Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Get Your Keyboard Ready for the Holidays!

It’s hard to believe December 1st is next week! This is a great opportunity for you to get your keyboard ready for parties, sing-alongs and personal enjoyment during the holidays. Yamaha MusicSoft has a great library of products to help you make music this time of year. Here’s some tips and product information to get you started.

PLAYER TIP – SLEIGH BELLS ON YOUR KEYBOARD!

Hidden amongst the large collection of drum sounds, Yamaha Keyboards include a realistic sleigh bell sound that’s perfect for this time of year! Every model of keyboard has a Voice called “Standard Drum Kit” (sometimes abbreviated “Std. Kit 1”). This one voice features a whole collection of different drum sounds mapped out across the keys on your keyboard. And if you’ve played around with this set of sounds, there’s a good chance you’ve never discovered the sleigh bells, because on most models it’s way up at the top of the keys. To find it, first select a “Standard Drum Kit” Voice from your instruments Voice list.

Then find the sleigh bells on one of the B keys towards the right end of your keyboard. For some models, it will be the highest B key. For others, it may be a couple octaves down. Now play a rhythmical pattern on that key, and you’ve got sleigh bells for your next holiday sing-along!

SONGS OF THE SEASON

No matter what kind of keyboard you have, there’s no shortage of Christmas music in our catalog! As the song goes, if you “need a little Christmas now”, you’ll find a wide selection of printable holiday sheet music - and there’s still time to learn some new songs before the guests arrive!

If you’re looking for MIDI Songs to play in your keyboard, be sure and check out our extensive collection of Christmas MIDI Songs. These are interactive downloadable files that use the sounds in your keyboard to play the song! If you’ve never used a MIDI Song, check out this video that details this unique musical experience, and shows how Yamaha’s Premium Songs offer extra-special features – like Karaoke lyrics and exclusive instrument voices -  not found on other brands and generic MIDI files. You’ll be “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” and hoping for a “Holly Jolly Christmas” with these classic and contemporary hits!

Clavinova owners won’t want to miss out on all of the extra products we have just for you! If you love Follow Lights, make sure you’ve got the complete collection of “Christmas Lights” Volume 1 and Volume 2. These one-finger, no-skill-required arrangements will be the hit of any party, and are a great way to get your guests on the piano bench and having fun. And our QuickPlay “Play By Christmas” is another great way to let your Clavinova teach you how to play the songs of the season. Check out this blog post on how to use QuickPlay on your CVP Clavinova.

Disklavier owners can also listen to PianoSoft Christmas titles including "The Best Selling Christmas Songs of All Time!" and "Traditional Christmas Sing-Along" or "Sacred Christmas Solos." These titles make perfect background music for a holiday party. Select keyboard models can also use PianoSoft albums to turn your keyboard into a piano jukebox.

SOUNDS OF THE SEASON

Discover wonderful new Christmas Voices and Styles for your instrument with the “Church and Christmas Pack,” available for Tyros 5 and PSR-S Series. This voice and style library includes a large collection of new Voices, Styles, and Registrations, and will allow you to play everything from traditional church organ carols to modern gospel choir songs.

STYLES OF THE SEASON

If you have a CVP Clavinova, a Tyros, or other Arranger Workstation, you can expand your instrument by adding more Style Files! And Yamaha MusicSoft has a large collection of Styles just for the holidays.

Enjoy the Holidays!
The Yamaha MusicSoft Team

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Learning to Play Christmas songs on your Yamaha CVP Clavinova with Yamaha’s Quick Play

Play by Christmas with Quick Play


An exciting part of the holiday season is getting together with friends and family. This is also an exciting time to share your music making with those you know and love. With the Yamaha QuickPlay series, Play By Christmas, playing and sharing your music has never been more fun, and easier than ever. 


The Yamaha QuickPlay program was designed to be a fun introduction to playing the piano with no prior music experience required. As the songs are based on using the Follow Lights system on your CVP Clavinova, anyone can play these wonderful arrangements from the first lesson. No prior music knowledge is necessary. Just load the song into your CVP Clavinova, press Play, follow the lights and enjoy making music. The lush orchestral background arrangements take advantage of the beautiful orchestral sounds built in to your Clavinova, making you sound amazing from your first notes.

Some markets in the U.S. offer QuickPlay classes. To find a list of participating locations, go to usa.yamaha.com and click on the Education tab. You will see a section called “Learn to Play Piano”, where QuickPlay is listed.

If QuickPlay classes are not offered in your area, there are still plenty of ways to make music with this fun program on your own. The songs offered in Play By Christmas can be played by just purchasing the MIDI song files from YamahaMusicSoft.com. All songs can be played by simply following the lights.

The Play By Christmas lesson book can also be ordered. Printed music, lessons and playing tips are available for each song. The music is printed in large, easy-to-read format, and no prior knowledge of note reading is needed to enjoy this book.

When learning a new song, it is sometimes helpful to listen to the song before trying to play it. Listening to the songs first will allow you to hear the song play through from beginning to end. Follow along in your book as the song is playing, paying attention to where repeated sections are found in “When Christmas Comes to Town” and “Christmas Time is Here”. There are full explanations about these repeats found on page 14 and page 22, respectively.

To listen to the Play By Christmas songs for models CVP605/609/705/709:

Download the files you have purchased from Yamahamusicsoft.com from your computer to a USB drive
Insert this USB drive in to your CVP Clavinova
From the Home screen, touch the right side of the screen in the Song area
Touch the USB icon
Select the song you wish to play
Press the Home button to return to the main screen

If the score didn’t come up automatically when the song was loaded, touch the Score icon in the lower part of the display.

At the bottom of the score, there will be an icon that looks like a speaker—touch this icon
You will see several buttons, such as Extra, Left, Right, Guide and A/B
Turn on the Right button (it will become orange when it’s on)
Turn off the Guide icon (it will become gray when it’s off)
Press Play in the Song Control area of the control panel


Now, it’s time for you to play. Select the song you wish to play, and press Play in the song control area on the control panel. If you are playing the song you just listened to, you will need to turn the guide back on.

From the Score display, touch the icon again that looks like the speaker
Turn Right off (it will become gray)
Turn Guide on (it will become orange)
Press Play in the Song Control area of the control panel


Just follow the lights above the keys—red lights for white keys and green lights for black keys—and amaze yourself by how wonderful you sound. Each time you play the song, you will keep getting better and better as you become familiar with what comes next. After a few times through, you may not even notice you are playing by following the lights!

The Play By Christmas book not only has the music to each song, but also has a “Music Basics” lesson for each song. The informative topics cover basic musical terms such as the musical alphabet and staff, measures, time signatures, sharp signs, note values, rests and much more. Once the concept has been clearly explained, you will see this concept in the song you are playing, reinforcing it. As these are all basic musical terms, you can use this knowledge over and over again in additional QuickPlay books or any music you choose to play.

In addition to the “Music Basics” for each song, there is also a “Learning Tips” section to help you through each step of the way. “Music Basics” takes a more in-depth look at the song you are working on, giving lots of clear and helpful tips to make learning of the song easier.

Several arrangements include a left-hand part, which can be learned using the Follow Lights.

From the Score display, touch the icon again that looks like the speaker
Turn Left off (it will become gray)
Turn Guide on (it will become orange)
Press Play in the Song Control area of the control panel, and follow the lights for the left hand part


After you’re feeling more confident with the song, you can turn off both the Left and Right hand parts, leaving the guide on, and the accompaniment will follow you. This is especially effective with “The Christmas Song”.


Interested in learning a few chords before Christmas? Then “Jingle Bells” is just the song for you! Using Follow Lights, this clever arrangement shows you the right chords to play.

Happy Holidays, and share your gift of music!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Turn Your Keyboard Into a Piano Jukebox

How to load new PianoSoft titles into your keyboard with a USB flash drive


Did you know that Yamaha has recorded thousands of piano performances in the MIDI file format? And did you know that you can play those piano recordings using the sounds in your keyboard? While originally created for the top-of-the-line Disklavier piano, these songs will also play in other compatible models (minus the moving keys!).  If you’re ready to turn your instrument into a jukebox with fantastic piano music, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you like soothing classical songs, sentimental standards or the latest hits, you’ll find it all on YamahaMusicSoft.com.  

Last week we wrote this post on how to transfer PianoSoft titles to your Disklavier using a USB flash drive. Here’s how to purchase, download and transfer music to your USB-compatible keyboard. In this blog, we will be limiting our discussion to instruments that have a “USB TO DEVICE” port. This means instruments with an input for USB flash drives (also called “thumb drives”). Popular models include PSR-E443, Tyros 5, Clavinova CLP-535 and Clavinova CVP-705.

  1. Purchase a title from the Yamaha’s online PianoSoft catalog. “Solo PianoSoft” is the best bet for insured compatibility, but you’ll also find piano music with background tracks, called PianoSoft Plus, that work on select Yamaha instruments. Be sure and choose your model in the instrument selection box (highlighted in red below) while browsing to see compatible titles.
     
  2. After purchasing, your title will be available for “download.” You can either download it right away from your final checkout screen, or download it later from your account.
     
  3. Like any file that is downloaded from the internet, it will be stored on your computer. When you click the download button, pay attention to where the file is being saved since you will need to find it again in the next step. Often, customers simply save it to their desktop screen for easy retrieval.  
  4. Insert a USB flash drive (also called a thumb drive) into your computer. 
  5. Find the downloaded PianoSoft file on your computer and copy (drag) it to the USB flash drive.  
  6. Remove the USB flash drive from your computer and insert it into your keyboard’s USB port. This port may be on the front or the back of the instrument, depending on your model.

  7. Use your instrument’s display menu to locate the USB drive and select the title.

  8. Now you can interact with the song just like the other built-in songs on your instrument. Play, pause, rewind, transpose, speed up and slow down – or just listen! Yamaha’s library of PianoSoft music can offers endless ways to enjoy your instrument. And don’t forget to check out all the other great products from YamahaMusicSoft.com!

Jason Nyberg
Yamaha MusicSoft

Friday, November 6, 2015

Load Up Your Disklavier with the Music You Love

How to load new PianoSoft Titles into your Disklavier with a USB flash drive. 


With literally thousands of songs available from YamahaMusicSoft.com, you can enjoy an endless amount of beautiful music on your Disklavier Piano. Imagine your next party or romantic dinner having that perfect song to make it extra special. It’s possible with PianoSoft titles from Yamaha MusicSoft. Whether you’d like soothing classical songs, sentimental standards, or the latest hits, you’ll find it all on YamahaMusicSoft.com.  

We know that for some Disklavier owners, they need a little more information on getting those favorite songs from the computer to their piano, so here’s the steps to make that transition and get the music playing!

1. On your home computer, purchase a title from Yamaha’s online PianoSoft catalog. You can find Solo Piano music as well as Piano music with background tracks. If you’d like to know more about these choices, click here

2. After purchasing, your title will be available for “download.” You can either download it right away from your final checkout screen, or download it later from your account

3. Like any file that is downloaded from the internet, it will be stored on your computer. When you click the download button, pay attention to where the file is being saved since you will need to find it again in the next step. Often, customers simply save it to their desktop screen for easy retrieval.  

4. Insert a USB flash drive (also called a thumb drive) into your computer. 

5. Find the downloaded PianoSoft file on your computer and copy (drag) it to the USB flash drive. 

6. Remove the USB flash drive from your computer and insert it into the Disklavier’s USB port.

7. Use the Disklavier’s controller to locate the USB drive and select the title.


For Disklavier E3 users, if you’d like more information on where music is stored in your Disklavier, watch this video:



Enjoy your Disklavier this Holiday Season!

Jason Nyberg
Yamaha MusicSoft