Approach to playing a piece .. choosing a STYLE

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Approach to playing a piece .. choosing a STYLE

Postby Hugh-AR » 20 Nov 2018 12:31

When playing a piece, choosing a suitable STYLE is what it's all about. On our keyboards there is usually a 'bespoke' Style that you can use for a particular song. But even if the Style chosen is not the 'correct' one it is usually possible to 'adjust' the melody so that it 'fits' the rhythm in the Style. This goes for the 'tempo' of the piece too. By experimenting with different Styles for a song you can create something that has your own 'stamp' on it.

Here is an example of what I am on about. Take the song Oh My Darling, Clementine. I'm sure we all know this one. It is a Waltz. Here is the 'basic' song played 'as a Waltz'. Not one of my favourite songs!



.. and here is another version which has been brilliantly arranged by The Sweptaways. Still a Waltz, but they have put their own stamp on it by creating their own counter melodies and harmonies.



But now ...

What has Jon D done with this one? He's gone for a Quickstep Style and so has had to 'adjust' the melody to fit the rhythm.

Click this LINK. Do a right-click to open it up in a New Tab

Oh My Darling, Clementine played by Jon D

Here is the comment I had put up about it:
This piece is written is a Waltz, which can be very slow and dull, and has never been a favourite of mine. But you have transformed it into a very 'lively' Quickstep. It's interesting to hear how you have 'adapted' the tune to fit the new beat. You are very talented to be able to do this!

Hugh
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Re: Approach to playing a piece .. choosing a STYLE

Postby Brian007 » 20 Nov 2018 13:22

Hi Hugh,

Jon D is a master at creating arrangements and playing , but as your example in your post shows, what is achievable once you start and think outside the box , as anyone with a fairly modern arranger keyboard will have an arsenal of around 300 -400 style to choose from so a lot is achievable, with a little imagination and skill and talent

All the best, Brian007
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Re: Approach to playing a piece .. choosing a STYLE

Postby Hugh-AR » 25 Nov 2018 23:59

Now here's another one that Jon D has put his own interpretation on, ABBA's song I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do.
Listen carefully to the style backing to this:



And what has Jon done with it? In his own words:
I came across this train style then twisted this number in to fit it.

https://app.box.com/s/p508t9yc4l1s66um55whzef5k1wyy9zn

As Brian has said,
Jon D is a master at creating arrangements and playing. Once you start thinking outside the box a lot is achievable with a little imagination, skill and talent.

Hugh
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Re: Approach to playing a piece .. choosing a STYLE

Postby Brian007 » 26 Nov 2018 09:34

Hi All,

I find that if you do decide to change the feel of the song, then in theory you are creating a whole new arrangement/version of that song and really you have a clean sheet to start off with.

All the best, Brian007
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Re: Approach to playing a piece .. choosing a STYLE

Postby Jon D » 26 Nov 2018 11:08

Hi there Hugh,
Thank you for putting this on, just got my eye on it, much appreciated my good friend. :D :D :D
Jon D. :lol: :lol: :lol:
Hi there I have played from the age of 13 and all my music is played in a sort of dance tempo style. Have worked in nearly all the North East clubs over the years. That gave me a good grounding. Cheers.
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Re: Approach to playing a piece .. choosing a STYLE

Postby Hugh-AR » 26 Nov 2018 12:35

I started off this topic with the heading Approach to setting up a piece .. choosing a STYLE. Of course this does not always mean going for a Style that is way off from the original as Jon D has done in the two examples above. More often than not you will want to choose a Style that is as close as you can get to the original. Here is Lady Eleanor - Lindisfarne played by Brian007.

https://soundcloud.com/user-483290153/lady-eleanor-lindisfarne



Brian says:
Its hard to get hold of the music for a lot of Lindisfarne songs, so this one I played by ear after I managed to find some chords for it on the internet.

Brian also says:
If you don't have the music for the piece, you are forced to listen more to any recordings you can find, and that makes you more aware of the finished piece, rather than just hitting the right notes.

Well, it would be a good idea to do this even if you do have the sheet music for it. How else would you know how the piece is supposed to sound? You can 'hear' a lot more than is written into the sheet music! And any of you who say you can't 'play by ear', I bet you do to a certain extent as what you hear must influence how you play it.

Hugh
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Re: Approach to playing a piece .. choosing a STYLE

Postby Brian007 » 26 Nov 2018 13:22

Hi Hugh,

To be honest, I can read sheet music, but not fast enough to really play a piece straight off. I do find playing by ear just as easy and rewarding for most pieces I play, but as the stuff I play is what I would class normal run of the mill pop, if I was doing something more difficult I would use sheet music definitely.

As regards to style, I find myself first looking at the bpm of the original song first and then finding a style from my onboard styles that fits as near as possible, for all the Korg has a Midi to style conversion program built into the keyboard which can work very well, I still prefer to use a standard onboard style and make it my own by adjusting voices and volume levels and fills of the style.

All the best, Brian007
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Re: Approach to playing a piece .. choosing a STYLE

Postby Hugh-AR » 26 Nov 2018 18:55

In Brian's comment, above, he says:
... and then finding a style from my onboard styles that fits as near as possible ... and ... the Korg has a Midi to Style conversion program built into the keyboard which can work very well.

Creating a Style from a Midi program is not the same thing as having a pre-recorded backing track and doing a 'karaoke'. The Style created will be just like any other onboard Style in that you still have to play the chords for the song, but the rhythm and backing PARTS will be much closer to what you were listening to. So if you have no Style that seems to fit the bill for what you want to play, this seems to me to be a very good way of going about it.

Now Jacko has done just this with his Korg keyboard and created a Style for I Started A Joke, a Bee Gees number. Listen to the rhythm and backing for the original song. I doubt that there would be an onboard Style for this! :( :(



This is what Jacko had to say about his Midi => Style conversion.
I decided to try the midi to style converter on the Korg PA4X. I had a midi file of the Bee Gees song which I entered and it converted it, so I added my four variation registrations and pads, then made an MP3 recording.

Jacko's recording is below:

Do a right-click to open this up in a New Tab
https://app.box.com/s/43keduyt03gdnp2cbxkxvlbkhpjas3va

Now that, to me, is the perfect 'choice' of Style for this song! :) :)

Below is another version of this song ... I Started a Joke - (the Bee Gees) by Nataly Dawn and Lauren O'Connell. They have made a good job of this, but in their case they have a 'straight' four-beats-in-a-bar rhythm. Nothing like Jacko's rhythm, which is the same as the Bee Gees one (it would be, as he created his Style from that Bee Gees MidiFile). Listen to the difference.



Hugh
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Re: Approach to playing a piece .. choosing a STYLE

Postby jackoj » 27 Nov 2018 19:44

Hi Hugh,
The Korg PA4X has a lot of handy features on it and the Midi to Style works very well in most cases .. it depends on the quality of the midi file being used. In my case I used a Yamaha midi file of the Bee=Gee`s in my recording. Once one has made the new style from the MidiFile you have to add all your four voices and four pads if need be to the style. I have taken two photo`s from the manual to let you read what it says. Hope its clear enough. (See comments underneath, and attachments).
I will try another MF to Style and let you know my results in a few days. Hope this is of interest. ATB. jackoj. :) :)

The first attachment (Page 304) is:

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And the second (Page 305) says:
Converting a Midi Song to a Style - Page 305
When the conversion is complete, you are asked to write the new Style into a Style location. See the procedure in the next page.
After writing, the new Style is automatically selected. Fine-tune it with the functions seen in this part of the manual.
In the end, you will get a Style including all the Style elements, the four Pads, the four Keyboard Sets and a Chord Sequence containing the chords recognized in the source MIDI song.

If you want to see either of my original photos you can download the attachments underneath.
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Re: Approach to playing a piece .. choosing a STYLE

Postby Hugh-AR » 28 Nov 2018 00:32

Hi Jacko,

Very interesting! Wish I had a Korg!

Hugh
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Re: Approach to playing a piece .. choosing a STYLE

Postby jackoj » 28 Nov 2018 14:25

Hi Hugh and All,
Thanks for reply Hugh, I`m sure you would like and be impressed with what the PA4X has to offer, its a fantastic keyboard. :D
Now I have just made another recording using a MidiFile to Style on the PA4X converter, it does not copy all the MF`s parts perfectly but does give a very good working style in the same music strain, therefore a good all round style for many other songs, anyway this song I have done is the one that the MidiFile was made for (Somewhere). I have also attached the MidiFile should you want to try it. ATB and feel free to reply about any aspect of this post. jackoj. :) :) :

https://app.box.com/s/26mydl6jj7gpmw4ug8ij183qq8a8q2ng
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Re: Approach to playing a piece .. choosing a STYLE

Postby Hugh-AR » 28 Nov 2018 16:43

Thanks for putting that up Jacko. Another example of creating a backing Style from a MidiFile. I suppose what you get in the backing PARTS will depend on what's in the MidiFile to start with, and how it was all put together. For example, there is a little arpeggio that runs through it. This YouTube clip of Somewhere (below) has a slightly different backing .. three notes on a piano in a sort of 'skip' (when Josh starts to sing). If it had been done like this in the MidiFile then I presume you'd have got that as a backing 'PART'. Click the picture LINK below to listen:

Image

I have come to the conclusion that the MidiFile to Style is a way of getting a Style that somebody else has created on a Korg or another Keyboard, and recorded what they have played as a MidiFile. You can then convert the MidiFile to a Style and use that Style (or something close to it) to play the piece yourself. Am I close?

Hugh
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Re: Approach to playing a piece .. choosing a STYLE

Postby Brian007 » 28 Nov 2018 16:53

Hi Jacko,

That was a nice version of Somewhere, the style sound pretty good as did the voices you used also and you played it very well
Must be honest the midi to style on my Korg is not something I have used a lot, and do try to use the onboard style, but it does have its uses
and may be one day I will get more into it, the thing is there is so much on the Korgs its a big learning curve

All the best, Brian007
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Re: Approach to playing a piece .. choosing a STYLE

Postby jackoj » 28 Nov 2018 19:00

Hi Hugh,
Thanks for the reply and the video shows such a lovely version of the song, as my version was taken from a MF from Yamaha you might be right in thinking it had been produced on a keyboard, i`m not sure but i have some midi files from TUNE 1000 I will be trying shortly, these i believe are computer originated, i will keep you updated. ATB.jackoj. :) :) :)
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Re: Approach to playing a piece .. choosing a STYLE

Postby jackoj » 28 Nov 2018 19:07

Hi Brian,
Thanks for your kind remarks mate, i agree the Korg has a lot to learn on it that i will never be able to conquer in my lifetime, but if you want a challenge get a Korg :lol: :lol: keep at it Brian and ATB. jackoj. :) :) :)
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Re: Approach to playing a piece .. choosing a STYLE

Postby Hugh-AR » 28 Nov 2018 22:29

Continuing with this topic, Approach to playing a piece .. choosing a STYLE ...

Another situation you may encounter where it will be difficult, or indeed impossible to find a suitable Style for a song you want to play, is when the composer just hasn't religiously stuck to the three or four beats in a bar. With our keyboards, there are two things one can never change in a STYLE, the BEAT and the MEASURE ( ie. the number of beats in the bar; and the number of bars before the 'loop' repeats itself). This can be a nightmare if the composer of a piece doesn't stick to these two basic principles. Two composers that immediately come to mind are the Beatles and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Take All You Need Is Love, by the Beatles. First, listen to this YouTube clip and count "1, 2, 3, 4" as the song progresses (ignore the 'intro' of "God Save The Queen"!). You come unstuck pretty quickly. The first line, "Love, love, love" is fine ... but then the second "Love, love, love" comes in on the 4th beat of the bar! And very time you try to count your 'One, Two, Three, Four' at a point you reckon is the first beat of the bar, it all goes to pieces.



So here is a tune which, if you want to play it on your keyboard with a STYLE, you have to 'adjust' the melody to fit the 'rigid' four-beats-in-a-bar in our keyboards. Which is what I have done here.

Do a right-click to open this up in a New Tab
https://app.box.com/s/9ie79w5ohar9cao2xx0kvk0h1f04lq0q

If you count your "One, Two, Three Four" with my arrangement of this song you will find it fits all the way through.

Hugh
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