Thursday, July 30, 2009

New Songs and Ballad Styles for Tyros3

This week we're happy to offer a slew of new songs and styles on Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection.

All of you Tyros2 and Tyros3 users get a special treat this week, especially if you're ballad lovers. The new styles this week are all ballad styles, designed to help you perform all of your heartfelt, emotional love songs and laments. Here's a rundown of what you can expect from each of these new styles:

TR-8 Ballad - Guitar based and with a slightly funky Caribbean feeling beat, this style will work well for ballads, but should be equally as suitable for downbeat pop-reggae.

Richie Ballad - A piano heavy style with clarinet leads to accentuate the feeling of longing in the track.

Lonely Ballad - This style has a decidedly 80s, nostalgic feel with a unique combination of electronic snare drum, claves and strings.

Groovy Ballad - Tender guitars, piano and synth pads make this a sweet, understated backing track for any ballad.

And keeping up with ballad theme, we also have newly available Midi versions of Stevie Wonder's "You Are the Sunshine of My Life", Taylor Swift's "Love Story" and "Will You Love Me Tomorrow".

Click here for a full list of new songs.

- Doug

You Are The Sunshine Of My Life - Stevie Wonder
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do - Lotta Engberg
Tijuana Taxi - Herb Alpert
A Kiss To Build A Dream On - Rod Stewart

Oh Carol - Neil Sedaka
Human - The Killers
Poker Face - Lady GaGa
It's A Little Too Late - Tanya Tucker
Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Sometimes It Takes Balls To Be A Woman - Elizabeth Cook
Love Story - Taylor Swift
I Should Be So Lucky - Kylie Minogue
Handle With Care - Traveling Wilburys
Two Hearts - Phil Collins
Perfect - Fairground Attraction

I Wanna Wake Up With You - Erann DD
Soldier Of Fortune - Deep Purple
Kissing In The Back Row - Drifters
Hold On Tight - ELO
It's So Easy To Fall In Love - Linda Ronstadt
Will You Love Me Tomorrow - Henning Staerk
Paper Roses - Anita Bryant

- Doug

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Keyboards From Yamaha @ Summer NAMM 2009

This year's Summer NAMM show closed last week in Nashville, but judging by the new instruments Yamaha announced at the show, the real fun is still ahead.

Along with the Avant Grand N2, which we introduced a few weeks ago, Yamaha also unveiled the next generation of PSR Arranger Workstation keyboards, the PSR-S710 and PSR-S910. On top of the sound quality, recording functions and live performance capabilities that Yamaha's keyboards are known for, the new models add many sought after features, like MP3 playback and support for Super Articulation voices.

The latest members of the Yamaha synth family, the S70XS and S90XS, were also introduced in Nashville. Expanding on Yamaha's excellent synthesizer technology and sounds, the new synths add a totally new piano voice sampled from the S6 Concert Grand.

For more info, check out Yamaha's Summer NAMM webpage here.

- Doug

Friday, July 24, 2009

All PianoSoft On Sale This Weekend!

All PianoSoft is 20% off at Yamaha MusicSoft and the Disklavier Music Store until Tuesday!

Save this weekend on PianoSoft disks and downloads including the latest new releases.

Plus, all PianoSoft songs and albums are 20% off all weekend in the Disklavier Music Store on Internet Direct Connection.

To access the Disklavier Music Store from your Disklavier controller, choose Internet, then Disklavier Music Store. For help connecting your Disklavier to the internet, visit the conncetion page at the Online Services website.

Sales on both sites end at 12am Tuesday July 28th, EDT.

- Doug

Monday, July 20, 2009

Save Some Green With New PianoSoft Packs

These days, it's all about doing what you need to do to save money, and what better way to save than buying in bulk?

At Yamaha MusicSoft we've got five new packs featuring great PianoSoft albums, all discounted 20% from their original prices:

Best of the Beatles
Four great Beatles albums, including the new "In My Life - Beatles 1965".
Contains 50 of the Fab Four's greatest hits, including "With A Little Help from My Friends", "Hey Jude", "Blackbird", "Here, There and Everywhere", and dozens more!

Rising Star Pack
A few years ago, Yamaha captured exclusive performances from some of the world's best up and coming pianists for the PianoSoft Rising Star series, and now you can get all seven albums in the series for one low price. Contains memorable performances of Schubert, Liszt, Sinatra standards and more.

Rhythm & Blues Pack
Featuring Albums from Ray Charles, Alicia Keys, Eric Clapton, and Motown, this pack shows the true breadth of rhythm and blues.

Praise and Worship Pack
Three albums of hymns comprise this spiritual PianoSoft collection. Songs for various seasons of the church year and across many different styles are covered - everything from to "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" and "The Old Rugged Cross" to "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" and "Kumbaya".

The 50's Pack
Witness an entire decade's worth of musical history over the course of these four PianoSoft albums. From Elvis and the birth of rock 'n roll to timeless 50's pop, it's all here and it's all 20% off.

- Doug

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Play Classic Keyboard Songs With MIDI

MIDI song files can be, and have been, used for pretty much any musical purpose. But if you're a keyboard enthusiast interested in learning some classic keyboard parts, here's one extremely practical use: for songs that feature prominent keyboard or piano parts, Yamaha's MIDI files are designed to help you not only enjoy the song, but to perform it on your keyboard.

To do this, the first thing to do is find the keyboard track in the song. You can look at the list of featured songs below to see the keyboard track.

Now, you can go back into the channel mute or mixer displays and mute the keyboard track so you can add in your own performance.

If you need help learning the keyboard part, we recommend digital sheet music from Digital Music Notebook.

If you want to find the keyboard track yourself for other songs (assuming there is one), there are a number of ways to do this using your keyboard's mixer or channel mute panels. Try looking for the track assigned to the keyboard (or piano) instrument in the mixer. Or, try playing back the song and muting channels using the channel mute panel until you find the correct channel.

To get you started, we've hand picked a few songs with unmistakable keyboard or piano riffs, like Van Halen's "Jump" or "Brick" by Ben Folds Five, that are easy to learn and master using the steps we sketched out above. Check below for a full list of keyboard songs.

- Doug

Jump - Van Halen : Keyboard Part on Track 5

The Final Countdown - Europe : Keyboard Part on Track 6

Let Me Entertain You - Robbie Williams : Keyboard Part on Track 4

Love Song - Sara Bareilles : Keyboard Part on Track 4

Brick - Ben Folds Five : Keyboard Part on Track 4

Mad World - Gary Jules/Michael Andrews : Keyboard Part on Track 4

It's Amazing - Jem : Keyboard Part on Track 4

Also Sprach Zarathustra - Deodato : Keyboard Part on Track 4

- Doug

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Organ Voice Demo Posted On the Tyros3 Website

It's still three weeks until the release date for the Tyros3 Premium Download Service, but the official Tyros3 website has just posted a new demo song for the Euro & US Organ voices to tide you over.

The new demo shows off organ sounds that vary from bright 70s rock or funk leads to more atmospheric pads. From the tremolo and volume swells in the demo, you can also get a sense of the dynamic and expressive capabilities the new voices will offer.

Judging by the two organ demos now available on the site, the new voices will cover a variety of electric organ sounds, but I guess we'll have to wait until August 3rd to see exactly what the "Premium Download Service" will have to offer. Keep checking here and at the Tyros3 site for more information as the release date approaches.

- Doug

Friday, July 10, 2009

The New AvantGrand Garners Accolades From Pretty Much Everyone

Musicians, gadget hounds and tech enthusiasts alike are singing the praises of Yamaha's new AvantGrand hybrid pianos, which are now available in both N3 and N2 models.

And rightly so - the AvantGrand is truly a revolutionary instrument. While the basis for the AvantGrand sound is the same as that of all of Yamaha's digital pianos, the CFIII Concert Grand, the way that the AvantGrand delivers that sound is entirely original. Rather than sampling the CFIII in stereo, the AvantGrand uses four channel sampling to reproduce the sound of a concert grand at four different locations on the piano.

These samples are then sent out through 16 dedicated amplifiers linked to 16 speakers, placed at different places on the instrument to deliver the most authentic sound. In addition to the sound and vibration of speakers, the AvantGrand also reproduces the vibrations of a concert grand's soundboard and body using transducers beneath the keyboard and an omni-directional speaker in front of it.

The end product is the first hybrid piano, designed to sound and feel exactly like a concert piano.

And by all accounts, the AvantGrand has met the challenge of reproducing the joy of playing an acoustic piano in a digital instrument. Popular Science has featured the AvantGrand in their July issue, and it has been embraced by pianists from Chick Corea to Cyprien Katsaris to Alexander Kobrin.
"I thought, 'look at this little thing, what's it going to do?' It blew me away," recalls Corea. "I sat down and adjusted the volume to make it sound like a big piano and immediately went into reverence at the R&D department and how they pulled it off, because it's quite an accomplishment."
For an introduction and demo of the AvantGrand from Yamaha MusicSoft favorite, Peter Baartmans, you can head over to For more information on the AvantGrand, visit the official AvantGrand site, or your local Yamaha piano dealer.

- Doug

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The International Piano-e-Competition Enters Final Stages

Starting tonight, finalists in the 2009 Minnesota Interational Piano-e-Competition will begin their final concerto performances with the Minnesota Orchestra.

What makes the Piano-e-Competition unique is its use of the Yamaha Disklavier. Disklavier pianos are used throughout the competition to record and play back performances, allowing judges to hear and watch performances from contestants all around the world exactly as they were played on an actual acoustic instrument.

To accomplish this, all performances are first recorded on Disklavier pianos in Los Angeles, New York, Beijing, Paris and Moscow. They are then sent for review to a central location where the judges can experience the performances on another Disklavier, exactly as they were originally performed.

The judges whittle down the contestants to 24 quarter-finalists who come to Minnesota for the final live competitions. This year's six finalists, who represent the USA, Switzerland, France and Italy, have played already quartets with the Rosalyra Quartet, and will be performing again tonight and tomorrow before a winner is crowned.

You can listen now to a stream of the final performances, hear winning performances from previous years' competitions, or learn more about the competition at their official website.

- Doug

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer Songs on Sale!

Every season has its characteristic music - the sentimental and joyful songs of winter, springs songs of rebirth and hope, and the wistful melancholy of fall.

And while it's a little bit harder to define exactly what makes a song perfect for the summer, it's not hard to know one when you hear a perfect summer song. From the sun flecked melodies of the Beach Boys to last year's ode to the special place music holds in our summer experiences and memories, Kid Rock's "All Summer Long", we've got all kinds of summer songs available at Yamaha MusicSoft. And during the month of July, you can get them all for 20% off!

Click here for a full list of songs on sale now.

- Doug

Monday, July 6, 2009

New Songs This Week: Lady Gaga, Jordin Sparks, Coldplay & More

As the weather heats up, we're happy to bring you some great summer pop songs this week. First off, "LoveGame" is the third single from Lady Gaga's million selling album, The Fame, and is a great piece of fun, sugary and slightly dirty pop music to add to your keyboard's library. For some reminiscence over the summer of 2008, we've also got "No Air", Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown's emotional ballad from last year.

On the other end of things, Coldplay's "Lovers in Japan" is a great for keyboard players looking to add a new piano based track to their repertoire. And for classic rock fans, we have tracks from Foghat and the Black Crowes.

Click here for a full list of new songs.

- Doug

LoveGame - Lady Gaga
Slow Ride - Foghat
Lovers in Japan - Coldplay
It's Amazing - Jem
Second Chance - Shinedown
Hard to Handle - The Black Crowes
No Air - Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown
Kids - Robbie Williams & Kylie Minogue

- Doug

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Three New PianoSoft Collections: John Williams, Blues, & American Tunes

It's a good week to be a PianoSoft lover, as we're announcing the release of three new downloads today!

The Lyrical John Williams (PianoSoft Solo)

If you've seen a movie in the past 35 years, chances are you're familiar with the music of John Williams. His scores for E.T., Star Wars, Schindler's List, and Jaws have won him Oscars, and with achievements such as the performance of his "Air and Simple Gifts" at the inauguration of President Obama this past January on his resume, he is also undoubtedly one of America's most prominent composers. His frequent collaboration with Steven Spielberg has yielded some of the best marriages of film and music in movie history, and his epidc style has been widely imitated.

For this collection, Bryan Pezzone has created solo piano arrangements of some of Williams' best and most famous movie themes. E.T., Jurassic Park, and Saving Private Ryan are all included, though for reasons that might be obvious, Jaws is not.

This Is My Country - Songs of America (PianoSoft Plus)

With songs ranging from "God Bless America" to "Battle Hymn of the Republic", this is the perfect PianoSoft collection for the upcoming 4th of July weekend. While pianist Joel Plimmer makes sure to offer his rendition some of the most well known American songs, like the two mentioned above, he also includes some that you don't hear quite so often like "Columbia, Gem of the Ocean" and "Anchors Aweigh". These two songs, combined with "Eternal Father Strong To Save [The Navy Hymn]" add a slightly nautical quality to the collection's Patriotic spirit.

Am I Blue - The Plaintive Side of Love (PianoSoft Solo)

In this collection, long time PianoSoft artist Tom Zink explores melancholy and lovelorn ballads such as "Stormy Weather" and "Little Girl Blue", with his characteristic touch. The light, slightly bluesy jazz feel of the "Am I Blue" makes it perfect for setting a quiet, contemplative mood. Zink does a great job of maintaining a slow burn throughout the recording, bringing out the subtle emotion of each song.

Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

- Doug