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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Japan Jam Session

I went to Tokyo at the end of last year around 2010 and one of my doujin friends took me out to do a jam session.

As one of my other friends from Australia who also plays piano went to Japan at the same time, i also invited him to join the Jam session.

My friend in Japan (one on the right) taught me some basic chord progressions to play while the friend from Australia on the left did some improvisation so we could play an improvisation of Pachelbel’s Canon.

It sounded okay, but i felt I really need more experience with doing jam sessions.

— Posted from an iPad

Piano practice

Over the weekend, I spent some time recording some videos of my piano practice on the new piano. These videos have some of the older songs I recorded before, but I also recorded some new songs too. I also included an intro bit of the “You” song from the Higurashi anime.

I’m happier with the composition session this time. It still needs a lot of work, but i’m starting to make it sound a bit more decent. I still don’t know how to put in the black keys, but I guess that will come in time. Perhaps when I learn more about playing in different keys.

Enjoy!

You intro from the anime Higurashi no naku koro ni
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yuf9bylWrtQ[/youtube]
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My new piano arrived!!

This morning, my new piano (Yamaha T121) arrived safely on time at around 9:30am. The piano fortunately fit in the area that I made some room for it. The piano was transported by 2 staff from Sound Centre and it only took them about 10 minutes to move the piano into the place I had prepared. It was certainly much faster then I had anticipated. When peeking at the contents of the truck, when my piano was being unloaded, there were several upright pianos as well as a grand piano in there.

P1120529

When I tested out the piano, it was actually louder than I had imagined but was still fine. Although I am glad that I didn’t buy a piano with a larger cabinet, otherwise, It would be far too loud.

P1120533 P1120536

After finishing work for the day, I spent the rest of my time playing the piano for most of the day. The sound quality is most definitely a lot better than my digital piano’s sound. Because of the loudness of the piano, I doubt I’d be able to practice too late at night, so I’ll have to resort to using my digital piano for night practice. My parents also are quite impressed with the new piano.

Anyways, I am really happy with the piano and plan to keep up with my piano practice.