Monday, April 30, 2012

The Most Popular Premium Styles Of All Time!

Here it is! The undisputed list of the most popular Yamaha Premium Styles, ever! Looking over the list, it's easy to see that these Styles are as diverse as the wonderful musicians that are using them. Genres on this list range from classic Blues, Rock, and Pop, to 50's era Ballroom, Swing music from overseas, and even Reggae! It just goes to show how powerful Yamaha Premium Styles can be when loaded into the instruments of the people who enjoy them.

Without further ado, we present the most popular Yamaha Premium Styles of ALL TIME!

US Smooth Ballad
Smooth is definitely the perfect word to describe this style. Whether you use it to play jazz or pop, what you'll get is a laid back sound with sparse, tasteful drumming, bass and guitar over which you're free to play your own solos.

French Swing
Django Rheinhardt created a unique form of swing that was distinctive not only in instrumentation (prominently featuring guitar and violin, with no drummer) but also in the type of harmonies and melodies used in the songs. Rheinhardt's music is the inspiration for this style, featuring great violin and guitar figures, and the addition of some light drumming. Featured voices include jazz accordion, violin, clarinet, and vibraphone.

50's Quickstep
Transport yourself back to ballroom dancing of the 1950s 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 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 easily with this style, which puts doo wop backing vocals at the forefront of the accompaniment. For a more piano heavy take on the twist, try the 60s Twist style.

The Blues
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!

Detroit Ballad
Some of the biggest ballads of the 60s came out of Detroit and Motown records. Detroit put a distinctive soulful pop spin on ballads in songs like "My Girl", and "I Second That Emotion" that you can hear in this style. Using lots of backing vocals alongside prominent drums and horns, the Motown sound is unique but sounds great accompanying a wide variety of ballads.

Reggae Jam
You really can't talk about Reggae music without talking about Bob Marley. The Wailers,(a band featuring Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer) successfully made the transition through Ska and Rocksteady music before becoming one of the most quintessential Reggae groups of all time. The Reggae Jam Premium Style is inspired by one of Bob Marley and the Wailers biggest hits: "Jamming", though it is extremely versatile in the Reggae genre. This Style features electric piano, warm organ, and vintage guitar sounds so you can jam along!

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.

Soft Piano Beat
The softer side of rock is no less versatile. Here we have a light, airy Style that lends itself easily to ballads, but it suits any mid-tempo piano rock tune with a few taps of the tempo button. Though this Style is based on Katie Melua's "The Closest Thing To Crazy", I quickly played through some of my favorite ballads including "Everything I Do(I Do It For You)" and "Unchained Melody", just to have fun trying some familiar songs with a new Style. Soft Piano Beat builds consistently through each variation, with One Touch Settings that match the added layers of complexity with subtle intensity. Featured voices include the world famous Yamaha Grand Piano, soothing flutes, and a warm string section

Status Rock
It's a burning hot blues rock style with some unexpected bells and whistles! Status Rock was inspired by the 1977 Classic Rock hit "Rockin' All Over The World" by Status Quo(Though written and originally recorded by John Fogerty). The driving blues rock vibe of this Style gives it a real fist-pumping quality, which is complimented by the subtle vocal harmonies that enter the second variation. My favorite variation is the fourth, where the entire Style transforms to give us dramatic synchronized hits that create a high energy moment, while leaving space for little bluesy licks. The One Touch Voice Settings could not be more perfectly paired! You get two scorching lead guitars, a rock organ, and a golden saxophone!

Disco Celebration
The disco music of the 70s is all about big speakers, big shoes, and living the high life: at heart, disco is all about celebration. And with unmistakable treble heavy disco guitar style, along with funky bass and horn lines make this style perfect for celebrating anything at all.

Acappella Swing
A capella music appears most often these days in the form of barbershop and vocal jazz. The a capella swing sound has been taken up recently by groups like Take 6 and the Manhattan Transfer, and this style is a perfect accompaniment to use in creating your own a capella tracks. Using only human voices for harmony and finger snaps for percussion, this style recreates the sound of a barbershop quartet with amazing realism and expressiveness. Add your own voice to create new "a capella" songs!


Yamaha Premium Styles are available exclusively from Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection. If you didn't find something that suits your needs on this list, check out the entire catalog!

~Drew

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tons Of New MIDI Songs At Yamaha Online Services!

With all of our new iOS app releases and a steady stream of new Premium Styles and PianoSoft, it seems we haven't talked much about MIDI songs. While our attention was focused elsewhere, a LOT of new MIDI songs were added to our catalog. From recent hits like Adele's "Someone Like You" and Lana Del Rey's "Video Games" to classics like Strawberry Alarm Clocks' "Incense and Peppermints", there's sure to be something for every fan of MIDI songs! If you're not sure how to use our MIDI songs with your Yamaha keyboard, check out some of the MIDI Workshop videos.

Tell Her About It
Billy Joel
Someone Like You
Adele
Video Games
Lana Del Rey
Stronger(What Doesn't Kill You)
Kelly Clarkson
It Will Rain
Bruno Mars
Incense & Peppermints
Strawberry Alarm Clock
Bed Of Roses
Bon Jovi
Titanium
David Guetta Featuring Sia
Stars
Simply Red
Mexican Shuffle 1964
Herb Alpert
Crying In The Rain
A-Ha
The A Team
Ed Sheeran
Georgy Porgy
Toto
We Found Love
Rihanna
Just A Kiss
Lady Antebellum
Annie's Song
John Denver


These MIDI songs are available exclusively from Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection!

~Drew

Aerosmith, Kelly Clarkson, Norah Jones & More Added To NoteStar!

We've just added 10 new titles to the NoteStar store, featuring smash hits from new and notable artists, as well as some favorite songs from not so long ago. We're committed to building a catalog of excellent digital sheet music titles with the high quality audio backing tracks that NoteStar users have come to expect. If you haven't tried NoteStar on your iPad yet, remember it's a free app on the App Store, and when you register the app with Yamaha, your first song is FREE! Check out what's new in the NoteStar Store!



And in other news, Drew got totally busted singing Taylor Swift's "Back To December" with NoteStar this morning!!!




Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

2 More Yamaha Premium Styles: 80's US Rock Pop & 60's Orchestral Pop Ballad!

This is exciting! We have two extra new Premium Styles to release this month, and they're both welcome and excellent additions to our catalog. We've got a little Pop Rock that features some 1980's synth action a la Huey Lewis & the News, and some lighter, cooler Orchestral Pop from the 1960's! No matter what your musical preferences may be, you know you can count on the superior quality and sound of Yamaha Premium Styles. That's because they're lovingly (and laboriously) crafted by the same expert team of programmers who are responsible for the voices and styles that come factory installed in Yamaha's best arranger/workstations!

Check out the demonstration videos and detailed descriptions below, or browse our entire catalog!


80's US Rock Pop
Though this Style was inspired by Huey Lewis & The News' hit song "The Power of Love", the rock doesn't stop there. Fans of rock tunes with a little synthesizer sprinkled in will find loads of songs to play with this one. Featured voices include rock sax, piano, lead guitar, and a brassy synth voice.




60's Orchestral Pop Ballad
Here's a smooth-sailing, light and easy ballad Style with the orchestral bells and whistles to glide through the early days of pop music. It's based on Brian Hyland's "Sealed With A Kiss", with it's gentle waltz and minor key progression. Featured voices include grand piano, a warm string section, vintage lead guitar, and of course that famous harmonica.




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

~Drew

Friday, April 13, 2012

60's & 70's Pop Additions To The Yamaha Premium Style Catalog!

The latest additions to the Yamaha Premium Style catalog are sure to impress fans of pop music from the early 60's and the late 70's respectively. Both of our new Styles are inspired by smash hits from their eras, but are versatile enough to be used across the decades to create inspired pop music covers and original compositions.

Like all Premium Styles, these have been created by our top-notch team of programmers who are also responsible for crafting the on-board content found in Yamaha's best arranger/workstations. There's no better way to expand the musical possibilities of your Yamaha instrument than to add some Yamaha Premium Styles!

See below for video demonstrations and detailed descriptions, or check out our entire catalog!

60's Pop
Cleverly inspired by the Beatles' "Love Me Do", the 60's Pop Style is perfect for jangly pop and early rock tunes. 4 variations in this style deliver several intensities of a swingin' rock beat, with featured voices that include harmonica, a couple of vintage guitars, and organ.




Late 70's Pop Duo
This Style is inspired by Captain & Tennille's "Love Will Keep Us Together". With impressive intros and outros, and 4 distinct rhythm variations, it's hard to go wrong with this Style. Featured voices include trumpet, saxophone, vintage guitar, and piano!



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

Have a great weekend!

~Drew

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Guns N' Roses, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, & More Added to NoteStar!


We're happy to announce that we've added another 12 hit songs to the NoteStar catalog! Tap the "New Songs" banner in the NoteStar store to preview the latest additions from piano maven Sara Bareilles, pop-country superstars Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum, or check out our staff's personal favorite "November Rain" from Guns N' Roses!



We'd love to hear about your experience with NoteStar! Take a moment to drop by the NoteStar Facebook page and say hello! The first 5 fans to post a video of their NoteStar performance will get a FREE SONG*! We're already talking about version 2 of the App, but need to get some feedback from our NoteStar customers first. Tell us what you think by participating in a very quick survey, and have a hand in shaping the future of the app!


*To receive a free song for posting a video on Facebook, you must be registered with Yamaha Online Member.


~Drew