Hod do I learn to play my S500

PSR-S500 Information and Advice

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Mairs
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Hod do I learn to play my S500

Unread post by Mairs » Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:19 pm

Hi Guys

I am looking for a Yamaha product which I think exists - can you advise. I think there is a downloadable way of learning to play keyboards. I can play well enough for church but I wana play rock!! Anyone got any hints about how I can get some good on line help about learning my keyboard and then improving my skills. Thanks from london uk. Mairs
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Unread post by Clyde » Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:57 am

Hi Mairs,
Welcome to the Forums! Learning to play in a traditional sense is often very different from learning to play rock. Let me use myself as an example. I started taking organ lessons at about age 10 learning to play in the traditional way, learned to read music and practiced/played traditional standards and light classical pieces, mostly never performed except at my organ teacher's recital program. At age 14 I wanted to start playing in a rock band, bought a portable organ and found a band to get started with (all of us were pretty new to rock bands), now I had to forget about reading music (start playing by ear) as there was none available for top 40 rock (whose most popular songs changed every week), learn every possible variation of every different type of chord progression, and do a lot of my practicing with several other people at the same time. My traditional lessons/playing skills had not equipped me for such a radical difference, though they did provide me with an excellent "base" of playing skills. To sum that up, I think it is an excellent idea to have some formal training prior to playing in a band, the more training the better, but it may or may not get you to the point that you can jump right into playing rock. Many excellent rock musicians have never had any formal training, some just a little, while others have been completely classically trained (Keith Emerson as an example). There are several Yamaha keyboards that have the built in YLC (Yamaha Learning Center) that can help you with learning to play, there are also excellent piano/organ courses in written form (like Alfred's Adult Standard Course for piano). You can look at the various keyboards on Yamaha's website to see which ones have YLC. I have not checked online resources to see what may be available there, perhaps someone else has and can comment on them. I hope you find the right tools/method to develop your skills, let us know how things go.
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Unread post by Fozzer » Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:27 am

....Psssst...

...Don't forget the old "Three Chord" trick for Rock Musicians....

...with a 4/4 rhythm...

Keyboards, to Guitars..;)...!

You are up there with the "Rolling Stones", "Status Quo", etc, then!...trust me!... :lol: ... :lol: ... :lol: ...!

And learning to "play by ear" is a must. Without being blessed with a musical gift in the first place, it is an uphill struggle... :cry:

Paul...you hum it...I'll play it... 8) ...!
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Unread post by Saul » Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:11 am

I came to keyboards from guitar. I have had no training at all in playing but find it fairly easy to knock out a tune. The keyboard is a LOT easier to play than the guitar in my opinion although obviously to play really well takes a lot of effort and dedication.

I'm a visual learner in that if I "see" something being played I can play it myself a lot easier and quicker than if I had to look at a music book.

As Clyde mentioned, there are a number of Yamaha keyboards with the built in Yamaha Learning System. Most of these can also connect to the net to download direct from Yamaha new lessons and songs and others can have new material uploaded in the form of data on a floppy disk or USB stick.

You didn't say what budget you were looking at ? If it were me and I was just starting out I would go for something like the Yamaha DGX 520 or 620. Both have 88 note keyboards but the 620 has a "weighted" keyboard which, if you really want to learn piano is definitely preferable to a synth type keyboard.

Both the above models have Yamaha Education Suite 5 included and so will be a perfect introduction to the keyboard in a package that will last you many years even to the point where you could easily gig with either of these keyboards.

Prices should be between £3-400 so a pretty good way to start out for not too much money I think :)
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Mairs
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Thank you from Mairs

Unread post by Mairs » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:30 pm

Hi Clyde, Fozzer and Saul - A huge thank you for your fantastic responses. At last a message board where you get some response! Nice one Yamaha! The main thing I got from what you each said was the good news about the improv, "doing it by ear" facility of the ex church player embryonic rock muscian. As I don't read the dots and seem to have a block on being able to learn, this is the best news. Fozzer - you mean any 3 chords and a 4/4 rhythm? Sounds too good to be true! And I will look at the keyboard you suggest Saul - I have the PSR S500 and have only had it a couple of months so I may need to stick on board with it for a bit! Really grateful - you 3 made my day. Thank you. Mairs the Rock Babe
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Unread post by Fozzer » Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:39 am

Hello Mairs...!

Have a peek on the internet for "Chords for Keyboards" etc...

...an example...>>>

http://www.telacommunications.com/nutshell/music/

http://www.shanemcdonald.org/music/pian ... hapes.html

...and the "Old 3-Chord" Trick....in the Key of C Major:

Step 1: L/H = C. R/H = E G C.
Step 2: L/H = F. R/H = F A C.
Step 3: L/H = G. R/H = G B D
..Then back to step 1.
(Try the "inversions of the Chords).

...easy-peasy!

That sequence of simple Chords, in various keys, is about all that most Rock Musicians use, (have a listen)...
...and they think they are so clever!.... :lol: ...!

And 4/4 Rhythm is the Bass pattern that you tap with your feet while you are listening to it.....4 beats to the Bar... :D ...!

And as you are a "Church Musician" note that Pachebel's "Cannon in D" is based upon the simple sequence described above, and JS Bach's music is the fore-runner of most modern Western music... :) ...!

Play around with various Chords, listen to their "sounds", and note your finger positions (shapes).

It's fun...trust me...;)...!

Paul...striking a chord...8) ...!
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Unread post by Mairs » Thu Apr 03, 2008 6:22 am

Hi Fozzer or is it Paul? Thanks for getting back to me with the useful links and the chord shapes. The links you gave me led to some other really useful resources - including something called "Rocket Piano" which seems to be a hands on and fast teaching kit. I really appreciate your help. :D Hope things are good with you. Mairs
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Unread post by Fozzer » Thu Apr 03, 2008 10:59 am

Mairs wrote:Hi Fozzer or is it Paul? Thanks for getting back to me with the useful links and the chord shapes. The links you gave me led to some other really useful resources - including something called "Rocket Piano" which seems to be a hands on and fast teaching kit. I really appreciate your help. :D Hope things are good with you. Mairs
Hello Mairs... :) ...!

Thanks for coming back....;)...!

Rock music is REALLY easy to play using the old "3-Chord Trick"....which is what most Rock/Blues Musicians use!

All you need is a Feel for a rhythm, tap your feet...and away you go...with a big smile on your face... :D ...!

...trust me...;)...!

Paul... :lol: ...!

P.S....Impress your friends....and have fun!... :wink: ...!
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Unread post by shaunak » Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:02 am

Slightly offtopic, but...

Is it possible to some how *Learn* to play by ear or is it an inborn skill?

I have been trying, for the past six months, to start to play by ear. I can pick up the main melody fairly well but I need to hear the song over and over [and phrase by phrase] to do that. Also, I still cant pick up the background fills.
Where I have seen people effortlessly pick up both the main track, the fills and the "left hand" part, after just hearing the song a couple of times.

So, can I learn to do that? Should I keep trying, or give it up and stick to sheet music?
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Unread post by Clyde » Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:22 am

While "playing by ear" can be learned, in my opinion it is much more of a "born with" skill. Don't let that discourage you, as I said it can be learned and typically gets easier the more you learn about music. As an example, Having played rock/blues for many years, I can generally figure out songs while sitting at the keyboard though it may take a few days to completely fill it out. On the other hand, my wife is a classically trained concert pianist that can hear a note played and immediately tell you the pitch/note, some people seem to be able to hear something once and immediately play it, but that is the exception rather than the rule. My skill is learned, her skill she was born with. It can also be much easier on pop/rock/blues songs as they all tend to be variations of the same types of chord progressions, classical music is a different creature as there are no set progressions. So you may be able to get better at this as time goes on!
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Unread post by Fozzer » Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:24 am

Personally, I found that "Playing by Ear" was natural gift for me, having an inbuilt sense of rhythm and note intervals for playing all sorts of instruments....

..its when you cant help tapping your feet to the sound of a rhythm... :D ..!

My dear old Mum was always a professional at reading and playing the Piano using Sheet Music, but take the Sheet Music away and she couldn't play a single tune on the piano by listening by Ear... :cry: ...!

I can read Sheet Music (very slowly) but it takes too long to read and play at the same time, and spoils the enjoyment, and immediacy of playing live!

As Saul mentioned, playing Guitar often gives you a sense of rhythm when strumming Chords and tapping your feet...(I get completely carried away!.. :lol: ...)...its so much fun!

Apply the same "thing" to the keyboards.... :D ...!

Without a natural sense of rhythm its always going to be a struggle... :cry: ...I've seen it happen to Folks!

F...."You hum it.....I'll play it"...;)...!
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Unread post by shaunak » Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:35 pm

Thanks for the replies.

I have a few more questions :P :

Is there only "one" right way to pick out a tune.
I tend to start with a note and try to pick out the tune using intervals. While most people I know first resolve the chords then pick out individual notes. Try as i might I cant get the chords out directly.
I figure out the Melody first an then follow with accompaniments. (More or less harmonize chords over a tune) Is it OK to do so?

I can make out if a guitar is out of tune by listening a chord on it, and I can tune the strings without making a direct pitch comparison (by hearing the interval between two strings). Is this any indication of natural tone sense, or is it just that i have spent more time on my guitar than I have on my keyboard?


Sorry for asking so many question, but i have always wanted to ask these for a long time, and I never got the answers from my piano teacher. :P

One again thanks a ton for the replies....
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Unread post by Fozzer » Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:52 pm

Scales first...
Then Chords...

Piano and Guitar....

I play the Chords with both hands, and play the melody around them at the same time.....(Just call me Elton John!...;)...)...!

Listening carefully to the sounds, you get the feeling when to change to another Chord, to get it to fit with the changing sound of Melody..

Listen to the Sounds...;)...!

Paul...striking a Chord... 8) ...!

Don't get frustrated with slow progress...it takes a while...trust me...;)...!
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Unread post by Saul » Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:11 pm

I would also add, don't be too rigid in your approach. Have some fun with it. You may not get it right but you can often come up with a decent variation on the theme as a consequence. I think all my efforts are definitely a variation :lol:
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Unread post by shaunak » Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:17 pm

Thanks a ton ....

Ill be banging away chords on my keyboard then....
:)
They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.
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