Friday, March 30, 2012

New PianoSoft: Nat King Cole, Film Themes, and Classical Collections!

It's been a really busy week here in New York City. We gave our Facebook pages for NoteStar and Yamaha Online Services a "face-lift", warmly accepting the new Timeline feature. Speaking of cosmetic changes, we also put a new look on the Yamaha MusicSoft website, so make sure to check it out. We've got some great PianoSoft collections available for the first time in downloadable format, so fans of romantic, classical, and pop music will have something new to enjoy! Check out the new releases, or have a look at our entire catalog!

Mona Lisa- Minoru Kitano
Minoru Kitano has arranged and performed a wonderful collection of pop hits from Nat King Cole, featuring Route 66, Too Young, Stardust, and more!
Mona Lisa


Days of Wine & Roses
This album features 10 classic themes from classic films, including The Pink Panther Theme, Two for the Road, and of course, Days of Wine & Roses.
Days of Wine & Roses


Suite EspaƱolas Op. 47
Suite EspaƱola, Op. 47, is a suite for solo piano. It is mainly composed of works written in 1886 which were grouped together in 1887, in honor of the Queen of Spain. These pieces depict different regions and musical styles in Spain.
Cuba


Piano Recital
Jean-Marc Luisada performs an even split of fantastic compositions from Chopin and Mozart in this outstanding classical collection.
Fantasy in D Minor K.397


Schumann: Traumerei
16 compositions by the inimitable Robert Schumann, as performed by acclaimed pianist Jorg Demus!
Papillons, op. 2


After You've Gone- Ralph Sutton
American jazz pianist Ralph Sutton delivers fantastic performances of 11 standards in this wonderfully upbeat and delightful collection. Featured songs include Puttin' on the Ritz, Ain't Misbehavin', and Don't Blame Me.
Puttin' on the Ritz


These PianoSoft collections are available exclusively at Yamaha MusicSoft.

~Drew

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New Balkan Styles At Yamaha Online Services!

This week we've added a selection of new Styles that were produced by our colleagues in Europe. We're pretty excited to offer 5 new Balkan Styles in addition to a couple of Styles that are perfect for international pop hits! Each Style is created with multiple versions specific to different Yamaha keyboards, ensuring you'll get the most out of your instruments voices and ultimately enjoy high quality sound!

Jagger Move
As the name implies, this Style is inspired by the hit song "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera. This Style has 4 variations that groove and grow into an epic dance beat. Featuring 2 trance voices, grand piano, and a sweet whistle!


Australian Neo Pop
This style is inspired by the song "Somebody I Used To Know" by the Australian singer/songwriter Gotye. We like this Style for its laid-back vibe, which is tempered with pizzicato acoustic guitars. Featured voices include xylophone, harp, vintage guitar, and organ.


9-8 Balkan
Fans of Eastern European rhythms will love this Style in the 9-8 time signature. It's a modern arrangement of a traditional musical style, featuring trumpet, allegro strings, and clarinet.


7-8 Balkan
The 7-8 time signature is a lot of fun to play around with, especially if you're used to standard 4-4 or waltz time. Practice all your scales or compose an authentic celebration song from southeastern Europe. Featured voices include warm guitar, lush strings, and clarinet.


Sasa Balkan
Another modern arrangement of a traditional Serbian Style! Featuring a variety of upbeat marches, this Style has a lot of possibilities, and sounds pretty great in a minor key. Featured voices include warm electric guitar, classical guitar, a sweet trumpet section, and steel guitar.


Rumba Moderna
Here's an upbeat Rumba Style that really moves! It's perfect for adding a little flavor to a dance tune, or trying something more traditional. Featured voices include a dynamic string section, musette, trumpet and warm guitar.


These new Styles are available exclusively from Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection.

~Drew

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Drew's NoteStar Song Of The Week!


Hello NoteStars! I'm fortunate enough to have the kind of job where I'm not only allowed to play a little piano every day, but I'm actually encouraged to do so! I'm also lucky enough to have an iPad and the NoteStar App with the entire catalog of songs at my fingertips. My feelings for NoteStar may differ a little from what I expect most people think when they first check out the app. This is NOT an app for pro-keyboard players, or expert sheet music sight-readers.(Though most of them get a kick out of it!)


To be honest: I can barely read sheet music... BUT, I do recognize the chord symbols, and using NoteStar's amazing player functions, I can quickly transpose any song to a key I'm familiar with, slow it down to practice if it's a difficult song, and listen to the keyboard reference part to learn by ear. That's exactly what I do when I want to play a new song with NoteStar. All of these tools can help you to learn faster, and the keyboard transcriptions are certainly there... But the tools in NoteStar are designed to facilitate the EXPERIENCE of playing with a real band so you can have FUN!

Today I spent 15 minutes with NoteStar and the newly-released "Penny Lane" by the Beatles... and I can already play along with the band! I have never taken a piano lesson in my life (though I have been playing by ear for many years), and Peter Baartmans will tell you my technique is terrible! However, it doesn't really matter to me. I'm having fun playing along with a real band!

Check out the short video we made today of "Penny Lane", now available in the NoteStar store!



I'll try to post videos of my favorite NoteStar songs, and you should do the same! Post your NoteStar videos on the NoteStar Facebook page and share the fun with everyone!

~Drew

Thursday, March 22, 2012

10 New Songs In The NoteStar Shop!

As promised, we've added 10 new songs to the NoteStar shop! We've got a great selection of piano-focused tunes from across the decades, all with realistic keyboard transcriptions and professionally recorded audio backing tracks! If you've ever wanted to be the piano player in Queen or Coldplay, or sit in with the Beatles on Penny Lane, NoteStar can help you make it happen!

Open NoteStar on your iPad to check out the new songs! Just tap the new songs banner in the featured section of the store, and remember: You can preview any song in the NoteStar shop for free!



And if you haven't seen it already, check out Craig Knudsen's amazing review of NoteStar in this fantastic video!



Keep on Rockin'!

~Drew

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring Sale! Save 20% On Everything At Yamaha MusicSoft & Internet Direct Connection!

It sure feels like Spring in New York this week. By my calculations, it's about 20% warmer than it was a month ago, so we're going to pass the good vibes and big savings on to you in our first big sale of 2012. From now through Tuesday, March 20th, save 20% on EVERYTHING at Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direction Connection. Save big on all Voices, Styles, MIDI songs, PianoSoft, Sheet Music, Digital Lesson Books, and more!

Let's kick off the sale with the Beatles!



Have a great weekend!

~Drew


*Offer excludes Piano Radio and all other subscription services. Offer cannot be combined with other promotions. Sale ends March 21st 12AM EST. Offer not valid at Yamaha MusicSoft European Edition.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Song Chords Is Available Now On The App Store!

Learn the chords and rock out with your favorite songs, anywhere, anytime! Song Chords is Yamaha's solution for aspiring guitar and keyboard players who want to practice or perform with a backing band at home or on stage. Song Chords is available FREE for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

The app features a 16 track song mixer, a player with easy-to-read chord symbols that are synced to change in time with the music, and chord dictionaries for both guitar and keyboard. An online store is built into the app with access to over 1,000 songs!



Check out the quick demonstration video below:



Song Chords is a FREE app, and is available now on the App Store. When you register Song Chords with Yamaha, your first song is FREE!








~Drew

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The St. Patrick's Celebration Channel On Yamaha's Piano Radio!

It's 60 degrees fahrenheit outside today in New York City. I'm not foolish enough to think that Spring has sprung, but the sun peeking in through our office windows is a gentle reminder that warm weather is on the way. So in the spirit of all things green and new, we're pleased to bring back the St. Patrick's Celebration channel to Yamaha's Piano Radio! Tune in anytime you're in the mood for a traditional Irish Reel, Hornpipe, Jig, or a good old fashioned Irish Love Song!

Check out some of the sweet songs you can expect to hear this month on the new St. Patrick's Day Channel:

Danny Boy - as featured on the PianoSoft collection "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling"



I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen- as featured on the PianoSoft collection "Alan Pasqua- Love Songs".



The St. Patrick's Day Channel on Yamaha's Piano Radio will be available 24/7, now through the end of March! If you've never used Piano Radio, or have never connected your instrument to the internet, have a look at our Connection Guide.

~Drew

Friday, March 2, 2012

New Premium Styles For The Music Of The 1950's!

Perhaps if we put out some positive energy, the warm weather promise of Spring will hurry up and get here! And few decades produced more feel-good music than the 1950's! This week we're releasing two outstanding new Premium Styles for the music of just that decade, highlighting the touching and tender ballad, and the cookin' early Blues sound in the same breath.


Check out the description and demonstration video below, or have a look at our entire catalog!

50's Swing Ballad
A cool and easy swing gently rocks this style from side to side, in a breathy carefree manner. Just the right amount of percussive accents keeps things steady, while you build character and sweet melodies through the variations. Mix things up with the one touch setting voices, including Yamaha piano, vibraphone, airy vocals, and brass!



50's Blues Shuffle
Here's a hot-doggin' little style for 50's shuffle music in all varieties of blues progressions. The first variation gives you some Bill Haley-esque hits to play around with, progressing through the other variations until you've got something that really cooks! Featured voices include a finger-picked guitar, rock piano, 50's style (almost honky tonk) lead guitar, and growling sax!



... And some 50's inspired Premium Styles already in the catalog!

50's Twist
With the youthful rebellion of exciting, raucous music and the dance to go along with it, the twist sums up perfectly the feel of early rock and roll. You can easily create the same feel with this style, which puts doo wop backing vocals at the forefront of the accompaniment.



50's Quickstep
Transport yourself back to ballroom dancing of the 1950's with this up-tempo quickstep style. The "Quickstep" referenced in the name of this new style is a ballroom dance similar to the foxtrot - very fast and characterized by quick movements and runs. As such, this style is ideal as an accompaniment for ballroom dancing. Since the quickstep is usually danced to big band or swing music, though, this style, which puts Yamaha's background vocal sounds to great use and features a spirited backing from strings and guitar, is beautifully arranged for anyone looking to play some energetic jazz.



50's Big Band
A more relaxed yet precocious style of Big Band music had taken shape in the 1950's. Pioneered by band leaders such as Count Basie, 50's era swing produced amazing musicians like Buddy Rich, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, and too many others to name. This Style has a gentle, matter-of-fact swing quality that makes it really unique. Clarinet voices are featured prominently in addition to a breathtakingly authentic Big Band brass section, and the world famous Yamaha piano sound.



50's Shuffle
The pitter-patter of the brushes on the drums drives this groovy little shuffle right along, and it's even got the walking bass line to match! Perfect for a bigger band "Hound Dog" rendition, or any major key I, IV, V progression too! Featured voices include Yamaha piano, warm lead guitar, and two sweet brass combos!


Yamaha Premium Styles are available exclusively from Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection.

Have a rockin' weekend!

~Drew

Yamaha Releases 4 Amazing New PianoSoft Collections !

It's our exciting pleasure to announce the release of 4 brand new PianoSoft collections at Yamaha Online Services! Leading off is a collection of "B-Sides" that turned out to be amazing smash hits, followed by a mixtape of the best music from the James Bond films, a group of songs that share the word "Eyes" in the title, and a heartfelt tribute to the music of Michael Jackson!


The Flip Side- Best of the B Sides
Here's a collection of songs that were originally released as the B-side of a single, but turned out to be amazing hits in their own right! When you see the track listing, it's hard to believe that these weren't considered to be worthy of A-side status. Hits include Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel", Bill Haley's "Rock Around The Clock" and The Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday"

Ruby Tuesday

Green Onions


Bond...James Bond
Bryan Pezzone has put together 12 iconic songs that span the lifetime of one of the most iconic characters in the history of film: James Bond. You'll find "Goldfinger", "Thunderball", "From Russia With Love", and of course the James Bond Theme all wonderfully arranged and included in this outstanding collection.

James Bond Theme

Goldfinger


The Eyes Have It
What a fun way to put together a playlist! There are many words that are used and reused in pop music to convey the same emotions, or represent similar themes and metaphors. The Eyes Have it is a collection of popular songs that(you guessed it) all have the word "eyes" in the title. From "My Father's Eyes" and "Brown Eyed Girl", to "These Eyes", "Green Eyes", and "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue"- there's something for everyone in this charming collection of piano arrangements.

These Eyes

My Father's Eyes


Gone Too Soon- Hits of Michael Jackson
It has been nearly 3 years since the passing of the King Of Pop, though his music continues to inspire people around the world. Jackson passed away at the young age of 50, one of the most brilliant entertainers, singers, and songwriters to have ever lived; gone far too soon. Jason Nyberg has put together a wonderful tribute to Michael Jackson's music, in 9 quintessential tracks, spanning early career hits such as "Ben", to smash hits like "Man In The Mirror", and "Billie Jean".

Man In The Mirror

Billie Jean


Check out the latest PianoSoft Collections at Yamaha MusicSoft, and stay tuned to our Facebook page and blog for new releases and updates!

~Drew