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#2014175 - 01/14/13 01:00 AM Hal Leonard E-Z Play: I don't understand something
BillTheSlink Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/12
Posts: 108
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Stopped into a local music store and had a look at one of these. from what I saw there is no grand staff, only the treble cleft. Now I am rank new, fresh off the turnip truck, but are these things so easy they are just right hand melody with no harmony or bass at all? If that's the case I could play that just from my knowledge of music theory from band and the few lessons I've done. It can't be that easy, or at least it can't be and sound worth a darn. Did I miss something or is that how these books work?
_________________________
Currently I am without a piano, but when I get mine back I will be working on "The Complete Piano Player", as well as Neely's "How to Play from a Fake Book. I am spending my time working on theory and learning how to construct chords currently.


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#2014212 - 01/14/13 03:21 AM Re: Hal Leonard E-Z Play: I don't understand something [Re: BillTheSlink]
Allard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 341
Loc: Netherlands


From the Hal Leonard website. You can see melody on the treble clef. Chords are noted above the score. In this example, you play C major with the left hand. Exactly how, is up to you and what fits with the song. You could just hold C-E-G or C-E-G-C while playing the first bar, or play a C-E-G-C broken chord, or C-E-G2, or something like C-EG-EG-EG, etc.

Note values written with the notes like this might be helpful for the absolute beginner, but will probably hamper learning reading skills if one starts depending on them.
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David Lanz - Where the Tall Tree Grows
Nobuo Uematsu - Aerith's Theme (Final Fantasy VII Piano Collections)

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#2014366 - 01/14/13 11:22 AM Re: Hal Leonard E-Z Play: I don't understand something [Re: BillTheSlink]
packa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1397
Loc: Dallas, TX
This general notation (though usually without the note names in the melody) is called a "lead sheet" and collections of these are usually called "fake books." It is a popular publishing format for pop and jazz where fully notated arrangements are less commonly used. Playing from lead sheets calls for a different set of skills than playing the fully realized arrangements that are the rule in classical music.

The performer is expected to take the melody and the suggested harmony (indicated by the chord names above the staff) and create his or her own version of the piece. Of course, just playing the indicated chords in the LH while plinking out the melody with the RH is easy. Creating a musically interesting arrangement from that basic structure is more difficult.
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Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718

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#2014388 - 01/14/13 11:56 AM Re: Hal Leonard E-Z Play: I don't understand something [Re: BillTheSlink]
Kbeaumont Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 265
Loc: Virginia, USA
To try your hand at arranging it, try something like this:
In the simple example "Peg O My Heart":

Hit a C major chord or octaves C and a 5th like this: (C-G-C) in your left hand.

Three of the right hand notes if played together form an e minor triad.
That played over the C in your left hand makes it a Cmaj7 chord.
So try playing the notes but when you get to the B play the E G & B together along with the C-G-C in your left.

Notice it sounds rather nice? That's it in a nutshell you listen to the song, find the rhythm in your left that goes well with it. In your right play the melody and using inversions add in chords routinely keeping melody note on top. And after a lot of practice, you can create good sounding arrangements of nearly any song in your book.

You also have the option of playing the chords in an arpeggio pattern to accompany yourself singing the melody.


Edited by Kbeaumont (01/14/13 11:57 AM)
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A long long time ago, I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile....

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#2014481 - 01/14/13 02:22 PM Re: Hal Leonard E-Z Play: I don't understand something [Re: BillTheSlink]
BillTheSlink Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/12
Posts: 108
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
In other words it's too advanced even for me. blush I better stick to my scales and method books for a while. wink
_________________________
Currently I am without a piano, but when I get mine back I will be working on "The Complete Piano Player", as well as Neely's "How to Play from a Fake Book. I am spending my time working on theory and learning how to construct chords currently.


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#2014510 - 01/14/13 03:17 PM Re: Hal Leonard E-Z Play: I don't understand something [Re: BillTheSlink]
Kbeaumont Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 265
Loc: Virginia, USA
Yes, if your just beginning that's probably best. At least until you have a firm grasp of chords and left hand rhythms. Good luck to you!
_________________________
A long long time ago, I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile....

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#2014561 - 01/14/13 05:32 PM Re: Hal Leonard E-Z Play: I don't understand something [Re: BillTheSlink]
packa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1397
Loc: Dallas, TX
If you are just starting with method books, then working through them for a while is probably a good idea. However, if your goal is playing popular music (as distinguished from classical), then don't be afraid of getting started with lead sheets as soon as you're comfortable. The fact that this style of music-making requires a little different type of learning shouldn't discourage you.

Getting started with simple block-chord arrangements and then adding fancier touches as you learn more is perfectly fine. It all depends on where you want to go with your playing. People who want to play by ear or to flip open their fake book to a familiar tune and put together a performance on the fly need to focus on the steps to their goals just as much as the classical student who wants to play the Fantaisie-Impromptu. You need to pick the route for where you want to go.
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Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718

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#2014563 - 01/14/13 05:36 PM Re: Hal Leonard E-Z Play: I don't understand something [Re: BillTheSlink]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
Allard, you can put together a dead-simple arrangement by just playing the bass note that is the name of the chord. So in the above example, for the first measure, play a low C in the LH, and play the melody in the RH. Change the LH note whenever the letter in the box changes.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#2015000 - 01/15/13 03:49 PM Re: Hal Leonard E-Z Play: I don't understand something [Re: BillTheSlink]
TrishD Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 1
Hi Bill. Trish from Hal Leonard here. I saw your posting and thought I'd chime in to let you know that E-Z Play Today books are designed for absolute beginners at the keyboard or organ. Note names are shown in the note heads, large type is used for easy visibility, key signatures have been removed and accidentals apply only to the notes they precede, rhythms are simplified, accompaniments are chords only, chord changes occur only at the beginning or middle of a measure, the chords that are used are only major, minor and dominant seventh. For electronic keyboards and organs there are suggested rhythm tracks and only simple chords are played. So if you're brand new to keyboard or someone who's been away for some time and want to ease your way back in, this might be the songbook series for you until you're back up to speed and want to hit those fake books! Hope that helps.

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#2015152 - 01/15/13 10:01 PM Re: Hal Leonard E-Z Play: I don't understand something [Re: BillTheSlink]
BillTheSlink Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/12
Posts: 108
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Oh, OK. Thanks a lot.
_________________________
Currently I am without a piano, but when I get mine back I will be working on "The Complete Piano Player", as well as Neely's "How to Play from a Fake Book. I am spending my time working on theory and learning how to construct chords currently.


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#2015163 - 01/15/13 10:15 PM Re: Hal Leonard E-Z Play: I don't understand something [Re: BillTheSlink]
burkorobe Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/15/13
Posts: 6
Loc: Banned
The fact that this style of music-making requires a little different type of learning shouldn't discourage you.
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