Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Martin Harris in New Tyros3 Premium Style Videos & More Premium Style News

Good news for style enthusiasts!

Starting in October, you can expect to see new Premium Styles released on Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection every few weeks. Some of the styles will be brand new, and others will be made available in new formats. So, whether you're a Clavinova user that's been drooling over styles that previously were available only for Tyros3, or a Tyros3 player waiting for the perfect style to complete your library, you don't have too much longer to wait before the styles you want are within your grasp. Stay tuned to the blog for more updates.

If you just can't wait for a fix of Premium Styles, though, head over to music-tyros.com where you can find four new videos featuring the Tyros3, Premium Styles and the masterful playing of Yamaha's own Martin Harris. (Click on Pop&Rock or Ballad in the upper right to see the videos.) Here's a clip of Martin tearing through a demonstration of the 60's Pop Beat - a style that's great for everything from Del Shannon's "Runaway" to Jackie Wilson's "Lonely Teardrops".



Keep reading for more videos and info on the featured styles.

80's Sister Pop - 80's popular music was heavily influenced by the introduction of the synthesizer. Set in the mid-80's this Style recreates the synthpop sound we
all remember - and love!




80's Pop
- The sound of popular Central European bands of the early 80's is
beautifully captured in this Style. Great for middle of the road 80's pop
songs.



60's Brit Pop - British rock and pop groups started a musical movement in the mid-1960's that spread throughout the English-speaking world. Here the distinctive rhythm and sound of Manchester in the late 60's is recreated.


- Doug

Friday, September 25, 2009

Record & Notate With Your Yamaha Keyboard - Finale PrintMusic & Finale SongWriter 2010

Many of Yamaha's keyboards have impressive recording and arranging features that allow you to compose and record your own songs. MIDI recording has been a feature of Yamaha keyboards for years, and, as we covered earlier this week, in the new PSR-S910 and the Tyros3, we now have keyboards that can even handle audio recording without any extra hardware or software.

But if you don't have an Arranger Workstation level keyboard, or you want to be able to do something, like print sheet music, the even your instrument, as great as it is, can't do, Yamaha MusicSoft has the perfect computer software for you.

Meet the 2010 editions of Finale PrintMusic and Finale SongWriter. Both programs give you the ability to record, notate, edit and print your own songs. If you've ever wanted a printed copy of songs you've recorded on your keyboard, or other MIDI songs, or if you want to make a CD of the compositions, Finale's software can help you do just that.

Keep reading for more details>>

To get Finale up and running with your keyboard, first follow one of these videos to create a MIDI connection between your computer and your keyboard.
Once you have your keyboard connected and Finale PrintMusic or SongWriter installed, follow these directions to choose your keyboard as a MIDI Input:
  • Start up Finale
  • If it's the first time you're running Finale, a MIDI Setup screen should appear automatically. If not, you can get to this screen through the "MIDI" menu, by choosing "Device Setup" and then "MIDI/Internal Speaker Setup"
  • On this screen, choose your keyboard as the input device for software channels 1-16. This will let Finale record what you play on your keyboard.
  • If you want to hear playback through your keyboard rather than through your computer, you can also set that up here. Just choose "MIDI System" under "Playback To", then choose your keyboard for the channels that you want your keyboard to play back.
Now you can start recording! Just press record and Finale will capture your playing and notate it instantly. Everything you play on your instrument will, by default, be recorded through channel one. So, if you want to record to a different instrument, go to "Instrument Setup" then "Instrument List" under the "MIDI" menu, then change the channel for the instrument you want to record to "1".

Or if you don't want to record from the keyboard, you can also enter notes directly through Finale's easy to use interface or load a song you've already recorded on your keyboard.

After recording, you can edit the song in any number of ways. You can change keys, time signatures, or clefs as well as add lyrics, chord symbols, dynamic markings and more. You can even change from standard notation to percussion notation or tablature.

Then, when you have everything done, you can export it to a MIDI file or MP3, or print out a hard copy of the sheet music.

With Finale PrintMusic's SmartScore Lite, you can also scan sheet music directly into the program. You can even tell SmartScore what type of sheet music you're scanning so that all the parts come out assigned to the right instruments and staves. (Note: this feature is not available in Finale SongWriter.)

Finale PrintMusic 2010 and Finale SongWriter 2010 are both available now on Yamaha MusicSoft.

- Doug

Thursday, September 24, 2009

When You Need to Learn a Song Right Now: Yamaha's Performance Guides

The Music Finder feature on Yamaha's keyboards is perfect way to quickly and easily set up your keyboard to play a particular song. If you're ever wondering what sort of style, tempo, or voice to use to play a song, just look it up in Music Finder, and the Music Finder Record for that song will automatically choose the best settings and set you up to start playing instantly.

With Music Finder+ you can even download over a thousand more Records for free directly on to your instrument, through Internet Direct Connection.

Music Finder is great if you already know a song and just need suggestions for which styles and voices to use, but what if you don't already know how to play the song? Don't worry - Music Finder+ also includes Yamaha's Performance Guides.

Combined with Music Finder Records, Performance Guides give you everything you could ask for when learning to play a song. While the Records set up all of your sounds and styles, the Performance Guides give you the melody, chords and lyrics for each song, that you can playback on your keyboard and read from your keyboard's screen so you quickly learn to play and sing along, even if you've never played the song before.

And even if you don't use Music Finder, Performance Guides are a great tool to use if you need to quickly learn the basics of a song especially if you use styles to perform. The chord and melody arrangement used in the Performance Guides' notation gives style players the basics of the song without any unnecessary frills. Performance Guides even provide suggested voice and style variation changes as the song plays back!

And to top it all off, Performance Guides are super cheap! Only $1.95 a piece.

To try out Performance Guides, just create an account for Internet Direct Connection (if you haven't already) and log on! From the Internet Direct Connection homepage, select "Get Music", "Music Finder +" then "Performance Guides" and you're off.

- Doug

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Yamaha PSR-S710 & S910 Keyboards to Offer Audio Recording & Playback

Back in July we reported on the unveiling of two new Yamaha keyboards, the PSR-S710 and PSR-S910, and now their release is nearly upon us.

While the new keyboards feature a bunch of great and improvements over previous models - such as the addition of Super Articulation voices, improved speakers, and a video output port for the new color LCD screen - the most exciting (to me at least) is definitely the ability to record and playback audio in MP3 and WAV format. All Yamaha keyboards up to this point, even the Tyros3, have recorded and played back music only in MIDI format, so this feature is a real breakthrough.

Here are just a few examples of the things you can do with the new audio capabilities:
  • Record your own songs

    • Any sound you can generate with the keyboard, you can record to WAV audio files on an attached USB flash drive.
    • Now you can record songs just as they sound on the keyboard, without the messy voice and sound problems you can have when recording and playing back MIDI files.

    More details ahead - keep reading...
  • Play along with songs from your own music library

    • Load up MP3s from your personal library and play them back while playing along on the PSR.
    • No need to try and control both your keyboard and stereo at the same time - you can run everything from the PSR.

  • Capture licks, riffs and beats for later use

    • Record an audio clip to your USB flash drive, then use it in compositions or productions on your computer.
    • Sample the great sounds from the PSR and use them anywhere.

  • Add vocals or other instruments to songs on keyboard

    • The PSR-S910 can record input from the "line in" jack as well sound from the keyboard itself, allowing you to add vocals, guitar or other instruments to the songs you play or record on the keyboard.
Both keyboards are scheduled to hit stores within the next month, so keep an eye out for them.

- Doug

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Yamaha Behind the Scenes: Who You Gonna Call? Bryan Pezzone!

We're lucky enough today to present you with a profile on one of the most prolific and popular PianoSoft recording artists of all time, Bryan Pezzone, as written by our PianoSoft insider, Cathy. Enjoy!

When John Williams needs a pianist for a movie score, the first person he requests is Bryan Pezzone.

One of the most versatile pianists in Los Angeles, as well as one of the busiest. After all, how many pianists can play a concerto, play by ear, read anything thrown in front of him, and record Pop, Rock, Broadway, Jazz and more with equal skill and sensitivity? It is safe to say that Bryan is the foremost free-lance pianist for film and television soundtrack recording, contemporary music premieres, and chamber music working today. He's also one of our most prolific PianoSoft performers.

From our perspective as PianoSoft producers, we selfishly enjoy his tremendous diversity, skill and artistic performances. In the “who you gonna call” vein, he is always at the top of our pianist wish list. Bryan’s collections have been best sellers for the past ten years and don’t show any signs of slowing down. His credits include "The Best of Elton John" (our alltime best selling PianoSoft album), "Debussy Piano Works" (one of our most popular classical albums), and the brand new "Morning Has Broken - Hits of Cat Stevens".

We know you’ll enjoy his PianoSoft offerings - click here to see a full list.

And Bryan's resume is just as impressive as the body of work he's produced for Yamaha. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, where he won both the Performers Certificate and the concerto competition. He also studied at the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center on full scholarship for two successive summers.

Bryan is currently exploring his passion for improvisation through his “Freedom Series” concerts, which skirt the lines of classical, jazz and improv while encouraging dialogue with the audience. He has released numerous recordings of his own compositions, which blend classical and jazz influences, and has also contributed to recordings of composers as disparate as John Cage and Brahms.

Among the groups Bryan has performed with are the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Pasadena Pops, Santa Monica Symphony, Santa Clarita Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, United States International University Orchestra, U.C. Irvine Symphony Orchestra, Eastman Philharmonic and the Pacific Symphony.

You can learn more about this talented artist at: www.bryanpezzone.net

- Cathy

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Go Back to School With Your Yamaha - Brush Up Your Skills This Fall

Days start getting shorter, and the balmy August air takes on a certain chill - it's nature's way of telling us to hit the books and prepare for a new school year. But even if you're not busy getting re-acquainted with notebooks and homework this September, there's no better time to get re-acquainted with your keyboard. Why not send yourself back to school this fall, and start learning to really play your Yamaha?

No matter how you want to go about learning, how much experience you have and what exactly you want to learn, Yamaha has a learning tool or system for you. Take a look at the summary of all of our learning options below.

Passport to Music

Passport to Music is a series of lessons available through Internet Direct Connection. For one low fee, you'll get unlimited access to the entire course of lessons, which will take you from the very basics of piano playing - technique, fingering, and notes - through the beginnings of two hand playing. The course features interactive practice songs and on screen feedback. It's great for adults who want a hands on introduction to playing the piano, and will prepare anyone well for for more advanced lessons. For a trial lesson, log in to Internet Direct Connection, choose "Learn Music" and then "Music Lessons".

Keep reading for more piano learning tips >>
Exercise on Demand

Exercise on Demand is Yamaha's newest lesson system, developed for the CLP-300 line of digital pianos. Combining the CLP's play along features with an extensive library of the world's greatest piano methods and exercises, Exercise on Demand offers a new and improved way to practice.

With Exercise on Demand, you start with sheet music for a lesson or song then add a professionally recorded audio guide track, which you can then adjust based on how you want to practice. For example, you can mute right or left hand parts, set the tempo, or repeatedly playback sections of a piece.



Since Exercise on Demand offers practice guides rather than hands on lessons, it is meant for players with some experience and is especially suited for players who are already taking lessons with a piano teacher.

Digital Music Notebook

As we covered a couple weeks back, you can get a variety of interactive keyboard and piano lessons through Digital Music Notebook. All lessons include practice phrases and songs that you can play back and play along with, and you can also print out hard copies of each lesson. For a more in depth guide, check out our post from September 4th, describing our most popular lessons.


Software


In addition to the interactive lessons available on Digital Music Notebook, there are a bunch of lesson series that you can take on your computer. Our most popular computer lesson course on Yamaha MusicSoft is the Beginner's Piano/Keyboard Course from eMusic. The Beginner's Course contains four different sets of lessons, which guide you all the way from "Learning Rhythm & Notes with Songs on Black & White Keys" to "Playing Famous Songs, Scales and Arpeggios". Each set of lessons comes with interactive audio and MIDI playback, as well as feedback features that can give you personalized tips as you play along.

DVDs

Watching a video can be a great way to learn some new techniques and skills. Some of our most popular DVDs include the "Learn to Play Blues Piano" series (now 25% off!), and volumes one and two of the "Starter Series - Beginning Piano".

Lesson Books

Last but not least, traditional lesson books are also available from Yamaha MusicSoft. Our catalog includes books from Berklee Methods, Play Piano Today and the Hal Leonard Student Piano Library, which all come with play along DVDs, CDs or song disks to help you learn the pieces in each book.

- Doug

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Play Online Music Games At the Yamaha Hub

The Yamaha Hub site is now offering four online music games! The games, which are called YamaMonsters, all feature cartoon monsters that in one way or another help test musical skills like note reading and rhythmic comprehension. YamaMonsters is designed to help out beginning musicians, but it's equally fun for anyone interested in brushing up some basic musical skills. Here's a rundown of the four games:

Yama Mambo, my personal favorite of the four games, features a monster who barks out a four beat pattern and offers three options for how to notate the rhythm. Choose the right one, and you earn the right to see him bust out some fresh moves.

Earmo gives you a famous melody, a staff and a few notes to work with, then asks you to fill in the missing notes. It's great for ear training and a fun way to learn about matching sounds to pitches and rhythms.

My Jamz is the most free form and creative of the games. Just pick an instrument and click on the monsters to play a note from the scale. You can even record your creation and play it back.

Krank & Lucy is a simple note reading game that works like a series of flash cards. You are given a note on a staff to identify and three possible choices to choose from.

The games can be found at the Yamaha Hub website - just mouse over the area just beneath the bottom right of the main panel to see the links. Enjoy!

- Doug

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Free Tyros3 Registrations & New Premium Style Videos

If you feel the urge to expand your Tyros3, don't fight it - James from the Yamaha Personal Keyboard Owner site recently posted eight new Tyros3 registrations that you can download for free!

James' registrations all feature choral and vocal sounds layered with other instruments and styles, so you can setup your Tyros3 to get great sounds instantly. If you're looking for some new airy pads or epic choirs for your Tyros3, these registrations will be right up your alley.

All of the registrations use the sounds from the new Choral and Vocal Premium Pack, so you'll need to have the Choral and Vocal pack installed to use the new setups.

Download James' registrations now at the Yamaha Personal Keyboard Owner site.

The Tyros3 website has also just released two new Premium Style demonstration videos, for the US Rock and 60s Novelty Pop styles.



Both of these styles are available now on Internet Direct Connection and Yamaha MusicSoft. Be sure to stay tuned - there are many more videos in store for the coming weeks.

- Doug

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Discard Your Credit Card - PayPal Now Accepted @ Yamaha MusicSoft

Don't have a credit card? No problem. As of today, purchases on Yamaha MusicSoft can be payed for directly from your bank account through PayPal.

To pay for Yamaha MusicSoft purchases through your bank account, just set up a PayPal account with your banking information, and choose PayPal as your payment method.

In addition to paying straight from your bank account, PayPal allows you pay with credit and debit cards like Switch and Solo. If a lack of payment options ever stopped you from getting the songs, styles and accessories you want for your keyboard, you no longer need to let that hold you back.

- Doug

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Meet the Beatles All Over Again - By Playing Them on Your Keyboard

This is a big week for Beatles fans. Tomorrow marks the Beatles' grand entrance into the 21st century with the release of both the long anticipated newly remastered Beatles catalog on CD and the Beatles: Rock Band game.

Between the new CDs and the new game, I'm sure there will be no shortage of music fans picking up a plastic guitar or a pair of headphones in order to lose themselves in the Beatles' music over the next few days.

Once you're done with that, though, why not load up some Beatles tunes on your keyboard and learn to play them yourself? We've got a wide selection of MIDI songs that will help you do just that.

If what you need is Beatles sheet music, we have over 100 songs to choose from in both piano and guitar arrangements. And with Digital Music Notebook sheet music, you can also transfer a MIDI version of each song to your keyboard and play along.

Or, if sitting back to hear piano arrangements of the Beatles' songs is more up your alley, there are eighteen different PianoSoft albums of beautiful music available from Yamaha MusicSoft or Internet Direct Connection for your listening pleasure.

No matter how you plan on enjoying the music of the Beatles with your Yamaha instrument, we've got something for you. Keep reading for a full list of our Beatles songs, sheet music and PianoSoft. Read more >>



Discounted Beatles MIDI Song Packs

The Beatles MIDI Song Pack Vol.1
The Beatles MIDI Song Pack Vol.2
The Beatles MIDI Song Pack Vol.3

Beatles MIDI Songs

Across the Universe
Birthday
Day Tripper
For No One
From Me To You
Got to Get You Into My Life
Here Comes The Sun
Here, There and Everywhere
Hey Jude
I Saw Her Standing There
I Should Have Known Better
If I Fell
I'm a Loser
In My Life
Lady Madonna
Let It Be
Love Me Do
Michelle
Norwegian Wood
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
P.S. I Love You
Please Mr. Postman
Please Please Me
Rock and Roll Music
Strawberry Fields Forever
The Long and Winding Road
Twist And Shout
Yesterday



Beatles PianoSoft

Act Naturally "When I'm Sixty-Four" - Beatles Hits!
All You Need Is Love
Can't Buy Me Love - Beatles Beat
Hello, Goodbye - Softer Side of the Beatles
In My Life - Beatles 1965
Love Songs of Lennon & McCartney (with "Something" by George Harrison)


Beatles Smart PianoSoft

The Beatles (White Album)
Abbey Road
Magical Mystery Tour
Rubber Soul
Revolver
Yellow Submarine
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
A Hard Day's Night





Discounted Beatles Digital Sheet Music Packs

Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Pack
Beatles Pack 1
Beatles Pack 2


Beatles Digital Sheet Music
A Day In The Life
A Hard Day's Night
Another Girl
Another Hard Day's Night
Anytime At All
Baby You're A Rich Man
Blue Jay Way
Do You Want To Know A Secret?
Eight Days A Week
Eleanor Rigby
For No One
Get Back
Getting Better
Hello, Goodbye
Helter Skelter
Here, There And Everywhere
Hey Jude
I Want To Hold Your Hand
If I Fell
In My Life
Julia
Lady Madonna
Little Child
Love Me Do
Michelle
Nowhere Man
Paperback Writer
Penny Lane
Please Please Me
Rocky Raccoon
She's A Woman
Something
Strawberry Fields Forever
Tell Me What You See
The Ballad Of John And Yoko
The Long And Winding Road
The Octopus's Garden
Things We Said Today
When I'm Sixty-Four
Words Of Love
Yellow Submarine
Your Mother Should Know
You're Going To Lose That Girl
You've Got To Hide Your Love Away


More Beatles Stuff

ClaviSoft: The Beatles - Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Clavisoft: Best of the Beatles
Clavisoft: Let It Be
Songs of the Beatles 2nd Edition - EZ Play Sheet Music


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

End of Summer Sale Starts Tomorrow: Songs, Styles & PianoSoft 20% Off

It's time again for our annual End of Summer sale, which means all PianoSoft, MIDI songs & style files will be 20% off all this weekend on Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection.

The sale will be running from tomorrow morning until Tuesday on Yamaha MusicSoft, as well as Internet Direct Connection and the Disklavier Music Store.

Don't miss this last opportunity to save before the chilly days of fall set in!

*Sale runs from 10 am EDT Friday, Sept. 4th until 12am EDT Tuesday, Sept. 8th. Discount does not apply to sheet music, Regist Data, DVD/Video products, books, or accessories on Yamaha MusicSoft or Exercise on Demand or Piano Radio subscriptions on Internet Direct Connection.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New PianoSoft: Cat Stevens and 60's Soul

Our two new PianoSoft releases this week cover highlights from the Temptations, the Four Tops, and heyday of 60's R&B, as well as the greatest hits of one of the 70s greatest singer songwriters, Cat Stevens. Both albums are in the PianoSoft Solo format, with music arranged for solo piano playback in your keyboard or Disklavier.

Pianist Bill Cunliffe takes on some of the 60s greatest soul songs for "Dock of the Bay", building solo piano arrangements that accentuate beautiful harmonies, without losing sight of Motown's patented rhythmic drive. Highlights include the tense and timeless chorus of the Four Tops' "Reach Out", a spirited rendition of "Respect" and a take on "The Way You Do the Things You Do" that plays up the song's swinging, bluesy bounce with wonderful results.

"Morning Has Broken"
features songs from three of Cat Stevens' most popular records (Mona Bone Jackson, Tea For the Tillerman, and Teaser & the Firecat), spanning his creative peak of 1970-71. Bryan Pezzone's solo piano renditions capture the quiet intensity of Stevens' original songs, which include classics like "Peace Train", and "Father and Son".

Full tracklistings with previews of each song are after the jump. Tracks and previews >>

"Dock of the Bay" - Great R&B Hits

I Can't Help Myself [Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch] - The Four Tops







My Girl - The Temptations







Baby I Need Your Loving - The Four Tops







Just My Imagination [Running Away With Me] - The Temptations







Ain't No Woman [Like the One I've Got] - The Four Tops







The Way You Do the Things You Do - The Temptations







It's the Same Old Song - The Four Tops







Get Ready - The Temptations







Reach Out I'll Be There - The Four Tops







Respect - Aretha Franklin







[Sittin' On] The Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding







Sweet Soul Music - Arthur Conley







Bring It on Home to Me - Sam Cooke








"Morning Has Broken" - Hits of Cat Stevens

Wild World







Morning Has Broken







Peace Train







Father and Son







Moonshadow







The Wind







Sad Lisa







Into White







How Can I Tell You







Oh Very Young







Lady D'Arbanville







If I Laugh







Longer Boats








- Doug