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  #101  
Old 10-28-2009, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Piano Tips

Playing at least some amount of modern music is a good idea as it helps you become a more well-rounded pianist and a more well-rounded musician. You don't have to focus on it, but playing in multiple styles strengthens your abilities. Even Ella Fitzgerald sang a classical riff now and then!
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  #102  
Old 10-28-2009, 07:58 PM
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In playing modern music, you will find uses of polytonality. This means playing in two distinct keys at the same time.
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  #103  
Old 10-28-2009, 07:59 PM
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Polychords are a cousin of polytonality. You will find them in music from the late impressionist period forward. A common example would be a C chord in the left hand and a D chord in the right hand.
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  #104  
Old 10-28-2009, 08:00 PM
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Passing chords have been used since the Romantic Era of "classical" music. They are simply a chord that lies in between a beginning chord and en ending chord you arrive at. It is de-emphasized.
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  #105  
Old 10-28-2009, 08:02 PM
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One modern use of passing chords in jazz, blues, and popular music, is to play a chord one half step away from the one you will arrive at. Sometimes, blues artists such as Little Jimmy King or Eric Clapton will increase this to a whole step.
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  #106  
Old 10-28-2009, 08:07 PM
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Every interesting story must build some tension. Are you creating musical tension in your performance (not bodily tension). In classical music, you can do this by changing tempo, playing rubato in a section, gradually increasing OR decreasing your volume, changing your attack, use of pedal, and a number of other ways. Much of this will be directed by expression marks on the page.
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  #107  
Old 10-28-2009, 08:15 PM
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In jazz or an improvasitory music, the number of ways to create tension are limitless. Some ways are through introducing dissonance, losing a strict meter, using a more harsh or hollow tone, accented articulation, loss of melodic content, suspended chords and tones, playing extreme pitches, either low or high, or straying from the form of the song.
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  #108  
Old 10-28-2009, 08:27 PM
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In gospel music, as well as older styles of blues, it is common to "walk up" in tenths in the left hand from the I chord when changing the the IV chord.
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  #109  
Old 10-28-2009, 08:29 PM
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A really nice blues-styled gospel voicing of a dominant 7 chord for the right hand is 7, 9, 5. On a C7 chord, that would be Bb below middle C, D on top of middle C, and G above middle C.
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  #110  
Old 10-28-2009, 08:30 PM
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Regarding the gospel chord above; a great way to get into or begin the chord is to play the same chord up a whole step to begin with (C, E, A)!
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  #111  
Old 10-29-2009, 08:48 PM
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You'll hear a lot of talk and emphasis on playing slowly. And with good reason. However, my piano teacher once gave me a tip that seemed to give my playing a boost. Every now and then, have a little fun and push yourself by trying some tempos that you might normally think of as somewhat out of reach. You may be surprised at what you are able to do! It can help break through a plateau in your playing ability.
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  #112  
Old 10-29-2009, 08:50 PM
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Think you know chords and chord symbols? Try conquering "Figured Bass". This is a way of notating chord progressions that was commonly used in the baroque era. It can give you a very granular view of baroque harmony. Best way to practice? Grab a book of J.S. Bach's Chorales.
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  #113  
Old 10-29-2009, 08:59 PM
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If you play any type of popular music, it would behoove you to learn the form of the "12 bar blues" and it's main variations intimately. The form is used in hundreds of Popular and Jazz songs and in every true Blues song.
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  #114  
Old 10-29-2009, 09:02 PM
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Want to hear some really "Out There" ways of playing (or not playing, in the case of "4:33")the piano? Try exploring John Cage in the classical world, or Kenny Clarke in the jazz world.
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  #115  
Old 10-30-2009, 04:46 PM
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Trying to think of ways to motivate you or your child to experience the joy and growth of playing the piano? Ask yourself this - What motivates you (or them) in general? Achievement? Competition? Opportunity for relaxation? Recognition? Try to find ways to achieve these rewards through piano playing.
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  #116  
Old 10-30-2009, 04:48 PM
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Be willing to be flexible in the amount of practice your child does on a daily basis if necessary. Just make sure they are practicing as much per week as they need to and that is is not overly concentrated in just 2 or 3 days.
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  #117  
Old 10-30-2009, 04:49 PM
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Playing piano gives you a wonderful opportunity to make a recording for friends and family. It can be an mp3, a CD, or even a tape. And it can be just one song, or multiple songs.
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  #118  
Old 10-30-2009, 04:51 PM
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If you do decide to make a recording for friends and family, you may find that you have all of the technology to do so by using your computer and free software available online. If not, consider purchasing an inexpensive, unpowered condenser microphone for your computer (they can even be very small). Other alternatives include using a handheld recorder or even the video function on your point-and-shoot camera!
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  #119  
Old 10-30-2009, 04:53 PM
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Here's a creative way for children of all ages to keep track of practice time if needed; put two glass jars on the piano. Fill one with small, uniform items, such as pennies, beads, or paperclips. Transfer one to the empty jar for every 10 minutes of practice. Count them up at the end of your session to see how close you are to your weekly goal!
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  #120  
Old 10-30-2009, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: Piano Tips

Physical rewards for playing piano, such as a treat, "tv time", money, etc., may be successful in the short term to spark interest, but they will be unsuccessful over time in cultivating the non-material rewards needed to stay involved in music over the long term.
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