Play Better Piano - A journey through contemporary harmony
What you'll learn
- Techniques & methods professionals use to sound better and how they apply them on the piano
- Musical concepts & ideas that you can further use for your own solo arrangements!
- Create beautiful harmonic foundations for yourself to sing along or accompany others
- Challenging exercises that will also help build up your technical skills through non-traditional methods
- Exercises & concepts that will help you master all the common chords in music literature as well as learn the basic principles in applying them properly
- Learn techniques & create mind-maps that eliminates the need for looking up chord charts
- Useful tips & insights that will help speed up your musical thinking
- THIS IS NOT a watch & play-along instantly course! Many times you will find yourself having to pause here & there, try out the examples, go back and forth to grasp the concepts & techniques.
- You might have to transcribe some of the music by ear which is perfectly healthy and normal for your aural training. Use the piano & virtual piano as a guide but most of all learn the fundamentals and how they are applied.
- Although this course is intended for both the beginner and intermediate level students, it will require a fair amount of repetition on certain technical skills.
- Please be dedicated and find time to go through the exercises & examples until you understand the concepts or even better, play them fluently!
This fast-paced course takes you where you need to be. Thinking musically, like musicians do!
When learning any musical instrument there's always one part where you will have to dedicate time to develop your technical skills. It takes not just months but years to refine those skills only to find out that sometimes we totally ignored the 'intellectual' aspect of music!
Wouldn't it be great to have a bit of skill .. not too much, in fact rather on the "slow side" and still be able to play something that 'sounds' good?
Harmony is much about that intellectual side rather than being able to play with lightning speed technique.
It's not about just learning chords or playing scales up & down the keyboard. It's THE concept how to sound good. Why one note sounds better than the other.
The more you understand the underlying concepts and how to apply them, the more you will realize that a lot of music can be played and enjoyed without having to acquire concert-pianist level skills.
I'm sure you've probably seen enough guitarists strumming chords and instantly enjoying the music with everyone around singing and clapping along?
On the keyboard, we can and should too! I mean we have 88 keys haven't we?!
So hop along & join me in this short but rich journey through piano harmony.
All songs mentioned are transposed to the key of C . The songs themselves are excerpts that will address a particular concept or technique.
11 practice songs with accompaniment example & analysis: Let it Be (Beatles), Can't help falling in love with you (Elvis), Canon in D (Pachelbel), My Love (West Life), Don't know why (Norah Jones), Desperado (the Eagles), Have I told you lately (Rod Stewart), Fly me to the moon (Jazz standard), Tears in heaven (Eric Clapton), Just the 2 of us (Grover Washington), It might be you (Stephen Bishop)
3 songs demonstrating common grooves: Girl from Ipanema (Antonio Carlos Jobim), Misty (Jazz standard) & Can't take my eyes off you (Gloria Gaynor)
11 other short excerpts mentioned: Nothing's gonna change my love for you (George Benson), I miss you like crazy (Natalie Cole), Just the way you are (Billy Joel), Let it go (Frozen), Superman (Five for Fighting), I started a joke (Bee Gees), Everything I do (Bryan Adams), Change the world (Eric Clapton), Last Christmas (Wham), Can't smile without you (Barry Manilow), Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Who this course is for:
- Beginners from scratch & early beginners (0-1 yrs.) can use this course as a kickstarter or supplement, whether you are starting with classical training / playing by ear / reading music or playing from Synthesia or other notable apps
- Early-Intermediate to intermediate players (1-3 yrs.) with more technical capabilities can fully take advantage of the concepts to play better and sound better
- Beginning accompanists & voice students will also benefit on how to create beautiful accompaniments for others or themselves to sing & play along
Music & the piano has always been my passion.
Like many others, I started out with classical, aspiring to become a concert pianist. Eventually I got hooked with jazz, composition and music improvisation.
Fate took a strange turn in 2002 when I was involved in an accident which broke my right hand. This finally led to being diagnosed with focal dystonia for over 10 years. In my case, the hand would clench into a fist when playing fast passages and it would be pretty painful trying to play those technically demanding pieces I was so used to.
Eventually I had to stop giving serious recitals and moved to play in more vibrant jazz pubs where music is more of a conversation rather than work. Most of all I could still play the music that I love and ‘fake’ my way out of playing.
Back then I also taught at music schools where almost half the students were adults. People who were passionate about music but didn’t have the time or flexibility to polish their technique which would take years. Due to my condition, being the “slow-hand pianist”, I sympathized with them immediately.
That led me to find ways to produce the most sound out of the instrument without having to rely too much on technical skills. I started using these “slow-hand methods”, as I jokingly called, to teach adults and older people to enjoy their experience on the piano.
And so the years passed. Former students became lifelong friends. More years add up, more friends. Nowadays if I'm not working, I currently enjoy frequent visits at my home studio in Bangkok, Thailand for friendly jam sessions or a chat on anything about music.
Nothing beats being surrounded by people sharing the same passion.