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#2421231 - 05/16/15 01:43 PM Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 631
Loc: Israel
As the first book for pupils, I had the songs of the Beatles, and I was very unhappy with the printed piano part. After a while I realized that it was not a part of piano, but the piano score; and it is suitable for arrangements for a large orchestra, but not to perform at the piano alone .At first I just gave to pupil left hand chords and the tune in the right. However, this is completely neutralized the groove of song , which is not less, if not more important than the harmony of song.
Immediately I got the following problem: how to arrange the principle combination of drums and bass on the keyboard, even before the melody. (It was one of my arguments in favor of studying drumming).Gradually appeared approach constant rearrangement of each song - in accordance with the level of pupil, but also in connection with the groove the song.
Your ideas ?

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#2421248 - 05/16/15 02:28 PM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: Nahum]
dire tonic Online   content
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Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 2034
Loc: uk south
In an ideal world, a pop-teacher would be capable of producing convincing arrangements but students take the best they can afford or they take those who they believe are the 'best'. But what can you do when a sub-par teacher knows how to say good things about himself?

Most of those commercially produced piano arrangements are dreadful - I think you know that. It's because of the mode of production, the low price paid for the job and often because the writer is a better scribe than pianist.

Quote:
Immediately I got the following problem: how to arrange the principle combination of drums and bass on the keyboard, even before the melody.

Yes, this is often the first problem you have to solve but the guitar might figure as an important component too and the drums might recede as a consideration. A good example (there must be hundreds) is the Beatles' Come Together. No need there to consider drums at all because so much of the groove is characterised by the other instruments. In fact bass is very often an effective proxy for the drums which is yet another reason IMO why the drums can so often be ignored providing we know the sub-division of the beat.

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#2421265 - 05/16/15 03:32 PM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: Nahum]
Diane... Offline
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Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3462
Loc: Western Canada
I like this question a lot! Short version would be "Yes"!

Stay clear of classical piano teachers is No. 1. (I teach classical on the side but the real joy is playing pop) Just is ... so a good piano teacher should be able to get the arrangement for you the student. Get a left hand pattern to the song, by checking out "Youtube"! So many amazing arrangements to be found.

Good teachers will ultimately "interview" the student to know exactly what that student wants to play and learn! Then teach them just that!

Also, get students in a band as soon as possible! Play in a church praise team is a great start! Not too early mind you, but it's experience they will need! Puts them under pressure to perform. Just guide them as their teacher. So the succeed!

I love the Beatles "Jazz" versions, are my favourite! Nothing is more attractive to the opposite sex than some high schooler who can play pop music!

Just sayin
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#2421269 - 05/16/15 03:42 PM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: Nahum]
Diane... Offline
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Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3462
Loc: Western Canada
[video:youttube]https://youtu.be/PkwOXo9yL8s[/video]
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#2421293 - 05/16/15 04:45 PM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: dire tonic]
Nahum Online   content
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Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 631
Loc: Israel
Originally Posted By dire tonic

Yes, this is often the first problem you have to solve but the guitar might figure as an important component too and the drums might recede as a consideration.
In practice, you can combine guitar kick with snare-drum, only strumming exalts the role of the rhythm guitar.


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#2421427 - 05/17/15 03:00 AM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: Nahum]
dire tonic Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 2034
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By Nahum
In practice, you can combine guitar kick with snare-drum, only strumming exalts the role of the rhythm guitar.

I don't understand what you're saying here. Can you please define "guitar kick with snare-drum" and re-phrase "only strumming exalts the role of the rhythm guitar". Maybe you can relate what you're saying to your arrangement?



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#2421436 - 05/17/15 04:06 AM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: dire tonic]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 631
Loc: Israel
Originally Posted By dire tonic

I don't understand what you're saying here.
I apologize for my spoiled English!
If guitar playing a kick on offbeat with snare-drum , then you can content with bass note a octave higher (or power chords) , or interval from chord in the right hand.The guitar part deserves attention if she plays arpeggio or riff - see bars 3-4 in B.

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#2421438 - 05/17/15 04:10 AM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: Nahum]
dire tonic Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 2034
Loc: uk south
Quote:
I apologize for my spoiled English!
If guitar playing a kick on offbeat with snare-drum , then you can content with bass note a octave higher (or power chords) , or interval from chord in the right hand.The guitar part deserves attention if she plays arpeggio or riff - see bars 3-4 in B.

No apology necessary.

Although this looks ok on paper, it's a mistake IMO to assume that simply writing a part for emphasis will produce the emphasis you want. So the octave B and A in B3, while sounding different from the other 1/8 notes in the bar can't provide the impact that a snare drum gives to a groove. At the same time, by adding the octave you've sacrificed the continuity and drive that the guitar alone can achieve. IMO this is an unsuccessful compromise. (Incidentally, for piano and to provide power, I would be an octave lower in the LH for bars B3, B4).

Something is needed at letter 'A' to provide the driving 8's feel that the drum figure demands once the sung verse begins. As written, it's not sufficiently different from the intro.

I guess the A-G grace notes falling to the CD interval are intended as a simulation of the 'percussion' effect? Keeping in mind that it's impossible to score an all-encompassing arrangement for the piano (the piano is versatile but there are some things it cannot do!) I can't see the point in trying to include this. Many of the piano scores we're inclined to criticise fail precisely because the arranger has 'written in', note-for-note, a non-piano figure from the original track in the hope that it might be effectively replicated. It so often fails, sounding gimmicky and lending nothing to the overall effect.

First and foremost, it has to sound good as a piano piece. Trying to achieve the impossible will frustrate that aim.

On the positive side, it looks as though your arrangement is graded to be not too difficult - that's commendable. I wouldn't play it this way but an early intermediate student might be pleased to play it.



Edited by dire tonic (05/17/15 05:59 AM)

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#2421485 - 05/17/15 08:22 AM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: Nahum]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 631
Loc: Israel
It's still not well -baked   version .However, you can compare with the version from here: https://sites.google.com/site/pianopartiture/piano-sheets/pianosheets

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#2421498 - 05/17/15 09:18 AM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: Diane...]
Hidden son of Teddy Wilson Online   content
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Registered: 01/27/09
Posts: 122
Originally Posted By Diane...

Nothing is more attractive to the opposite sex than some high schooler who can play pop music!


I play my share of pop music, but now I know what I've been doing wrong: not being a high schooler !

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#2421554 - 05/17/15 12:00 PM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: dire tonic]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 631
Loc: Israel
Originally Posted By dire tonic


Although this looks ok on paper, it's a mistake IMO to assume that simply writing a part for emphasis will produce the emphasis you want.
Octave doubling up always sounds louder and sharper, down - thicker.

Quote:
So the octave B and A in B3, while sounding different from the other 1/8 notes in the bar can't provide the impact that a snare drum gives to a groove.
It requires a compromise - is written for students, not for professionals .Teachers, remember?

Quote:
(Incidentally, for piano and to provide power, I would be an octave lower in the LH for bars B3, B4).
So I wrote the initially, did not like the sound on my computer. Probably it depends on the instrument.


Quote:
I guess the A-G grace notes falling to the CD interval are intended as a simulation of the 'percussion' effect? Keeping in mind that it's impossible to score an all-encompassing arrangement for the piano (the piano is versatile but there are some things it cannot do!) I can't see the point in trying to include this. Many of the piano scores we're inclined to criticise fail precisely because the arranger has 'written in', note-for-note, a non-piano figure from the original track in the hope that it might be effectively replicated.
Here's a compromise: the choice between sound and rhythm. Rhythm conquered , then something is left from the groove. Exactly on that, I was not concerned.

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#2421638 - 05/17/15 04:09 PM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: Hidden son of Teddy Wilson]
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3462
Loc: Western Canada
Originally Posted By Hidden son of Teddy Wilson
Originally Posted By Diane...

Nothing is more attractive to the opposite sex than some high schooler who can play pop music!


I play my share of pop music, but now I know what I've been doing wrong: not being a high schooler !


hahahahahaha well I teach high school boys and this is what they tell me! smile

https://youtu.be/ZJmbvX7aEUc

Here a piece from a great piano book called beatles jazz style! It has amazing arrangements. I actually have deleted some notes. This book is full of great arrangements of the Beatles music! I still love the "Beatles"! Especially Paul! hahahaha I'd love for him to personally sign my baby grand kawai piano! In my dreams! Anyone know him personally!???
_________________________
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Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#2421647 - 05/17/15 04:29 PM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: Nahum]
Albunea Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/15
Posts: 115
Loc: Spain
What a coincidence! I've been seeing those Beatle songs today, but I found him through "Hello" laugh




I want to learn to arrange, Nahum, so I think it is useful even for beginners like me. I probably won't, but I can see the advantages!

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#2421720 - 05/17/15 07:59 PM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: Nahum]
indigo_dave Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/17/12
Posts: 54
I have a Beatles Fakebook that seems to get the essence of their arrangements - accurate chord changes I mean - not orchestrations. But the chord symbol are just a guide. One has to come up with the proper voicing. Being familiar with the Beatles recording of a given song is hugely helpful.


http://www.amazon.com/Beatles-Fake-Book-...atles+Fake+book
_________________________
https://soundcloud.com/david-goethe/tracks

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#2421920 - 05/18/15 08:20 AM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: Nahum]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 631
Loc: Israel
This is my way, and I am sure that it is quite professional and methodical.



http://www.mediafire.com/listen/7jb1gt5191t1us7/MJ.mp3

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#2421992 - 05/18/15 10:42 AM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: Nahum]
gracegren Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 63
Loc: California
Originally Posted By Nahum
Originally Posted By dire tonic

Yes, this is often the first problem you have to solve but the guitar might figure as an important component too and the drums might recede as a consideration.
In practice, you can combine guitar kick with snare-drum, only strumming exalts the role of the rhythm guitar.



I would take a listen to even the original Beatles version of this tune. The bass line is 1 1 3 5 7 not 1 1 5 7, its a 7th chord arpeggio, flows much better in the left hand and lines up much better with the melody. Maybe piano players should study bass, LOL.

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#2422007 - 05/18/15 11:25 AM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: gracegren]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 631
Loc: Israel
Originally Posted By gracegren


I would take a listen to even the original Beatles version of this tune. The bass line is 1 1 3 5 7 not 1 1 5 7, its a 7th chord arpeggio, flows much better in the left hand and lines up much better with the melody. Maybe piano players should study bass, LOL.

gracegren, I hope you don't belong to the transcription police.))
You can imagine what I've heard the same thing as you. However, work with little advanced students require compromises , and I always think of them. Do you have students to check out?

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#2422057 - 05/18/15 12:59 PM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: Nahum]
dire tonic Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 2034
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By Nahum
This is my way, and I am sure that it is quite professional and methodical.

Why not just use your ears? No 'method' is necessary since whatever you do will be a heavy compromise. Just pick out the prominent lines - they are always evident. In Billy Jean you have drum-groove-101 - the most basic beat possible. It doesn't deserve special attention. Hence, of your two arrangements, the second one makes too much concession to the drums and has much less musical value.

Both arrangements suffer once you lose the chord riff Gm,Am,Gm7,Am so I would try and find a way to include some of the riff under the melody.

Originally Posted By gracegren
Maybe piano players should study bass

Yes - I said as much at the beginning of this thread.

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#2422091 - 05/18/15 02:40 PM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: dire tonic]
Farmerjones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 262
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By dire tonic

Why not just use your ears? No 'method' is necessary since whatever you do will be a heavy compromise.


Thank you. And it depends on what one considers a compromise.
I may settle on a key that's not the original key. I may settle on a chord progression that may at first lack passing chords, or melody completely. The version may develop more organically, like the original work. It depends if one considers it a different tune if it's in a difference key. I afford myself a large amount of plasticity, knowing once I have something tangible, I am free to develop it as I see fit. After all, people can work on notated works from minutes to years too.
To answer the top question, a pop/non-classical teacher should not only be able to arrange but to teach arrangement. As they say, "Give a man a fish, he eats once, but teach a man to fish, he never goes hungry."

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#2422185 - 05/18/15 08:07 PM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: Nahum]
gracegren Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 63
Loc: California

Originally Posted By Nahum
Originally Posted By gracegren


I would take a listen to even the original Beatles version of this tune. The bass line is 1 1 3 5 7 not 1 1 5 7, its a 7th chord arpeggio, flows much better in the left hand and lines up much better with the melody. Maybe piano players should study bass, LOL.

gracegren, I hope you don't belong to the transcription police.))
You can imagine what I've heard the same thing as you. However, work with little advanced students require compromises , and I always think of them. Do you have students to check out?


Oh, no, sorry if this was in any way offending. I am not a part of the transcription police. In fact, I am in hiding from them due to lack of effort on my part in participating in what I really know is good for me. No students at the time, just thought a familiar chord arpeggio would make it easier.

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#2422244 - 05/18/15 11:44 PM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: dire tonic]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 631
Loc: Israel
Originally Posted By dire tonic
In Billy Jean you have drum-groove-101 - the most basic beat possible. It doesn't deserve special attention. Hence, of your two arrangements, the second one makes too much concession to the drums and has much less musical value.

.
Here I disagree, and as can be seen, so it will remain.
I has passed all the way quite independently - from the classical trained musician to jazz musician who began playing at 23 the pop music.
The turning point was when I realized that in my playing was no factor of drumming , not bass.
Many students who come to me are in a similar position and of course, they passes a similar process. It helps! .

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#2422287 - 05/19/15 03:57 AM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: Nahum]
dire tonic Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 2034
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By Nahum
Originally Posted By dire tonic
In Billy Jean you have drum-groove-101 - the most basic beat possible. It doesn't deserve special attention. Hence, of your two arrangements, the second one makes too much concession to the drums and has much less musical value.
Here I disagree

Really? You prefer the second arrangement?

Bars 5 and 6 are barely recognisable as the original song.


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#2422320 - 05/19/15 06:56 AM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: dire tonic]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 631
Loc: Israel
Originally Posted By dire tonic

Really? You prefer the second arrangement?

Bars 5 and 6 are barely recognisable as the original song.

My pedagogical principles in this case are as follows:

1. Write the tune as precisely as possible, including the articulation + original lyrics .

2. The student who is in a rather early stage of ownership tool and familiarity with the genre, will get from me the second version in his left hand, and even without doublings. In the same way the right - monophonic.

3. A slightly more advanced - the second version as written.

4. If the coordination of development to some extent - the first version

5. Those who are already playing polyphony : melody - as it is written and
ORIGINAL bass part

6 . In the most advanced part in the right can add another 1-2- votes or comping riff coordinated with the tune. It is even possible that the left hand will jump from n the bass line to the guitar riff.

My disagreement with you, dire tonic, based on the fact that since about the middle of the 60's. general rhythmic image of songs changed - as a result of the invasion of drum patterns in the melody of Eights and sixteenth notes. for comparison:
1.
http://www.guitarcats.com/realbook-jazz-standards/song-is-you,-the

2.

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/66602230/152----ELTON-JOHN----CANDLE-IN-THE-WIND-(1)-PIANO-SHEET-MUSIC



Edited by Nahum (05/19/15 07:02 AM)

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#2422332 - 05/19/15 07:42 AM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: Nahum]
dire tonic Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 2034
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By Nahum
My disagreement with you, dire tonic, based on the fact that since about the middle of the 60's. general rhythmic image of songs changed - as a result of the invasion of drum patterns in the melody of Eights and sixteenth notes. for comparison:

We haven't discussed the evolution of pop rhythms. What makes you think this is the source of disagreement?

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#2422348 - 05/19/15 08:46 AM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: dire tonic]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 631
Loc: Israel
Originally Posted By dire tonic

We haven't discussed the evolution of pop rhythms. What makes you think this is the source of disagreement?
And again - the answer to your phrase "Hence, of your two arrangements, the second one makes too much concession to the drums and has much less musical value. "too much concession to the drums   " .
It is a principle of switching the classically educated pianist in pop or rock, and it is would the very first step .There is not too much attention to the drumming: a student knows or not. If student has played the drums, it would be easier.
The Rhythm is God , not bass or harmony!
And what is your approach to this?


Edited by Nahum (05/19/15 08:47 AM)

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#2422351 - 05/19/15 08:56 AM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: Nahum]
dire tonic Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 2034
Loc: uk south
I will answer your question re approach, Nahum. But first, will you please answer, directly, the last two questions I have put to you.

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#2422363 - 05/19/15 09:17 AM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: dire tonic]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 631
Loc: Israel
Originally Posted By dire tonic
I will answer your question re approach, Nahum. But first, will you please answer, directly, the last two questions I have put to you.

Your question, dire tonic:
Quote:
You prefer the second arrangement?

My answer:
2. The student who is in a rather early stage of ownership tool and familiarity with the genre, will get from me the second version in his left hand, and even without doublings. In the same way the right - monophonic.

3. A slightly more advanced - the second version as written.

4. If the coordination of development to some extent - the first version

5. Those who are already playing polyphony: melody - as it is written and
ORIGINAL bass part

6. In the most advanced part in the right can add another 1-2- votes or comping riff coordinated with the tune. It is even possible that the left hand will jump from n the bass line to the guitar riff.


Your question:
Quote:
What makes you think this is the source of disagreement?


My answer: your phrase "Hence, of your two arrangements, the second one makes too much concession to the drums and has much less musical value." Too much concession to the drums ".
It is a principle of switching the classically educated pianist in pop or rock, and it is would the very first step

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#2422371 - 05/19/15 09:39 AM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: Nahum]
dire tonic Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 2034
Loc: uk south
In your arrangements, I see the same tendency, as in most commercially available arrangements, to include detail that doesn't work in a piano piece, even sometimes sounding outlandish (your Billy Jean v2). I'd ask what is the point in offering an arrangement that bears a minimal resemblance to the original song. Why not instead set an abstract exercise?

My approach would be to restrict target songs to those that can be effectively arranged for the piano. In the above example that would rule out Billy Jean but include Come Together which works reasonably well. Stick to songs that adapt to the piano or your student could lose interest.

Quote:
The Rhythm is God , not bass or harmony!
And what is your approach to this?


The bass is THE musical pivot, the only instrument which so effectively defines both rhythm and harmony. When pop rhythm sections lay down their backing tracks you will always find the drummer and bass player in mutual consultation. It's no coincidence that in pop bands, it's often the bass player who steals the initiative to play 'boss'.




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#2422484 - 05/19/15 03:47 PM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: dire tonic]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 631
Loc: Israel
Originally Posted By dire tonic
In your arrangements, I see the same tendency, as in most commercially available arrangements, to include detail that doesn't work in a piano piece, even sometimes sounding outlandish (your Billy Jean v2). I'd ask what is the point in offering an arrangement that bears a minimal resemblance to the original song. Why not instead set an abstract exercise?

My approach would be to restrict target songs to those that can be effectively arranged for the piano. In the above example that would rule out Billy Jean but include Come Together which works reasonably well. Stick to songs that adapt to the piano or your student could lose interest.

Quote:
The Rhythm is God , not bass or harmony!
And what is your approach to this?

The bass is THE musical pivot, the only instrument which so effectively defines both rhythm and harmony.
You forgot to mention that the bass is pivot for rhythm, and for harmony, and for main melody. There is nothing to argue about.
But I mean something quite different, referring to the fundamental basis of the three arts singing, dancing and playing the instrument. In the traditional method of teaching Western music has been lost their historical syncretism. As part of some African cultures even to the present day there is no separate notion of "playing an instrument": dancing, singing and drumming has one common name. And I personally take an example from here:
https: //www.youtube.com/watch? V = vWfEIuSSOqA & list = FL6fqDmZ4pyKBMwRtE4VUMvw & index = 22

The rhythm, the groove , the scale! The bass and harmony - then.

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#2422528 - 05/19/15 05:59 PM Re: Must a pop piano teacher to be able arrange the songs [Re: Nahum]
dire tonic Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 2034
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By Nahum

In the traditional method of teaching Western music has been lost their historical syncretism. As part of some African cultures even to the present day there is no separate notion of "playing an instrument": dancing, singing and drumming has one common name. And I personally take an example from here:

The rhythm, the groove , the scale! The bass and harmony - then.https: //www.youtube.com/watch? V = vWfEIuSSOqA & list = FL6fqDmZ4pyKBMwRtE4VUMvw & index = 22

I've no idea what you're talking about...and your link doesn't work.

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