Monday, January 17, 2011

Start playing songs of your choice on the keyboard

How to play a song on the keyboard after hearing it ?

I receive a lot of mails asking the above question.
Most of us want to start off playing the songs of our choice with in a few days of owning the keyboard. 
OK perfectly all right ! However you will agree that we need to have at least some knowledge about scales and some dextirity to run fingers smoothly on the keys. As such it is my request to you to learn all major and minor scales. Remember all the keys that exist in the scales. Try to get perfection on the scales at least C , G,  F

Now you need to know or have at least the following facts:
  • A little knowledge about the soor n taal .I mean melody and rhythm.
  • Good perfection on all Major scales. At least know C , F , G Major scales by heart and for other scales you can keep a chart with you.
  • Lyrics of the song you want to play.(you can download from the net. Ummm so easy)
  • You must have a provision/gadget to listen to the song again n again.
  • Truck loads of patience and interest.
OK now the ammunition is ready, but how to fire?
I mean how to play the way you are able to sing a song after hearing it ?

 
Listen to the song many times till the melody/tune is captured by your mind. Know the lyrics properly as per the tune, i.e. understand the pronunciation and gaps used on the words to accommodate the tune.
Now I assume that you know the notes present in each scale. Usually the songs are played in the 3rd octave of a 5 octave keyboard (61 keys). In my notations this scale is written in caps as
C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, c
Now select a song with simple rhythm. I mean don't take up a fast number with varying rhythm patterns. Sit in front of the keyboard and keep the record player on a table on your right side near to you. Play the song. I suggest ,you play up to first stanza and repeat it again n again. All other stanzas are usually like the first one.
Very patiently try to figure out 4/5 notes (keys) from the melody of the song. I mean that it should match with the sound of the melody. Do not worry if you are unable to play the tune continuously. This way try to match and get 4/5 notes or as many more as possible. Now by using these notes try to figure out the scale. Once you get the scale you have done the job.
The complete song mostly falls within this scale (remember exceptions are always there in life n here too) and now you have all the required notes. Now again listen to the song and try to play the tune from these available notes. Try to figure out the melody at your own comfortable speed. At this stage speed is not important but playing correctly without mistake and fumbling is more important. Try only one line at a time perfect it , and then add on the second line. Get the perfection and speed will come automatically.
      What is perfection ?
Be at it and you will get it. Once you become keyboard savvy, please don't forget this friend of yours.
In case you succeed please do send a mail across as that will make me happy.
Happy playing .Have faith, you can do it.
Subodh