Shake It Off – Taylor Swift

This catchy, upbeat song by Taylor Swift was released in August 2014 and is very different from her usual country-style. I rarely cover loud and fast beats like this, but the lyrics and message in this song appeal to me. The song speaks about ‘shaking off’ what our detractors and haters say – we can’t control them, but we can control how we deal with it. Good message!

To view my cover, click
shake cover

To view the tutorial, click
shake tut

To view and download the music sheets, click: shake_it_off_-_taylor_swift.pdf
For the Tablet Version, click shake_it_off_-_taylor_swift-tablet-version.pdf

To view the original video, click
shake ori

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My latest project – Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off

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Catchy song with meaningful lyrics :-)
Should be ready for uploading by the end of the week.

Controlling dynamics in each hand independently

Some viewers have said, ” I have a problem that my left hand plays as loudly as my right hand. Could you please tell me how to control my left hand’s strength?”

Here’s one of my answers:

Bring your mom’s/your  kitchen scales next to your piano. Using your RH, press on the scales until it goes as far down as it can (maybe to 1kg or 1.5kg). Using your LH, press it down lightly…maybe to 300g. Now, at the piano, play each hand with the same amount of force and listen to how loud it sounds. To make a loud sound, you need to “push” the keys in FASTER. For softer sounds, you relax when pressing the keys. The trick is to do this at the same time in a different hand.

Then practise a simple exercise first, separate hands, then together eg. C D E F G F E D C, visualising RH pushing the keys further in than LH for EVERY NOTE. Most people can do the first note, then they forget the others. Play slowly and carefully, making every RH note much louder than LH. If you practise like this every day, you’ll soon learn how to control the tone in your hands independently.

Here’s another answer:
To train yourself to play varying dynamics, the kitchen scales will be the best aid :)
Sit at your piano, with the scales nearby (preferably at the same level as the keyboard) Put one hand on it as you would on the piano, then start putting varying pressure on it. Use that same degree of pressure/weight/strength on the piano and see how loud it sounds. Learn exactly how many grams you’d have to “push” to make a pp, p, mp, mf, f, ff. Then learn how to create crescendo and diminuendo while playing your fingers one after another – 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 (repeat), 1 3 5 3 1 3 5 3 1 (repeat) and in all kinds of patterns. Alternate just 2 fingers, accenting one and making the other softer. Then increase the number of fingers involved. Basically, you want to learn how to control each finger to produce whatever tone you need from it. 
 
Hanon technical exercises are good for this. They are repetitive and easy enough for you to concentrate on technique (without worrying about reading notes). Choose different dynamic patterns to practise. Eg. alternating loud and soft bars, choosing 3 dynamic levels for 3 consecutive bars (increasing then decreasing), accenting different notes of each group etc. You can use the exercises to improve your skill in articulation (legato, staccato, non-legato, slurs) as well.

Stay With Me – Sam Smith

This gospel-style influenced song from the debut studio album of Sam Smith (a British singer-songwriter), was released in the UK in May 2014. Many of my viewers have requested it, so I made a cover and sheets for it. Hope you’ll enjoy it!

To view my cover, click
stay

To view the tutorial, click
stay tut

To view and download the music sheets, click: stay_with_me_-_sam_smith.pdf

To view the original video, click
stay ori

 

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For your smiles. Captions anyone?

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Captions, anyone?

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