Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Home Digital Piano Vs Acoustic Piano

You probably have noticed that the home digital piano has become more common than the traditional acoustic piano. The main reasons for this new preference are: affordability, portability, and variety of sounds. However, should you buy a digital keyboard or acoustic piano? Here are some differences that will help you determine which one is better for your needs.

Acoustic Piano - is one of the most complete instruments (88 keys and 8 octaves) and the most popular in the US and many other countries. A piano has hammers, strings and a soundboard and creates a natural reverberation in the room where it is played. With an acoustic piano you can develop a better technique and dynamic performance than with a digital piano.

Home Digital Piano - it's an electronic device that reproduces piano sounds through speakers. These sounds have a very high quality, and unless you're a highly trained musician, you won't be able to distinguish them from those of an acoustic piano. These sounds range from four to eight octaves. If you're planning to study music more seriously, we recommend at least six octaves. A home digital piano has many advantages. For instance, it allows you to:

o Produce many other sounds, such as harpsichord, organ, flutes, strings, etc.
o Get accompaniments such as rock, swing, rumba, etc., with a built-in rhythm unit
o Record your performances and interact with other electronic music (MIDI).
o Learn a songs or lessons by playing lit keys rather than reading music
o Save on tuning fees. Never needs tuning.
o Use headphones for private practice.
o Move it if necessary due to its low weight.
o Connect it to your computer and run one or more 'software synthesizers'.

Disadvantages: With a digital keyboard, you don't have the tone and touch of a traditional piano, or the same ability to convey the subtle emotion and feeling in your music. An acoustic piano holds its value better and last longer than a digital piano. Finally, a digital piano keyboard, like all electronic devices, eventually becomes obsolete.

That being said, digital pianos have improved considerably over the years. You'll notice that the modern models can almost replicate the touch and feel of the traditional acoustic piano. The most important factors you should consider before deciding between a home digital piano and an acoustic piano are your musical preference, goals, budget and space available. We recommend going to a store and comparing the two so you can make a better decision.

For more information regarding online piano lesson courses and reviews, go to Piano Lessons Online Guide. For piano music, resources, and to download a FREE piano chord chart, go to Piano Chord Chart []

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Piano tabs

Piano Tabs vs. Guitar Tabs

Piano Tabs are basically the same as guitar tabs. Why is that fact important to you? Simply because most chords/lyrics which are in tab form on the internet are going to be listed as "Guitar Tabs" and not necessarily "Piano Tabs". The chords to a song, the lyrics to a song are the same regardless if a guitarist or a pianist is playing it. So if you're looking for the "tabs" for a song on the internet, you may end up having to look at a guitar tab site rather than a piano tab site. But no big deal here!

One big difference with guitar tabs, which of course is short for "guitar tablature", is that the guitar diagrams are almost always shown and these indicate what fret, string, etc. to play. Just ignore that part. You're only looking to get the lyrics and chords and disregard everything else relating to guitar playing. A student of mine once pleaded with me to explain how to directly translate the guitar notation into piano. Here's the deal though, pianists DO NOT waste time doing that exercise. Maybe it'll be fun for you but practically speaking, it's a waste of time. Guitarists don't typically take a fully written piano arrangement and extract out each note to directly use that to perform on guitar. So conversely, why whould you want to do this for piano? Just chords and lyrics my friends, chords and lyrics!!

By the way, many pianists never use guitar tab books or guitar tab sheets to work up songs. I certainly do! They argue that the melody line is not included there but it is always found in "lead sheets". What I do for a song I'm familiar with, is I have already memorized the melody line, (a relatively simple task) so all I'm missing is the chords and lyrics. Case in point, recently, I bought a fantastic Billy Joel Guitar Tab book. I would assume though that very few keyboard players would consider picking up such a book. My thought though was that the fact that I know these songs so well, just having the chords in front of me would enable me to play the song. Additionally, I could now concentrate on working on my singing without being bogged down on the note for note piano arrangement. When you're on stage, chances are you have memorized everything already, but if you have the guitar/piano tabs in front of you as a "cheat sheet", it enables you to still perform the song with minimal diversion to "looking at the music".

But the most important aspect of this type of "tab" playing is that in my experience, with pop/rock band performance, the best, most efficient information you can have to play any song and learn it quickly are guitar tabs!! That is the Secret Weapon all these garage bands use to work up songs and they're able to do a great job playing these songs, regardless of how much traditional harmonic theory they have been exposed to!

Lesson learned? Go Google or search out your favorite songs and put "tab" after the song, and you're 80% on the way to perfecting that song in its entirety!

There are many sites on the web where you can find Piano Tabs. If you are able to find a good piano tab site or at least accurate tabs for a song you're searching for, you are well on your way to playing that song. The major obstacles to creating that song from tabs are


1. Sites infected with Viruses - Unfortunately, this is a very common problem at tab sites. More often than you'd like, your computer can be infected so make sure your viral protection programs are up and running. If you do not have protection for virus infection, you can get free trail downloads at

2. Wrong chords and/or lyrics -
Many of the tabs listed on the web for your favorite songs have been put together by well intentioned amateurs who either don't double check that all the chords are correct or perhaps are unable to distinguish between a correct chord and an incorrect one.

On a scale of 1-10, there are varying degrees of "wrongness" for any chord. Example, if the correct chord should be G7 and instead the chord is listed simply as G, well that's a minor offense and you could say it's a "9" in terms of accuracy. A common mistake is listing the relative minor for a major chord or visa versa. For this error, we might consider it a 6 or 7 in terms of accuracy. In short, for well regarded substitutions for chords, one can live with that. However, with free piano tabs, you can often see wrong chords listed which are at the opposite end of the spectrum for what the chord should in fact be. The chord might be a B flat minor and the tab says that it's a G sharp major, not even close and completely out there in "left field"! We'd give that infraction a "1" on a scale of 10. Then again, you will definitely see chords that are that far off. Your final judge should be your "ear", engage your inherent musicality- if it sounds wrong or really bad to you, there's a good chance that it is in fact wrong.


For lyrics, again, the same principal applies here - you will see major infractions and minor ones. Just take the posture that the lyrics are "guilty" until proven innocent, i.e., are not 100% accurate until you proof them against either an artist songbook or against a recording.

With No Written Reference for the Lyric: If a song has never been published or perhaps is out of print and one simply can not find a written reference to check the song tabs against, then your guess is as good as anyone's really. In this case, you basically have to check it and proof it against the recording to find out how accurate it is.

Missing Lyrics and/or Chords

Another common phenomenon with free piano tabs or free tabs is that entire whole portions or sections of a song may be eliminated. It can be frustrating when this occurs so just check against the artist songbook if you have one or if one is available or check against other tab sites for that song. Speaking of which, "comparison shopping" can be a good idea with free tab sites, taking a consensus of opinion, using your own musicality as the ultimate judge again and determining which portions of a tab for any song is correct or appealing to you and which ones are not.

To discover the "pro way" to play piano songs using only piano tabs and eliminating the need to read note-for-note sheet music arrangements, be sure to visit
David Seagal is a New York City based pianist and teacher. A musician for over 25 years, he is a piano teacher, songwriter pianist and is the author of "Play Piano Like a Pro" video course. His formative music education was orchestral training on clarinet with Naomi Drucker, Hostra University and the late-great world-renowned Leon Russianoff, Professor of Music Julliard School of Music and Manhattan School of Music. Pop and rock piano and songwriting studies with Frank Doyle, New England Conservatory of Music and "Moogy" Mark Klingman, author of the Bette Midler hit "Friends" and former keyboardist for Todd Rundgren's "Utopia". Classical piano studies with concert pianist Dmitri Alexev.
His piano course is available at

Friday, April 22, 2011

Piano Posture - Don't Try to Play Without It

Many aspects of playing the piano such as note reading and ear training are intuitive. They just make sense. There are, however, important aspects of piano which are not intuitive. In fact they are counter-intuitive to most of us. That's why a good piano teacher is so important.

Students imagine playing in a way that makes sense to them and "feels" comfortable. You can call this your "default" setting, what you do naturally out of habit. Ever try to change a habit? It's difficult. It takes conscious effort over time, because the mind-body connection is un-conscious and powerful. If you're a piano student who wants to improve your playing, the best way to do this is to change your habits so that they reflect your goals. In this way you'll be playing with self awareness, rather than out of habit. And that's a good thing!

Here are some simple steps to begin developing a powerful good piano habit that will go a long way toward helping you reach your goals.

Step 1

To see how you can improve your playing, sit up straight on the edge of the piano bench, with an arch in your lower back, (move the bench way back from the piano for now.) Put the palms of your hands together in front of you. Now separate your hands so that your forearms are parallel, but your palms are still facing each other. Now lift your forearms arms and then drop them, like they are asleep, from the elbow with your palms still facing. If your arms are completely relaxed, they should have fallen so that the tips of your fingers are pointing to the floor and your arms are completely extended, because there is no way to catch the weight of your arms with your elbows when you drop them.

Step 2

To improve your posture, try this again. Only instead of allowing your palms to face each other, turn them flat so your palms are horizontal, facing the floor. Bend your arms a little so that the tips of your elbows are pointing more toward the "walls," and not toward the floor. Now lift your forearms toward the ceiling and then drop them from the elbows again. This time the weight of your forearms should catch in your elbows. Move your piano bench closer to the piano, but not too close (your elbows should be in front of your tummy.) Practice lifting and dropping your arms, catching the weight in your elbows, as you play one note, repeatedly. Lift and drop; lift and drop.

Step 3

Now practice this technique while playing octaves. Do this hands separately. With finger three, bounce from one key to the next, between octaves, lifting and catching the weight of your forearms from the elbows. Bounce and land; bounce and land, lifting your hand high over the keyboard. Now keep practicing this until it feels comfortable. Keep this posture as you play your pieces and remember to hold your hands "flat" with elbows out-turned to add buoyancy, spring and flexibility to your playing.

Now you know a powerful piano habit to dramatically improve your playing and help you your musical dreams - So keep doing it. Soon it will feel so natural you'll wonder why you didn't think of it!

To learn the best way to share the gift of music with children visit for my Piano Bears Musical Stories for Children The exciting Piano Bears Musical Stories for children ages 5 to 11 feature the loveable characters, Mrs. Treble Beary and her new piano student, Albeart Littlebud. Children love following along with Albeart to Mrs. Treble Beary's piano studio in Musical Acres Forest. Here they learn what piano lessons are all about in a fun way that kids readily understand and appreciate! Piano students laugh and giggle while reading "Little Bear's Musical Garden" and "Little Bear's Piano Goals."
For a wealth of f'ree information and piano music online visit Piano Bears Music Education Resources Don't Wait to Share the Gift of Music!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Piano Lesson Games for Kids Make Music Learning Fun

Generally young children who enjoy educational activities such as reading, coloring, crafts and word games also enjoy playing the piano. One reason is because they enjoy doing things with their hands. Did you know that there are games and activities available like this for young children that will give them a musical foundation as well? If you plan to give your young child piano lessons or if your child is taking piano lessons they can benefit greatly from musical games and activities at home. There are many foundational keyboard abilities children can learn at home while having fun that will give them a musical head start in piano. Here's 5 of these.

1. Drawing and Visualizing the Piano Keyboard

2. Learning the musical alphabet in a variety of ways

3. Learning keyboard theory concepts for note reading

4. Learning to use their hands at the piano

5. Visualizing five-finger hand positions and finger numbers

This knowledge is not difficult to give your children at home. All you need are the right resources and of course a keyboard. You'll be giving your child musical values and educational opportunities that will prepare them for a positive future of learning. Piano lessons also help children learn

o key reading and math skills;

o how to set goals to achieve their dreams; and

o the need for self discipline and persistence; and

o how to take responsibility for their success.

So take advantage of the early years and give your child even more of what they love to do with musical learning games and activities they'll enjoy.

To learn the best way to share the gift of music with children visit for my Piano Bears Musical Stories for Children The exciting Piano Bears Musical Stories for children ages 5 to 11 feature the loveable characters, Mrs. Treble Beary and her new piano student, Albeart Littlebud. Children love following along with Albeart to Mrs. Treble Beary's piano studio in Musical Acres Forest. Here they learn what piano lessons are all about in a fun way that kids readily understand and appreciate! Piano students laugh and giggle while reading "Little Bear's Musical Garden" and "Little Bear's Piano Goals."
For a wealth of free information and piano music online visit Piano Bears Music Education Resources Don't Wait to Share the Gift of Music!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Styles of Piano Music

If you are studying the piano, you'll find that there are many different styles of piano music out there today. Usually it is a great idea to learn as many styles as you can if you want to master the piano, and learning all of them is a great idea. When you are knowledgeably about various styles of music for the piano, you are able to play in a variety of styles yourself and it also helps you learn to improvise. Let's take a look at some of the most popular styles out there that you'll want to study and learn to play.

Classical Piano

The oldest style of piano is the classical style and it is very varied as well. This style of piano has been around for hundreds of years and for many, it is the proper style of music to learn when playing the music. Various other styles of piano music actually come from the classical style as well. This style of piano music takes training that is intense and a lot of practice as well.

Rock Piano

Another style of piano music is rock piano. This style of piano actually came right out of blues piano music, although later it would begin to get a new style of it's own. Some great pianists, such as Billy Joel, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elton John would go on to make rock piano the popular and beautiful style that it is today.

Jazz Piano

Another great style of piano music that is well worth studying and learning is jazz piano. It includes a variety of different styles within it and it difficult to describe. A variety of piano styles today actually borrow jazz ideas like certain chords and even improvisation as well. You'll also find that the emphasis on various forms of chords comes from jazz too.

Gospel Piano

You'll find that the gospel piano style of music is very similar to various other styles, such as R&B, blues, and even jazz. There are some extended chords which gospel piano tends to emphasize, but it has that lilting or swinging feel that you often see in both R&B as well as in jazz. While gospel songs may appear to be quite simple, the musicality of them is usually quite complex. You'll notice that syncopation is often used and provides a very spiritual style overtone to the gospel piano music.

Of course these are just a few of the different styles of piano music that are out there today. You'll find that there are many other styles to listen to, learn, and play. Some of them include new age piano, ragtime piano, rhythm and blues piano, boogie woogie piano, and even cocktail piano.

Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of - an information site for beginning through to advanced musicians. He has a growing number of learn piano reviews available.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Why is the Piano So Popular?

The musical world has many different genres, but the vast majority have accepted piano as a form of musical expression. Each style, whether it be jazz, country, classical, rock, or pop, have included piano into their musical styles which has made the piano a highly popular instrument. The tone and variety offered by pianos, especially with modern keyboards, has allowed for a highly diversified instrument that all musicians can enjoy.

The piano also allows for harmonious playing of several chords, which allows for easier musical composition and an ability to express a song in a wider breadth. This simply cannot be done with other musical instruments that can only play one note at a time. The piano only requires the use of your fingers and occasionally your foot so it is an instrument that allows continuous playing without becoming tired. As a result, it takes a lot longer to tire out from using the piano than say blowing into a trumpet. The ability to compose music easily on the piano has created a lasting legacy of great pianists which include those famous classical pianists to the modern day piano man by Billy Joel.

The piano allows for great flexibility in learning styles and caters to all levels of ability. It's neat to consider that a first year student and Beethoven could use the same instrument, but make such different sounds. This also brings the point that the piano allows for a great expression of oneself and playing the piano allows for one to release their emotions. Although the piano is quite popular it is not for everyone. Give it a shot, but if you truly don't enjoy playing try a different instrument that more adequately serves your personality and music playing style. Make your piano playing experience fun and you will reap the rewards!

For more interesting piano articles and free piano sheet music visit