Keyboard Method for Young Beginners

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When beginners are learning how to play the keyboard, they should start by learning to read music and scales. Discover the importance of music theory when learning to play keyboard with help from a professional musician and Hammond organist in this free video on beginner keyboard methods.

Part of the Video Series: Hammond Organs
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Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Louis Pain. I'm a Portland, Oregon based Hammond Organist. In addition to playing the instrument, I also teach and occasionally rent the instruments out. I'm here today to demonstrate a keyboard method for young beginners. Now the traditional way to start on keyboard is learning to read music; learning your scales; learning some music theory and then eventually getting into the part where you can improvise. And that does work for some people but my very first teacher; a guy name Norm Bellis; his theory was that, well that it isn't how you learn to speak when you're an infant. You don't learn grammar and spelling and punctuation and syntax and then start to communicate. You start; first you try to express yourself what you want, what you need and then gradually you'll also filling in those other things. So that's the way he taught me and that's the way I teach beginners and for right, right from the first day you can actually be improvising. So he teaches; this method is you start with the twelve bar blues form and start with a very simple baseline that you play with your left hand and then with your right hand you add chords and you add notes that you can improvise with. So the baseline goes; at the first four bars; now the last four. And that's twelve bar; it's a twelve bar blues form and you notice it's the same shape you make with your hand at each position. It's always with the one black note, like that. So you only have to memorize one feeling; it's very easy for you to get the most of memory of doing that. And then with your right hand you add in the chords which can be very simple, just two notes. So with that first position, you just go with that and the second position, you move both of those down a half step. Here we come to the last one; the second one and you can actually add a note on top for all of those chords if you want and so it becomes. Then for improvisation the whole trick is to limit the number of notes that you work with. I mean you can, there are expert musicians that have studied every book and know a lot about theory and scales and licks and harmony; but they can't play a simple blue soul because they have too much to work with. So it's kind of like a, a painter that decides that they're going to start out working with just pencil to simply things. And so my teacher and he's really strict about it, will only allow you to use three notes at over each one of those positions; each one of those chords. And so over the first position which is a C chord, those were my three allowed notes and then I could move up to here for the second chord and for that third chord when we get to that, just move up to. So those look like; and it's really simple and he was to stay clear; I would start to play another note, he take my hand away. So the whole idea is to try; even if you're an advanced musician and you can play Shio Fan and Beethoven and everything else; if you want to learn to improvise, it's good to limit yourself at first. And it, I think this method works great. So, and again to start with something very simple and try to build a solo that sounds like a logical story that you're telling. So here's an example; one, two, three. So that was the twelve bar chorus of the blues and there's a million variations of it. You can make up your own melodies and you can express yourself and, and from that, you can go a long way.

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