Practice Five-Finger Patterns


DbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABC

 I'm a firm believer in stretching before I do any work out exercises. The same is true with practicing the piano each day. Reach for Hanon 1 Finger Exercises or do these Five-Finger Patterns. I will be starting lessons right after Labor Day and will be handing out the following exercises for practice.

C Major

Starting with the above keys, play this five-finger scale with all five fingers. Start at C and play to G, then return to C. Do this one hand at a time. Then play the finger scale, slow and steady,  with both hands at the same time.

C Maj Broken Chords (Arpeggios)

Play notes C_E_G Play hands over hand, four octaves up and back, beginning with the left hand.

C Maj Block Chords

Play the notes C, E, and G together at the same time. Play firmly up and back 3 octaves.


DbEbGbAbBbDbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABCDEFGABC

G Major

Start at G and play to D, then return to G. Play with both hands at the same time.

G Maj Arpeggios

Play G_B_D notes with hand over hand, 3 octaves up and back.

G Maj Block Chords

Play the notes G, B, D together in both hands, 3 octaves up and back.


DbEbGbAbBbDbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABCDEFGABC

F Maj

Play from F up to C and then back again. (F_G_A_Bb_C) Same procedure as above.

F Maj Arpeggios

Play notes, F_A_C one at a time

F Maj Block Chords

Play these notes at the same time in both hands, F_A_C


DbEbGbAbBbDbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABCDEFGABC

D Major

Start at D and play to A, then return to D. Play with curved fingers and try using both hands.

D Maj Arpeggios

Play the keys, D_F#_A one at a time, using both hands. Play 3 octaves up and back.

D Maj Block Chords

Play the notes D-F#-A at the same time in both hands, up and back solidly.


DbEbGbAbBbDbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABCDEFGABC

 A Major

Play all five notes, A_B_C#_D_E with all five fingers in both hands.

A Maj Arpeggios

Play A, C#, E with hand over hand, 3 octaves up and back

A Maj Block Chords

Press down A_C#_E in both hands, moving up and down the keyboard.


DbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABC

 E Major

Start at E and play to B, then go back to E, using all five fingers.

E Maj Arpeggios

Play the notes E_G#_B one at a time. Roll those broken chords so they sound like a harp.

E Maj Block Chords

Play E, G#, B together in both hands. Practice chords for church music, along with rock and roll.


DbEbGbAbBbDbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABCDEFGABC

 B Major

Start at B and play to F#, using all five fingers, then descend to B where you started from.

B Maj Arpeggio Chords

Play these piano notes, B_D#_F#, hand over hand.

B Maj Block Chords

Play B, D#, F# simultaneously.

Have fun strengthening your fingers and building muscles. Keep your hands limbered.

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"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

Back To School: Piano Lessons

Cover of "Alfred's Basic Piano Library: L...
Cover via Amazon


I'm getting ready to head up a new school year of teaching piano to home school students, as well as those who attend public and private schools. Oh, and I love to teach adults because I enjoy spending more time with them at a slower pace. Usually an hour lesson provides lots of learning time and the younger ones enjoy a fast-paced half hour time slot.

Beginner's Corner


As you've probably gathered online as well as from your own personal experience, all piano teachers use different methods, piano books and teaching approaches with their lessons. I am always being asked, "What books do you use?" and my answer usually is... 'it depends.'

LadyDpiano: Bastien Primer Level


For beginners, I like these four little pink books!
Bastien Piano Basics Primer Level - Learn to Play Four Book Set - Includes Primer Level Piano, Theory, Technic, and Performance Books

Music Theory Primer Level:


1. Rhythm in Music
2. Music Alphabet
3. Time Signatures
4. The Staff
5. The Grand staff
6. Clef Signs
7. Dynamics
8. Measuring Intervals
9. Slurs and Ties
10. Chords
11. Sharps and Flats
12. Middle C Position, C Position and G Position

LadyDpiano: Alfred's Basic Piano Library


When my students finish these books, which usually takes them the entire school year, they then move on to Level 1B. Keep in mind that I supplement their notebooks with free music sheets, music games, work sheets and ear training. Lots to do in such a short amount of time.
Alfred's Basic Piano Library: Lesson Book Level 1B

Music Theory - Level 1B

1. C Position Review, G Position Review and Middle C Position
2. Review Melodic and Harmonic Intervals
3. Incomplete Measure
4. Review Dynamic Signs
5. Accent Sign
6. Tempo Marks
8. New Time Signatures and New Concepts
10. Eighth Rest
11. Measuring Half Steps and Whole Steps, Tetrachords

Young students and adults who are ready to move on will enjoy a new learning experience with
Alfred's Basic Piano Library Lesson Book: Level 2

Music Theory: Level 2

1. Time Signature Changes and Tempo Changes
2. New Rhythm Patterns
3. Shape of Intervals
4. Playing 6the in G Position
5. Fluency in a piece that changes registers frequently
6. Moving hands to 8va position and more frequent left hand positions
7. Harmonic 6ths moving stepwise
8. Blues Scales, Major Scales ascending, descending and contrary motion
9. Measuring 7ths, Playing Harmonic 7ths
10. Reviewing tetrachords and major scale patterns
11. Triad Vocabulary, Blocked and Broken Chords, V7 chord
12. Chord Progressions

The Secrets To Playing Piano By Ear


Another resource I recommend, 300pg Piano By Ear Home Study Course
Adults, College kids and High School students like this reference book. It's a great theory reference guide to have on hand. You'll be filling in the blanks with pencil a lot!

Hope you have a great school year with many blessings and opportunities for you to share your talents and musical gifts!


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"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

Learn Meant To Live

Switchfoot: Live – EP
Switchfoot: Live – EP (Photo credit: Wikipedia)





 Awhile back I posted On Fire by Switchfoot (love the slow worshipful song) but recently I was reminded of another popular song, Meant To Live. It has tons of power chords, you know where you omit the third of the chord and just play the root and fifth. This song was written in 2003 by Jonathan Foreman and Tim Foreman. My guy students really like this one, especially for the Junior High and High School Kids.

Play this piece like a rock song in the Key of D with 4/4 time signature.

~INTRO~

B5      A5   E5      G5       A5
B5      A5   E5      D5 E5    A5
B5      A5   E5      F#5      G5

~VERSE~

G5(let ring)
Dreaming about providence and whether mice or men have second
F#5 D5  E5 D5  F#5 D5 F#5 G5 F#5   F#5 D5  E5 D5  F#5 D5  F#5 G5 A5(1)
Tries
G5(let ring)
Maybe we've been living with our eyes half open maybe where bent and
      F#5 D5  E5 D5  F#5 D5 F#5 G5 F#5   F#5 D5  E5 D5  F#5 D5  F#5 G5 A5(1)
Broken                       broken                              oh

~REPEAT CHORUS~

~INTERLUDE~

B5  A5(2)  E5  E5 D5  E5 A5(1)  B5  A5(2)  E5  G5

~BRIDGE~

        D                            G
We want more than this worlds got to offer
        D                            G
We want more than this worlds got to offer
        D                         G
We want more than the wars of our fathers
                 C                       G
And everything inside screams for second life   yeah

~OUTRO CHORUS~

D5                                Dsus2
We were meant to live for so much more have we lost ourselves
D5                                Dsus2
We were meant to live for so much more have we lost ourselves
D5                                Dsus2
We were meant to live for so much more have we lost ourselves
D5                    Dsus2
We were meant to live we were meant to live

B5   A5(2)    E5
 
 

 Chord Breakdown

Intro

While the r.h. is playing a quick grace note and eighth notes, like F#, G, F#... L.H. chords will be

E5 = BE
G5 = GD
A5 = AE
B5 = BF#
D5 = DA
F#5 = F#C#

There's a left hand run that goes like this:

F#C#, DA, DA, DA, EB, DA, DA, DA, F#C#, DA, DA, DA, F#, G, F#

Have fun with the song. Perhaps you play the guitar, too. Here's another resource you may be interested in, Advanced Guitar 301

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"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King


NotateMe Now: App Review


LadyDpiano: NotateMe App Review

 

 Free Single Staff Version

 

Great for iPhone / iPad

Great music composition software

 

 Description

Free single-staff version of NotateMe - the ground-breaking music composition and music notation software from Neuratron, with handwriting recognition plus PhotoScore Now printed sheet music capture (using your device's camera!).

- Featuring powerful handwritten music recognition - quickly and accurately enter music notation with your finger or stylus, on a tablet or smartphone.

- Write music on the train, in a plane, by a lake, or just sitting comfortably on your sofa!

- Simple, intuitive interface with little to distract you from your creativity - similar to writing with pen and paper, but with instant playback, editing and a printable score at the end!

- Includes PhotoScore Now - A free 1-staff version of the PhotoScore Add-In (In-App Purchase) for full NotateMe. Take photos of printed sheet music with your device's camera, so you can play back and edit them with NotateMe Now! Recognizes 5-line staves and most markings including chords, flags, beams, rests, accidentals, articulation marks, clefs, key signatures, time signatures, tuplets, slurs, ties, hairpins and text including lyrics, dynamics and instrument names.

- Great when learning or teaching music notation.

- Email MusicXML and MIDI files of your scores to friends or other musicians. Open in Sibelius, Finale and other desktop software.

- NotateMe Now recognizes a wide range of music notation symbols, including notes (with solid, open, and slanted noteheads), flags, beams, leger lines, multiple voices per staff, chords, rests, accidentals (natural, sharp, double sharp & flat), articulation marks, augmentation dots, ties, slurs, hairpins, clef changes, key signatures. Barlines, clefs, time signatures and triplets are added automatically.

- It works while you write - the printed score updates automatically without you needing to stop and wait.

- If NotateMe Now doesn’t recognize your style immediately, keep at it, as it will adjust. Leave clear space between symbols and make markings clearer with further strokes if any transcription errors occur. If you experience problems, tap 'Help Improve NotateMe' from the Export menu and we will analyze your handwriting to help us improve NotateMe further.

 Review


This is an awesome tool for teaching music notation and is loaded with lots of cool stuff. Upon opening the program, you can accurately enter notations with your finger or stylus on your tablet or iPhone. If you don't have a stylus, I'm pretty sure you can get one at Fry's for little cost.

The app is nicely laid out, as well as user-friendly. I found the software easy to understand and very effective. You'll find that bar lines, time signatures, clefs and triplets can be added automatically.  There are many dynamics to choose from. Plus, you  can email your files to friends, students and other musicians.

There's a good selection of activities and you can customize it to fit your needs. Check out the requirements, here and download NotateMe Now - Neuratron Ltd. I'm very pleased with it and give it 5 stars! If you'd like a glimpse of what it's all about, here's a video presentation.



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 "The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King


How To Play Manhattan

English: Sara Bareilles live at De Melkweg Ams...
English: Sara Bareilles live at De Melkweg Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 16th June 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



 I like to play Sara Bareilles' Love Song. Another favorite of mine is Manhattan because the tempo is a slow shuffle with 3/4 time signature. I play it in the Key of A. I believe she wrote this song after ending a long-lasting relationship.



If you like Sara's style of music, you'll find other song chords in Sara Bareilles - The Blessed Unrest Songbook.

Manhattan


Intro

A5  Amaj9  A5  C#m  C#m/G#
F#m7  Fmaj7(no5)
 
Verse 1

A5              Amaj9/G#
You can have Manhattan
F#m7               Amaj7/E
I know its for the best
     A5            Amaj9/G#
Ill gather up the avenues
F#m7(add4)              Dsus2/F
And leave them on your doorstep
D(add2)         Dsus2/C#
And Ill tip toe away
Bm7(add4)            Asus
So you wont have to say
A5             A/C#  A/G#  F#m7(add4)  Fmaj7(no5)
You heard me leave

Verse 2

A5            Amaj9/G#
You can have Manhattan
F#m7(add4)            A(add2)/E
I know it’s what you want
A5                    Amaj9/G#
The bustle and the buildings
F#m7(add4)          Dsus2/F
The weather in the fall
D(add2)              Asus2/C#
And I’ll bow out of place
Bm7(add4)         Asus
To save you some space
F#m          Amaj7/E
For somebody new

Chorus

D6
You can have Manhattan
Dm
Cause I can’t have you

Interlude

A   Amaj9/C# Amaj9/G# F#m11 Fmaj7b5 


Verse 
[ Tab from: http://www.guitartabs.cc/tabs/s/sara_bareilles/manhattan_crd.html ]
A5             Amaj9/G#
You can have Manhattan
F#m7(add4)           A(add2)/E
The one we used to share
A5                     Amaj9/G#
The one where we were laughing
F#m7(add4)                Dsus2/F
And drunk on just being there
D(add2)        Asus2/C#
Hang on to the reverie
Bm7(add4)              Asus
Could you do that for me?
F#m               Amaj7/E B7/D#
Cause I’m just too sad to

Chorus

D6
You can have Manhattan
Dm
Cause I can’t have you

Bridge

E(add4)  Esus2/4  E

D(add2)  Dsus2/C#  Bm7(add4) Asus
And so it goes
    E/G#
One fight after the other
     Dm7               Dm9     Em7  A(add2)
Til black and white begin to color in
E/G#  F#m7  A/E
And I know
      D            Dmaj9
That holding us in place
          Dm(maj7)                A5
Is simply fear of what’s already changed

Interlude

Amaj9/G#   F#m7(add4)   A(add2)  A5
Amaj9/C#  Amaj9/G#  F#m  Fmaj7(no5)

Verse

A5             Amaj9/G#
You can have Manhattan
F#m7(add4)           A(add2)/E
I’ll settle for the beach
     A5              Amaj9/G#
And sunsets facing westward
F#m7(add4)            Fmaj7b5 
With sand beneath my feet
Dsus           A(add2)/C#
I’ll wish this away
Asus2/B          Asus2
This missing the days
     F#m        C#/G#      Amja7/E  B/D#
When I was one half of two

Chorus

D6
You can have Manhattan
Dm                  A5
Cause I can’t have you

Outro
 
Amaj9/G# F#m7(add4) Esus
 
*A(add2)  Amaj9/C#  Amaj9/G#
F#m7(add4)  Fmaj7b5* repeat 

Well, have fun with the song and let me know how it goes.

You may be interested in this free download:

Musician Transformation 44 Pg. Guide

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"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King



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