Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hidden Feature – How to perform a “ritard” with a style ending

When playing a song, it’s important to lead your listener along through arrangement, and give musical hints as to what is coming next. For example, it should be obvious to the listener when you are about to end the song. Stopping abruptly at the end with no hint that it was coming leaves the song sounding incomplete and unprofessional. To solve this, quite often in pop music the song simply fades out, and gives the listener a chance to “say goodbye” to the tune.

But another common method that has been used for centuries is to “ritard,” or slow down, that last phrase or measure of a song. That’s easy to do when playing with a band, or playing a solo piano. But when you are using an accompaniment style on your keyboard, such as, “8 Beat 1,” you may be wondering how to slow down then ending of the style to create this effect. Trying to turn the tempo dial while playing is not easy, and doesn’t usually give the desired result.

So here’s a tip – Yamaha keyboards have a built in feature that slows down the ending of a style. To access it, just press the desired ending button, then PRESS IT AGAIN once the ending has started. You’ll hear the song come to a slow dramatic finish!

Here’s a couple tips – it generally works best on shorter endings. If you’re instrument has three different ending buttons, choose the second one. Also, note that many styles already have a built-in ritard, so using this feature will make it doubly slow (in fact you’ll have time to go to lunch and back before it ends).