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6 Awesome Ways to Incorporate Keyboard Tracks Into Your Recordings

Photo by Aurelio Moraes via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

There are bands that are straight-ahead rockers, using only the traditional guitar, bass, and drums. There are others who create all of their music (with the exception of vocals) “in the box” using a digital palette to build tracks. But in today’s musical culture, most artists use some combination of the two: live guitars over synthesized beats, or rock tracks featuring electronic keyboards.

In a studio context, these synth tones don’t always sit well next to unpredictable acoustic sources. Sometimes the keyboard sounds too perfect, too airless, too dead, making your guitars, vocals, and live drums sound too chaotic by comparison. When blending acoustic sources with electronic ones, here are six ways to bridge that gap and add a little grit to your keyboard tracks.

Performing, Honing Your Craft, piano

Jun 20, 2016 06:00 AM

Mahea Lee

4 Tips for Better Technique and Posture on the Piano

Screencap via youtube.com

This article originally appeared on Soundfly.


As Oscar Peterson once said, “Technique is something you use to make your ideas listenable.”

Until you’ve built up a bit of pianistic muscle memory, trying to play with good technique can feel super awkward. If you’ve taken private lessons, you’ve probably rolled your eyes at a few reminders to relax your wrists and play on your fingertips. If you haven’t had someone around pointing those things out, there’s a good chance you’ve ignored some aspects of technique altogether.

However, I can say with experience (both first- and secondhand) that forcing yourself to sit straighter and relax your shoulders is a heck of a lot better than having to soak your wrists in epsom salt baths and endure hours of acupuncture.

Performing, Honing Your Craft, piano

Feb 10, 2016 07:00 AM

Caleb Hsu

How to Get a More Robust and Responsive Piano Tone

shutterstock_229974430Image via Shutterstock

We’ve discussed unique exercises to increase dexterity while playing piano, and now we’d like to extend our best tips on creating the best piano tone. Contrary to popular belief, piano is an extremely sensitive and dynamic instrument. Due to its size, the potential for booming triple fortés is expansive, as well as the prospect of barely whispered attacks. We’ll cover ways to hack science and utilize momentum and inertia to generate the most responsive piano sounds.

Performing, Honing Your Craft, piano

Feb 1, 2016 09:00 AM

Caleb Hsu

10 Unconventional Piano Practice Tips You Haven't Tried That Will Make You a Way Better Player

Image via Shutterstock

We've shown you specific exercises to reduce pain and increase dexterity while playing piano, so now we'll give you our top unconventional practice tips that you probably haven't tried. These methods are intended to simultaneously activate both hemispheres of your brain, as well as stimulate enough neural activity to divert your focus and shift your attention from creating muscle memory to enabling complex rhythmical passages to be performed with ease. One of the toughest obstacles to overcome when first learning how to correctly practice the piano is finger and hand independence, and by using these methods, there's no way you won't improve.

Performing, Honing Your Craft, piano

Jan 14, 2016 06:00 AM

Caleb Hsu

8 Essential Exercises to Reduce Pain and Increase Dexterity While Playing Piano

Image via Wikipedia Commons

I'm not going to be a snob and discount other instrumentalists' right to say their craft requires special attention and unique skill. However, I will say that piano is undoubtedly among the toughest instruments to holistically master. In order to protect your musical longevity as a pianist, it's important to take time to condition your muscles, properly exercise your tendons and ligaments, and ensure your joints are cared for. Key areas we'll focus on in the below exercises are knuckles, wrists, forearms, shoulders, and the surrounding muscles. In order to flawlessly execute more technical pieces, you must acquire enough muscle memory and strength to be able to relax your entire body, because when you're tense, you're hindered and at risk of injury.