Friday, August 26, 2011

End Of Summer Sale At Yamaha Online Services!!

It's true. The summer is almost gone, but we're turning these lemons into lemonade with a 20% discount on All Downloadable Products at Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection! All MIDI songs, Style files, Downloadable PianoSoft, and Yamaha Premium Packs and Voices will be on sale until 12AM EDT on Monday, August 29th. It's the perfect time to stock up on the highest quality performance and educational software for your Yamaha instrument, and take advantage of the big savings!

Have a great weekend!

~Drew

All Downloadable Products discounted 20%, except for subscription services. Sale ends Monday, August 29th, 2011 at 12am EDT. Offer cannot be combined with other promotions. Offer not valid at Yamaha MusicSoft European Edition.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Man In Black: Johnny Cash At Yamaha Online Services!

On August 23rd back in 1969, Johnny Cash began a four week run at No.1 on the US album chart with his live album "Johnny Cash At San Quentin", which of course is a live recording of his famous performance at the infamous US Prison. "The Man In Black" was known for his deep baritone voice, the rebel country sound of the Tennessee Three backing band, and of course his all black clothing.

His autobiography Cash tells the harrowing story of his early life on his family's cotton farm, the importance of music and family, his struggles with addiction, love, loss, and life. It's truly a remarkable read! Most of Cash's music speaks to sorrow, struggles with morality, and redemption; as is echoed in songs like "I Walk The Line", "Folsom Prison Blues", and "Ring Of Fire". On the flip side of this heavy hearted songwriting are a few hilarious and equally as catchy songs like "A Boy Named Sue", and "One Piece At A Time"- the former telling the story of a boy that finds and fights his runaway father in a bar for giving him a girl's name; and the latter about stealing the pieces to a Cadillac from the factory to build it at home "One Piece At A Time". It's also worth mentioning the country music classic "Jackson", which Cash recorded with his wife June Carter(of Carter Family fame).

Cash was a troubled but devout Christian, and somewhat of a Biblical scholar. He wrote a Christian novel titled Man In White, and made a spoken word recording of the entire King James Version of the New Testament. Late in Cash's career, he made critically acclaimed cover versions of popular Rock songs, including Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt", Soundgarden's "Rusty Cage", and Beck's "Rowboat". Johnny Cash passed away in September of 2003, nearly 4 months to the day after the passing of his wife June. Cash has the honor of being inducted into the Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame. Join us in celebrating some of the essential songs from the Johnny Cash catalog in Yamaha MIDI format, and you can play along with "The Man In Black"!

Ring Of Fire


I Walk The Line


A Boy Named Sue


Jackson


(Ghost)Riders In The Sky


I've Been Everywhere


Oh, Lonesome Me


Here's a video of Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Three performing "A Boy Named Sue" live at San Quentin!



We've got these MIDI songs by Johnny Cash and a whole lot more waiting for you at Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection!

~Drew

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Perfect Styles For Piano Based Music At Yamaha Online Services!

This week we are featuring a selection of hand picked Styles that are perfect for songs that are centered around the piano. From Elton John, and Billy Joel, to Ben Folds and even Dr. John, there's something on this list for everyone. I think a lot of musicians enjoy learning and writing at the piano because of the linear nature of the instrument.

The musical alphabet is repeated over and over from left to right on the keyboard. This makes learning the language of music easier, and more fun. All of this week's featured Styles come programmed with three intros, three endings, four main variations that are progressively complex, and of course four One Touch Settings to give you the most appropriate voices at your fingertips for playing melody. And remember; this is only a sampling of the Styles that are currently available from Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection. If you don't find what you're looking for, you can browse the entire catalog.

Check out our favorite Styles for piano songs below!

Rock Standing
Midi Spot Style
A straight ahead rocker perfect for upbeat piano tunes like I'm Still Standing by Elton John. Featured voices include a shredding fuzz guitar, rotary organ, and growling saxophone!


90s Pop Ballad
Yamaha Premium Style
A groovy piano pop style with a big string section, sax and classical guitar voice. Pop ballads are the best! And this Style has the versatility to play all kinds of them!


Rock Keys
Yamaha Premium Style
This Style is dramatic and mid tempo. There's already some great rhythm piano happening in the backing of this Style, which leaves you free to solo with some of the awesome one touch settings which include clean guitar, Yamaha piano, and church organ.


Groovy Ballad
Midi Spot Style
This style says "You Know I Love You, But I Just Can't Take This". It says a lot of other things too, but mostly that. Featuring a DX7 style electric piano sound, you can have a lot of fun composing 80's ballads.


Sad Rock
Midi Spot Style
Clearly inspired by Elton John's Sad Songs (Say So Much), this Style has the quintessential blues rock groove that the piano fits so nicely into. One Touch Settings include rock saxophone, warm electric piano, and honky tonk piano.


Reg's Bossa
Midi Spot Style
Here's another Elton inspired Style. This one seems perfect for Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word. The Rhythm is a slightly electronic bossa nova with a big electric piano sound. Featured voices include choir, a smooth sax, Yamaha DX synth, and Yamaha Grand Piano.


Easy Swing
Yamaha Premium Style
Easy Swing is a bouncy little jazz Style for all of you Jazz Pianists out there. Featuring a serious moving bass line, and some of the most authentic brushes on the snare drum, this one is really fun! Jazz guitar, string section, Yamaha piano, and saxophone are the One Touch Setting voices for Easy Swing.


Piano Rock
Yamaha Premium Style
This Style invokes the likes of Ben Folds. It's a super fun, versatile and upbeat piano Style for a modern, almost indie rock feel. Featured voices include trumpet, saxophone, Yamaha piano, and a classic rock organ sound.


CCCP Ballad
Midi Spot Style
Another perfect groove piano Style that puts the piano right out front. A shimmering 8 beat tambourine really adds to the rhythm, and guides the groove along. Solo with pan flute, harmonica, blazing lead guitar or Yamaha DX synth.


Dixie
Midi Spot Style
Classic Dixieland backing with all the bells and whistles! You'll find the clarinets and horns blowing alongside a great bass and drum rhythm section, leaving plenty of room for some piano! Featured voices include clarinet, trumpet, and honky tonk piano!


Visit Yamaha MusicSoft or Internet Direct Connection for more Styles, Midi songs, and so much more!

~Drew

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Roy Orbison: The Legend At Yamaha Online Services

Roy Orbison is an American legend. Because of his unmistakable voice, dark emotional ballads and complex musical compositions, Orbison's music was often referred to as operatic by many critics. This led to the nickname "The Caruso of Rock" (in reference to Enrico Caruso, the famous Italian opera singer from the early 1900's) In the 1960's Roy Orbison scored 22 Billboard top 40 hits, including Only The Lonely, Crying, In Dreams, and Oh Pretty Woman. Orbison's career remained stagnant through the 70's until David Lynch used Orbison's Candy Colored Clown in the 1986 film Blue Velvet. In 1988, Orbison joined the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, and George Harrison. Orbison's life was plagued with tragedy, including the death of his first wife and two of his children, in separate accidents. This could be part of the reason that Roy Orbison stood in such stark contrast to the defiant masculine persona that was so popular in rock music of the 50's and 60's. Many of Orbison's songs conveyed a much quieter, desperate vulnerability that was extremely unconventional at the time. He was also known for standing still while performing, dressed all in black with dark sunglasses. Orbison was inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame in 1987 by Bruce Springsteen. Later that same year he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame.

Join us in remembering a truly unique voice in American rock music. At Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection, we have some of Roy Orbison's biggest hits in MIDI song format for use with your Yamaha keyboard. Check out some of our favorite Roy Orbison tunes below, or browse the entire catalog of Yamaha MIDI files.

Oh Pretty Woman


You Got It


Crying


Candy Man


California Blue


Check out this amazing performance of Oh Pretty Woman from the Black and White Night in 1987. Notice his backing band is Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Jackson Browne, T Bone Burnett, and JD Souther!



Enjoy!

~Drew

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Play The Blues With Style Files From Yamaha Online Services!

Blues music originated in the Deep South of the United States near the end of the 19th century. Evolving from spiritual songs, work songs, field hollers, and chants; Blues songs are typically storytelling vehicles sung with emotion, and a consistent rhyme scheme. Something you may not know (I sure didn't) is that the term "The Blues" refers to the "Blue Devils", meaning melancholy and sadness.

During World War II, Blues music transitioned from the traditional acoustic form to the electric sound that is ubiquitous today. The influence of the blues can be found in all sorts of musical genres from Pop to Country, Jazz, Rock, and even Hip Hop! Blues bands typically have a standard bass, drums, guitar and piano rhythm section, it's the lead instruments that really stick out in my mind. Guitar, saxophone, harmonica, and vocal solos have always added an extra layer of feeling to the genre.

This week we've put together a list of essential Styles that are perfect for the Blues enthusiast! With Style files, you can load the entire band into your Yamaha keyboard and take the lead with the pre-programmed voices available automatically in the One Touch Settings of your instrument. Check out some of the samples below, and browse our catalog of Styles from other genres at Yamaha MusicSoft.

Slow Shuffle Blues
Yamaha Premium Style

Ripping electric guitar, harmonica, and rock organ are the featured voices for soloing in this Style. A classic mid tempo shuffle with walking bass lines and crisp studio drums provide the perfect backing band for a rockin' blues groove.

Blues Rock
Midi Spot Style

This Style really cooks! The rhythm is really full, and includes a twinkling piano, solid bass and drums, and some classic brass section lines. Jazz guitar, harmonica, and a brass section are at your fingertips in the One Touch Settings so you can add layers of melody to an already amazing rhythm section!

The Blues- Premium
Yamaha Premium Style

The quintessential and best selling Blues Style of all time at Yamaha Musicsoft! The rhythm boasts dual guitars and some organ stabs in addition to the groovy shuffle and pentatonic bass line. One Touch settings include clean and dirty lead guitars, a warm organ, and bluesy harmonica!

Classic Blues
Midi Spot Style

The first variation of this Style has that amazing "dun dunna dun dun" blues intro made famous by songs like Johnny Guitar Watson's Gangster Of Love and Muddy Waters' Mannish Boy. One Touch Settings include a gritty lead guitar, and even grittier lead guitar, electric piano, and harmonica.

Moore Blues
Midi Spot Style

Here we have a nice blues ballad that works for a variety of songs and genres. Though inspired by Gary Moore's Still Got The Blues, it's perfect for Louis Armstrong's What A Wonderful World or Elvis Presley's Can't Help Falling In Love. Featured voices include distorted lead guitar, a big string section, and a smooth saxophone.

Blues Shuffle
Yamaha Style

An almost boogie woogie piano drives the rhythm of this shuffle, with a long walking bass line to match. High pitched organ pad and warm rhythm guitar add to the shuffle beat, which is accentuated with light conga. Featured voices for this Style include 2 organ variations, Yamaha piano, and a blazing trumpet!

Alma Blues
Yamaha Style

Alma Blues is a much more modern variation on the genre, adding some electronic elements to the Style. This one is great for modern ballads, with piano, organ, saxophone, and classical guitar featured in the One Touch Settings.

Country Blues
Midi Spot Style

This Style features some fiddle and pedal steel over an ambitious two step rhythm. Great for many Country songs old and new, with pedal steel, clean guitar, gritty guitar, and fiddle voices for picking out your melodies!

Chicago 12 Bar
Midi Spot Style

A fan favorite, Chicago 12 bar is representative of the sub genre of Blues music for which it was named. The first variation has some crisp stops, and things really start to heat up in the 3rd and 4th variations when the horns are added to the rhythm section. Solo using organ, guitar, and saxophone voices!

Wonder Shuffle
Midi Spot Style

With a little groove, this Style takes the Blues genre to funky town. Inspired by Stevie Wonder, this rhythm has all the classic ingredients of songs like Just Enough For the City, and Superstition. Featured voices include a funky clav, electric piano, brass section, and clean guitar.

The Blues Styles and so many more are available now at Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct connection.

~Drew

New MIDI Song Highlights At Yamaha Online Services!

This week we have an exciting and diverse collection of new MIDI songs at Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection! With hits from across the decades, out catalog is getting stronger all the time! We've just added a handful of new Yamaha Songs, and a fresh batch of MIDI from our friends and colleagues in Denmark at Midi Spot!

Yamaha MIDI Keyboard instruments have unique built in learning features that work with Midi songs to deliver an interactive educational experience. You can use your Yamaha keyboard with MIDI songs to adjust the tempo, transpose and play in another key, mute tracks for enhanced play along, and so much more! Don't forget to check out our MIDI Workshop Video Series for helpful tips and tricks for getting the most out of your Yamaha instrument and the power of MIDI songs!

Below you will find some of our favorite new MIDI songs from Yamaha and Midi Spot! If you don't find what you're looking for, you can browse the entire catalog at Yamaha MusicSoft. If you'd like to suggest a song to our production team, feel free to contact Customer Support.



Hungry Like The Wolf
Duran Duran


Gimme Shelter
The Rolling Stones


The Flood
Take That


One More Last Chance
Vince Gill


It's Magic
The Fenders


It's My Party
Lesley Gore


Jet Airliner
Steve Miller Band


All Of Me
Rod Stewart


Bootylicious
Destiny's Child


Dancing With Myself
Billy Idol


~Drew

Friday, August 5, 2011

New Yamaha Premium Styles: Baker Beat And 60's EuroPop!


New Premium Styles are my favorite thing to write about. Once our stellar programmers hand them over to us, I spend most of the morning playing around in our instrument lab, trying to play both my own new song ideas, and the songs that inspired the new batch of Premium Styles. This week has been no exception!

We've got new Premium Styles for late 70's Rock and 60's Euopean Pop, which of course are of the absolute highest quality. Yamaha Premium Styles are programmed by the same content production team that creates the factory installed Styles in Yamaha's best instruments. Each time you add a new Premium Style to your instrument you are upgrading your your performance library with the quality of sound and dynamic realism that that only Yamaha can deliver!



Baker Beat
Baker Beat was inspired by the 1978 hit song "Baker Street" from ex Stealers Wheel frontman Gerry Rafferty. This style captures the essence of the song perfectly without compromising the versatility that allows Styles to be used for other songs. The light congas add so much to the rhythm of this style, giving it just the right amount of groove. Featured voices include a rock sax (perfect for the ripping lead of Baker Street), suitcase electric piano, and wire synth lead.




60's EuroPop
This Style has a great "oompah" vibe with a "tic toc" 8 beat feel. Inspired by the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest winner "Puppet On A String" by Sandie Shaw, 60's EuroPop nods to a time when pop music was really orchestral. You'll find that this Style has been thoughtfully programmed with the perfect voices to reproduce this signature sound, including symphony horns, flutes, a woodwind section, and a string section. Try 60's EuroPop with some simple major chord progressions and use it to practice your scales, or try to capture the magic of the sweet late 60's orchestral pop.




Baker Beat, 60's EuroPop, and all Yamaha Premium Styles are available exclusively from Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection.

Have a great weekend!

~Drew