scale structures (NOT just major and minor) in all 12 keys, check out my video piano course, Piano Scales… FAST! And right now, you can get it for almost 50% off the regular price, but only until Tuesday, March 28th, 2017 at midnight!
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 use these couple of tips today or tomorrow, or whenever you want to make some Irish sounds on the piano.
If you’d like to learn a simple, but beautiful arrangement of Danny Boy, be sure to check out my Danny Boy Video Piano Lesson (with a very special price before midnight, Sunday, March 17th, 2013) here:
If you’re on my email list, you probably know that I went to Joplin, Missouri to play piano on May 28th, about 1 week after they experienced the deadliest single tornado in recorded history.
I did end up shooting some video on my way to the club where I played, so I wanted to share that with you.
It’s a little choppy, since I was concentrating more on driving than I was on the video, but it still gives you an idea of just how devastating this tornado was.
You may also know that I held a sale on three of my piano courses to help offset some of the expenses for the bar owner and donate the rest to charity.
As it turns out, I was able to cover my gasoline and hotel on that trip (which the bar owner normally pays), and that was a big help to him, since he had about 1/3 of his normal business that night.
I’m going back down to play again this Saturday night, and,thanks to everyone who took advantage of my special sale, I’ll be handing him an additional $422 (or getting it into the hands of people who can put it to good use).
So, thanks to everyone who helped out with this, and I hope this type of natural disaster never visits your part of the world.
The Beatles’ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” is a great little song to learn on the piano, and it’s one I often play for my very first song of the evening at a piano bar. It gets everyone clapping and singing, and it’s an easy, fun little song.
The piano chords for “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” are very simple, so to celebrate the release of all The Beatles’ music on iTunes this week, I decided to post this little video lesson and show you how to play this classic Beatles song on the piano for yourself.