Archive for the ‘Pianos’ Category

Typical piano practice

This is pretty much what my parents put up with everyday when I practice the piano. It’s a long video with me playing with all the mistakes included. I admit that I picked the more interesting songs from my song playlist for the video.
I use the iPad to tell me what songs I should practice. It shows me a list of songs I can play, tells me how recently I’ve practiced it and it can record how long I practice it for. So far I’m averaging about 1 hour of practice a day, although some days it’s a bit less.

My teacher started me on playing songs before learning to read, so I can play most songs from memory (about 1 hours worth), but need to practice every day so I don’t forget them. I’ve started reading music recently so I have been concentrating on quite a bit too.
As you can tell, the main song i’ve been practicing lately is Fur Elise as I learnt it fairly recently.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7_yr9GqAdI[/youtube]

Fur Elise

This is the first part to Fur Elise that I learnt 3 weeks ago. I’ve noticed how chord based this piece is after learning it and noticing the broken chord patterns in the left hand.

I think I still need to work on this piece more, but since I hadn’t posted anything for a while, I decided to record it and post it.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfDQXdpUdbc[/youtube]

Hybrid Rainbow jam session

Over the easter break I did a few jam sessions with a guitar playing friend of mine. This is one of the songs we played.

For this one, it didn’t take very long to learn the chords, and I managed to play them in time quite reasonably after about 4-5 tries. I’ve learnt a lot from the jam session.

I found that counting was really important to keeping the parts in sync. Just playing by ear results in getting lost in the song and unable to recover quickly if you miss a note.

Also check out my friend’s cover of the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmF5xPNJYy4

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhiBbz1c7C4[/youtube]

Tiny Boat after jam session practice

Over the easter break I did a few jam sessions with a guitar playing friend of mine. One of the songs we work on was Tiny Boat.

It took me a while to learn the chords (too many minor 7th chords!) and to figure out when to play them as we had no band score to work from for this particular song. I eventually managed to play it once without mistakes, but missed out on recording it! 🙁

Instead, this is just some after jam practice I did the day before perfecting it. The timing is quite a bit off in this take.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxRwasPIf90[/youtube]

Dark Blue

This is one of my favorite pieces in the Simply Music piano method.

It is a jazz piece composed by Neil Moore from the Level 4 repertoire and is quite different from the other songs I’ve learnt. It sounds more atmospheric and uses the damper pedal quite a lot to mix all the notes together.

I’ve been learning piano for about 2 years.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEs1s1E6I04[/youtube]

願いが叶う場所 Negai ga kanau basho

This is my third self-taught song. I learnt this song from the visual novel game and anime Clannad by using the song as practice for sightreading the right hand which went well. I figured I should try learn the left hand part as well and after a weekend and a few days after work of practice I managed to play it both hands!

This is recorded using my new Zoom Q3HD camera that I received in the mail yesterday.

The video looks bad compared to my digital camera but the sound quality is great! Next time I’ll try recording during the day time when there is more light and see if it’s any better.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G198iryHt5s[/youtube]

ef – Regained Time (Piano and Violin Jam session)

I really like this song from the visual novel game called “ef – the latter tale”, so with another friend who plays violin at my drawing club, we attempted to play it with limited success.

I figured out the chords from the music sheet and arranged my own basic accompaniment with my friend sightreading the melody on violin.

I totally messed up the chords in some parts! lol! In my opinion it sounded like a disaster as I messed it up, but it’s all for fun! 😀

We did re-record a few more times, but we got worse the more we retook. orz.

This is my 2nd time trying to play piano with other people. I have to say it’s rather challenging. Need to build up my experience.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oRXe94vuH0[/youtube]

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni – You

After making some progress by learning to play Tsubasa wo Kudasai, I decided to focus back on the “You” song that I could only play the intro part from.

I’ve been working on this song for a while and now can play most of it apart from one part which I have a lot of trouble with that involves a lot of fast high notes that are written on ledger lines.

Anyways, I’m liking how it sounds now, it’s definitely is a step forward from my initial “You” intro videos and sounds more complete.

Again, I have been learning piano for almost 1.5 years.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-aYMNAtfqM[/youtube]

Tsubasa wo Kudasai

So far with my music studies, apart from the Simply music songs, I’ve only really managed to learn the intro to the Higurashi – You song that I self taught myself. Another self-taught song that I worked on recently is Tsubasa wo kudasai.

It seems to be a popular song in Japan and is used in the anime K-on and is the ending song of the Evangelion 2.0 movie. I wanted to play it on piano because of the catchy melody.

At the time, I still couldn’t read music sheets so I worked on memorizing the right hand melody, figured out the chords to put into the left hand and improvised playing them as arpeggios (I’ve since learnt that this is called making an arrangement of a song). I had to work with my piano teacher to fix up my selection of chords but thanks her I am now able to play it both hands!

When I managed to learn this song, I’d been playing for almost 1 and a half years with Simply Music piano lessons.

I based this arrangement from the music sheet available below under “K-ON! - Tsubasa o Kudasai” at: http://josh.agarrado.net/music/anime/

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqtKI62UbAw[/youtube]

KORG microPiano

When in Japan last year, on 28th December, I bought a KORG microPiano after trying one out at Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara. I gave it a go for few times and giving it some thought for a few days, I decided to buy it.

I was after a portable digital piano that I could take with me when I wanted to practice away from home or to do an informal jam session with friends.

It cost me 27500 yen, (about $300AU) so it was quite decently priced for it’s specs. I actually like the piano sound of this over my other two digital piano sounds.

Since there was a lack of reviews on the microPiano anywhere at the time, I recorded some videos of me playing various songs on it. It seems these videos have increased my youtube views quite a bit.

Alma mater blues by Neil Moore on KORG microPiano
I was testing the electric piano sound in the MicroPiano.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34pRgH_G6-A[/youtube]

Canon chord progression on KORG microPiano
My Japanese friend taught me this chord progression while I was in Japan. He transposed the chord progression to C for me when he was teaching it to me.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2AhZwYHQjU[/youtube]

Deep River on KORG microPiano
The song is Deep River by Neil Moore that I learnt from the Simply Music piano method.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7cNHaNHQbk[/youtube]

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