Mastering the piano in and of itself is easy.
Mind you I am not talking about mastering reading sheet music or transcribing.
Plainly put I am talking about becoming proficient playing the piano.
Here is all you need to know:
1. Exercise your fingers and thumbs so that you have total control over them. You can do this any whe1re, at work, in the car, at school, in bed, . . . anywhere. Fingering exercises are the key to playing anything and everything, with out finger control you will struggle with most compositions.
2. Learn some basic cords and their respective fingering patterns, you will see why later, just do it.
3. Play piano melodies based around your fingering patterns in your head 24/7
4. Sit at an actual piano and visualize everything you have done up till now, . . . walla!!!!
you are now playing the piano.
improvisation is the gateway to your creative spirit, have fun with it and remember there is no such thing as a wrong note.
Over time you will develop your own style and playing technique.
in the end the only one you need to impress is yourself, so again relax and have fun.
In a world dominated by hip hop, r&b, and rock in all it's various formats, does anyone still listen to just the plane old pianoforte?
Not only does pop culture totally ignore this genre of music, it buries it deep into a lump genre of reference called Classical, and sadly that is all you will get, the same great historical composers and their compositions we have all heard over and over into adnauseum.
So, is there a current market for creative pianoforte composers?
The answer can be looked at in two ways, each determined by who you are and how you approach obstacles.
One could argue that in today's modern musical climate, there is no space or need specifically for the pianoforte as it is already widely used in pop, country, hip hop, rap, etc . . . and if you did, you would be forever releasing covers of the masters just to stay relevant on the Classical stations and aficionados.
I disagree and argue that today's musical climate is the perfect storm for the Solo Pianoforte to take a leading position on the music scene.
O.K., so now that you are done laughing, hear me out . . .
1st we already stated that the pianoforte is used heavily as the foundation for most hit songs in every genre of music from hip hop to country and everything in between, so that is exactly why it will work, the general populace is already predisposed to hearing and listening to piano.
Second, Solo Piano crosses all language barriers, as does all instrumental music, but the piano more than any crosses over universally, as apposed to using a sitar or didgeridoo which are indigenous sounds to a respective place and time. The piano is universally accepted in every culture across the planet.
3rd, Solo pianoforte is the cleanest and purist music one could listen to, to heighten the senses, and awaken the chakras.
4th, The field is wide open and prime for someone to step in and make a dent. Unlike other musical genres that are overly saturated with new contenders dropping new releases daily, who could compete in a semi rigged system. The Solo Piano genre is so wide open the doors are begging pianist to walk through.
5th and this is the big one, I think people are generally tired of the run of the mill music pumped out by the mindless media puppet masters. Face it, how many times can you listen to the same 3 words being repeated in the 3 minute song, played 3 times and hour? . . . over it. My personal belief is that with what people now have to access, gather and listen to music, will change the style and genre of music as executives will now be selling it differently. Kind of like video games, the arcade games were meant for you to die quick so you would put in more quarters, once home systems came out those games lost their appeal since there was no real consequence to losing just reset and go, so they started creating games that would lure you in and take long periods of time to play.
I think music will follow this trend since advertisers don't have to shove an ad on us every 3 minutes between songs, now they can be more creative and it is a win win win for everyone. Artist get airplay, advertisers make money, and people finally get a real choice in what they want to here.
I have chosen the pianoforte as my voice, but there are many other genres that are wide open for the taking, some haven't even been defined or created yet, forge your own path with your music and art, don't let anyone tell you your doing it wrong. The only thing you can do wrong is to stop altogether, believe in yourself and persevere.
Also, be careful how you define success, as it comes in many doses!
I am constantly amazed at people who loath practicing the pianoforte, or any instrument for that matter.
If you have a love and a passion for something you would never stop practicing.
So here is how I have practiced the piano over the ages, this may not work for everyone and I by no means am a teacher of music.
Fist off, I never stop practicing. So what, don't I work, eat and sleep like everyone else?!?, of course I do, but my brain is always "On" and it is constantly writing new music and playing it in my head.
At school, or while watching T.V. even my fingers are always taping and working out new complex finger control arrangements.
When I actually do find the time to actually sit at a real piano and play, it seems the practice has already been worked out in my head and all I need to do is execute.
Spending time on a pianoforte is the most uplifting enjoying experience one can have, feeling all your senses come alive makes all the practicing worth the while, . . . but really when you can't shut it off the boundaries between practicing and playing become blurred, and in the end all that matters is that you thoroughly enjoy what you do.
The real trick with any instrument is to do a little each day continually as a habit, as apposed to trying to cram a bunch into one day.
Also as a side note: (pun intended) growing up I had access to several pianos, one at the School of Arts in Cuernavaca Mexico, some in churches and recreational centers as well as at various primary and secondary schools I attended.
So by no means was there ever a shortage of pianos to practice on.
Later in life (teen years) we were fortunate enough to have a pianoforte in the house (apt).
So here is the side note, even though all of these pianos were tuned, they really were never perfect.
Learning by ear I realized I was teaching myself wrong because of how badly tuned the pianos were.
I reluctantly upgraded to a digital keyboard and my playing has improved so much. Having a perfectly tuned piano is "Key" to learning correctly therefore should be instrumental in the early stages of learning.
However just because you can not afford a keyboard and there are no real piano's close by for you to practice on, no worries, I actually painted keys over a cardboard box as a kid and used it to practice on, never let money become the deciding factor on what you want to do.
Share below some of your methods for practicing the pianoforte!
(uploaded this rough draft, still working on the visuals that correspond, and eventually a video, stay tuned,
feed back from personal experiences welcomed and encouraged especially if you give permission to share with others, thanx)
So we have all heard the proverbial story,
some one, some where, just uploads a video to a social media platform, and "BOOM" it gets a Kaplillion Hits and they are a Mega Star over night . . . the problem with that story is, it's never any one we know, more importantly it's never "YOU"!
Why not? It seems to happen every day to so many people?
While yes that may be true, it is only the partial truth.
I am about to reveal to you the inside secrets, that are not really secrets at all but a simple formula to navigate and master the art of self publishing in the music marketplace as an independent Artist.
At this point so we are clear, this is not an article on how to create music, or compose or on how to be creative, this article assumes you are already that quality and furthermore assumes you also have a product to release to the public such as an Album or Song.
So, if you have self qualified that this is for you and are still reading then let me guess, you busted your ass writing incredible music, you then went to great lengths to record this new masterpiece. Then you spend months in post production editing and working on details, you then have really cool artwork done up, you get a facebook page for it and maybe even a youtube channel, you go to one of those online self publishing mega corporations like CD Baby or Tunecore that will send your music to a gagillion radio staions across the globe and will make it available across every social media platform imaginable on the world wide web all the while collecting royalties on your behalf
wow, sounds great, sign me up . . . .
and then . . . . wait for it, . . . . wait for it, . . . . .
crickets - AKA NOTHING
Well not counting the one download your mom bought, the couple of views that were yours because you wanted to check on it like a new born baby.
If this has happened to you then keep reading, it this scenario never happened to you then go back to playing video games or what ever it is you do.
Now for those that have self qualified & can relate to that or a similar scenario and are still here reading,
Congratulations! You live in the Real World!!!
So what is the majick that makes it all happen, well, I do not know, but what I do know is simple and works. What I can show you will not guarantee you any amount of success but it will show you proven ways to navigate through today's musical marketplace.
Lets start with the internet, this is where most of your work will be done in this new era.
My strategy is simple, I took all of the "Old School" real world techniques from going from a "Garage Band" and taking that to the next level to a "Local Band", then a "Touring Band" and applied those proven techniques and proven applications to the digital realm of the World Wide Internet and guess what, not only can this formula be applied but it can be scaled and tailored to specifically your needs.
Wow, then this must be some kind of majic, . . .
Well if it is, here is the trick . . . acytually this is my second story, and unlike the first which results in crickets, this one delivers . . . .
The internet is called the "information highway" for a reason.
So lets think of it as exactly that a HIGHWAY.
Now lets think of your "Album" or "Your Song" as your "Vehicle", after all you can't travel down the Highway without a "Vehicle".
Now Lets think of your facebook page as your "Driveway", after all you will need a place to park your vehicle when you are not traveling down the information highway.
your youTube page is now your "Garage" as you will need a place to long term park and take care of all your "Vehicles".
any other social media sites, as well as websites consider as Clubs, Arenas, Venues, etc . . .
O.K. so I hope you are starting to visualize the Internet now as a little mini real world all linked with this really cool highway. (ya no sh!t, I know all that already is what you are probably thinking).
Now go reread the top story again but now think of it like this mini world and tell me where we all went wrong.
The solution is literally sitting right in front of our faces all along . . . .
our "Vehicle" you know the one we crafted and perfected, you know that one . . . .
YOU MUST AS WITH ANY VEHICLE PUT GAS IN IT AND DRIVE IT OTHERWISE IT WILL JUST SIT THERE AND DO NOTHING, LITERALLY!!!!!
(bet you didn't know that one)
So let's add "Gas" to the equation, "Gas" will be defined as any where you chose to buy gas, such as Google Adwords, facebook, twitter, youTube, instagram, etc . . .
We literally live in an era where pay for play is not only legal but expected.
Here is how I had to Bootleg myself, meaning my own copyrighted works of art, just so I could self promote and grow effectively. Let me explain real simply what I did.
My Mega Corp.Self Publishing Label makes sure to keep track of any one that infringes on my musical publishing rights, including myself, this can be turned into an advantage.
Obviously they release my "Vehicle" to many outlets, but what they never do or claim to do is promote it, that is left to you.
If you really thought your music or craft was that awesome that all you had to do is just have it uploaded to the internet, . . . then you severely deluded your self and set yourself up for disappointment without even realizing it.
Ask yourself one question, which major label artist does not advertise?
Which new movie coming out never advertises?
Your suped-up mega vehicle is sitting on the side of the road and it won't move!!!!!
Of course not, put some gas it it and drive it, it really is that simple.
So, here are some of the benefits to Bootlegging your own music:
A: you control when and where you drive it (where you choose to market it)
B: you control the look, length, and artistic style of the video you upload of your vehicle instead of relying on a cookie cutter stamp out video
C: you choose any and all links back to your other platforms such as band website, twitter account, facebook, etc, . . ."
D: and this one by far is my favorite, you are privy to all the metrics, and I cant over-stress how important this is, I would use keywords on ads and webpages only to find out later via the metrics which words were working and which were not this allows you to correct your ads in real time.
E. Collateral Damage: the best part is the collateral damage received by driving your "Vehicle" on the information highway, here are a couple - my subscribers and followers grow quicker, this is huge because they are making a commitment to check out your next release or upload which means they liked what they heard and want more, that my friends is what this is all about, creating a fan base one person at a time! Having my other uploads uh I mean "Vehicles" watched more is also some collateral damage, funny how driving one vehicle makes all the vehicles more popular all of a sudden.
F: The one you have all really been wanting to hear from word one of this article, SALES!!!
Yes, sales are also collateral damage
uh oh, why is that considered collateral damage and not the main event your asking?!?!?
Well, like I stated, these are "Old School" ways of moving from a garage band to a successful working band, sales ironically are a bi-product of that adventure, if you are doing it for the money, then this article probably wasn't for you, it's not to say you wont make money, you very well may, but this method places the emphasis on doing what you love, making music, not making money.
Here is some basic math on how you can drive your "Vehicle" for practically Free
I released a 14 song pianoFORTE Album,
I used Tunecore as my self publishing agent
I then uploaded a single video to youtube with all 14 tracks knowing that their cookie cutter method was going to upload the album as individual tracks, this way, I also have something that is unique.
youtube then flagged my upload as having copyrighted content, and told me no worries they would run ads and send them to the copyright owner via tunecore, since that is still me, no worries, basically I just bootlegged my own music.
I then used Google adwords to place the video as a choice to any one that was searching for "piano", "instrumental" (this is where being able to change these words on the fly is crucial)
After that I picked the location I want my song uh vehicle to drive to, it could be a country, a city, multiple cities or countries, you choose.
After driving your vehicle you can view the metrics and guide the car better, think of the metrics as GPS, with this tool you can lower your cost, maximize the areas that like your vehicle and avoid the areas that dont, and all of it in real time, . . . (for the most part)
so, ya, back to the basic math part, I was able to have my vehicle available for people to test drive for around .02 cents a ride, but remember there are 14 tracks all of which are running ads, so, even if I only get 1/2 cent per add, it still totals .07 cents minus the .02 cent cost of acquisition so each view yields me $0.05 cents whoo hooo, I'm rich!!! (no seriously, scale that out over 5 years)
Think about it though this is a self perpetuating system, and you can spend as little as $1.00 a day or less on gas or you can spend $1,000.00 dollars or more a day, the choice is yours and the results should be the same, so what this means is just like the Big Boys you now know the big secret and the majick of how to have your music go viral.
It's called "PAID PROMOTION" and it's a practice that goes back to the beginning of time, but for some reason on the internet we forget this rule and think all we have to do is upload our craft.
Luckily we do live in times that allows us to promote ourselves in this way, because as we have all seen what happens to ourselves when we leave it up to some one else, it will never happen.
Hope this article helps with your musical project, and keep in mind any expert will tell you if you have a $100.00 dollars to spend on advertising, spend $1.00 a day for 100 days you will get way better results than if you spend $100.00 in one day, while yes that will get your general numbers up high quick, they will be hollow, meaning in one day you can not create a fan base, in order to do that you need to be in their presence more frequently and it is that frequency that results in a true admirer of your work.
So remember, in this day and age it is no longer good enough to just upload something on the internet. If you do not promote it in some way it will sit still and wither away, further more you might begin to question if you are even good or not, you are!, you can not park a car and expect to win the race, it is time you gas that sucker up and get in the drivers seat, it is time to win that race.