This course was an experiment in which I tried guide beginning students to learn and practise some fundamental aspects of piano playing without the need to learn to read music notation. I can't say that I fully endorse this course any more. There are certain aspects of it that I think people have found confusing, and the progression of difficulty is probably not as well suited to a beginner as I would have liked. However, I have decided to keep it available for now on the off chance that someone finds it interesting of finds some value in it.
Now for the group of four white keys. There are several similar yet different patterns to play in this lesson so you may expect to need a little more practise to play the music correctly. The music is for Electric Piano, Drum Set, Upright Bass, and Piano. Your part will be very much in the background here but that doesn’t mean it won’t play an important role in the music. It’s often tempting for musicians to want to be in the foreground and to be heard but it is important to remember that the overall texture in a piece of music is built up in layers and if you remove the supporting parts then the leading part will often become meaningless, just as removing the foundation from a house will see it crumble to the ground.
Step 1. Listen to the lesson music.
Step 2. Now listen to the patterns you will play. There are several patterns to learn here and you will likely need to listen to this a few times. As the lessons in this course progress, your part will become more involved, with longer patterns, and will play a more prominent role in the music. If you aren’t already, get into the habit now of repeating these steps many times and if you need to, come back to them while doing the other steps in the lesson.
Step 3. Find the notes in the patterns and play along to the percussion accompaniment. If you ever find you are unsure whether or not you are playing the patterns correctly it will help to play along with the full pattern track a few times. However, it is important not to skip this step because you need to hear what your playing sounds like on its own.
Step 4. Now listen to the patterns accompanied by a drum set. Notice how the drum set marks out when the pattern is about to change. This will help you when it comes time for you to play along.
Step 5. Play along with the drum set accompaniment. Once again, if you are unsure whether you are playing correctly, play along with the track in step 4, then come back to step 5 and try again.
Step 6. Now we will add another piano to this accompaniment. Listen to it carefully and notice the rhythm played by the other piano. In particular, listen out for moments where the piano chords are played just slightly before the notes in your part. Before moving onto the next step you may want to practise tapping out the rhythm of your part with your finger as you listen to this track.
Step 7. Play the patterns now along with the piano and drum set accompaniment.
Step 8. Next, listen to the lesson music played without the electric piano. It will be much easier to hear your part in this version of the lesson music since the lead instrument, the electric piano, is missing. Take this opportunity to familiarise yourself with the structure of the piece and where the various patterns you will play fit in.
Step 9. Now play along with this version of the lesson music. Play it a few times through so you can be sure you know it well and are confident playing your part.
Step 10. Finally, play along with the full version of the lesson music.