The Real-World Practical Chapters
I have really good news to share with you!
The Piano Encyclopedia’s Main Lessons are almost finished, and even though we are taking a little longer, the great news is that we have expanded our lessons with new sections, more images, interactive animations, and even more sound recordings. We have also added some new very special practical chapters that we’re calling the “Real World Practical Chapters”. I’ll tell you more about that in a moment- but first let me tell you why…
We’re really grateful to have received many wonderful emails and comments to our blog about our Music Fundamentals eBook, that we gave away for free, and I am personally very grateful for all your words of support and encouragement. (You can read some very interesting comments here). In this way, we have all been greatly inspired and we have focused on developing and expanding the Piano Encyclopedia’s Main Lessons during the last two months. They are almost ready and we’re finishing some new sections so as to include everything necessary for mastering composing and improvising – step-by-step – from beginning to advanced. Thus, we’ll be releasing the Piano Encyclopedia’s Main Lessons before we release the rest. The good news is that we’re almost done and that they are looking absolutely great!
We have been planning the content of these lessons for months and months, and to now see them almost finished is something completely delightful and exciting for me and the rest of the team! But better yet, the great news is that we have also expanded our team, which is not only helping us to develop faster but also to enrich our content in ways we couldn’t before. We were lucky to find some very talented musicians, writers, and editors that share our vision. Some are professional concert pianists or piano teachers; while others are editors and writers, but that in addition, are also amateur musicians that share a deep passion for music.
We have incorporated into the team both classically-trained musicians, as well as jazz, blues, and modern-style music lovers. Some of them find their way in life giving classical concerts in orchestras with all the joy Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and other great composers provide. Others have devoted their life to the jazz and blues, playing for clubs, jazz events, and improvising music for the wine-drinking crowds. Even though most of the music they play and love is separated up to four centuries apart, they all have one thing in common – that they all share our vision of changing piano learning.
I am really amazed of how many experienced musicians share similar stories to the ones I told you about in our Music Fundamentals eBook. Stories about how many of them have also spent years of frustration, until they discovered some very simple but powerful concepts that changed their musical lives forever, opening their path into really understanding music, composing, and improvising. Concepts that sometimes are just not taught in traditional piano lessons.
- Why don’t most traditional piano methods teach this?
- Why aren’t these concepts taught right at the beginning?
- Why isn’t music theory taught in a practical way?
- Why only very few piano teachers know how to apply all this and most of them just focus on ‘piano playing’ instead of understanding how really music works?
- Why, why, why….?
Actually, teachers that know all these are so hard to find, and you actually have to consider yourself lucky if you have found a teacher that has told you that scales are not just for ‘improving playing technique’ or ‘practicing your fingers’. As for myself -I had to spend more than ten years until I found a teacher that actually told me that scales were useful for determining the harmony of a song, and that they were the key to improvising and composing- and that scales were not just for ‘stretching your fingers’.
Evermore -truth be told- I used to hate scales and I am sure many students do. My teacher, at that time, would tell me that I had to practice the scales so I could improve my playing skills; and although that’s true, I found it more useful to practice real music passages, and so I found it completely useless. However now I definitely love them, and I practice even the exotic types in addition to the common scales (Spanish, Chinese, Arabian scales, etc.). Why? How come I changed from hating them to loving? The fact is no one had explained how to really use them… Nowadays, scales are my pathway in to playing different music styles, as just by knowing the notes and how a scale is harmonized, it’s very easy to figure out what chords to play along and how to improvise a melody. Why don’t they teach these key concepts right at the beginning?
Some music secrets:
- Knowing which key your new tune is, means that you should be able to figure out which chords to play with your left hand (the harmonization of the scale will give you the chords that you can use to play along with).
- Once you know which chords to play, you’ll be able to know which notes you can use to embellish your current melody (the relation of scales to chords -and vice versa- will tell you which notes you can play on your right hand, with every chord you play on your left hand).
- Mastering music intervals, not only will permit you to predict how chords sound even before you play them; but you’ll also be able to create new chord types by just combining the different intervals, just as if you were combining spices (intervals) for cooking a tasty meal (chords) (music intervals as the elemental building blocks of music).
- Understanding that music can be summarized into the concept of tension-and-release, and how this works with chords and scales, can open your doors into building chord progressions, and creating ‘musical-phrases’.
- Music is like a language: the notes of the scale are your alphabet, chords are your words, and chord progressions are your sentences or ‘musical phrases’. Combining sentences can help you build paragraphs, and by combining ‘musical phrases’ you can start creating your simple songs.
- Finding the balance between Tension and Release is the secret to how all the music works (relation of that concept with chords, scales, and intervals).
You might want to read each of the previous sentences again and little by little, as I have just described some simple and powerful secrets, that when mastered, I assure you that they will change your music abilities dramatically, as they have done for me. I would have saved so many years of endless frustration had I learned all those concepts fourteen years ago! I have already shared with you some of the basic concepts that helped me really rediscover music in our Music Fundamentals eBook that we recently gave away for free. (In fact, if you didn’t get your copy yet, you might want to grab your free copy here).
However, in the Piano Encyclopedia’s Main Lessons not only will I be telling you in depth all these simple but powerful concepts that made me reach a new level of piano playing (and made me discover that composing and improvising was not just possible but also a very easy thing to do), but in addition, you’ll also get to enjoy all the secrets that made each of our team’s musicians reach a new music level- step-by-step.
So whether you like classical, jazz, blues, or any other style, my goal is for you to understand how music works for ANY music style. My objective is to show you through these lessons how these simple but powerful music concepts work for explaining the harmonic structure of any music style. This is why we thought it was important to expand our lessons and our team, and also incorporate musicians who share the best of both worlds (classical and modern styles) so as to show you how music really works in the different fields.
However, by now you might be wondering, “What are the Real World Practical Chapters?” Well, just to give you a sneak peek, I am going to show you in a minute all the different music-style examples that have been ALREADY included in our new Real World Practical Chapters.
Why Real World Practical Chapters? The reason is because even though our lessons already include many examples with chord progressions and harmonization samples, in these new chapters, we’re including song excerpts from REAL songs to show you how the theory really fits into practice – using songs and music pieces from real artists and composers, not just some textbook examples. The purpose of these chapters is to show you how you can compose and improvise real music by mastering the concepts we are showing you. All the harmony of the songs and music pieces we’ll show you can be explained by using the practical tips and simple concepts we teach you. By showing you music from the different music styles we can show you how all music works with same harmonic principles.
I could tell you more about it, but I think it’s better if you take a look at all the musical styles that have been already included in our Real World Practical Chapters:
Musical Styles already included in the Real-World Practical Chapters:
- Rock & Roll
- Major Blues
- Minor Blues
- Rock Ballad
Currently, the Practical Chapters include the harmonic analysis of at least one song or music piece from each of the above music styles.
In this way we hope to guide you through the classic songs that defined each music style, and hopefully walk you through your favorite songs. However, once you understand the fundamentals, you’ll be able to understand how the harmony works for any song.
Now before I go on, let me give you a preview of all the excerpts from songs and music pieces we have already included in our Real World Practical Chapters:
Some songs and music pieces we have already included in our Real-Word Practical Chapters:
“Hey Jude” (The Beatles ), “She loves you” (The Beatles), “Paperback Writer” (The Beatles), “Yellow Submarine” (The Beatles), “Let it be” (The Beatles), “Maybe, I’m Amazed” (Paul McCartney), “Mac the Knife” (Brecht, Weill), “Johnny B. Goode” (Chuck Berry) , “Midnight Hour” (Wilson Pickett ), “Glory Days “ (Bruce Springsteen), “Old Time Rock & Roll” (Bob Seger ), “Maggie May“ (Rod Stewart and Melissa Etheridge), “Have I Told You Lately” (Rod Stewart and Van Morrison), “Different Drum” (Stone Poneys), “Every Time You Go Away” (Paul Young), “Empty Red Blues” (Bessie Smith), Sweet Home Chicago (written by Robert Johnson and recorded by The Blues Brothers), “The Twist” (Chubby Checker), “Hound Dog” (Elvis Presley), “Take It Easy” (The Eagles), “All Along the Watchtower” (Jimi Hendrix), “Stairway to Heaven” (Led Zeppelin), “Oye Como Va” (Santana), “Black Magic Woman” (Santana), “Hotel California” (The Eagles), “Night and Day” (Frank Sinatra), “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin), “Für Elise” (Ludwig van Beethoven) … and many more!
So, as you can see, we’ll guide you through each of the musical styles and show you some real examples of how the theory fits into practice. The good news is that we’re almost done. We’re polishing up the graphics, preparing the animations and sound recordings, and making sure everything is looking great!
Stay tuned and we’ll be back with more news; with more free stuff and previews along the way.
In the name of the whole team,
Thank you for following The Piano Encyclopedia’s development,
Best wishes and Happy Holidays!
P.S: You may want to read some very interesting comments about our Music Fundamentals e-Book here: Check out what everyone else is saying. If you have finished reading it, feel free to leave a comment, join the conversation, and let me and everyone else know what you think.
P.S.S: ..And if you didn’t get your copy of our Music Fundamentals e-Book yet, you may do so by signing up here: Reserve our Music Fundamentals eBook. Once you subscribe you’ll instantly receive a copy of our e-Book and we’ll keep you up to date with the development news, with more free stuff and previews along the way. Let me warn you that as for today, this eBook is free only for our followers, so I don’t for how long we’ll keep giving it away for free.