FAQs

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Here are some questions I’ve been asked by viewers since I started making YouTube covers. I thought it might be a good idea for me to post them here, with some answers, just in case anyone else might want to know too 🙂

If you have any other questions which I haven’t included here, or any comments, please feel free to comment at the bottom of this page… I love interacting with viewers! Remember to put in your name at least , otherwise WordPress considers it spam and tries to ‘protect’ me from it haha! 😦

1. My Headphones – quite a few viewers have asked me about them

Q: What is playing in your headphones? The song that you’ve transcribed or the output from the piano you’re playing?

A: The output – The headphones are connected to my digital piano so that I can hear what I’m playing without it disturbing the neighbors! I live in an apartment and I usually record at night, so it’s more considerate to use earphones. I don’t listen to the original while I’m doing the recording. I do that while I’m transcribing the song. I’m pretty good at writing down what I hear. Playing from memory takes much too long for me. I can play by ear, with basic chords, but I want my covers to be more complete and as much like the original as possible, so I always write the notes down.

2. My Tablet – I read my music from it while I perform. So far, I haven’t seen anyone else do that on YouTube, although I just read an article on BBC news, that some orchestra is going to use tablets for their scores. Might be a bit hard for them to turn the pages though –  can’t use the violin bows haha! And tablets are still a lot smaller than A4 size.

Q: I’m just wondering, how did you get music sheets onto that tablet? I’m used to having a physical copy of the music sheet, but to save money and paper, I want to try reading from the tablet while playing.

A: Reading music from a tablet saves a lot of trouble dealing with paper copies. I write my music using Musescore (free and really easy to use!) on my laptop. Musescore themself tweeted me (So pleased!!!) And informed me that I don’t need a separate pdf converter 🙂 Just go to File > save as > select. pdf 🙂 Easy peasy! It turns the scores into pdf files which can then be copied over to my Acer Iconia tablet via a USB cable. If your tablet doesn’t have a USB port, you can email the file to yourself and open it using the pdf reader on your tablet.

3. Playing the pieces

Q: Thanks to you, I can now play this song. It does not sound as good as when you play it however! How do you do it?

A: You’re most welcome 🙂 It’s the fluency and expression that makes it sound good, so if you practise till it becomes really easy, then feel the music when you play, it will sound just as good! The secret, is individual voicing of different notes in the bar, meaning you’ll need to make certain notes softer so they taper off gently. This is so that it won’t sound ‘chunky’ – like a solid block of sound, but will flow and weave pleasingly 🙂 Just go lighter on the ‘weaker’ beats of the bar. 🙂

Read [FAQ Page 2] [FAQ Page 3]

69 Replies to “FAQs”

  1. Madam Joyce, I am just learning piano, and i really wanted to learn this song called Powerful by Ellie Goulding and Major Lazer so….. I was wondering if you could cover this song and arrange the piano sheet.

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  2. Hey Joyce,

    You had me at Dm… Just kidding and thanks for all your work.

    I see that we both use Synthesia and I have also recently discovered MuseScore. Both are great programs. Do you ever share your midi files?

    Best Regards,
    Rob

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  3. What keyboard do you play on? Are there any models you’d recommend? I’m really looking for one that has good key resistance.

    Thanks! I love your transcriptions!

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  4. My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a different web page and thought I might as well check things
    out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward
    to checking out your web page again.

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    1. For the audio, I’m using a soundblaster cable that connects my digital piano to my laptop. For the video, a Logitech HD webcam. The webcam software combines the audio and video in real-time.

      How do you do it?

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      1. I was actually thinking it was more so along the lines of recording the songs in MIDI format with a MIDI recording program (Cubase, Mixcraft, Garageband, etc.). It’s the only method I know of as of right now, but is your method entirely different from the one I described?

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      2. Yup. It’s not recorded in midi. It’s a video format…err maybe MP4, I think. My hubby handles the recording for me. I just upload it to YouTube and post the pdf sheets onto my website 😛
        For my Tutorials, I actually convert my scores into midi format, separating the right and left hands into different instruments so that Synthesia can distinguish between the hands. I know this is very student from how most people play by ear, recording it in midi. I make the scores first, cos I just can’t get all the small details that I want, playing by ear (poor memory hehe).

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  5. Hey, Sooooo what happened to those awesome Frozen songs?? I started to learn them but couldn’t print out your sheet music at that time, but today I came on to print and found it was removed!! Girl, what happened? Please return them to us, they were extremely helpful! Please. 😦 😦

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    1. The audio is recorded directly from my digital piano to my laptop via a Soundblaster cable, while the video is via a Logitech HD webcam. My hubby help me do the recording. My whole YouTube channel would be impossible without him 🙂

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      1. Hi, again. Thanks for the earlier reply! I don’t want to sound too persistent here, but do you know the software/program that captures and records your performances, or is that part, respectfully, left to your husband? Thanks again.

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