Piano Lessons For Beginners | Todd Porter | Skillshare

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Piano Lessons For Beginners

teacher avatar Todd Porter, Professional Music Educator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Piano Lessons For Beginners


    • 2.

      4 Essential Elements of Music


    • 3.

      Notes, and the musical alphabet


    • 4.

      Harmony and Chords


    • 5.



    • 6.



    • 7.

      Piano Setup and Buyers Guide


    • 8.

      Learn how to play the notes of the piano in your right hand and how to play your first scale.


    • 9.

      Piano Week 1 Practice


    • 10.

      Learn how to play the notes of the piano in your left hand and how to play your first scale.


    • 11.

      Piano Week 2 Practice


    • 12.

      Learn how to play your first chords


    • 13.

      Piano Week 3 Practice


    • 14.

      Learn how to play the A section structure with different rhythms


    • 15.

      Piano Week 4 Practice


    • 16.

      Learn how play the B section chord progression


    • 17.

      Piano Week 5 Practice


    • 18.

      Learn how play the one octave G major scale in the right hand


    • 19.

      Piano Week 6 Practice


    • 20.

      Learn how play the A section melody


    • 21.

      Piano Week 7 Practice


    • 22.

      Learn how play the B section melody


    • 23.

      Piano Week 8 Practice


    • 24.

      Learn how play your first scale pattern


    • 25.

      Piano Week 9 Practice


    • 26.

      Learn how play your second scale pattern


    • 27.

      Piano Week 10 Practice


    • 28.

      Learn how to take your first solo


    • 29.

      Piano Week 11 practice


    • 30.

      Learn how to put all the sections together and play the whole song


    • 31.

      Piano Week 12 Practice


    • 32.

      Jam Room 60bpm


    • 33.

      Jam Room 80bpm


    • 34.

      Jam Room 100bpm


    • 35.

      Welcome to the Music Coach Duo Series


    • 36.

      Bass Piano 1


    • 37.

      Bass Piano 2


    • 38.

      Bass Piano 3


    • 39.

      Clarinet Piano 1


    • 40.

      Clarinet Piano 2


    • 41.

      Clarinet Piano 3


    • 42.

      Flute Piano 1


    • 43.

      Flute Piano 2


    • 44.

      Flute piano 3


    • 45.

      Guitar Piano 1


    • 46.

      Guitar Piano 2


    • 47.

      Guitar Piano 3


    • 48.

      Sax Piano 1


    • 49.

      Sax Piano 2


    • 50.

      Sax Piano 3


    • 51.

      7 key steps to starting a band


    • 52.

      General gear guide


    • 53.

      How to create a furtile musical home


    • 54.

      How to create a sucessfull practice routine


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About This Class

This is the perfect place to start for beginner piano players! Take all the guess work out of how and what to practice. This program comes with specially designed practice videos for each lesson.

-Learn the basics of how music works with fun easy to understand animated videos.

-Use a proven system to take all the guess work out of what to practice.

-Gain the confidence to play your piano with others.

-Enjoy learning at a pace that is right for you.

Start Playing And Creating Music To Express Your Musical Self

You will learn everything you need to know about the piano, from how to place your hands and make your first sound, to how to play the piano in a band! This course also focuses on how to express yourself through music by teaching beginner improvisation (soloing). The goal of The Music Coach Piano Program is for you to fully express who you are through the instrument.

Content and Overview

I designed this program to help you begin your musical journey on the piano in the most efficient and fun way. This program is suitable for anyone who has a desire to play and has a working piano. There are over 2.5 hours of video lessons and practice videos.

The layout of the course uses a simple format:

-1 lesson video that explains a new concept/technique,

-1 practice video that has voice overs and graphics to help you play along with the teacher on the screen in "real time".

There are twelve sets of lessons and practice videos that help you learn melody, rhythm, harmony, and improvising. This program also contains a "Jam Room" with a virtual band that you can play along with at different speeds. As an added bonus there are also five music theory made easy animated videos that explain the basic building blocks of music.

At the end of this course you will have the confidence to play the piano both on your own and with others in different musical situations.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Todd Porter

Professional Music Educator


Multi-instrumentalist Todd Porter has been teaching music on several instruments for the past 15 years. In addition to teaching private lessons and workshops he is the horn section leader and arranger for the Bonified Truth, which backs up 2008 Toronto Blues Society winner Scott McCord (nominated for a 2010 Maple Blues Award for Best New Artist). He also leads The River Pilots, whose debut album reached the top 10 on the Canadian College radio Jazz charts in 2008 and was nominated for best World Music Song, and Best Country Music Song at the 2008 Ontario Independent music awards. The River Pilots Debut album was also featured on CBC Radio One shows, Disc Drive, Sunday Edition, and Fresh Air. Todd was a member of Toronto based Afro Funk group Mr. Something Something, where he toured Cana... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Piano Lessons For Beginners: I woke up in the Music Coach Online Piano program, where you'll learn from scratch How to Play the piano. My name is Todd Porter, and I'm a professional musician and educator from Canada, where I've been teaching and performing the last 15 years. Theme Music Coach program has been designed to get you playing with other people as quickly as possible, because the real joy and music is being able to express yourself with other people, listen and interact. And so the whole course curriculum has been designed around this idea of teaching you how to play the instrument, but at the same time teaching how toe have the skills you're gonna need to play people. By the end of the course, you're gonna have the confidence to pulling up friends and family and other people who play and get a jam session going, because the goal is to get you playing with other people as quickly as possible. The program starts by learning how to pick your first instrument, rent it or buy. It helps you move through how to put it together, make your first sound and learn how to play some scales and rhythms and harmony so that you can interact with other musicians as quickly as possible. This course is designed for complete beginners who are looking for a way to get into the musical game in a fun, fast and friendly way. If you've always dreamed about playing the piano and just not knowing where to start and you come to the right place, thank you for your interest in the Music Coach online piano program, and I hope you're as excited as I am to get started. 2. 4 Essential Elements of Music: What is music? Music is the language of the planet, spoken by every society since the beginning of time. Music is a vibrational language that allows us to convey complex ideas that spoken or written language alone cannot adequately express music gives us an almost unlimited vocabulary for communicating emotional information through sound way. Are all born musicians Theo Idea. That some of us are musicians and some of us are not is so far from the truth. It's laughable. You are made of music. Your heart is beating steadily in your body, keeping the rhythm of your life flowing. Your ears and voice are constantly working together to shape your experience through the sound you make and sounds. You hear it is all music, therefore, essential elements to be able to play music on any instrument. They are rhythm, harmony, melody and your passion for music. To explain these concepts, we're going to use the analogy of a train train itself is you. And the passion that you have for music is the boiler. Inside the train, you were born with the deep passion for music, like every other person whose ever been born and come before you and everyone who will come after you now you might be saying yourself, I have no passion for music or I can't even remember a time when I did thistles just simply because it got extinguished in you. And the good news is it could be reignited and made to burn hot and passionate again. The key to starting any good fire is to start with the right amount of fuel and a little bit of air. This is the same in music. One of the biggest problems people run into is they get overwhelmed. This is like putting too much wood down and trying to light it with one match. A roaring fire always starts out small, and it's helped, along with just the right amount of fuel at the right time and a continuous flow of air fire and the boiler of your train is the single most important part of your musical journey . Now, for a train to go anywhere it needs to go along a track. You can't just have a train in the middle of nowhere, with no track and get a fire burning hot and expected to go somewhere. A railroad track has three main elements. Railroad ties, which are the wooden beams that go along the ground. And two tracks, one on either side with trains. Wheels sit on rhythm is like the railroad ties, which are evenly spaced and allow for the stability for the train to move. Once the tracks are in place, railroad ties air spaced in a way that is even and breaks up the distance between two points so that time can be felt in a consistent way. If you put your train on top of just railroad ties, you're not gonna be going anywhere, so let's have the next piece of track. Harmony is the piece of track that runs alongside the railroad ties. It's fastened securely to them, which allows the rhythm to pass freely underneath harmonies most often expressed as cords. Cords air simply a grouping of three or more notes stacked vertically. The most common use of them, his major and minor. Most people experience major chords, is sounding happy, and minor chords is sounding sad. Almost all music that you've heard on the radio or on television and in movies is made up of major and minor courts. Melody is the piece of track on the other side. Opposite the Harmony, the melody is the most recognizable and distinctive part of any song to songs can have the same rhythmic and harmonic structure, but melodies are completely unique to the song from which they come from. When you think of a famous song in your head, most likely you're thinking about the melody. A melody is just simply a pattern of notes moving up or down involving the rhythm and interacting with the harmony that is connected to once you have these three elements of track of railroad ties, which of rhythm Harmony, which is one of the tracks in the melody, which is the other track your train can now roll along. Then all you have to do is keep adding more pieces of track your train control further and further faster and onward in your musical jury. 3. Notes, and the musical alphabet: throughout the world. There are many different notation systems in music in Western Europe and North America. We use a 12 tone system with the musical alphabet toe. Understand the 12 tone system. We first need to understand how we measure the distance between two notes, their two main distances used in our system. They're tones and semi tones. The easiest way to see and understand tones and semi tones is on a piano. A piano is made up of white keys and Blackie's, and a tone is the distance between two white keys with a black in the middle or between two black keys with a white key in the middle. A semi tone is our smallest unit of distance, which is between a white key in a blackie or between two white keys where there is no black he in the middle. All scales and music are simply a pattern of tones and semi tones that repeats. The most common one is the major scale, which goes tone, tone, semi tone, tone, tone, tone, semi tone on a piano. If you start this pattern on, see, there's no need to use any black keys because the pattern is built right into the keyboard of tone, tone, semi tone, tone, tone, tone, semi tone. If you start the pattern on any other key, however, you need to use the Black Keys to maintain the pattern. This is why we have sharps and flats to make up the 12 different keys inside of the system . 4. Harmony and Chords: harmony like the universe itself, is all about relationships. We're alive right now on Earth because of its relationship to everything else in our solar system. Any two notes played at the same time are considered harmony. Sound travels in waves that are measured in Hertz hurts measures how maney waves per second a note is generating a string on a guitar, for example, vibrates 440 times per second. Lower notes vibrates slower and higher. Notes vibrate faster human ears can hear in a range of approximately 31 hurts. Up to 18,000 hertz dogs, for example, can hear a much larger range. They can hear from 40 hertz all the way up to 60,000 hertz when two or more notes air played. At the same time, the sound waves interact with each other, creating two states of dissonance and continents, more commonly known as tension and release. Imagine the sound waves are like dolphins jumping in and out of the water notes that Aaron dissidents or tension never line up evenly so that the pattern of the dolphins being in and out of the water is never in complete alignment. This is a physical event and why some people experience tension in music as very uncomfortable. This technique is often used in movie soundtracks to enhance the sense of unease. Continents or release is having the dolphins come into a pattern where sometimes or all of the time they're at the top or bottom of their pattern together at the same time, much like our preference for spicy or sweet tastes, we each have a sense of how much tension and release we like in our music. And like a sense of taste, it can evolve over time, depending on what were exposed to the fact that there are no wrong notes is not just a spiritual state of mind. It's a fact. All that exists is tension and release or dissonance and continents and how much you enjoy . He is entirely up to your own sense of personal taste. Cords are organized harmony. Harmony is used most commonly to make up chords that air called triads. They're just simply cords that have three notes in them, cords are built like houses. There is a foundation which we call the route the third, which is like the main floor and the fifth, which is like the second floor of the house. The route is the note that gives Accord its name. For example, in a C chord, the route is see. The third of the note is the third note in the scale, so see is one is to and is three. The fifth is the fifth note in the scale. See is one D is to his three, Fs four and G is five. There are several different types of chords. The two most common are major chords and miners. What makes a cord major or minor is the relationship of the third to the root of the court . When it is closer to the fifth than the route, it is major, which is like moving the main floor of your house up slightly when it is closer to the basement, where the root it's minor. The way you move a note, closer or further away, is with sharps and flats to change a C poured from major to minor, you change the third, which is E. T. Flat. Most people experience major and minor chords by hearing them as happy sounds for major on and sad sounds for minor. It's always good to remember that music is a language that you were built to speak. And even when you're working on something that's a challenging concept, just know that with enough time and practice you'll be able to master it. 5. Melody: melody is the part of songs that most people identify with, since there are so many harmonic and rhythmic combinations melodious the most distinct part of any song. Close your eyes and think for a moment of your favorite piece of music. Chances are you're hearing the melody in your head. A melody is both rhythmic and harmonic, and if it is well constructed, it could be sung or played on its own and be clearly understood. Simply put, a melody is a string of notes and rests that move up and down in relation to the harmony underneath it. 6. Rhythm: rhythm is a word that has many meanings in music. This could be the source of unnecessary confusion for students. When they first begin. You may have heard the words time and tempo used in the same way. Let's break this down into the essential elements. Tempo is like a river. Think of a river for a moment. It usually flows at a constant pace, but it's not rigid or mechanical. When humans make music, it is a goal to be as consistent as possible with the tempo. But in reality it's alive, and it has subtle shifts, like the flow of a river Rhythm is how we interact with flow of this river. Imagine sticking your hand in the flow of the river for one second and then pulling it back out. Then imagine doing the same thing for two seconds and half a second. This is the equivalent to playing notes of different lengths. The river is constant, but how long we play the notes for is what makes it in the music. Rhythm is the most mathematical part of music education, but fear not. There is nothing more advanced than simple addition and subtraction involved. Imagine your favorite type of pie for a moment. Now, the size of the pie is constant. No matter how we slice it, the pie represents a bar of music. If you eat the whole pie yourself, it's like playing a whole note, which takes up the entire bar. If you invite a friend over and cut the pie in two, you have to half notes. If you cut it again, you have 4/4 tones. Cut it again and you have 8/8 in music. All time has to be accounted for again. Think of the pie if you have a pie and you cut it into 4/4 and you only want to eat one of the quarters. The other 3/4 still exists because the whole pie was baked. This is the same in music. So wherever there's not a note played, there has to be arrest to take his place. So each of the note values in music of whole half quarter eighths and so on all have rests that last for the same amount of time 7. Piano Setup and Buyers Guide: welcome to the set up on Buyer's Guide for the Piano. The first main thing you have to decide when you're going to get into playing the piano is , um, I gonna play an acoustic piano or some kind of a digital keyboard. They both have their pros and cons. An acoustic piano is going to sound far richer than any kind of digital piano ever will when it comes to the piano sound itself. The downside of having an acoustic piano, though, is that it's very large. It's very expensive, and it's costly to maintain if you already have a piano in your family or in the home that you live in, and it just needs a little bit of maintenance and care than I definitely recommend. Just starting out with that. If you're thinking about buying an acoustic piano, the price points start in the several $1000 range for even low end, um, wall pianos, and they go up to be quite higher for baby grands and concert grands, and you can spend almost an unlimited amount of money on a real piano, and then you're gonna need to have it tuned, usually at least twice a year, and that will cost you a few $100 each time. If your piano is in really terrible shape like it's been sitting somewhere for a long time , it has, um, in tune. You also may want to get an estimate from a repair person or tuner on how much it'll cost. They really get it back in playing shape. Sometimes you may need to invest several $100 or up to $1000 to get it tuned, because it will take several tunings to get a real piano back into shape. A digital keyboard is a really good option if you don't have the space for a full size piano or the budget. Ah, keyboard like this is what's called a digital piano, and it comes with several different features. Ah, common thing that students run into that's tricky is when you go to a music store to have a look at keyboards. There are two different types of electric keyboards. There are what are called controller keyboards, which look like a regular piano keyboard, but they don't have any ability to generate sound in the actual hardware itself. So what that requires is that they plug into a computer or some kind of sound card interface and then go through a computer and then go out to a sound system and these air designed more for recording and making synthesizer patches and things like that. The thing that can happen, though, is the control of keyboards look great, cause there's sometimes like 100 or $200. And you think, Oh, this is great is exactly what I need, But you have to find out whether you're also going to need to buy a sound card and have certain software on your computer. And if you want to do that thing I've noticed with controller keyboards, is there something called Leighton See, which is the amount of time it takes for the key to be pushed down in the sound, to come out the other end because it's traveling through an interface and into a computer and back. Sometimes it's not really precise, like you'll notice a small delay in the in the sound coming back in, which could be very frustrating when you're trying toe actually play music. Digital pianos, which is what this is also have some features that are worth thinking about in the very low price scale you're gonna have what are called touch sensitive keys, which allow you to push the key harder, softer and have the sound change. This is different than what's called weighted keys and weighted keys provide some resistance, and they're designed to mimic what a riel acoustic piano would be doing. And so you got to spend a little bit more money to get into a weighted keys. Some things to think about with weighted keys If you're trying to practice classical music and you're eventually going to be taking exams on a real piano, you definitely need to have a very least weighted keys when you're practicing. Otherwise, the feel of the instrument will be so different when you get to play on a real piano. Digital pianos have some other features in them that are really excellent for practicing at a reasonable price. One of the main features is to make sure that you have a digital piano that has actual physical speakers built right in, and this will allow you to play at some fairly decent volume levels for just your own practice. These speakers won't be loud enough for you to play with louder instruments such as drums or electric guitar. It would be loud enough to play with an acoustic guitar or flute or something else with you as well. So it's a really important feature. Tohave, Um, another thing that you want to really make sure that your digital piano has is some kind of headphone input that disables the speakers. And what this allows you to do is when you plugged the headphone in the speaker's get turned off and you can just hear the piano in your own head phones, which is a really great feature for practicing. If you have a strange schedule and you want to practice while other people in your home are sleeping or you just don't want to bother anybody having headphones is that disabled speakers is a really, really great feature. Also, most digital keyboards will have, ah, small variety of sounds. This particular keyboard is over 20 years old, and it doesn't have it has about five different sound settings. Um, the more modern ones will sometimes have hundreds of different, you know, Oregon sounds and even like car horns and all sorts of crazy things, which can be fun But it's really important that we trying anything out, that you really like the piano sound that generates. And if there are any organ sounds, because those were the two most common things you're going to use. The price point for controller keyboard starts in 150 to $200 range and goes up it up towards $1000 depending on how complicated you want the features to be in digital pianos, your price point is going to be a little higher. It's going to start around $500 go up from there up into the many thousands of dollars. And again, the things you're looking for are to make sure that it has a really good sound and that the speakers that are right in it actually give you a good piano sound. When you're buying any musical instrument I always recommend, try not to buy the very cheapest thing that is available. This is just simply because when companies are cutting costs to get a new model of something out the place you're gonna notice the cost. Cutting the most is right at their base level product and often for a small jump in price, you get a big jump in quality, so I find that somebody's even spending an extra 50 or $100 to get up off the very cheapest model. You get something quite a bit better for not that much more money with a digital piano. Another feature you need to make sure it has is the ability tow line out to an external amplifier. What this allow you to do is it allow you to play in louder situations, so we're gonna have a closer look at a keyboard amplifier and how that end if it works. But always an important function is to make sure that your digital keyboard has some kind of ability tow line out. It's usually just quite simply called a line out, and, um, sometimes it'll just be a single cable line out, which is a little more basic and sometimes is what's called a stereo line out, which will have a left and right channel. And the reason for that is that if you haven't effect in your keyboard that oscillates between the two speakers, it'll mimic that when it sends it over to the amplifier. A big factor in the price of digital pianos and electric keyboards is the number of keys. So when a full sized piano you have 88 keys and on digital keyboard, sometimes they shorten it, and this one is for examples of 61 key, and they can go all the way down to Being a small is one octave in terms of what you're going to need, I would say I mean, a 61 key is a good um, it's a good midpoint. Ah, you don't in real life end up playing the entire length of a panel very often. I mean, it's a nice luxury to have a full size keyboard, but you may not have the physical space for it. And also you're gonna notice a drop in price as the keyboard get smaller. Having a good keyboard stand is a really, really important piece of equipment you might be thinking well, just by the keyboard, and I'll just I've got a desk at home and I'm gonna put it on the desk. It's not a non ideal way to play. The biggest reason is that you need something that's adjust height adjustable because everyone that plays is slightly different in your arms or different links, and you want to make sure that the keyboard is set up for comfort for the people that are playing it. And also you may be buying a keyboard and you have more than one person where you live, who's gonna play it. So you need to build adjusted up and down, depending on the height of the person playing a za general rule, you want the level of the keyboard to be a comfortable extension of your arm so you don't want it up too high where your risks are doing this, and you also don't want it down too low. We having to reach down, and also your legs need to be able to fit under it a little bit. Otherwise, you're gonna end up sitting really far back. Also, having a really good stool to sit on is important, and that sometimes is also important to make sure that's height adjustable. If it's a traditional piano bench and it's not adjustable, one thing you can do is you can stack pillows underneath it if you're shorter to get you up a little bit higher. So that's the right height, a common question I get asked is, Should I rent or should I buy? And I definitely recommend if you live in an area where there are big music stores that have rental programs, that you rent an instrument before you purchase it. Renting a digital keyboard or even an acoustic piano sometimes can be fairly cost effective . Ah, you can rent something like a digital keyboard for sometimes between 30 and $50 for a month . And sometimes they'll even have a day rate or a week rate that's even less so. You can just take it home. Really. Try it out, see how you feel about it. Trying out instruments in a music store is challenging because if there's lots of other people around and they're trying different things, you're gonna have a hard time hearing really clearly exactly how the instrument sounds. And so I definitely recommend trying to get something home and really trying it out thoroughly on this keyboard. The headphone input is over here on the left. It's a bit of an unusual location. Most often, the headphone input will be somewhere along the back or on the top somewhere, and sometimes just say phones It's a really key important part to make sure that you have, ah, good headphone connector for your keyboard so you can get a really good sound and have a good set of headphones. Although all keyboards are a little bit different, they basically have the same functions along the top. On the far left is usually the power switch. There be some kind of volume control. This one has a slider. Sometimes it'll be a knob. It's really important to make sure when you're turning your keyboard on and off that this is set either to zero are very low and then over on the right. Here we have the different sounds, so this keyboard has piano, electric piano, vibraphone, organ and strings. And then there's some extra effects. This one is chorus and reverb. Because this keyboard is so old, it's about 25 years old, 2025 years old. It doesn't have a lot of functionality. Newer keyboards that you buy today will sometimes have, Ah, some kind of a screen, and you can go through many different options. But keyboards all basically do the same things. You're gonna find most of the input controls on the back of the keyboard. This one, we have the power input right here. They'll be some information about the voltage in the Milly amps. The only thing you really need to understand is Onley. Ever use the adapter that is supposed to be powering the keyboard? The half. If yours becomes lost or damaged, make sure to go to a music store and get it replaced with the exact correct adapter. This is one of the only ways you can actually damage your keyboard. If you plug in the wrong kind of power source to it, then moving over the left. We have the output controls these or what you need in order to send your signal from your keyboard out to an amplifier, which you would need if you're playing in any louder situations. Now, one thing is, sometimes these will disable the speakers on your keyboard, and sometimes they won't on this particular keyboard. It doesn't so it's something to know about because if you plug a cable into here, you might lose the sound in the keyboard, and it only goes to the AMP. Then there's a damper pedal, which goes down and under your feet and that helps give you some more sustained, like we would on acoustic piano then over here, cause this is an older keyboard. We have midi cables. These have almost come completely obsolete there for connecting the keyboard to a computer . And on this particular one, we have the ability to change the tuning of the keyboard itself by going sharp or flat. This is Ah, sometimes some keyboards have it. Some don't. The idea behind it is you have the ability to match the tuning oven acoustic instrument that isn't easily changeable. So it's safe. You're playing this digital keyboard, and you wanted to play with an acoustic piano, and the acoustic panel was a little flat. You could adjust this keyboard here to match it. So the front of keyboard AMP is gonna have several places Teoh input or put instruments where microphones in and some volume controls and some tone controls. So this particular keyboard watt AMP, is 50 watts, and it's also angled so it can point up at you or face straight out into the room. It has an instrument input and a microphone input in the first channel, and it has two inputs for stereo coming out of the back of a keyboard and Channel two. It also on Channel two, has the ability to have a R C A cables, which connect easily to things like smartphones and tablets and your computer. If you're trying to practice and you want to hear your track, the other great thing about this is because you have two channels for it. You could control the level, which means the volume off your practice track separate from your keyboard sound so you can mix them so that you can hear. Sometimes when you're practicing, you're gonna wanna have one louder than the other. Then there's some very simple tone controls for low frequencies and high frequencies. There's an effects send in return option, which you can send out to a process. Er, this is a bit more of an advanced thing. I don't really use it very often, and then finally, this is really important to have a headphone jack, which disables the speaker, and this is a great feature for practicing so you can get everything set the way you want. And if said it's getting late at night or you you want to be a little quieter and just practice on your own. You just plug in your headphones and it turns off the speaker, and you still have full control over everything. 8. Learn how to play the notes of the piano in your right hand and how to play your first scale.: Hi and welcome to the Music Coach program. This is Week one of piano lessons. Today we're gonna get you started on a really exciting journey on learning the piano. The piano is a great instrument toe. Learn first. It was the first instrument that I learned. Reasons for that are that it's very visual because the keys air laid out from lowest to highest. Going from left to right and making a sound on a piano is a very easy thing to do. You could just push down anywhere, maybe even seen videos of cats walking across the piano. It's easy to make a sound. One of the things that makes learning the piano challenging is that your left hand and your right hand will sometimes be doing completely different things. So they may be moving away from each other or playing different rhythms at the same time. And this could take a little bit of getting used to you. So we're gonna work on just the right hand today because most of you are gonna be right handed. There will be of some work on left hand leader, but for now, we're just gonna learn how to put your hand on middle C. Now piano is laid out in a pattern. You can see that there are Blackie's and white keys. The Black Keys are in groups of five. There's a pair of two and then set of three and then two and then three and then two and then three. What we're gonna work on today is finding your first few notes. So wherever there's a set of two Blackie's in the center, I call this D in the doghouse, and there are several D's on your piano and you may have a full size piano. This is about a 3/4 size. They're all slightly different. So try and find the D that's closest to the center of your piano. Once you find your D in the center of your piano, the musical alphabet goes forwards to the right and backwards to the left, so the next note going forwards is E than that's then G, then a, then B, then see, And then the pattern repeats and we're back on D. So for this week in the practice video, you're going to start by putting your right hand thumb on Middle C, which is right below the D and the dog help since in the center of you Now. Now, when you're playing the piano, I like to imagine that you're holding a ball or great fruit or something in your hands. That's kind of like this. And when you turn your hands over your, your hand should have some space in them rather than you know what. Your fingers flat on the keys and you don't want to be too far over rolling your wrists. You won't have a nice, relaxed shape. It's also important to make sure that the height of your chair is a good height for you and your body. Everyone's a little bit different in terms of how tall they are. You may need to put a cushion under you, or adjust your seat to make sure that your hands are coming up comfortably and that your arms are not too far up or too far down. Once you're ready to put your thumb on middle C, we're gonna put one finger for each white note going up so your thumb is gonna be on sea. Your pointer finger is on D. Your middle singer is on e your ring finger is on F, and your pinky finger is on G now in piano. If you studied any of it before, sometimes we talk about numbering the fingers. So thumb is number one pointer is number two. Middle is number three, Ring is number four and Pinky is number five. And in the practice video, you're gonna work on just making your first few sounds. Now I like to take a big breath in and breathe out when I play. Because the piano is not a wind instrument, it doesn't require any breath to make a sound. But you can get into a bad habit of tightening up holding your breath when you play. If you don't practice breathing out when you make a sound and also later on when you're improvising, it's good to be practicing reading out when you're playing so that you don't play on for too long without taking a breath in the museum. So in this week's practice video, you're gonna be playing C d E on G on. You're gonna be doing it at sending, which is up and descending, which is back down. All right, excellent work and we'll see in the practice video 9. Piano Week 1 Practice: you're not gonna work on playing a five finger exercise with your right hand, place your thumb or number one finger on middle C, then stretch out your other fingers onto the next available white note so your pointer finger will be on D middle finger on E ring finger on F and pinky finger on G. When you play the notes, remember to say their names out loud. Now gently let your thumb drop and play a C. Now lift up the sea, take a breath in, and when you breathe out with your pointer finger down and play D. Now lift up your pointer finger and take a deep breath in When you breathe out, put your middle finger down and play E. Now lift up your middle finger, take a breath in and when you breathe out, push your ring finger down and play F uh, and finally lift up your ring finger. Take a big breath in, and when you breathe out, put your pinkie finger down and play G. Now we're gonna try that again. Take a big breath in and breathe out and push your thumb down and play middle C. Now lift it up. Take a breath in Push your pointer finger down and play D Now lift up your pointer finger take a big breath in and when you breathe out pushed down your middle finger and play ET Now lift up your middle finger Take a big breath in and when you breathe out, push down your ring finger and play F And now lift up your ring finger. Take a big breath in when you breathe out, pushed on your pinky finger and play G. Now we're gonna try playing the same notes in the same order with the click track. Reasonably each note as 1/2 note so each note will get two clicks. 12 Ready? Go see Dio to try it again. 12 Ready? Go Seeing Thio Thio Now let's try them Going backwards Starting on your pinky finger on the G 12 Ready? Go! She two f two Teoh again! 12 Ready? Go! Now it's Try going ascending and descending. Starting on the middle C 12 Ready? Go F to G to G two F two Teoh. Now we're gonna go ask sending as quarter notes. So one note for each click starting on middle. C one to ready. Go see the same thing again. 12 Ready? Go now! Strike quarter notes descending! Starting on the G 12 Ready? Go! Striding yet! One, two Ready? Go todo Now we're gonna go ask sending and descending as quarter notes starting on the middle, C one to ready! Go E 012 Ready! Go! 10. Learn how to play the notes of the piano in your left hand and how to play your first scale.: I am. Welcome back. This is Week two of piano Lessons in the Music Coach program. This week we're gonna work on doing what we did last week with our right hands with her left hand. Most people who are watching this program are going to be right hand is some of you will be left handed in general, on the piano, the right hand tends to handle the melody of a song, and the left hand tends to handle the cords and the bass parts. Now the piano has a huge range, much bigger than most instruments. So you're able to play a wide variety of roles on a piano, pretend to be the bass player or pretend to be a soloist or the cords only. So it's an exciting thing to be able to do. But we have to make sure, especially if you're right handed. You have to make sure that you have the time to develop your left hand, because it will probably not be a stronger as fast as your right hand until you work on. Now. Another thing about hands is there. Not all create, not all the fingers are created equal. You've probably already noticed this. So if you actually look at the inside of a skeleton of a hand with the way the tendons and muscles are all wrapped around the bones, your fingers become less independent. The further you move away from your thumb, the most people like me, I could move my thumb and my pointer finger moves a little bit. When I move my pointer finger, my middle finger moves a little bit, but I go to the middle finger. My ring finger is moving, and when I do my ring finger, my pinky finger moves and I do. The pinky ring moves with it. So getting the independence of your fingers toe work and also the speed and the power to be even, take some time Because playing an instrument is not just about learning how to play fast. It's about learning how to play evenly so that each note in a scale or melody sounds in the same volume and in the right place rhythmically. The practice video. This week you're gonna work on the same exercises you did last week, but with your left hand, and I want you to start an octave below middle C And the reason is is eventually you can play these exercises with both hands at the same time. Uh like that. All right, great work and we'll see in the practice video. 11. Piano Week 2 Practice: you're not gonna play a five finger exercise with your left hand. Place your pinky finger of your left hand on the C one octave below middle C then put one finger on each white key going up So your pinkie finger is on C ring fingers on D middle finger is on E pointer fingers on F and thumb is on G Now take a big breath in and when you breathe out, put your pinkie finger down on the sea. Uh, now lift up your C Take a big breath in Put your ring finger down on D Now lift up your ring finger, take a big breath in and when you breathe out, push down E. Then lift your middle finger up. Take a big breath in and when you breathe out, push down F Now lift your pointer finger up, take a big breath in and pushed down G with your thumb. Now let's try that again. Now take a big breath in when you breathe out. Put your pinkie finger down on the sea. Now lift up your C. Take a big breath in. Put your ring finger down on D. Now lift up your ring finger. Take a big breath in and when you breathe out, push down E. Then lift your middle finger up. Take a big breath in and when you breathe out, push down f Now lift your pointer finger up, take a big breath in and pushed down G with your thumb. Now we're gonna try playing the same notes in the same order with the click track. Reasonably each note as 1/2 note so each note will get two clicks. 12 ready? Go Seen Thio Thio to Jean to try that again. One to ready Go Seeing Thio Thio to Jean to now let's try them Going backwards Starting on your pinky finger on the G 12 Ready? Go! Jean Neff Thio Thio Thio Again 12 Ready? Go Dream Thio Thio Thio Thio Now it's try going ascending and descending Starting on the middle C 12 Ready? Go seeing Thio Thio Thio Thio G two two f Thio Thio Thio 12 Ready? Go Seeing f g. Same thing again. 12 Ready? Go! Seeing King now. Strike Quarter notes Descending! Starting on the G 12 Ready? Go! Dream Striding yet 12 ready? Go! Jean Ming James singing Now we're gonna go ask sending and descending as quarter notes Starting on the middle C 12 Ready? Go seeing e g n 12 Ready. Go Seeing 12. Learn how to play your first chords: I am. Welcome back. This is Week three of piano Lessons in the Music Coach program. This week you're going to get started on playing chords with both your hands. Now, cords are just a grouping of notes put together. If you're not sure about how that works or what harmony is there some videos at the beginning of the course that you can go and check out that will explain it a little more detail. What we're gonna do is play triads with your right hand. And all the Triad is is it's a group of three notes. Think of a triangle or tricycle having three sides of three wheels, and our Triad has three notes. So in the shape that we're going to use in the right hand is gonna look like this for a first chord. Now, this shape is going to be what we're gonna use for all of our court. So we're gonna play E. Then we're going to skip over and play G on going to skip over a and play be the fingers I want you to use for this are some on the bottom, middle finger in the middle and pinky finger on the top. Now, One thing to watch out for is your pointer finger is gonna want to get involved because it tends to be a little more dominant than your middle finger. So you may want to do this. What? I really want to make sure that you get used to using your middle finger in the center of accord because later on, we're gonna need that point a finger to do other things. The same can also be true. Some people will tend to do this using the ring finger instead of their pinky again because your hand and your body are trying to give you the most powerful fast a solution in the moment. The problem is, is that your body doesn't have the foresight toe anticipate what's coming next. What's just trying to solve a problem right in the moment. So yet the make sure practice the right fingering so that later on, when we add more complexity, your set up well, to be able to do it. Okay, so our cords are gonna be e minor. Then we're gonna lift up this shape and you can literally hold your hand in the fixed position and slide it up to notes and pushed down, and they ended with a G chord which is made up of G, B and D. Then we're gonna take this shape and move it all the way down to middle C We're gonna lift it up and you can just slide it along. And now we have C, E and G in our last chord in the right hand is gonna be D Now we lift up this court, slide everything up one note. But the difference is we're gonna play f sharp in the middle thing is the one black you have to watch out for in this program because we're in the key of G major. And the one thing that makes g major unique from all the White Keys is we play app sharp instead of we'll make sure this do one more time in e minor way. Slide up to notes G way slide all the way down the middle C way, Go up one d and add the Upshur in your left hand You're gonna play single bass notes to go along with it Now these air nice because they fill up the sound a little more to give us an extra base note on the bottom rather than just the root of the court. In the right hand is your left hand. I want you to put your pinkie finger on C and then one finger for each white note, just like we did in last week's video. And we're gonna not move the position of this, the left hand at all. So it's going to stay right where it is so that you can. Your eyes could be focused on what your right hand is doing. So your notes are gonna be the with the middle finger g with your thumb, see with your pinking and D with your ring finger one more time. You with your middle finger g with your thumb, see with your pinkie finger and ring finger on when they get put together. They sound like this e with a minor chord with on C with the sequence on Dean, great work and we'll see in the practice video 13. Piano Week 3 Practice: this week, you're gonna learn how to play the court structure. For the a part of our song, you're gonna be playing triads, which are cords that have three notes in them. The first chord is E minor. With your right hand, put your thumb on E than your middle finger on G and your pinky finger on B and with your left hand, put your middle finger on E below middle C and play them all together at the same time. Now move that shape in your right hand so that your thumb is now on G. You're gonna move up to notes. So now your thumb is on G. Your middle finger is on B, and your pinky finger is on D and in your left hand, lift up your middle finger and put your thumb down right where it is on the G. This is a G court. Third chord in the A section is a C chord, so lift your right hand shape up and slide it down so that your thumb is on middle C. Your thumb will be on a C. Middle finger is on E and pinky finger is on a G and in your left hand. Lift up your thumb and put your pinkie finger down on the sea. The last court in the sequence is D In your right hand. Lift your shape up, slide each note up one note so that your thumb is on D and remember to reach up to the black key to play F sharp with your middle finger and your pinky finger should be on an A and in your left hand. Lift up your pinky finger and put your ring finger down on the D. And this is a d cor. Now you're gonna practice going between E Minor and G. I want you to hold the E minor for four beats, then rest for four beats, then play the G for four beats. 12 Ready? Go The minor! 234 Rest 234 Teoh, 3/4 Tried again. 12 Ready? Go a minor. 234 West 234 Gene 234 Now it's do the same thing without the rest in between the courts. One to ready. Go! You minor! 234 Jean, 2341 more time. One to ready. Go E minor 234 Gene 234 Now I want you to play C to D as whole notes with four beats in between. One to ready, Go seeing 234 rest to 34 d 234 rest, too. Three for its tried again 12 Ready? Go seeing 234 rest, too. Three or 234 Now let's try it without the rest in between. One to ready. Go seeing 234 to 3/4 tried again. One. You ready? Cool. Seen Teoh 3434 Now let's try playing E minor, G, C and D Each is whole notes with four beats. Rest in between one to ready. Go a minor. 234 rest, too. 34 Teoh 34 Rest 234 Scenes 34 rest, too. 34 D 234 Rest 234 Now let's try it without the rest in between. One to ready go a minor. 234234 Seeing 234 234 Stride again. 12 Ready? Go minor. 234 Jane 234 Seeing 234234 14. Learn how to play the A section structure with different rhythms: Welcome Back Thistles, Week four of Piano Lessons in the Music Coach program. This week, you're going to get started with playing the chord structure that we have for the a section of our song. Along with the recorded track, we're also going to begin to use different rhythms in the cords that were using. Now as a piano player, sometimes your role is gonna be as soloists or someone playing the melody or just playing bass notes. And in this case, we're doing something called Accompanying. This is an accompaniment part where, sometimes for short, it's called comping. Now, depending on the band that you're in, you may want to be filling up more space or playing less space, depending on the size of the group A little. For example, if there's a guitar player who is also playing chords, you may want to sort out a pattern so that you're playing the same type of voicings and rhythm. Or maybe you want something different where maybe you're going to fill up space while they're playing a solo were playing the melody. There's just some things to think about a boat, how we layer how much rhythm and how dense we play. So in this practice video, we're gonna work on playing the court structure we have, which is E minor G. C on D A. De. First, we're gonna play it as half notes, so each one will get two beats. If you're unsure about what half notes and whole notes are, there's some rhythm videos that come at the beginning of the course that can explain it a little more in detail, but for now, you're gonna have to count to 212 and then we do it again. 34 and then we're going to switch to G 123412 three, 4234 Now, if you're having trouble getting from one court to the next, you can cheat a little bit and endure court a bit early to get ready for the next one. The most important thing is that the rhythm is correct in terms of where the cords begin, so your mind may try and account for time and space in a funny way. Our brains we invented computers and they're kind of a reflection of the way our minds think about things. If we have to get a certain amount of things done. We just have to get it done in the space that we have. But music doesn't really work that way. Where the cord sit has to be the same so that the music part works and runs in a cycle. Good example is if you drop your hat into a river and you reach down to pick it up, where you dropped that it's gone. You have to be able to anticipate where it's going to end up. And so when you're playing chords, it's always good to be thinking a little bit ahead where I'm playing when I'm on the minor as soon as I play it, I'm already thinking about. I have to get to G so that I land in the right place. If you wait till the end of the rhythm of the cord, Iran to start thinking about moving, you're gonna end up there too late. The last piece we're gonna work on the practice video is playing quarter notes, which is there's gonna be four in each bar. 12341234 to bring a good way. If you're having trouble getting getting through to the next one is to just play three of them and let the 4th 1 be empty like this. 123412341234 1234 All right, excellent work and we'll see in the practice video. 15. Piano Week 4 Practice: this week you're gonna be working on playing the cords for the a section of our song along with the track 12 Ready? Go! - Now we're gonna try the same thing using half notes. So two times on each court 12 ready? Go The minor to e minor Teoh Seeing Teoh seeing Thio Thio Let's try it again. 12 Ready? Go You minor to e minor Teoh. Now let's try switching using quarter notes and like last time If you need to switch after the third beat, use that space to get ready for the next court. 12 Ready? Go a minor. A minor minor. A minor A k g chain. See seeing See seeing the try to get 12 Ready? Go the minor. A minor. A minor, A minor A g g C C c. Seeing Now let's try playing half notes the first time through the A section and then quarter notes the second time along with the track. 12 Ready. Go minor, minor, minor, minor. Let's try that one more time. 12 Ready? Go! A minor! A minor six 16. Learn how play the B section chord progression: I Welcome back. This is Week five of Piano Lessons in the Music Coach program. This week we're gonna get you started on the chord progression for the B section of our song. Now songs are often made up of verses, and choruses are song that we're learning only has two sections, so we're gonna call the 1st 1 a and the 2nd 1 B on the B section. We're going to use the same chords as the A section, but in a different order. Now, when you're learning chords at first, you're just worried about where to my fingers go to make the right notes happen, and their record idea is a little bit like an island in your mind, and it's totally isolated. And then you learn your first chord cycle, which we did for the A section, so you learn how to move from one place to another in a certain order. Now, when we change the order, it's not exactly like starting from scratch, but it takes a little getting used to because now you know what a G chord is. But it's a the beginning of the cycle, so you have to learn how to get from G now two d instead of getting from G to see. So let me walk you through it slowly. Your hand position for the left is going to be the same. So your pinky fingers on the sea below middle c and then ring finger on the middle finger on e point A finger on F and thumb on G From the right hand we're gonna play G Theun moved to D then e minor on down to see we're gonna add the left hand of this is gonna sound like this G on down to D c o E minor down to see you. You're gonna work on practicing this with the backing track in the practice video and again , be patient with yourself. You're learning a new order of things, so your body and mind have to get used to the new directions that you're moving in. All right, great work. And we'll see in the practice video 17. Piano Week 5 Practice: you're now gonna play record order with B section of our tune. The cords are Jeanne D E minor. And see We're going to start by playing G to D as whole notes. 12 ready. Go. 234 d 234 Same thing again. One to you. Ready? Go. 342341 more time. 12 Ready? Go! G 234234 Now we're gonna play G to D as to half notes. 12 Ready? Go! Jeanne to Thio. Thio tried again. 12 Ready? Go! Jane Thio Thio Thio Thio One more time 12 Ready? Go! Chain T to D now we're gonna play G to D as 4/4 notes each And just like last time. If you need to switch on the third beat, go ahead one to ready Go, Gene G E. Switch change, Gene switch Now we're gonna play e minor to see as whole notes. 12 Ready? Go a minor. 234 Seeing 34 minor 34 scenes 34 minor 234 scenes 34 e minor to you. 34 seeing 34 now play e minor to see as to half notes each one to ready Go e minor to e minor to see to seeing a minor e minor to C c t e minor to e minor to seeing minor to a minor to seems seeing Now play e minor to see as 4/4 notes and switch after the third strum 12 Ready. Go the minor e minor. A minor switch seen. See seen switch A minor E minor e minor switch C C C. Switch the minor. A minor. A minor switch. Si si seen switch a minor minor minor switch. See seen seen. Now we're going to switch between all four notes in the B section along with the track using half notes. 12 ready go. 18. Learn how play the one octave G major scale in the right hand: Hi and welcome back. This is Week six of piano Lessons in the Music Coach program. This week you're going to get started on learning the G major scale in your right hand for one octave. Now, learning the scale is really important because all of the notes that Aaron all of the cords and all the notes that Aaron the melodies that you're gonna learn for this song are all in this one scale. So it's the foundation where all the notes are coming from now because the scale has eight notes and you only have five fingers. We have to do a little sneaky trick to make sure that we can get all the way up and back. So what I want you to do is start by putting your thumb on the G above middle C and then put one finger for each white G like we did the very beginning of the programs we have G A , B, C and D. We're going to start by playing G with your thumb than a with your pointer finger. Be with your middle finger. But now I'm way to talk your some underneath to the sea on and then swing your hand over top. You do that one more time. It takes a little getting used to. So we go back to G G A B. Tuck your some underneath on swing your hand over. Then you're gonna play d E A f sharp on G. Here's what that looks like. G A B C D E A picture. Now when you're descending, we're going to do the thumb switch in the same place in the scale. So we start with your pinkie finger on the high G on down toe Upshur E d. See now your middle fingers going to reach over to the B pointer. Figure on a thumb on G. Here's the descending one more time. She picture E. D. C. Middle finger swings over three A and G because the piano has so many notes and you only have 10 fingers. Some changes in hand positions are required in both courting and and melodies and scales, so this takes a little getting used to. But it's, I like to think of. It is it's like my fingers air doing a little dance. It's like a little bit of a tricky dance step. The other thing we're gonna work on this week in the practice video is playing the chord structure for the A section on Lee in Your left Hand. Now I talked about before how the role you play as a piano player in a band changes a lot, depending on how many instruments there are and what's happening. So it's really important to able to play on Lee the cords with your left hand, for example, if you're playing the melody with your right hand. Now, if you're someone else's playing the melody, it's nice to play the way we have been, which is a little fuller sound, two hands. But for this it's the same note structure, but all in the left hand. So you're gonna play E minor on. I want you to play the E minor. That's below Middle C. Then we're gonna move up to G on. We're gonna go down to the sea below middle C on then up won t Here's that core structure one more time E minor little C G below middle, C c octave below middle C and d. All right, keep up the great work and we'll see in the practice video 19. Piano Week 6 Practice: work on playing, Ah, one octave G major scale. Start by placing your right hand thumb on the G above middle C. Now play G A and B, then tuck your thumb underneath to the next note and play C D E F sharp with your ring finger, and then she with your pinkie finger. Let's try all that again. Played she with your thumb a B and tuck your thumb underneath and play. See Swing your hand over play D E Theun f sharp with the ring finger and she with your pinkie finger. Now we're gonna try playing that scale with the click track. Each note will be 1/2 note, so two clicks for each note. One two ready go G two a two b two c two e to e to f sharp to G to strive it again. One to ready Go G two a. Two b two c two t two e to F sharp to G two. Now let's play the G major scale one octave descending starting on the high G with your pinkie finger and go down to F sharp, then t e Theun T Theun to see Now swing your middle finger over to the B, which is the next note and play a with your pointer finger and g with your thumb. Let's try that one more time G with your pinkie finger f sharp with your ring finger e with your middle finger de with your pointer finger, See with your thumb. Swing your middle finger over to the B on play A with your pointer finger and g with your thumb. Now we're going to try that with the click track. Each note will be 1/2 note. One to ready go G two f sharp, too e to e to see, to be Teoh A to G to strike again. One to ready go G two have shirt, too e to de to see to e to a to G. Now I want you to play the chord structure for the a section of the tune Onley in your left hand. You're gonna play E minor G, C and D along with the track as triads in your left hand on Lee 12 Ready? Go t Minor 20. Learn how play the A section melody: I And welcome back this is Week seven of piano Lessons in the Music Coach program. This week you're gonna learn the melody for the a section of our song. First of all, we're just gonna learn the notes without any rhythm. I want you to put your thumb on the B above middle C with your right hands. The notes are be B C de sure. E b she sure Asher G. Scher e d. Now, because the melody runs in a circle, it ends up back on being, and it sounds like it's one big long melody because it's running in a circle like this. Now, first, when you're learning and melody, the most important thing is to memorize the order that the notes air happening in. And don't worry too much about the rhythm yet, because if you're guessing on where you're going next and trying to play the rhythm of the same time, you're gonna have a short circuit in your brain and not be able to do it. So even in the practice video, at first the melody is gonna be played very much separate from the rhythm where it ends up being, and eventually When you hear the track playing it with the rhythm, just try and match it as close as you can. After you feel like you've mastered the order, the notes go in. So here they are one more time being B c de sure. E e she sure? Yeah, sure. G picture B D. All right. Excellent work and we'll see in the practice video. 21. Piano Week 7 Practice: you're gonna learn notes for the a section melody. They are being B c Dean G F shirt e e g f shirt f Sure G half shirt e d. Here they are one more time being B c Dean G F Sharp 18 e Tree F Sure F sure g f shirt e d . Now you're going to try playing them with the click track one two. Ready. Go E E C b g f shirt e e g f shirt after G after e t. Try it again. One two. Ready. Go E B c d g f shirt e e g f shirt. Sure. G e. Now let's try playing the melody along with the track. 12 Ready? Go! - Let's try that one more time. One, two ready? Go. 22. Learn how play the B section melody: Hi. Welcome back This week eight of piano lessons in the music Coach program. This week you're gonna be learning the melody for the B section of the song And much like last time, let's learn the notes totally without rhythm just to memorize the order And then we're gonna work on how toe enter the melody correctly and play the right rhythms. I want you to start by putting your middle finger of your right hand on the E That's the second e above middle C. Now, if you're not sure where this is, this is also the same e When we played the G major scale It's the second hand position of RG major scale. So it's the right here. We're gonna play E they were to play up shirt. Then we're gonna play the high g on. We're gonna play the G again G again thin shirt. They were gonna play g sharp, e d. Three e Here's what the melody sounds like one time with the correct rhythm Secret here are close together. You hear those notes one more time? Sure. G g g rupture G shirt e d d. B. Now the unique thing about the B section Melody is how we enter it. The a section melody begins at the beginning of the first bar of the A section the B section Melody has a pickup. So the 1st 3 notes happened before the first court of the B section. Now, in the practice video, there's gonna be a one bar count in, which is four beats and then three more. And then we're gonna play the 1st 3 notes. So the 1234123 now, in the track itself, we're gonna drop the first bar and just have the three beat pickup. So what you'll hear is 123 now First, this could take a little getting used to your entering into an empty space. But on the track there's a saxophone playing the melody, so just try it out. If you have to back up and try it a few times to really feel confident and it just keep going with it. Excellent work and we'll see in the practice video 23. Piano Week 8 Practice: Now you're gonna learn that B section melody. The notes are E f sharp G g g f shirt G f shirt e d d e Here the notes one more time. E f shirt she g g f sharp g f Sherpa e de de. Now one of the trickiest parts of the B melody is entering in the right place. The melody begins in a pickup bar, so we're going to count four beats and then three more. And then the melody will come in. For example. 1234123 Be after G. Here it is One more time. 1234! 123 Me after G. Now in the backing track, there's just going to be the three Beat pickup. 123 Let's try that one more time. 123 24. Learn how play your first scale pattern: I'm Welcome back. This is Week nine of panel lessons in the Music Coach program. This week you're gonna be learning a scale pattern. Now, scale patterns are a great way to get you ready for improvising, which we're gonna be doing later in the program. It's a way to approach playing a scale, but not always in the same order. Like I talked about with the cords, your brain at first learns how to do things very isolated. So when you learn how to move from a G chord to a D chord, your body and mind are memorizing what that experience is. And when you play scales, it's the same thing. If you only play a scale the same way all the time, your fingers on Lee. No, that little bit of vocabulary that one way. So a scale pattern is a nice way to break that up and start to approach hearing and playing things in different orders. Now the scale pattern for this week is 1/3 pattern, meaning we're going to start on the G above middle C with your thumb that instead of playing a we're gonna skip over it and play B, which is 1/3 away. 123 From the beginning, we're gonna play G B. Then we're gonna move your thumb up and play a and then play. See, with your middle finger on where to keep moving up in this pattern, be with your thumb de with your middle finger. See with your thumb E with your middle finger de with your thumb F sharp with your middle finger E with your some G with your middle finger, they're gonna play app sharp twice on then G Here it is one more time G B A C B D C B D Sure e g shirt ap Sharp. Now it's great practice to say the names of the notes as you're doing these kinds of exercises because Justus important it as it is for your hands to get used to playing notes out of order. Your mind being able to know which notes air happening and builders say the order out loud is also a great way of memorizing it. We're also gonna work on playing the same scale pattern descending, so starting on the G, that's two G's above middle C with your pinkie finger. It's the same pattern but in reverse We're gonna play G Then we're gonna play e with your middle finger up sharp with your pinkie finger de with your middle finger e with your pinkie finger See with your middle finger de with your pinkie finger Be with your middle finger See with your pinkie finger A with your middle finger Be with your pinkie finger Theun she with your pointer finger thing to a on a gene? Here it is One more time A a actually e c d B c They re g a. Hey, keep up the great work and we'll see in the practice video. 25. Piano Week 9 Practice: now play the G major scale past, sending in thirds using half notes. 12 ready. Go G B a c be d c e de If sure, you g I m sure f sharp G. Now we're going to try the same thing. Using quarter notes. 12 Ready. Go G B A C e d c d f sharp e g f sharp f sharp g Let's try the same thing again. 12 Ready? Go G the c b e a c e f Scher e g f shirt after shirt G. Now we're gonna play the G major scale descending in thirds using half notes. 12 Ready. Go G E if sure d e See Dean E C A B g a a g Now let's try it. Using quarter notes. 12 Ready. Go G E F shirt through the c A B g a a g Let's try it again. One, two. Ready. Go G after b c d E c. Day b g a a g Now it's way the scales ass ending and descending. Using half notes 12 Ready. Go G p e A c e. Dean! See e e if sure e g f sure f sharp g g e If shirt de being see e e c a jean a a g Now let's try it asks ending in descending using quarter notes. 12 Ready. Go G B A C E D c b e f Scher e g f sharp f Sharp g g e Hampshire e See D B c A B g e A g 26. Learn how play your second scale pattern: I Welcome back. This is Week 10 of piano Lessons in the Music Coach program. This week you're gonna learn your second scale pattern. Like we said last time scale patterns are a great way to get into playing the G major scale in a different way. It's gonna get You're really ready to start improvising and experiencing the language that the scale has in a new perspective. I want you to start with your right hand with your thumb on the G above middle C and you're gonna play G A B C on. Then I want you to move your thumb up to the next note above G, which is a C d. And then we're gonna do the same thing with slide the thumb up B C D B slide. You go to see the sure D B Sharp G, and then we won't move for the last part. Just plate. Be sharp. G sharp, G. Here's what it sounds like all the way through way. Now we're also going playing it in the practice video descending starting on the G. That's the second G above middle C. We'll start with your pinkie finger there. She sure B D and then away Put your pinkie finger on a map sharp e the c b de scene de seeing way. See the a way. Okay, in the practice video, you're going to be going between playing half notes with just two beats per note and quarter notes, which is one beat per no. Make sure to go back over the practice video many times throughout the week to make sure that you really get the language under your fingers. Keep up the great work and we'll see in the practice video. 27. Piano Week 10 Practice: We're gonna play the second scale pattern. We're going to begin by playing it ass ending as half notes. One to ready. Go G A B c A b See de B c de e. See? De f Sure. Dean e have shirt G E. If sure g have sharp G. Now we're going to try the same pattern again. Using quarter notes. 12 Ready. Go G A B c A B c b c b c a Scher d e f shirt g e f shirt g f shirt g. We're now going to try the scale descending Starting on the high G using half notes one, two ready. Go G f sharp being de have sure e e See e de see e de see, be a c e a g b a g a g We're now gonna play the notes descending as quarter notes. 12 Ready. Go G f shirt be after the c e t c The D c B a c b a g e d g a g Now we're gonna play the notes ass ending and descending as half notes 12 ready? Go G a A scene A B c de e see de be See, de e I m sure de e have sure g And have sure g have sure. G g sure and de have sure e de See e Dean seeing e Dean, see e que see Be a g b a g a g Now we're gonna play ass ending and descending as quarter notes 12 Ready. Go. Jean A B c a B c d a b c d e c e after e after e f sharp g f sharp g after e d after b b c e e c The D c b j c b a g e a g a g 28. Learn how to take your first solo: I am. Welcome back. This is Week 11 of piano Lessons in the Music Coach program. This week we're gonna get started on one of my favorite parts in all of music, which is improvising. Improvising is simply making up your own note choices while form is happening underneath you. The early days of improvising in modern music happened in jazz, where it started out as embellishing the melodies of songs that were already being played and embellishing. This means making it more of your own by playing certainly longer or louder, or changing the rhythm a little bit. And then improvising expanded out to become its own art form, where people play completely new melodic ideas over top of the form. The beginning stages of this are taking the the note information that you already know about the G major scale and applying it on top of the harmony that's happening in the song now. Because you play the piano, you have the unique opportunity to be able to practice that's really, well, just completely on your own. But there are also the jam room videos and the practice lesson videos that have the band track playing where you can practice. This is, well, simply put, I just want you. When the improvising part comes in the practice video, just move, making note choices that aren't the scale pattern and are not the melody. For example, this is improvising, Theo. When you're starting out, just think in terms of shape. First, do I want to go higher or lower or louder or softer? So I want to make a big jump up or down or a small jump. You're trying to get emotional information to be expressed in the moment, which is one of the really exciting things about improvising and, like using any language, be patient with how much you're able to express it may feel kind of limiting at first, like you can't play very much. That's complicated, but the point is not to play complicated. The point is to express something that's really real for you and also think of it this way . Improvising is like having a conversation with another person and playing melodies and things that are fixed is a little bit more like watching actors on a TV show on stage where they know exactly what they're going to be saying. Even though it looks like it's being made up in the moment. But when you could converse with someone in real time, you don't really know exactly what they're gonna say and you don't know exactly what you're going to say. So it's a little bit like that. The other thing you're gonna work on in this week's practice video is playing the melody with your right hand to the A section and the B section, and I want you to play the bass notes in your left hand at the same time. Now, if you're feeling a little more adventurous and you want to try and play the whole chords in your left hand, you can. But for now, we're gonna keep it really simple and just see if you can do this. This would be the a section played with just a single note in the base, uh, now lining up where the left hand on the right hand go together in this melody is fairly straight ahead. They start together on, and then the right hand moves on the left hand. Right hand is leading the way together, and the B section, the melody, the right hand starts and then the right hand is leading the way. You're gonna work on this in the practice video, and if you're feeling a little more adventurous, you can start to add in the full chords in the left hand and make sure to get into the jam room and try playing along with the band. Keep up the great work and we'll see in the practice video. 29. Piano Week 11 practice: Now I want you to take your first steps into improvising by making your own note choices with the G major scale along with the track. 12 Ready? Go! Great. Let's try the same thing again. One to ready. Go now Play the melody for a A B B 12 ready Go. 30. Learn how to put all the sections together and play the whole song: hi and welcome to a week 12 Piano lessons in the Music Coach program. Congratulations. You come all the way to the end of the program. You've accomplished something that's gonna help you, not only in your musical journey, but in your life in general, the ability to follow through with something all the way to the end is something that is gonna enrich your life in so many different ways. This week you're gonna work on putting all of our different skills together, playing the melody, playing the chords, improvising, playing bass notes and also be able to think about the arrangement of the song itself. In the practice video, you're gonna be asked to play the melody in the first a and then switch to playing chords in the second day, for example, and also the Office of the Reverse. And this is a skill unto itself being able to memorize what's going on in an arrangement. And when you play with real musicians and a band, it's really important to know what's coming and who is doing what, where, and that changes a lot, depending on how many musicians and what instruments you have. If you're playing piano with drums and bass, for example. You're probably gonna be playing the melody and maybe doing some improvising cause you're the lead melodic instrument. But if you're playing piano with another guitar player, you both can kind of do the same function. So you may wanna have the guitar player play the melody in the first day or in both AIDS. This is kind of where it becomes fun when you're playing someone else. You can make up the arrangement of whatever song you're doing in your own way. Now it takes a little getting used to. It's a lot like playing moving from court accord. You need to be thinking constantly about what's coming up, not just about what's your on right in the moment. And that is a skill on its own as well. Learning to think slightly ahead while you're going again. Huge. Congratulations on coming to the end of the program. Remember to get in the jam room and try out playing the song at different temples with the virtual band, and we'll see in the practice video 31. Piano Week 12 Practice: Now you're gonna work on playing different things in different sections of our song. In the first a play, The Chords is quarter notes. Then play the melody in the second day, then play chords in the first Be part section, Then play the melody in the second. Be part section 12 Ready, Go way Now try doing the opposite. Play the melody in the first a then play chords in the Second day and Melody and the first Be and chords in the second Be This Time without the melody being played in the track. 12 Ready? Go way now Try taking a solo over the whole form. 12 ready. Go. 32. Jam Room 60bpm: 33. Jam Room 80bpm: 34. Jam Room 100bpm: 35. Welcome to the Music Coach Duo Series: either. It's taught the music coach, and I'm so excited to invite in my good friend and colleague Kenny Kirkwood to come into the music coach studio to help with the special duo Siri's. Now. You may not know this. Makeni was one of my first music teachers, and he's been a mentor and I've taught at his music school. He played gigs and recordings together, and I'm so excited to have thanks a lot for having me. And that's Boston to be here. And, you know, I'm really proud of everything you've done. I think music coaches a great program, so so many of the lessons that I've worked on a year over the years. You've already got done here. So, you know, thanks for having me for the duo sessions, especially because for me, I remember starting out practicing solo for a long time. But there's nothing like getting to the duo century, actually making other people. So enjoy the program. Call up a friend, and no matter what levels your you'll be able to work it out 36. Bass Piano 1: way. Uh, that's a nice court. I like that G chord on G scale. I feel very comfortable to me. Yeah, so we're starting out with just a really basic level improvising and a duet between the bass and the piano. And the bass and piano have a lot of ground in common in terms of the note, so it could be a really powerful thing to play together. And traditionally it gives the piano player a nice break because the piano player, when there's no bass player, is usually playing on Lee accompaniment because it has the range. But as soon as you have a base involved, it frees up the piano player to think about playing a piano differently. So what is something we do? You think, Well, you're exactly right on with the with the left hand. Usually I'm playing. But he's taking care of that rule now, so my left hand becomes Accord player. Just play a court here might be in a level of clothes cord made, and then that frees up my right hand to explore simple melodies. And at first I just was playing simple door Amy stuff just actually repeated the G itself a lot time, a long time so that it would help us really anchor to what it's like. We're building G train station before we before we leave the station, right? So were you really established with your friend like that that you run the same culture in the same keys and you can practice up your scale so you know, and make sure that you know you're got the right notes visually ready to go for the trip. Yeah, and in a beginner level with playing in a duo as a bass player, I'm thinking a lot of Oh, just sticking on the lowest G that I can play because sound really works a lot the same way that gravity does in the universe. So, like the sun is the heaviest thing in our solar system and everything is spinning around it . And if the sun all of a sudden wasn't the heaviest thing anymore that every planet's rotation would change, everything would change about sore system. So I don't I don't have to think about being super busy. It's just sort of again laying that foundation where were are years and everything are kind of centering around this idea in a place of different rhythms. So we hear the G as if it's the son and the other planets would be like the other notes the Raman adult, the door aid the Remy fall. So la ti and eso as he's as the base players laying down the sun, frees me up. I feel like I'm on a spaceship flying around to different planets. Thuh end of usually at the beginning and ending of ah, beginner improv the You gotta want to start on G and we're gonna wanna and on me on G so that it's, uh, it's like you've come full circle back home. And what were largely doing is something called a soundscape, which is like painting a picture but very abstract. So we might be painting with both hands and shapes and circles and sort of coloring outside the lines so you don't have to think too much about do I know enough to be ableto to make music with another person. It's just a matter of making a sound and reacting and listening and expressing your feelings through sound, and that doesn't have to be all that complicated 37. Bass Piano 2: way, way, Theo. Way. All right. So this example, we've added some or intermediate elements off playing. Ah, predictable court progression were just using two chords and moving back and forth between them. And what this does is it allows us both to express over top of a structure. And this is the simple structure. You can make it to court structure. And when you're doing this at home, you can sort of make it doesn't even matter what the cords are. You pick. As long as you both agree on what you're gonna be playing, it's all you need to do. So anyone. You tell him a little bit about the court pleading for Well, each chord lasted for two bars. We have geek or way, way todo two bars of Jean. Two bars of C get these building blocks and we just keep putting them back and forth. And it's a lot of fun. It's simple. You can always slow it down if you're not ready for the rhythm or it's moving too fast on. It's always okay to just play the sound breathing. Just listen to it without any rhythm, you know, and, uh, and then left wait a second that way, As a piano player, I could actually just play those cores like that. And Todd could take a turn exploring his scale notes. In that last example, I was exploring my beginner level melodies, using a lot of repetition and trying to stay relaxed. Yeah, and in this example will do an even simpler version where we're going to switch back and forth between the G chord in the C chord. But we're not gonna be counting the bars or anything, can he's just gonna que me. So I'm gonna watch him. And when he does use me a que were just that's gonna be the q b moved to the next court try , right? Yeah, keep it a simple as you need Teoh and as a bass player, The nice thing the base has a nice little box in the key of G. So you may have heard that I was playing some other notes other than GNC, but I was just using the notes from the G scale. So I was going playing a G, and then sometimes just playing a on my way up to see and then before going back to G. Sometimes I would add a D and base gives you this opportunity toe sort of. You have these two places in time, and you get to connect them in your own unique way, and you can make variations on them. And whether you move up or down creates these feelings of lifting or sinking down, you have a lot of power and bass player, one of my favorite You may have heard of Bank called the Police and there was a guy playing bass and it was named Sting. Good nickname. Rock Norman. But he always people used to ask is he was a really good guitar player to They said, How come you didn't want to play guitar in the police? And he always said, Because when I play a C, it's a C chord, and if I play different notes, it's not a secret anymore. And he liked to have the power off of deciding what harmonically, because he's the heaviest thing in the universe. Andi has got the most amount of say, and he was the one writing the songs, and I always think of that quote when I playing bass, it's really that's a good one. Not a lot of glitz and glamour to playing bass, but in terms of how important it is, it's really important to what's actually happening in the Army. 38. Bass Piano 3: - way . - Thanks , man. Trade back and forth. So in this video, we're adding a few more advanced concepts about playing a longer court structures. And now we've got a forecourt structure, is moving by a little bit faster and were also trading back and forth. And this, between bass and piano creates a really interesting opportunity in terms of the sound and where we each play when each other is soloing. So can you want to explain what the corporation that we played was and how it works? Sure, the court progression was four chords C g c g D G C G D. And I really pay some. Memorize these court progressions I find over the years like I'd be dreaming on a bus or something are waiting in a line up. And sometimes our brains get all frustrated with with worried about other other things, you know, and sometimes you can't just can't do anything about that. But I became a much better musician by using my thinking speed wisely, my thinking time wisely and finding those times when I'm away from my instrument that could memorize these structures. So as an advanced level player, uh uh, this is a great core progression to use because it's using a lot of songs, and so it's quite straight ahead that way. Excellent. Now, in terms of queuing each other and understanding form, it's really important toe sort it out ahead of time so that you know what to look for when you're queuing someone else. So in this example, I knew that Kenny was gonna be soloing first. So while he's soloing, I'm aware that at some point he's gonna be flipping it back over to me. And then also, when I'm finished soloing, I'm thinking about how I gotta I can't just stop. I have to be thinking about where the ending is and how to flip it back. It's kind of like switching roles the same way that four actors who have to play eight parts might do on a stage. You know, when when an actor was backstage and now you come back out of something else, you have to switch rules. And so, traditionally, if I'm playing with if I don't have a bass player in the band in my left hand eyes, you, Gino for the base? No. But since I have a bass player. I can free up my left hand to play the chords in my right hand to play melodies up here. So usually I'm exploring melodies there found within the chords themselves. So if I play my G voicing just basically switched to the reward shape, that's all I'm thinking about. And then I'm just are Pesci ating off of the nose there in the courtroom, So my role changes when Todd starts to solo, he's got a low register instrument, so his notes are all down here. So when he took his solo, I ended up playing something that was lightened soft up here so he could really stand out because our job, as's friends and as musicians is to support each other. This is especially important when you have a singer. Anyone who might be singing either 11 of us could be singing as well as playing and the voices particularly fragile and the softest instrument in any band. So always make sure that even whatever instrument you're playing, you can hear the voice and you're not making that person shout too hard. Otherwise, tuning can be really affected for the voice they have to push, too hard a good thing to I can't remember who told to me and I have been a band teacher. But they said, Always think of whatever the quietest instrument is, and if you can hear it, then you're not playing too loud. But if you can't hear it your place, so it's kind of a simple thing. I always think, What's the quietest instrument in the band and can I hear? 39. Clarinet Piano 1: - Theo . So when you're starting out with improvising with the clarinet and the piano together, it's a really beautiful combination. It's nice and soft. There's tons of space in this example. We're playing just in the key of G major, so using the scale now when I say G major, I'm talking about G major on the piano. The clarinet and the piano are not in the same key. So one of the important things you have to know is that for G major on the piano, I'm gonna be playing a major on the clarinet. So we have different sharps and flats and different notes. In a very simple sense, this gets us started with very basic idea off during the scale by numbers. So if I'm playing my A, which is the first note of my scale and Kenny's playing G, which is the first note of his scale, then we're talking about the same notes. I can say, Let's play the one which would be G E and sound like the same. And in this sort of beginner set up and going, we're not really thinking about how fast it's going at. It is just making sounds and reacting and listening. So even if you haven't been playing for very long, you can still just get started and have the confidence to get started playing. What are some of things you like to think about when you're playing with Internet? Well, in the clarinet, I noticed the sound of it has a really beautiful soft tone and and you can really hear I feel like I'm in the forest often when, uh whether here clarinet because traditionally they all made of wood and the readers made of wood. So So I thought of a very gentle sound to start. And just in the moments before I was playing, I decided to just lean into a rhythm, which was eso. But we didn't necessarily count that one in. So sometimes you might find your jamming with someone, and rhythm starts and you go with it. But, you know, we could dio if you feel like that's too challenging spur for many of us when we start to have rhythms going is saying, Well, that's like the trains going on the tracks already, and we get panicked and you want to jump off the trainer or feel like you can't you bring? Can't think fast enough to come up with notes or what? If you make a mistake, you get you get pressured so we could actually do another version off on improv. A lot of the times it will just play without rhythm. And we started as you mentioned, you know, in our beginner Siri's, you know, working with long tones is something that's really, really, really important. So when I playing with a clarinet player or any wind player, you have to breathe. And so I try to breathe as well when I'm playing my instrument. So when we begin use these things, do just let your hands fall and listen to the sound and you don't have to have a rhythm right away. There's no rule saying that. Then I'm going to switch to my next course. I get my fingers time to find it. Take another breath on and you'll see if we do this that it gives taught all the freedom he needs to just explore his scale in his nose. So that's a couple of things. I think we're gonna try a quick example of that now where I'm gonna play a little idea, and then Kenny is going to react, and then he's gonna play something, and we're just gonna It's like having a conversation like we're having right now. So we're gonna start. I'm just gonna go first. All gonna be key of a major on the clarinet and keep G major on the piano. And really simple. You want rid them to started. You want to do just totally free, Just totally free. Call this soundscape. Sometimes I'm painting a landscape which is painting a sounds long toes way. 40. Clarinet Piano 2: in this example, we're gonna be doing a few intermediate techniques between the clarinet and piano. So we're gonna create ah, harmonic structure, which the simplest one we can make is using only two courts. So anyone you talk about, what courts were in play in for home? All right, so what I'm thinking about is G major chord and it's simple structure, closed forms, Dio and I'm gonna play that for two bars and then we're going to switch to the C chord. Use inversion there for C chord. You don't know that when you could just t g but it is. That's going to be two bars as well. So we'll have to bars of G and two bars of C. And this gives the music a feeling of moving somewhere, you know, and I like to think of it, you know, a Ziff were on a train and we're at G station is going on between those entity and will end on the G chord now for the clarinet players. You're gonna be playing a enough your income Penis role. I will play the low low a and we're going to playing D. So that's gonna be when we go to the other courts gonna be D as a soloist so you can just move around that a major scale and they all the notes will work on both courts. But if you want to be accompanying, those are our notes What you Countess in? All right. So first I see if my players were ready, I feel to be a field of policy, and then I can have my numbers do it. One. Do you want to do? Ah thing? 41. Clarinet Piano 3: it's example, we're gonna use some more advanced techniques and play a core structure that has four chords in it and a little bit faster rhythm. So can you want you tell us what the core progression is gonna be? We're gonna be doing the 1415 chord or in the key of G, that would be G major to see majors the majors deem age. You might also have heard of this as the the tonic sub dominant tonic and dominant. You're classically trained. And for the clarinet players were gonna be playing a de a E. That's gonna be our route motion. The other thing we're gonna add into this is trading. So we're going to start off where I'm gonna be improvising using the A major scale and then when I'm sort of done doing my solo, I'm gonna give Kenny a Q, and he's going to start taking a little soul of himself, and I'm gonna switch to playing the court tones and then he's gonna throw it back to me, and we're gonna end it. That's gonna be reformed or you counts in a bit of a fun crew. So here we go 121230 Theo. Short ending the short ending Little not of the chin says. You can see we're hewing each other with just very basic, simple things. It doesn't have to be big, massive gestures if you're looking and also feeling you can. As you get more experience in music, you'll feel where there are moments where things will tend to change its a lot. Lately, we use the train analogy all the time. There are places where you know the tracks can split off and going to different places, and in those moments that you want to be really paying attention and kind of keeping your eyes up and looking at what's happening and also knowing what's coming next. So we had talked about I was gonna play solo and then I was gonna pass it over. It's like passing a ball. So Kenny knows when I'm soloing, keep an eye out because it's coming over his way, and then I'm when I'm playing a company man. I know what's coming back my way, and I know we're ending or some of things that you were thinking about. The piano player. Well, I was thinking a lot about about how scared I waas about making mistakes, and it was kind of my inner inner 10 year old, I think, because when I started taking piano lessons, I you know, there was a lot of voice in my head saying, Oh, you got to play all the notes right? And it's music's got to sound perfect. You don't break it, you know. But I've spent years to learn how to just relax and stay in the moment and breathe. You know, if I'm getting nervous or scared about something, anything in life. Actually, it's just coming back to that breath that helps you realize, hates. It's not the end of the world if I make a mistake. So I'm not the world's best piano player. But I love to explore, and I love to learn, and I don't mind making mistakes. So that's why I was, you know, willing Teoh to try this experiment. Todd and I hadn't practiced any of this stuff before today. We're just bringing it up on the fly, and that's that's something that's one of the great things about the universal language of music is you can make up the structures It's kind of like meeting people and say, Hey, we got some building blocks here instead of just making our own thing. What? Why don't we decide on a plan together? You know, you want to build something, how big is gonna be and what is the pattern of colors you want to use and and learning to talk with other people about the music you're gonna make? It is one of the best, you know, skills. I think that music brings out in us is they listen to other people, you know, and music is really something that happens in the moment. Music isn't happening right now. It was happening like a couple of minutes ago when we're taking chances and listening and responding to each other. And one of my favorite quotes is from Miles Davis, the famous jazz from a player talks boat. There aren't any mistakes. A mistake is just an opportunity. And if you think about your life already so far, I'm sure taking the wrong turn off the road and ended up somewhere interesting and met some new people. And life is just like that, and music is is a big part of life. And so when you think you've made a mistake, you're just you just presented with another opportunity for sure. You know, it's a lot like just telling a story. I remember a teacher told me me that not to think about the notes or worry about the notes too much because I was getting a little too studied in, well, what no goes with which cord and at the advanced level. There's a lot of teachers out there that show us how to do that, and it's a useful tool, for sure. But sometimes you need to just think of your beginning middle end. You're going to start the solely when it started with a confident, whatever you do, make it confident or make it clear and then do something. Whatever happens in the middle. While you might take sidetracks, you might get lost from from the group or whatever. But as long as you come in at the ending and it's clear that the ending, that's ah, that's what people remember, just like if you're giving a speech in class or doing any kind of public speaking they say , or writing an essay, they say it's the first and the last thing that people really make an impression on them. So So just focus on that. Uh so make a confident ending. Exactly. And use timing as your best friend. 42. Flute Piano 1: Theo. - So when you're playing into wet with a piano player when you're on the flute, you only really need to know a few notes just to get started and to begin moving around this scale. What we were just playing is in the key of G major. So where the flute and the piano are in the same key, so I could talk to the piano player. We're using the same notes when I say I'm gonna play G or be than the pamper, explained exact scene notes In terms of the range and where you play. This is a great duet because the flute is kind of a soft instrument, and when you're beginning, playing in the lower part of the instrument is gonna be a little easier to play and the pound leaving lots of space where some of things that you think about playing well, he asked me to play piano behind the flute. I think that first of all, you're playing a wind instrument, so I feel like I should be play. I play. I think about playing a little bit like how you're playing. So I make sure that I'm sitting with good posh in. I'm breathing as well, Andi. And just even if I'm playing one note, breathe out when I play it so that I can relate a little bit how you're feeling. And then when I hear you come to the end of your breath studio, then I might start moving a little bit so that you've moved and I have moved in. It sounds like I'm responding to you as if we're having a conversation. That's a couple of things. I'm thinking about the breath and listening to each other as if we're talking and music. Yeah. Now, if you were, somebody was watching this and their feelings a little afraid like, how did he even get started? Cause we didn't really say much as going one place so we can start is we could just both decide to start on the same note. Or we could pick two different notes from the scale, and we'll just do this right now. We really sure. So we're in the key of G, and I'm gonna start on a G and what you pick and just pick one up from the scale and make sure you tell everybody what? Which one you're playing. Sure, I'll start with D. OK, so And what we're gonna do is I'm gonna move around the notes that I'm starting on, so I'm starting on a G, and I'm just gonna get started tentatively. And I'm gonna go, you know, up to a baby back to G. And Kenny's gonna kind of do the same thing. So this is kind of how it sounds in terms of how you start, it doesn't really matter who you have accounted in or anything. You can just make a sound and get started. Notice that at the beginning of the last video, I watched the player I'm with so I can see when they're about to start. Start with. Yeah. So I Q So we're going to this tryout, Ariel Simple. Just started a place and move around. I was thinking that to mention that the pattern that I came up with on the last improvisation was a structure it's really like to building blocks is if I got to Lego blocks and I'm just using those two as a pattern back and forth. What I played for those of you have done a little bit of pianos is the G chord, which is and then I played that for a while, and then I moved every note up a step, too. That's accord that's in the G scale family, but it just moves away. So it sounds like a Ziff were in a spaceship when we've traveled from Planet G to the moon Teoh a minor move and then we go back way back to the G. So I kept going back and forth on that. Gives music a sense of motion that were traveling on a voyage or on a coach, perhaps. 43. Flute Piano 2: weren't do the fun . Yeah, it was fun. Eso In this one, we've introduced a little bit off time, intent in the sense of rhythm and pacing. So we were going for something that's a little bit of a medium speed. This is a good next step is to add in a bit of rhythm into the plane. The other aspect that we added Waas, adding a structure harmonically so a predictable pattern of courts. And in this, the simplest thing we can add is a to court pattern. So anyone you talk a little bit about the Corp. Sure. Well, we picked a G C court pattern, meaning that the chords G for was two bars and then see for two bars back to G and back to see. And and you'll hear lots of this in music because to court songs air mostly what we learned when we were little kids. You know, many songs or just one have one chord that our Children's song because it gives them a smaller range Teoh learn, but to card songs are perfect for the intermediate player, So I just started with a simple voicing for a G chord. I put a G in the booth on I'm thinking of my left hand like the base player, so really as it a zoo. A piano player who likes Teoh. Think about the rules. You want to think about the bass notes, providing the tracks. You know, like the track so that the train's going on, you know? And so it's I close my eyes and move my body a little bit, which is another part of off music that really helps me is that once, once you get practicing to the intermediate level, you should be thinking about the notes as well in the structure, so you can stay together with all the people on the train. You don't be jumping off the train. That could be dangerous, but you know, once year, you know, if you're nervous about getting on the train, well, that's normal. Everyone is. But once the train gets going Clickety clack, you know that it's gonna be OK. Remember to sit up tall and do that breathing so you feel connected and that you're enjoying yourself because music is a should be as fun is tagged as far as I'm concerned, you know. So So Todd and I have been doing this for years, so we always crack each other. But anyway, that's that's how I think of the bass player role in setting the tracks. And that's also the harm the the the And then in the right hand is the Harmony rail eyes just like that, playing the chords here in the right hand. And I'm just trying to keep the beat Holland play the harmony. So I'm doing the ties and the Harmony track, and Todd is doing the melody track. So that's how we're. That's how we're creating the tracks for our trip. And now something that will probably happen is you get playing and eyes. You may lose the form like, you know, Kenny might go to the C chord, and I'm still thinking I'm on the G chord and that stuff is gonna happen and it's totally fine and don't get thrown by you know it came derail. We actually talked about this in bands like when the song goes off the rails. It's not the worst thing, especially when you're just practicing. You can stop start again. You can try it a different tempo. Things like that Now one of the thing is is one of the great things that we try, try and teach in the music coaches. Even though I'm playing the flute, it doesn't mean that I can't be the accompanist I can't support. Okay, So in this example, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna hold down the court structure and Ken, he's just gonna take a solo in his right hand, which is, might be where you're at as a player. If you're intermediate, you may have trouble improvising with the right hand and holding the left hand at the same time. So we're gonna go with the same tempo. So I'm going to keep playing the bass notes in my left hand cause that's the bass player g and C. So which Cortona are you gonna pick to outline the court? I'm gonna play just the route, so I'm gonna play the DJIA and the sea. All right, so we're gonna go one, and will I play improv? I want you to just improvise, but don't even kind of left hand goddess they not be able to do so. I switch my bass player hand to my court and then I'm gonna play melodies, right? So I want to be so I don't sell my body go up there at the end. But that was after I made what I thought was a mistake. And then I remembered toe laugh because a teacher that taught and I both have learned a lot from, you know, really got us into laughing at mistakes. Which is which is, uh, it's something. It's kind of like when you're playing tag and you fall down, you know, well, you might hurt yourself, but you still get back up cause you're having so much fun, you know, And for a long time, as beginner musicians, I know most, most musicians and go through this experience of Oh, I made a mistake. That's bad. That's wrong. And I feel really bad inside. So when we laugh, we actually, uh, you let some air ago and it reminds you to be connected back to your breath, right? Hes just music. It's just a game. Not hurt anybody. One of my favorite quotes it all the time is from Miles Davis, who's talked about a mistake is just an opportunity. And if you really can feel that way, like sometimes you end up in a place you weren't expecting. It's just like life. It's what you do when you get there that makes it. It makes it the experience that it iss. 44. Flute piano 3: 212 Scooby Doo Way Great. So in this video we're having a look at doing some a little bit more advanced techniques. So we've created Ah, four chord structure instead of a to court structure. And simply all that is is we're just expanding on how much language we have to work with. And we're playing it a bit of a faster tempo. And we added in more more element, which is sort of trading. Who's leading the melody now? In this case, we're just improvising the duets, so there isn't a melody that we've learned, but we're just working inside of a key. So we started out by I was playing a melody, and Kenny was playing the accompany this rule, and then in the middle of it, you may have caught it. I kind of looked over him and gave him in the old nod, Your turn to go on. I switched over and was playing the court tones, and then Kenny was taking a solo, and then at the end, we switched back. And these little cues, they don't have to be big jumping up and down like a kind of thing. If you're If you're listening and looking, you can kind of just give a quick little nod, and the next time you're watching a concert, either on video or in person, you'll you'll catch it. You'll see that musicians were looking at each other and kind of nodding. The trick is you got to know what the nods mean. So maybe talk a little bit about There's only a few things that were killing. It's not like make me a sandwich. It's right. There's a few things that we're looking for and you'll notice that in part of it there's some periods where I'm able to close my eyes and just feel it and go deeper. And a lot of people, when they start improvising, Ah, lot of us will close our eyes and actually because we're listening deeper and the Eid a lot big part of our brain is used up for for what we're looking at. So by closing our eyes were able to go deeper as musicians. I think that what I learned as a zey younger player was to not always keep my eyes closed because then someone might be trying to say, Hey, we got to stop the song because, you know, I gotta go to the bathroom or something. Or we could stop the song because you know, I'm late for dinner and Mom's making turkey tonight or something. So having your eyes open is it's very much like being an actor on stage. Actors can't close your eyes on stage. You're constantly queuing each other. So are we. So in the middle of the song, when Todd was kind of done his little storytelling on his solo, you know, he kind of gave me the eyebrows up and looked and I was looking over. So then that's a That's a switch, another kind of Q that we're looking for really important cues or the beginnings and endings because, just like telling a story beginning, middle end, the beginning and endings are critical. So if I'm gonna be the one counting on the song before I start, I feel the beat. And then I actually before I even feel the beat, I check in with the players in my bed. It was just taught us. Does he look ready? Is he watching me, or is he like getting a simple water still? And if you have a bigger band. You want to see that? Every you got eye contact with every player. Then I'm feeling the beat, then accounting it in and I'm moving my body. Several can see the dance that I'm feeling so that we know. Hey, this is the speed of this train on this track that ties air this far apart or this far apart. How fast we're going, Right? So those are a couple of things beginning at the ending as well. Sometimes, you know, train comes slow into the station so you can do so much with you in your body, how you're leaning into gravity, that that's really how you see how we signal to each other. How much are you slowing down? How fast are you slowing down? You know, and confidence is such a big part of it. And what could be challenging when you're starting out is it's all going to feel like you got a lot of balls in the air. But the only way to really get good and confident at leading either in a duo are in a band is by doing it and to be quite honest, having having it not go perfect every time you learn things that work and don't work. So we're for the purposes video we're getting going and playing, and everything kind of works out. But when you're on your own, if you're practicing, if you try counting in the song and it kind of feels wobbly, you can stop and start again and try it. And absolutely, I've had toe count in songs many times to get them to feel really comfortable. There's a thing that happens where you get lost like you notice. When I took my solo, I went from the G chord and and then I went to the D chord right away instead of the C chord, right? So again, that used to make me really panic. But really, what it's like now is is it is a ziff. My car of the train went off onto a side track for a while, and Todd stayed on the main track. He you know, and he knew that. Hey, that's supposed to be a secret. I know what track I'm on on, but this other cat went to the wrong chord and you know it. And I knew it in the instant that it happened. So no need to worry, right? As long as you know in your head where you're supposed to be, your fingers can catch up later. And if you're if you're ever like totally in panic, just stop playing. Let your mates keep, keep the structure together, and then when you're ready and your fingers have caught up with, you know with the pattern, then come back in but never never need to worry. Sometimes that's could be a point of conflict in bands where someone says, Hey, you were in the wrong place or you were in the wrong place And then people started arguing about it. It just takes time and practice and patients with each other. You know, say, let's start it again from from the beginning, you know, and also noticing the difference between some mistakes happen every now and again. If it's happening in the same place every time, you can only stop and go. Hey, what's happening here? Like, I think we're supposed to be on this court, but notice the difference because we all make mistakes. But if there's a structural problem than you always want to stop this sort of that 45. Guitar Piano 1: - thing , All right, Thanks for not in your head there in a minute, because I wasn't sure which. No, we're going to stop by my when Todd dropped his head. All right, signal. So when you're just starting out with guitar or piano, it's a great instrument to play in a duet. They're both They both can be accompanying, and they both complaint melody You can sing that offers so many different possibilities. It's one of my favorite duets. Two places like Piano, Just piano guitar. It's really, really fun. So when you're very, very first starting out, what the example we just played. We stuck in one would not just one keep one court just decided to play on a G chord. So a G chord is one of first chord. You're probably gonna learn on the guitar so you could just strum it. Play with your fingers, explore the sound and on the piano you can kind of do the same thing. And then, as you feel a little more confident, you can move to some of the different notes I would recommend on one of the higher strings , like the e string of the B string, just export some of the sounds or something you were thinking about. Well, in this in this song, you know, it's quite easy because I'm just any of g on. I don't have to move to another court. So I started out with two of the notes from the G chord to be in the D. C o running, running pattern. But really, we're just I was focused mostly on being relaxed and staying in aware of my breath so that I'm not holding my breath or that my shoulders aren't stripping up like that. I'm just trying to stay in a calm and confident yoga pose, you know, because really, our bodies air the first instrument that we have. So I know if I'm in a good state, then I'm gonna have the best chance of playing music That's in a good state, s So in this example you started out with playing some notes are some chords, actually. So I was I could focus a bit more on simple melody patterns and explain to me when it comes to making up your own thing and improvising you don't always have to use if you've been taught us particular fingering pattern. You don't always have to stick to that. You know, you can just go to back toe one finger if that's if that's what makes sense for your brain , because I know I would start with playing a note singing it on. Then, from there, I can hear if I want to go higher, lower eso I'm just I'm just really focused on being still breathing and listening to myself and listening to what you're doing as well. So part of what we're creating, something that would be called a soundscape, which you can think of as it's like making a painting that's very abstract. So we're coloring outside the lines or making some shapes for maybe painting with both hands at the same time and just not judging what we're doing. We're making sounds and reacting, and if you think about when really, really little kids are starting to speak. They hear the grown ups talking and they look and they sort of just mouth sounds that match the the emotional tone that's going on, and at this stage, that's kind of what we're doing. We're just we're exploring can. He's making a sound and I'm making sound. We're both listening and reacting back and forth 46. Guitar Piano 2: way, I think. Beautiful. Yeah, the eagles there, I think it was all right. So in this example, we're doing a little bit more of an advanced step, which is creating a predictable pattern of chords and rhythm so that when someone is improvising, you can you can start to rely on what's coming next. So we're stepping away from just staying in one court, and we're moving into using two chords. So maybe Kenny, can you explain what courts were playing and and what how long were playing? Well, we played a bar of G and in another bar of G. So there's a pair of them and then a pair of seize on top of that. And what I like about that is that it gives us the time. By staying on the court for two bars, you've got more time to really feel and hear the sound of the court and find the notes that you want. The great thing to know about improvising when you're making when I made up Melanie's is that most of the melody notes of the scale will sound good on either of the cords. So one of the things that I did when I was playing you, If you listen again to the solo I took was repetition. And to be able to just find a simple notes and repeat, it is one of the best ways to start your story. You start your solo? No, because it is so much like like like telling a story. It's like making an introduction to a character. If you think of the person coming out on stage, you know, and says to be or not to be, you know, they're making a statement on then and then they leave a bit of space for the audience to kind of pick up. What? What? I try to make sense of where this story is going. So I started my solo. I started my soul with simple ways. I think it would be repeated. So s so I left a fair amount of space in between the the, uh this is the second phrase, but I just played something simple enough that I could repeat it myself if I wanted. So yeah, one of the things now I would in this case I was just playing a company accompaniment part . And for most of you starting out, you probably will only know the one voicing of G, which is your basic beginner Gee court. And one thing that piano and guitar to be aware of is that because we occupy a similar range and a similar type of sound, it's different than, for example, if I was playing a flute, our saxophone with piano, they stand out from each other Now one of these, they consider, is like Do we want to be in the same registered? We want to kind of have a unified big sound together? Or do we want to spread out so that I'm in this register, which is kind of sort of middle bottom on the piano way? Want to be making a lot of power like we're just going giving a lot of sound? But now, maybe if Kenny moves to either lower and higher, Theo notes can kind of they can stick out a little bit more. And these are good things to think about, especially between piano players and guitar players. And one other thing is a starting out phase. If keeping the rhythm of the two bars for each chord is a little bit too much to manage. We're gonna do a quick example of kind of a beginner step to this, which is we're going to know that there are only gonna be two chords and they're gonna go back and forth, But we're not gonna count rhythm. So in this example, Kenny is gonna que me when it's time to go from the G chord of the Sikh word and then back and I'm gonna watch him. So I'm doing the job of the melody player in the soloist in terms of the tracks. Okay, Theo, I think this example I'm gonna do the queuing, but we're going to move between the cords more often so that you can get it start to get a sense of when it's going when it's gonna be closer together. I think, Ah, a big part of playing together is just communicating and keeping your eyes and ears open. And also don't be afraid to make mistakes, you know, learning how to q another musician or trust each other. It's It takes time to develop those relationships, and the way you get good at it is actually by making mistakes. So you'll make use and won't be big enough for somebody won't be looking and you'll learn how toe to do it more and more confidently. So in that example, I was exploring the scale patterns, uh, mostly and not doing a lot of the repetition. And, um, there's, ah, way of exploring that's, uh, based on hand position. So if you're a piano player, you'll see I'm in G position here. So as I was watching Todd, I didn't actually need to look at my hand passing the note between different genders on exploring that way. And it all sounds good in this with the chords that he was playing Thea other. If that's a to advance a beginner Step two, that would just be to play the core tones like I'm gonna just repeat a d. I'm gonna pick one note and watch Todd this time for a couple, of course, and see how that what I can do with just one note. It's just a different way of approaching it so that you can practice the I communication. Sometimes you have to simplify what you doing musically just to practice the kind of actor skill communication that has to happen with jamming. Yeah, and the purpose of playing music is not to play complicated. It's to express yourself so there could be a tendency with your mind. Will want to say, Well, it's not fast enough for interesting enough for flashy enough. I'm not using enough notes. All of those voices air not really helping you. So it's more of a feeling based thing when you have. If you can communicate something to another person using words with very few words than that does what it needs to do. You don't have to write a big, huge, long letter to them. If you want to say is like I'm feeling blue today, you know that doesn't need to be much more complicated than that. 47. Guitar Piano 3: - way , Theo Way, - Theo , Theo, Theo. Short, short. Yeah, excellent. So in this video, we're adding in a few more advanced techniques, like playing a four chord pattern instead of suport powder and also trading back and forth . Who's playing the melody? And this presents between guitar and piano, a whole bunch of interesting challenges that are going to make you a much stronger musician once you know how to think about them. So can you want to explain what the core progression was? How long, ladies, For sure we had one bar each of G chord c chord, chord. It's very common core progressions. It really pays off to learn that a lot of songs use it. And when we're getting to the solo in question, uh, you know, I found that because the guitarist quieter when you take your solo you may have noticed from the video that I started up high are kind of quiet sound, and those are the same range of the notes that he's playing so as I started way. Now that I'm down in the lower range, you'll notice that his known started to sparkle a bit more right, and with acoustic guitar there. It can be challenging to improvise with other instruments because it goes from being quite loud. I got all six strings going at the same time, Teoh Just one note at a time, so dynamics and volume are a big part of it. So it's part of reason why knowing the form ahead of time and saying, Well, you're gonna solo first. But when it comes when you Q me, you have to start thinking about how can you play the piano in a way that my notes can come through? If you're playing electric guitar, one of the simplest ways you can do it is just when you're playing your cords don't have your volume turned up all the way. And then when you're gonna take a soul, you can turn the volume up on the guitar and then turn it back down when you go back. But it creates, um, really offered. I mean, I think restrictions create really interesting opportunity. So when I have to play a duet with somebody on another instrument, like maybe I'm playing the drums and I gotta play a duet with a flute player. All of sudden I have to think about playing the drums totally differently because I'm bashing away like I would in a rock band. You can hear it so it gives you a chance to try something different. For sure. Don't be afraid to ask the other players once you get to a band situation if you're playing with electric players, especially or drummers. Ah, lot of us, uh, practice so much on our own that it's hard. It's another skill set. That's why we're putting this in the series together. To talk about how to jam is you have to have the courage, something to say. Hey, could you play a little quieter on my my solo? Or maybe you could switch to mallets on the drum. Zo R You've been laying out, you know, in the jazz tradition, there's lots of examples where the rhythm section players will actually lay out and just let the person do their own completely unaccompanied solo, you know? Then the band comes in, so those are the things that you can look forward to creating lots of drama with, with the use of texture and space, you know, so that I am I gonna play doh, I need to play right now. Or maybe I could just lay out and let that person go on their own and then come back in as long as you keep in your mind. The train tracks and the bars of the form. Do you know when to come back in? Musicians, we always meet on the one, so that's always a good place. If you get lost, just lay out, listen for it and come back when it's ready. If you both get lost in to do it, you can always, you know, stop and have a good laugh and start again. And that's what we call a train wreck. A train wreck, which is not known, get certain musical training. Thea other thing is that is recognizing whether or not a mistake, like if things goes totally off the rails, sometimes you know, we all space out. We miss things. If you're having a problem in the same place every time, though, then it's a good thing to stop and talk about. Go up. I think in the second bar you're paying this court and I'm playing the score. Let's sort it out. And the way in which we talked to each other is really important to just always remember to be. Talk about the music and not about the person so sure, instead of you played that wrong, you can say something like, I think, where that court is. We're not playing the same court, right? Talk about abuse. And then it's about sorting up that thing rather than me going. You're wrong. I'm writes those kinds of. 48. Sax Piano 1: way, way. All right, right. So when we're having a duet between saxophone and piano, it's a really beautiful place to play with these two instruments When you're the saxophone player, one thing to be aware of a Saxon can be quite loud. And when you're just getting started, playing it quietly can be one of the bigger challenges. So actually really like playing duets with piano players because it lets me practice keeping a really full sound but not blowing as loud as I possibly can. The other thing to think about when you're starting out is that the saxophone and piano are not in the same key, so I'm playing a tenor saxophone. So when we're playing in the key of G on the piano, which is what we're playing, it's the key of a on the saxophone. So our notes are not gonna be the same. And one of the easiest ways to make this work and keep it simple is if I think of my first note is being a is the number one and Kenny's first notice G is the number one. And then when I say play the first note of the scale where both, we could be talking about the same thing. It's like our ones are starting in different places. But they sound the same. Um, one? Yeah. What are some things that you like? Think about when you're playing to It was thankful. Well, I love this actual in a lot of people do so it's a great instrument. Thio, Thio, Thio Thio express yourself with And, uh, it's, um, a louder instrument than the other. The softer woodwinds family, the saluting the clarinet. So as a piano player, I'm thinking a bit stronger. I'm gonna make sure that I'm sounding chord to the persons that they feel like they've got a nice base sound to Teoh back, background, t improvise around. So in that one, I was really just laying those boards on, enjoying listening to the sound of Todd like moving through the notes and exploring the notes of the scale that go with that court. G scale goes with G chord, so it's not too hard. And then in the middle, I threw in a little running feature because I know a lot of my beginner students. They don't always play with all their hands or play a chord with just one hand, you should figure music out how it makes sense to you. So if if you know if I show a student sometimes with one hand, well, I've had a lot of beginner students that come up and say I could do that and they do it with one finger because that's where their brains that So that's that's something you should allow yourself to do. However you explore it, though, make sure that you're also listening and looking as much as possible as you can that the people you're playing with because when you start to play with Duo, you know I contact is really important so that you know, when we're beginning together and knowing when we're gonna end together. So using our heads to nod the ending or not the beginning This is a great way toe to stay on the same track. Yeah, and in terms of playing together, we're keeping this as simple as possible. We're just saying on one chord, and we're not really having any rhythm yet. We're allowing it to be a very free flowing conversation. Something called the soundscape is what we're basically doing, which is like painting a picture, but with sound. We're just keeping it. It's almost like imagining the color outside the lines, and and it's a little more of an abstract kind of picture that we're painting. And when you're just starting out, I really want encourage you to just go for it and try it and have the confidence to make sounds. You can think about how little little kids learn to talk. They sort of start by just making the here adults talking and then the O with them cause they're the instinct to communicate. Is there even though the language is it really that developed? So our brains have what I call a copycat brain as an inner teacher? When we're small, everyone learns to mimic, re or copycat so on. Still, even as you grow up to be on adult, that's still a very strong thing. That people will do is just copy what the other see what they see other people doing. So. One of the things that I think about with saxophone and any of the wind instruments as a piano player is that most of them have a smaller range of notes to choose from, so sometimes I trying to expand what I'm doing, even in a simple way as a beginner. You know, if I know that the G court has a team being D well, you'll notice that when we did the track, sometimes I jumped up here at the end. I put that in there, and I could just be that one g down there by itself in a d up here on there's your G Kara's Well, so that's what we call opening up, voicing on that way. I'm playing on the outside ranges of it, and then his notes are all in the middle, so it provides what we call a contrast, which is a really beautiful thing. Thio Thio. 49. Sax Piano 2: So we're gonna do a jam in G C and two bars each on. We'll do it with the rhythms. All accounted him. Okay. Theo Theo. Way he all right. So in this example, we've added in a couple of new elements. So we have a harmonic structure meaning a group of chords that's repeating in the same pattern. And we've added in some rhythm so that our song has a structure and a framework that's predictable. And when you're playing with a duo with someone else, this is the beginning of learning how to understand form and where things are gonna happen and you build a level of trust with some else playing duos with With Kenny, we've played together lots over many years. So we're very comfortable together when you're playing with somebody knew these things can take a little while to feel comfortable, but it's becomes really exciting. What you learned how to trust it. So when you take a little bit About what? What? The cords that were playing And for how long? Sure. Well, as you heard me as being of the track, I checked it with the player by my friend Tom Before we started to confirm that we knew which, which, of course we're gonna use. It was the G chord, the one court and the C chord, which is the four chord in relation to one. So though Fundo and uh counted in and explained to him that I would do two bars of the one chord and two bars of the forecourt, two bars of G two bars asi eso Then I felt the tempo first. And then I asked him, How does that feel for you? And he felt good. So that's something you could do with your friends when you're improvising to. If so, if you felt like someone was going a little too fast, you know, anywhere gonna be able to keep up with thinking about which notes you were going to use for your court. Then, you know, say a bit slower and personal. Slow it down. You can go from there. Uh, sometimes when you're starting just to get to immediate intermediate level and working from court to court again, that panic feeling can him can crop up because you're afraid you you will not hit the next court of the right time. So just take the breath. You know, relax yourself and think about just if you're playing the wind instrument, you just have to just blow a note. A lot of the notes of the scale will sound great over whichever court you're playing, so I found splaying. Saxophone is a very freeing kind of thing. Where's a piano player? You have to really be in charge of making sure that your finger switch on the right time. So when I started learning how to play structures, I would often use the damper pedal quite a lot so I could just play my G chord, Take my hands off right away. So right away they can start finding where the next court is, while the sounds still is there. So I I'm making sure that I count as well so that I'm not gonna get lost on the track. It's a piano player is job in the rhythm section is really to make sure that you're providing laying those tracks steady so that the melody players can can play the play on the melody track. So my hands ready to switch on five and six and the ready place and just with one corn getting ready to lift the pedal. And now battle is taking care of the court Now. Maybe I want to work on my inversions higher intermediate level. Once you've got that, the pedal down, you concert, practice your inversions that go up. And that helps and give the music a sense of space that you're expanding the landscape and that inspires the horn players Teoh to stretch themselves. So it's kind of like doing a workout. It's really like having a workout buddy together. Going to the gym is hard, but what I have someone else to go is Yeah, weaken, give each other feedback and stuff. So learning I find doesn't accelerate a lot more once you start to Jim, even though it's hard at first, you know, go for it. Yeah, and another step you can take kind of before you add in the rhythm if you're having trouble . Keeping it locked together with two bars at a time, for example, is to play freely, but with the two chords in mind. So we're gonna do that really quickly where we know that there's gonna be two chords and again on the sax when we're in a different key. So I'm gonna be playing A and D. And what? Instead of counting, we're just gonna play it and we're gonna kind of Q each other. Yeah, so in this example, due to short ones in this example, you're gonna be killing me when we're going to switch forwards. Sure. And then we'll stop and then all do one more on human. You all right? Here we go. I'm watching Kenny and I'm Alaska's. I'm breathing way through way. No, I didn't do one. And I'm gonna move it a little closer to having the rhythm and that we're going to switch. We're gonna switch faster. So we're gonna follow. You told me that was cool. One thing I realized that I'm doing that, I'd like to mention is that playing with a wind instrument as a piano clear really reminds me that I've gotta breathe rhythmically as well. Not just breast for relaxation. That that's important, too. But that when when todd was gonna switch the court, he has to take a breath. So I was breathing with him, and that's when my damper pedal comes up. So you heard that little silence of breath that I put into my piano. That that makes the music sounds even more like we're professionals. So I'm playing a little tremolo, and that's when it took my damper off. And that creates a real moments of silence in music. When you learn when are golden, you know when when you learn to get together with your friends. And and for piano players and drummers and bass player's guitar, all the rhythm section players that don't have to blow It's really great if you can. If you can learn to do that breathing as well. Keep your eyes on your horn players and your singers as well. This is the same for any long instrument. 50. Sax Piano 3: - way , - Theo . Right on s. Now we've added in a few more elements, which are ah, longer court progression. So we've now got a four chord progression. The cords are going by faster, and the temple were playing at us faster. The notes in the form for me are going to be a and then d and then a and then e. So again, always remember that tenor saxophone piano, not in the same key. So when you're talking with each other and make sure to sort that out before you start, the other element we've added is that we're trading back and forth. Who is playing the melody were improvising and who is doing the accompaniment part and you may have caught it. There's just little subtle cues that musicians use all the time. Just a little look or eyebrow. They don't have to be a big, huge gesture, but you just have to know that it's coming. So we agreed beforehand on what the form of our little jam was gonna be. So we're going to start out, Can he was gonna count it in. We knew what course we were gonna have, and then we knew that I was gonna solo can begin solo and I was sold when we're gonna end. So can you want to tell them about what chords? What? The progression wasn't sure. There's a very common core professional, lots of someone's uses. It was really worth using learning. And if if that temple was too fast and always feel like you can slow the tempo down so you can practice a new court progression And if you're if you like the tempo, you know, maybe your board of practicing slow. I remember sometimes I would get so bored practice. So I just want to play some faster. And so then you don't then play fat practice faster, but simplify the chord progression so you can always simplify one of the elements so that you can practice. Wait, what you feel your body wants to do right now, In the moment when I'm playing the G chord, I'm just starting in a root position. G. And I'm switching up to an inversion with C chord back to G e o R Way e o. I wasn't asked to sing there, but I just started doing it. I didn't used to always just do that naturally. But I learned to do it because as a horn player myself, I learned that if I knew more about the cords on then saying the nose, you know, I could become a better saxophone player. And so I highly recommend as a piano player that you would learn to sing as well. And that gives you, um, really releases your inner musician. That's that's the core of it. It's a really valuable thing to do. So you're backing your accompanying yourself up, backing yourself up or a company in yourself. Eso those Those are the core progressives were using. And, uh, we started out strong with a good rhythm. And then at the end, we kind of did. A robot does that The train was coming into the station. Yeah, that's really critical times beginning and ending where you gotta be, making sure that your eye contact is going, especially when you're improvising. There's a tendency to close our eyes when we play, which is okay. Just remember, though not for too long. Thing happened is at the end of it, Kenny, slow It slowed down, became really spacious. There wasn't as much rhythm happening. We hadn't discussed that beforehand. And one of the things that playing in a duo are improvising with another person is really great. Is things happen that you don't plan for? And sometimes, like maybe Kenny plan that maybe you did. Maybe you just kind of hit a chord and it felt like it needed to slow down is just go with it like BB Willing toe Let the music go where the music wants to go and if it totally becomes derailed, which is the term we use in music when things kind of totally fall apart, it's really it's okay. And in fact, the way you get really solid is as a musician is by having things, trying things, and they fall apart a little bit, and then you try it again, like riding bikes. Just get back on it and keep going. So I want to really encourage you. Don't be afraid to try something new and have it not work. What you don't see when you see us playing is the thousands of things that we tried it didn't work, tried it, didn't work, tried a number, So you're gonna do great and keep up the great work 51. 7 key steps to starting a band: I'm Todd, the music coach. And right now we're going to talk about how to start a band with either your friends or family. Playing music with other people is truly the richest experience you can have in music. So it's a great goal when you're just starting to learn an instrument to try and bring more people in. It's the same. If you play a sport you're gonna wanna do with your friends, you're gonna wanna do with your family and social time, a way to really express yourself. So unfortunately, for a lot of people they have no experience with how to put a band together, how to make it function properly. In a way, a bands no matter who's in it, is like a little mini tribe. And there are dynamics between people and how people communicate to each other that are important. There's also some accountability which is great to learn in terms of if you're deciding on some goals, like we're gonna learn the songs, everybody has to go out on their own and learn their own thing and come back and be accountable to the group that they're in. The first step is to choose what instruments and what kind of banded is you'd like to have. Some big decisions that you're going to want to make right away is, what do you want to have a drum kit, for example, depending on the style you want to play. Now, a drum kit is an amazing instrument, but you may not have the physical space or the ability in terms of volume to play music that loud. And a full drum kit also influences. For example, if you're gonna play an acoustic guitar with a drum kit, it's very limited how loud you can play on the drum kit without having to have the guitar amp through a guitar, through an amplifier. So that's sort of 1 first big decision you have to make. Then beyond that, you might want to think about what kind of style of music you're moved by and what kind of instruments maybe are already in that style of music. So if your favorite band is made up of, you know, electric guitars and bass and drums. And it's big and it's allowed us raucous, and that's what you wanna do. Then you probably want to organize yourself in a way where those instruments are part of the picture. But if on the other hand, you're like, I really like, you know, classical woodwind instruments. You know, I like flute and clarinet and oboe. And so those are things to think about and finding friends and family who can share a common vision of what kind of music you want to do is your first step. Once you're into choosing instruments, it's important to make sure that they're divided up in a way that will allow you to make good music and have everybody's voice be clearly heard. So you may find out that you've got two people who really want to play guitar and you might be able to make that work. What has to happen then is you have to adjust what parts everybody's playing so you can hear each other properly. But you may decide that, you know, somebody else really wants to play the guitar and I kinda wanna play the guitar, but I've always thought about playing the bass or I've always thought about playing the saxophone. And it's a chance to challenge yourself and move into new instruments. The great thing about learning second, third instruments, if you already know one, is that all of the musical knowledge that you've gained on the first instrument comes with you to the second one. So it's never really like starting over. And the more instruments you learn, the easier they get to learn, because you're just taking more and more information with you to the next experience. Just like with your own personal practice habits. Having goals as a band is really important. And every band has different goals, even professional ones. So if you may have a goal where you say, I really want to be able to play at a talent show at my school in a year. Like we, that's our, that's our goal, that's what we wanna do. Or I want to be able to play at this fundraiser or maybe the goal is I just want us to be able to once a month get together and perform just for ourselves and the songs that we really, really like. Or we want to be able to play together on holidays. Or there's certain colony music we really want to be able to play whatever those goals are. It's important to just have them be clear and have everyone understand what they are so that everyone can draw their focus and attention towards getting yourself to those goals. It's also important to make time to reset your goals when you get to where you wanna go, don't just stop. Go. Well, now that we're here, where do we wanna go next? Whether you're in an amateur band or professional band, it doesn't really matter. Scheduling time for your own practice is equally important as scheduling time for the bands practice. One of my teachers has a great saying that I love. He always told me, said, a rehearsal is not where you go to learn your part. It's where you go to learn everyone else's part. So in that sense, when you come into a rehearsal, you should already know the parts that you're going to play, at least to a general level so that you can see how they plug in and go together. And for that to happen, you'll need to schedule time on your own to practice. And generally speaking, the ratio of rehearsal time to practice time is somewhere around two to one. So if you're planning on having a half an hour rehearsal, you're probably going to need a half an hour to an hour of total practice time to make yourself ready for that rehearsal. And change a little bit depending on, you know, you might choose a song that you actually really know. So you don't really need to do too much to get ready. But as a general rule, you want to keep that in mind. Scheduling time for the band to rehearse, and also picking a place for that to happen is the next key step. The location is really important because you're going to want to be in a place where you can make the amount of noise that your band is going to be making comfortably so that you're not disturbing your neighbors or other people who aren't involved in your musical project. So a couple options are, you've heard of the classic ones. You know, garages can be great if you have one because it's usually a separate from the house enough that you can make a little more noise of the bothering people. Basements tend to be pretty good for the same reason because most of it is underground. If you are in an urban area, it can be very challenging because so many apartments and buildings are close together. But there are rehearsal rooms that you can rent by the hour, and they often have everything you need in them to play. They'll have a full drum kit. They'll have guitar amps, base amps, they'll have keyboards, even they'll have a sound system with microphones if you want to sing. And you pay by the hour. So you sometimes pay about $15 an hour and you just walk in and you play as loud as you want. They're usually soundproofed and made in a way that you can play as loud as you want. So it's a good option. And if you have three or four people together, if everybody chips in a little bit of money and you're doing it once a week or once every two weeks. It's not that expensive and it's a nice option. Scheduling the time for rehearsal is similar to scheduling your own practice time. You're going to want to check in with everybody about what their schedules are and when ideal times r. And depending on what stage of life you're in, this is going to have a huge difference if you're planning on starting a band with a bunch of 16 year-olds like year 16 and all your friends are that age. You have different schedules than somebody who's in their forties or fifties. So you want to think about when it's going to make the most sense for everybody and when it can be convenient, where everybody can be present and focused and enjoy the process and not be waking up too early, going to bed too late, trying to rush there in a real hurry. Inevitably, in any kind of tribal situation or band situation, there are gonna be conflicts. People have strong opinions about music and about their own parts, and about how the music should go and should fit together. So it's good to have a plan in place for how to resolve those conflicts. And when he combined this plan with a general sense of an agreement between people about how to communicate in conflict, this can alleviate a lot of unnecessary tension. A really simple example I'll give you is, if you're playing a part that I don't like and I communicate to you in a way that implies that I'm also not liking you at the same time. You're going to feel defensive as soon as I talk, even if my eyes, even if you agree with the idea, you're probably going to defend yourself because you're like, Hey, you're telling me you don't like me. And this is just primal human to human stuff. So learning how to talk about the music without talking about the person is a really important skill. And if you think about the language you're using, you can really become skilled at this and say, I'm feeling like the part that you're playing isn't fitting together with this other part over here. As opposed to, I don't like what you're playing because it's not working with this. So I'm talking about the same thing, but you can probably feel even through the video, there's a different energy to it. And how everyone communicates has to be carefully negotiated so that everyone feels safe and they can really express themselves clearly. Because ultimately you got to remember that making music together as a very vulnerable experience. And people need to feel like they can take chances and that it's safe. And one last thing, also, remember to take the time to really cheer each other on, makes a huge difference if somebody speaks up about something that you're doing in a positive way, this doesn't have to be manufactured or phony. But if you hear someone playing something and you're really digging in and it's like you're feeling it may start to tell them like that's a great, you're like you're playing that amazing and like what you came up with his sounds great. And I'm really digging in. This kind of positive real reinforcement just creates this sense of everybody is rowing the boat together in the same direction, which is part of what makes playing in a band feel so amazing. You feel like you're part of a team and everybody's working together towards the same goal. So learning how to do that is also important. You may come from a cultural background or a family background where there just wasn't a lot of encouragement. So I know you have to use something that sometimes you have to cultivate and learn how to do. But it's really important and it makes a huge difference in the sense of togetherness that you have in a band. 52. General gear guide: Music coach. And this is a bonus feature where I'm going to talk about some general tools that every instrumentalist should have with them. They're not very expensive, but they're gonna make a huge difference to the quality of your practice. And also if you're rehearsing with other musicians, the things I got in front of me are two different music stands and a tuner and a metronome. So first, let's talk about the music stands. There are two basic types. This one is a solid music stand. It does fold up. They're a little bit more expensive, but there are a lot more practical to use, especially if they're just going to live at your house. I'd recommend spending a little more money getting something that's a little more durable. Because the other option are these wire foldable stands, which are great for traveling with. But because they're not solid, things can fall through the screws and everything on them are usually a little bit cheap and it'll sometimes bend easily. So the difference in price, these wire ones are going to be sort of 20 to $30. These are going to be closer to a $100. But in the long run, I recommend getting a good solid music stand. If you're going to be in one location. A chromatic tuner. If you're playing an instrument where pitch is going to be an issue, which is almost every single instrument, with the exception of the drum kit and the piano. You're gonna need to know whether you're playing sharp or flat and how to make adjustments. And the only real way to do that is with a chromatic tuner. These will cost you around $30 and they have basic functionality. They take a AAA battery. One nice thing that's happened in the last few years is most apps stores for smart phones have some kind of a free tuner. And even for like a dollar or two, you can buy a more advanced version. So if you don't feel like having a physical one, I have owned these for a long time, so I've got them. You can download something to your smart phone and make sure to use it to be constantly checking in to see where you're at or you playing sharp or flat and certain registers. And a note for guitar players, you might think that a guitar tuner, which is something that's sold in stores, would be the right thing for a guitar or bass. And in fact, the guitar tuner isn't really useful at all because it's always checking to see what string you're on. It's trying to figure out, are you on the sixth string, on the fourth string. And we actually want us to be able to know is that string I'm playing, playing the right note. The other reason this is important is if your guitar gets really at a tune, a guitar tuner won't really give you a relative sense of where you are. You'll have to get a close before it's even usable. So I don't even recommend ever even buying a guitar tuner. Metronomes track time. And this one looks like the same as the chromatic tuner, but it basically is set, you can set it to how many beats per minute. Which a simple way to think of it as 60 beats per minute is like the second hand on a clock, because it's 60 clicks in a minute. And if you had a 120 beats per minute, you'd have two clicks for every second. A good metronome, we'll have a couple of important features. You want to make sure you get one that has the ability to plug headphones into it. Especially if you're a drummer, because the speaker on this is never going to be loud enough for you to hear it while you're playing drums or even to be honest, playing most instruments. So you want something with a headphone adapter and you also wanna make sure that you have something where you can easily change the tempo. So they all have the ability to change the tempo, but some of them will go up in increments of three or four. Just make sure it's something that you can adjust the tempo evenly. And last but not least, it's important to have one that you can clearly, visually see as well, that it's easy to see the display because sometimes when you're playing, you're going to want to just check and check on visually where you're at in terms of the time. And much like the tuner, you can download these off of most apps stores, there's almost always a free one. Sometimes they're not great. But for a dollar or two, you can upgrade and get a more advanced metronome, which will work great. And this is going to cost you about $30. So a dollar or two on an app store to upgrade the free version is often what I recommend for my students. 53. How to create a furtile musical home: I'm Todd, the music coach, and welcome to this video where we're going to talk about how to create a fertile ground for a musical home to grow. I'm sure that you've had the experience of walking into someone else's house for a party or a holiday. And it seems like everyone is musical, like people picking up guitars and sitting at pianos and singing along. And it just seems like it's all natural and it's happening and it's really beautiful. And you may have wondered like, how does that happen? How do those homes happen? And unfortunately, you might think, well, those people are, that's a musical family. And their, their musical, and I'm not, and that's the reason why we don't have that. And that's a complete and total lie. The truth behind it is that those people found a way to create a fertile ground for people to feel safe and express themselves and challenge themselves and set goals so that they could play music together. And they probably did all of this without even really knowing that that's what they were doing. So I'm going to lay it out free, explain how this actually happens. So in my family home, there were no musicians. My parents loved music, but they didn't play. I didn't grow up watching people play. And both my brother and I ended up being professional musicians. So you might go, How did that happen? And there were a lot of things that my parents did that I think they didn't even realize that they were doing. One really simple thing is we listened to music and we talked about what we liked about it. And hearing them share that with me was really invaluable. And we took long car rides. We would listen to, I know that my parents, there was an oldies stations that they really liked, which was like fifties and sixties rock. And we had dialogues about like who is that artists and when did you first hear that? And they would share stories with me about where they were when they heard that song or what kind of meaning it had to them. So a great way to set this up for yourself is in your own home, you can initiate it. And a great way to do it is to allow everyone a chance, even if you've got little people in your life to share a piece of music that they feel moved by. And feeling moved by music can be all sorts of different feelings. It doesn't have to just make B the song makes me feel happy. It can be this song makes me feel sad or the song makes me feel like agitated, or it's just what you're looking for, something that makes you feel something. And a good forum for that is to go to the living room and decide that we're going to we're going to spend a half an hour doing this and everybody gets to pick one song. You might wanna set some ground rules where, you know there's not gonna be any songs with any swearing editor inappropriate, whatever for your family, you feel as appropriate. And then while you put your song on, everybody agrees to be in silence and really listening. And this just developed so much good ability, not just for music, but just the ability to sit for three to five minutes at a time and really listen to what's going on around you is such an important life skill that will really have a huge impact on everyone. And you might want to set some other very simple ground rules, which is, it's like the everything I learned, I learned in kindergarten, which is if you don't have anything nice to say, you don't have to say anything. It's better not to say something really negative. Because. People are sharing something that means something to them. And learning how to have that dialogue is important to be able to say, it's not to my taste, instead of it's socks or I don't like that song or it's the same way that we teach each other how someone prepares a beautiful meal for you and it's something you don't like to eat. You can talk to them about that in a way that's not going to hurt their feelings in music is the same way. You can then expand on this game by adding in some other artistic elements. One really fun one that I like to do is do the same thing, put on a piece of music. Everyone gets to bring something that they feel moved by. And everybody just takes a piece of paper and during that time, they just draw or sketch something that they feel is connected to their experience of that music. And then everybody can share that with each other and talk about, well, I shaded this thing this way because it made me feel good to think of a cloud, or it made me think of a tree, or it made me think of this or that. And again, it's, it's an exercise in not being critical. It's just expressing yourself through art while listening at the same time. And another variation of it can be to do the same thing of having a listening circle and have everyone write down an idea for a short story. Something that they either through the lyrics, if it has that kind of thing in it or if it's instrumental, just talk about ice. You know, I'm seeing a story about somebody walking their dog in the woods when I hear this. And again, as long as no one is being harsh with each other about it, it's a really neat window into how we all experience music differently. Making time to watch movies that are about famous musicians are famous music is also another great way to help get a really fertile ground for music going in your own home. There are tons of great documentaries about all sorts of things, about the backup musicians in Motown or you know, even about famous composers like Mozart and Johnny Cash and Ray Charles. You can watch and discuss and talk about what their music, the music of that artist, or what the story of that musician, how it, what you thought about it and what it meant to you. The more you share your own experience with other people about how music moves you, the more it grows inside of you and more passion that you have for it with all of us traveling and car so much these days. Another great musical fertilization that you can do is to plan on having music on car trips and really having people listen for a lot of us. Actually, the best stereo that you're going to own is going to be in your car. Car stereos are usually quite high-quality, So it's a great way to experience music. One thing that's happened, unfortunately, as we've gotten into more individual devices of smartphones and mean it started with Walkmans and CD players and things like that is we tend to experience music isolated. Each person will have earphones in and be in their own world experiencing music, which in a way is great. It's nice to have some personal time with music. But one of the things we've really lost is the connection and the sharing of our joy with each other. So trying to set that up on, on travel, times together with your family can be great or with your friends and just talking about and sharing it and letting everybody have a turn with the stereo and okay. 54. How to create a sucessfull practice routine: Hi, I'm Todd, the music coach. And in this video, I'm going to be talking about how to set yourself up for long-term success when you're practicing music and learning an instrument. The biggest challenge I've found, not only for me personally, but for most of my students. It's not the technical requirements of whatever instrument they are playing, or even how much innate ability that they have when they start. The biggest challenge people have with consistently making progress in music has to do with their practice habits. And for most of us, we have a negative reaction to that idea. Even practice habits, discipline these things. We feel like we get tense about it. And adjusting your relationship to those ideas will open you up to being able to fully embrace all of your abilities and really take giant leaps forward in your playing. I know for me personally, I realized early on I had to change my relationship to what I thought practicing meant, how it worked, what I thought discipline meant. And I had to really re-frame in my mind what it meant to play an instrument. This has a lot to do with where the way we're, we're perceive learning a musical instrument and society unfortunately is largely negative. You've probably seen this mostly what you get fed in the outer surroundings is that some people have talent and some people don't have talent. And when you go to a concert and you watch someone play, you think, well, they're just have it. And that's why they sound amazing. And this doesn't in any way reflect reality. It may be that they had some natural ability, but there's thousands of hours that went into what you're seeing when you see someone performing in a professional context. Then the question becomes, well, how did they get from not playing it all to having the discipline and the patients and learning the right things to get all the way through that process. And although musicians will give you a variety of different answers, I think the best way to do it is to find a healthy way that's realistic and is repeatable. So what first key to having real success in your practicing is to set goals. Because like anything else in life, if you have an idea of where you wanna go, It's a lot easier to tell where you are in that journey. Rather than just a loose idea of like, I want to learn how to play this instrument. And if you have that thought and it just sort of dissipates out into the air. When things get difficult, you're more likely to quit because it's like, where am I in the middle of that journey? As opposed to you could say, my goal is I want to, for example, I want to play the piano and I want to learn how to play these three songs in the next year. And he may have no idea how you're gonna do it, but even just having that goal is going to help propel you along. And when you hit rough patches, you can check in with yourself and your goals and you go, Am I doing the things that I need to get to my goal? A good goal to think about when you're playing a musical instrument is how to get to a place where you can make music with other people. Music throughout human history has always been a community event. It's only in the last few 100 years that it's sort of moved into conservatories and into school settings. And we've isolated from each other. And somehow we've lost the idea that the point of it is that you can actually make music with another real life human being. So my suggestion, if you're not quite sure what goal to set, I'd pick a goal that involves eventually playing with other people. Whether that's joining a band or just playing with a friend and going like my friend also plays the guitar and I want to be able to play the same song so we can play together. Another really big key to long-term success with practicing is finding a consistent time of day that you're the best frame of mind and being to practice in. And this is different for everybody and which is why there is no one answer of everyone should practice like at five o'clock or I mean, that's not helpful for anybody. We all have different lives and different schedules and commitments. I suggest you experiment around with it a bit. I found for me personally, I feel the best practicing early in the morning. And for me it's just I find my mind is very clear and relaxed and I haven't been sort of inundated with emails and phone calls and other commitments. And I set aside a small amount of time, not every day of the week, but four or five days a week. Because I'm a professional musician, I have to work on a lot of things, but for you it might be one or two times a week and I block off that time and when I'm there, I'm as present as I can be and I'm working on my goals to get me closer to where I wanna go next. Some things to think about, about when the time of day is going to be, when you're gonna practice, are make sure you have had enough sleep. So waking up too early if you're going to bed too late is not going to be ideal. Make sure that you've had something to eat. If you're really hungry, like if you get home from work or school and you're starving, it's not going to be ideal for your nervous system in your body to be in a calm place. So make sure that you've had something to eat. But you also may find you don't want to play right after you eat something because you might feel a bit full. So these are things to think about about where in your day you're going to plan to have your practice time. When it comes to practicing, quality is so much more important than quantity. Unfortunately, you may have even already heard from other music teachers that you gotta practice for an hour every day or half an hour every day or so many hours per week. And this information isn't really helpful because the quality of the time you're putting in is what's really important. If you were to take the same approach to eating food and say, well, the way you get nourishment and your body is you sit at the dinner table for 45 minutes. It's missing so much of the point. There are so many other factors. Are you eating too much or you are not eating healthy foods? Are united eating at all? Are you just sitting there and practicing music is the same. You can sit down with your instrument for an hour and not only make no progress, you can actually regress because if you're reinforcing bad habits, then you're not actually you actually making your playing worse. So what I like to tell my students is focus on the quality. Five minutes of really focused practice can change your life forever. I know for me it's that way. I had this. I had to start out by getting the routine working first rather than trying to figure out what I was going to even practice. So picking a small thing and being consistent with it. And when you're there, challenging yourself to do a little more of it each time is the best way to go. Now in life, things are gonna come up. You're gonna get sick. You're going to have to travel places. You're going to have holidays, all of these things. And it's important to be flexible with your practice routine and to think a little bit into the future. And so for me, for example, when I'm planning, when I'm going to be practicing, i'm taking into account some of those factors, the ones that I can control anyway. So like if I know that I've got family coming to visit and I'm going to be busy entertaining people and doing things. I will suddenly is put my practice routine on hold to give my full attention to that. Knowing that when the time is right, I'm going to come back and be fully focused rather than trying to ram in practice time when you're distracted with other things. The same can be true of getting sick, having a cold and flu, something like that. I would say it's good to have a break from things. And always when you're practicing, you want to be in a good frame of mind and being. Because you're not just practicing musical information, you're training your body to have a relationship with the gaining of musical language. And if your body is in a frenetic state, every time you do that, when you go to touch your instrument, it literally will reset your brain to feel anxious and upset. Now the other side of that is that if you can train yourself to be calm and presence every time you're with your instrument. Pretty soon after a while, you'll just go over and pick it up and your body will come into a calm place. Before I practice, I like to take a moment and before I even touched the instrument or put it together and just see if I can get myself. I sometimes close my eyes and take a few deep breaths and try and get myself into a very calm place because I want to reinforce that with everything that I'm learning. If you don't have any experience with meditation, I highly recommend that through whatever form you can find, you find a good practice that's small and to the point where you can get yourself into a calm and relaxed place before you start. Another key element to actually getting towards your goals is to make sure to always be challenging yourself. There's this fine line when you're learning new things between going over what you already know and challenging yourself to do something new. And the balance, you might think, well, once I learned how to do a few things, I'm only just going to ever wanna do those things over and over again. But what will happen is you'll start to get bored with what you can already do. And a good thing I like to tell my students is you should always be feeling a little bit uncomfortable when you're practicing. And I don't mean like nervous and agitated, but you should be doing things where you're not getting it right all the time. Because you want to be that's a sign that you are actually working on something that's making you better. It's the whole point of practicing in the first place. I work on things on my own so that when I go play with other people, I can have more things that I can express. Not so that I can just repeat the same things that I already know how to do over and over again.