Thursday, September 3, 2015

Introducing “Style Files" for your Yamaha Arranger Workstation

In keeping with our "how to" theme this week, we’d like to introduce you to Style Files for your Yamaha Arranger Workstation. Style Files are a great way to expand the capabilities of your instrument and give you additional features to practice or perform with. [All of the Yamaha Arranger Workstations (PSR-S Series, A2000 and Tyros) can be expanded with Style files.]

Yamaha has created many Style Files based on hit songs and popular music genres. These Files provide you with a virtual backing band to play along with. The Style File is triggered by the chords you play with your left hand allowing you to play the melody with your right hand. We have a wide selection available on Yamaha MusicSoft and more are being added every week. With these Style files, you’ll be sounding like a professional right away!

Once you’ve browsed our site and downloaded your favorite Style Files to a USB thumb drive, simply follow these 3-easy steps to get playing right away:

  1. Select a Style (either built in to your Arranger Workstation or loaded into your instrument via USB)
  2. Press one of the ONE TOUCH SETTING buttons on your instrument
  3. Play a chord on your instrument with your left hand (as soon as you play a chord, the selected Style starts)

It’s that easy!

We encourage you to check out the available Style Files on our site. Please let us know what you think and if you don’t see a particular Style listed, feel free to make a suggestion in the comment box below.

Additional related YouTube tutorials:

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

How to Install Voice & Style Expansion Packs for your PSR-S Series Arranger Workstation Keyboard

Yamaha Voice & Style Expansion (VSE) packs allow you to expand your creative horizons by making your electronic keyboard sound like different instruments, or Voices, and adding new Styles, which allow you to have a full backing ensemble based on chords that you play.

You can easily install all elements of Voice & Style Expansion packs, including Multi Pads and Registration Banks, onto your PSR-S Series keyboard. This video will take you through the installation process. It’s also available in Spanish here.

It only takes a few minutes to install the Expansion pack, Multi Pad and Registration Bank. Here is the step-by-step Voice & Style Expansion pack installation process:

Download the file

  1. Download your VSE pack from or
  2. Copy the file to a USB thumb drive

Voice & Style Expansion Pack Instrument Installation 

  1. Insert USB thumb drive to the USB to device port (This may be on the back of your keyboard)
  2. Begin the installation process by pressing the FUNCTION BUTTON at the bottom right corner of the display
  4. Locate and select the Expansion Pack you are trying to install 
  5. In the number selection under the screen press #6 DOWN ARROW to choose install
  6. Press the F BUTTON to select “OK”
  7. Select the F BUTTON again to re-confirm the selection is “OK”
  8. Allow a few minutes for the installation process to complete 
  9. Once installation is complete press the G BUTTON to confirm it is “OK” to restart the keyboard 

Multi Pad Installation 

  1. From the main screen press G BUTTON to select “MULTIPAD” to view the Multi Pad browser
  2. Press the RIGHT ARROW TAB to select “USB” tab 
  3. Select BUTTON next to folder labelled “MULTIPAD” (This button location may vary)
  4. In the number selection under the screen press #3 DOWN ARROW to select “COPY” 
  5. Press #6 DOWN ARROW to select “ALL”
  6. Press #7 DOWN ARROW to confirm the selection is “OK”
  7. Press LEFT ARROW TAB to select “USER” tab
  8. Press #4 DOWN ARROW to “PASTE” 
  9. The keyboard  will now copy the Multi Pad files from USB thumb drive to keyboard’s internal memory 

Registration Bank Installation 

  1. Main screen J BUTTON to select “REGISTRATION BANK” to view the Registration Bank browser
  2. Press the RIGHT ARROW TAB to select “USB” tab 
  3. Press BUTTON next to folder labelled “REGISTRATIONS” (This button location may vary)
  4. In the number selection under the screen press #3 DOWN ARROW to select “COPY” 
  5. Press #6 DOWN ARROW to select “ALL”
  6. Press #7 DOWN ARROW to confirm the selection is “OK”
  7. Press LEFT ARROW TAB to select “USER” tab
  8. Press #4 DOWN ARROW to “PASTE” 
  9. The keyboard  will now copy the Registration Bank files from USB thumb drive to keyboard’s internal memory offers a variety of regional, ethnic, and traditional Voices and Styles that can be installed to change the sounds from your PSR-Series Arranger Workstation keyboard. You can browse the catalog of available Voice & Style Expansion Packs here.

Have a question about your instrument or installation? Let us know in the comments or you can always contact our customer service team.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

More easy ways to learn to play the piano!

As we mentioned in our post earlier this week, it is easier than ever to learn to play an instrument. Whether it is an online interactive learning system like Playground Sessions or using an app on your tablet like NoteStar for the iPad, learning has never been easier, faster or more fun.

Yamaha has a long history of teaching students. The Yamaha Music Education System has been around for over 50 years teaching students from all walks of life how to play different instruments.
But, did you know that Yamaha MusicSoft also has several different teaching systems available?
Here are a few examples:

Keyboard Encounters/Keyboard Encounters Kids
Re-create the Keyboard Encounters classroom experience for both adults and kids in your own home! Our learning tool uses backing MIDI tracks that are compatible with Keyboard Encounters lessons, and are the same ones used in the Keyboard Encounters classroom. These are a great confidence builder for students!

Here are the benefits of using the MIDI backing tracks:
  • It recreates the classroom environment
  • It facilitates a helpful practice session which leads to a better live performance
  • Immersing yourself in the process makes learning more enjoyable
Check out the current songs for Keyboard Encounters here

QuickPlay QuickPlay was designed specifically for Yamaha Clavinova owners and can be used in a classroom environment or for a student to learn at home, at their own pace. Most Clavinova keyboards include lights that illuminate above each key to show you which key to play next and will wait for you so you can learn at your own speed. The companion books also teach you basic music theory to create a platform for further musical study. You can view the catalog of available songs here.

Playground Sessions A brand-new piano learning software that is fun for all ages. This system uses active learning, elements of gaming, and your favorite songs to make learning piano fun! (see the previous blog post for more details).

NoteStar Keyboard players – experience playing and singing your favorite songs with a real band. NoteStar is Yamaha’s digital sheet music application for the iPad that features hands-free, smooth-flowing, easy-to-read digital sheet music accompanied by realistic audio backing tracks with vocals. You can play along with the band (with or without vocals), explore “Lessons Collections", create custom mixes and more! Check out NoteStar here.

Follow Lights If you have a Yamaha keyboard with guide functions, this may be the easiest way to learn yet! Using the guide system built into the keyboard, you watch for the light to illuminate above the key and press that key! It will even show you the music notation for the song right on the display screen of your keyboard.

With this Follow Lights feature, you can learn at your own pace. And, the song will wait for you to select the next correct note before continuing to play.

While learning to play the melody, your keyboard will be playing a full backing track as accompaniment. Unlike traditional MIDI files, these special tracks are designed to compensate for your learning and will sound great at any tempo! Check out our Follow Lights catalog here.

As you can see, there are many different ways to learn! We encourage you to explore each one and find the best fit for you and your learning style.

Have questions? Please reach out to us through this blog.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

School Is In - Make It Fun This Fall With Playground Sessions!

We can't believe it either - another year of school back in session!  If you happen to like our Facebook page, you've seen a number of posts regarding the importance of music education.  From the young to the young at heart, there are positive benefits to learning and performing music.

Here's the best part.  It is easier and more affordable than ever before to learn any instrument. Online, offline, teacher-based, DVD's, and books are just a few ways to learn the instrument of your choice. Although there are a few hundred online lesson plans available, Yamaha MusicSoft recommends Playground Sessions.

Click the video to the right to hear Quincy Jones speak to the natural partnership between Playground Sessions and Yamaha and why we chose to work with them.

We aren't alone in our endorsement of Playground Sessions.  In their latest assessment of online piano tools, TopTenReviews gave Playground Sessions was awarded the Gold Award and labeled the best way to learn the piano online.  Read their review here to learn why Playground was so highly rated.

Playground Sessions is available in the Yamaha MusicSoft store.  If you have already tried it out, let us know what you think in the comments below.  

Thursday, August 20, 2015

What’s the Difference Between PianoSoft Products?

Plus, New PianoSoft Solo Collections from U2 and Mann & Weil!

With Yamaha PianoSoft you can listen to original recordings of your favorite piano performances on your Disklavier, keyboard, or digital piano. When these songs are played back on a Disklavier, PianoSoft physically plays the piano – moving the keys to reproduce the original performance. It’s just like having a professional pianist in your home!

There are 4 different types of PianoSoft products to customize your listening experience:

PianoSoft Solo: Collections of solo piano performances

PianoSoft Plus: Piano performances with fully orchestrated backing tracks

PianoSoft Plus Audio: Your Disklavier plays in sync with a CD of audio tracks, featuring live instruments and vocals

Smart PianoSoft: Choose a CD from your personal collection, and it will play with the Smart PianoSoft file

Learn more about these PianoSoft products for your Disklavier here.

New PianoSoft Releases

We frequently release new PianoSoft products for your Disklavier. Here’s a selection of the latest releases.

"The Best of U2"
This PianoSoft Solo collection features spans the greatest U2 songs with classic hits like “New Year’s Day” and more recent songs like “Walk On”. Learn more

"The Soul and Inspiration of Mann and Weil"
A PianoSoft Solo compilation of legendary songwriting team Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil’s classic hits including “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” and “On Broadway”. Learn more 

There are also 9 new Smart PianoSoft releases:

Madonna - "Immaculate Collection"

Celine Dion - "These Are Special Times"

Vivaldi -  "The Four Seasons"

Barry Manilow - "Ultimate Manilow"

Steely Dan - "A Decade of Steely Dan"

Mamma Mia! - The Musical

Van Morrison - "The Best of Van Morrison"

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Greatest Hits

Josh Groban – "Closer"

What's your favorite PianoSoft collection or product? Let us know in the comments!