Creating your own songs II

Have you ever wanted to create your own unique piano songs? Just simple pieces that express how you feel? You can if you learn how to improvise first and then learn how to compose. Here’s why.

Improvising allows you to express what you feel without constraint. In essence, it’s like freewriting because the goal is to free your unique voice without worry of right or wrong, good or bad. It is a skill that students should learn once they’ve got the fundamentals down, and is foundational for further success at composing. Once you are able to sit down at the piano and can trust your intuition to guide you, you’re ready to compose.

Composition is really just slowed down improvisation. You take the initial inspirational gem you’ve discovered through improv and flesh it out using the tools of repetition and contrast. For example, in the lesson “Waiting for Spring,” we learn how to create a simple ABA form in the Key of C.

The key here is that we already know the piece will be an ABA form so how do we proceed? Easily! The way I do it is I write out the first 8-bars and then improvise to see what will come up. Once I’m onto something, I write out the first 2-bars of the melody so I can remember it. Then I use chords from the Key of C Major to finish the first 8-bars; my (A) section. Another 8-bars or so for my (B) section and I’m done! The arrangement of this easy piano song usually works itself out to play the (A) section twice, (B) section once, back to the (A) section and you’re done. Most of the time, this comes out to about 2-3 minutes of music.

The important thing for creating your own piano songs is that you must be able to move forward and complete sections of music. This is best accomplished when you can improvise freely first!

Give it a go and let us know how you get on and what you come up with.

The Team!

Yamaha Avant Grand N1

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In pursuit of the Grand Piano in everything – sound, touch and action.

Part of Yamaha’s AvantGrand lineup, the N1 delivers the captivating sound of this hybrid piano series in its simplest form. The N1 easily does justice to the grand piano in terms of playing feel and responsive action, setting a new standard with its perfect integration of acoustic and digital technologies.


Specialized Grand Piano Action

The nuanced touch and response of the grand piano are an essential standard yardstick for piano quality. The AvantGrand offers the player a specially-developed grand piano action that features the same configuration as the action of a real grand. The hammers strike the ‘strings’ from underneath, allowing minute adjustments to the weight distribution of the hammers, and to the movement of the hammers themselves, for a smoother feel when playing. In addition to a hammer sensor, the AvantGrand employs a non-contact key sensor that has no effect on the movement of the keys, affording excellent recognition of the player’s pressure on the keyboard, timing, and the other delicate nuances that affect musical expression. This combination provides an impressive sensitivity for the entire range from pianissimo through to fortissimo, and the ability to translate even the swiftest trills of the pianist with transparency.

Spatial Acoustic Sampling
With the introduction of the AvantGrand, Yamaha ignited a revolution in the approach to sampling, recording and playback of the notes of the actual acoustic piano. Treating the sound-board not simply as a point source of sound but as a plane, they took samples at four positions, adding optimum center and rear locations to the traditional left and right.

Spatial Acoustic Speaker System
As a sound source, we carefully selected the best single instrument from among our CFIIIS full concert grand pianos for sampling. The end result of these efforts is that AvantGrand series instruments recreate the original sound of a superb grand piano almost to perfection. Meanwhile, the AvantGrand’s speaker system has been designed to ensure that this sound is heard best at the playing position. A three-way system featuring woofer, mid-range and tweeter speakers reproduce the rich natural resonance of the soundboard accurately. What’s more, each of the low-, mid-, and high-frequency bands has been given its own amplifier to prevent interference between bands. This innovative configuration allows the instrument’s outstanding sound system to reproduce the nuances of each individual note. For even greater sonic accuracy, feature speaker layouts optimized for the size of the instruments.

More specs
Number of keys: 88
Number of pedals: 3

Number of polyphony: 256
Number of voices: 5
Effects: Reverb

And of course, it comes with all the functions that an electric piano comes with such as Metronome; a tempor range that goes from 5 to 500. It comes with headphones connectivity, MIDI in and out, Aux in and out and USB.

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