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How To Write A Song On Piano

Jordan Leibel - Feb 23, 2018

Writing a song might seem hard at first, but it’s actually quite easy when you break it down into its basic components.

 

First, start off with a simple chord progression. A great progression to use is the I-IV-V progression. It’ll make for a great progression for the first section of your song.

 

This progression makes a great verse, but it’s just a start. Every great verse needs a chorus. When writing your own chorus, remember that simpler is better. You don’t necessarily need a whole new set of chords for the chorus to sound distinctive from the verse. Try using the chords you already know! In this short video series, not only have you learned the C, F, and G major chords, but you’ve also learned your first minor chord, A minor. Swapping from a major progression to a minor progression is a good way to separate the verse from the chorus.

 

 

Working with chords is one thing, but you’ll also need some cool melody ideas to use over those chords. As always, remember that less is more for melodies. Try basing your melodies on the third note in your root chord. The third note in any triad is the most important note for determining whether that chord is a major or a minor chord. In this case, that root chord is C major, and the third note of that chord is E.

 

Of course, there are countless ways to write a song. These ideas are just a couple ways to get you started. But above all, never be afraid to experiment! Writing a great song is first and foremost about writing a song that means something to you. What emotions or feelings are you trying to express through music? As a songwriter, use your musical technique and theory knowledge and see what you come up with!

 

Have a great song you're already written or an idea you want to send my way?  Send me an email at [email protected] I'd love to hear it!  

 

Happy songwriting, 

 

Jordan

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Easy Tips For Soundproofing A Musician’s Home

Pianote - Feb 20, 2018

 

If you’re living in a small space, the sound or beat of even a well-played instrument can disturb roommates, neighbors, and family. That’s why it’s especially important for beginning pianists and drummers to have a space to practice. One way to do this is to soundproof a specific area or room in your home. Here are a few tips to help.

 

Soundproofing Tip #1: Mind the Gaps

 


Scan the doors and window in your room for gaps. A lot of sounds will escape through these cracks, so consider adding a door sweep on both the inside and outside of the door. This will help reduce sound travel.

 

You might also consider covering the windows, either with thick curtains or professional-grade acoustical sealant or budget-friendly foam weather stripping. Look into installing a soundproof liner for your heating/cooling ducts.

 

Soundproofing Tip #2: Reduce Reflection

 

 

If the room you’ve chosen has hard surface areas, like granite countertops or hardwood floors, the sound will reflect. This means it will reverberate around the room until it runs out of energy, hitting the surfaces over and over again.

 

Soundproof against reflection by bringing in thick rugs or laying down carpeting, and consider hanging some material from the walls. Also install soundproofing materials throughout the room, including soundproof curtains or acoustic insulation. Be careful to avoid cheap alternatives, like egg crates or mattresses. These are ugly and ineffective.

 

Soundproofing Tip #3:  Adjust Your Space

 

 

Think critically about your practice space and avoid areas that share walls with neighbors. You might consider adding a false ceiling to give your upstairs neighbors additional relief. Additionally, think about replacing hollow doors with solid, heavy core ones. If it’s an option, consider moving your equipment to a shed or garage in the backyard.

 

Creating Your Own Simple Studio Space

 

 

If you’re into composing, playing and recording, maybe it’s time to turn your unused guest room into an at-home recording studio. In addition to our other soundproofing tips, focus on acoustic treatment options. These will help ensure that the music that stays in sounds the best.

 

Consider these tips and tricks to keeping your music sounding just right:

 

  • Eliminate feedback from your equipment by placing items like amps far away from microphones.
  • Don’t get rid of all sound reflection. Leave a few spots open and treat them with diffusers to preserve the natural frequency of your music.
  • Install bass traps to dampen the sound for lower frequencies. Most of your reflection treatments will tackle high-frequency reflections only.
  • Make sure you have plenty of outlets for your equipment and that they’re the correct wattage.
  • Think seasonally: When hot weather hits, will the sound of your air conditioner become background noise?
  • Arrange your studio to accommodate the number of musicians who could play at one time in the space. If you host other artists down the road, or if you just want to practice with friends, this will make it a lot easier to arrange your recording stations to maximize the best sound.
  • Use equipment that fits your space. This will ensure that you have more room and fewer things for sound to bounce off of. Have you considered using compact equipment? Use digital instruments to keep clutter at a minimum. 


Original article from Redfin

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How To Use A Piano Sustain Pedal

Lisa Witt - Feb 16, 2018

The sustain pedal. Once you get comfortable using this pedal, your playing will feel “naked” without it! It can be tricky to develop the coordination at first, but with practice a proper form, it will become second nature. Much like driving a manual transmission vehicle! Yes, I just made a mechanical reference in a piano blog.

 

So what does the sustain pedal do anyways?

 

When we move between chords or notes, we more often than not have to lift our hands off the keys. This can result in a pause or break in the sound. The sustain pedal allows all of the notes on the piano to resonate after the keys have been lifted, for as long as the pedal is depressed. It will create a more legato sound to your playing and add a whole new level of richness to your tone.

 

To use the sustain pedal simply depress the pedal with your right foot to sustain the sound, and lift the pedal to release. Make sure that your heel remains on the ground while you depress and lift the pedal, this will help you to make these transitions as smoothly as possible.

 

 

Now how do you know WHEN to use this pedal? My rule of thumb when using the sustain pedal is to lift it each time there is a chord change or a change in harmony. If you don’t know how to tell if there has been a change in harmony, go with your instincts. Your ear will be able to tell you if your sound has become muddy and you need to release the pedal.

 

Happy sustaining!,

 

Lisa

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