What inspires you to play a piece of music? Creating a STYLE

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What inspires you to play a piece of music? Creating a STYLE

Postby Hugh-AR » 03 Dec 2019 01:04

I suppose I could put some music up in front of me and just play something, but I prefer to work on something that really gets me inspired. Maybe something I have heard on the radio, or something I have heard another Member play. And recently, for the November Challenge, Jon D has played Louis Armstrong's "What a wonderful world". This reminded me of when I had first heard this song, and I thought then that it had some wonderful harmonies in it.

So first, to listen to how this tune had been recorded originally. Then I could maybe get some idea as to what sort of backing (Style) to have. With you keyboard players, you probably have a Style ready and waiting for you to jump straight in and play it. But not with the AR. We do have Styles, but they are somewhat limited, and in this Topic I want to show you how I go about creating a suitable Style for me to play it on my AR.

Here's the original that came out as a 45rpm single. Nearly 80 thousand views, so it must be good!

Louis Armstrong - What A Wonderful World (Lyrics)



Listening to this, I can hear an arpeggio in the background running right through it. If I want a Style to suit this song it must have two basic ingredients: (a) it has to be in 6/8 time (which this is), and (b) it must have an arpeggio running in the background.

And then I found another version of this song. Still Louis Armstrong, but this time with him on stage with his band, and singling it with that wonderful smile that he has. If you listen to this, what do you hear? No arpeggios this time! What we have running right through is a 'repeating piano'. They didn't have that in the original version; and they don't have any arpeggios in this version.

Louis Armstrong - What a wonderful world ( 1967 )



So now I'm thinking I want to have a Style with (a) 6/8 timing, and (b) it must have a 'repeating piano' running in the background.

Now, off to go looking for a STYLE with both the arpeggio and the repeating piano.
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Re: What inspires you to play a piece of music? Creating a S

Postby Hugh-AR » 10 Dec 2019 23:45

So, not having any 'bespoke' Styles for What A Wonderful World (you keyboard players should be so lucky!) I will go through the default STYLES I have in my AR and see what I have got. Looking on Google for the Time Signature for this piece, it says:
The time signature is 4:4 time therefore the count in each bar is |1 2 3 4| or |1& 2& 3& 4& | where 1 beat in this case is 1&, etc.

Not to my way of thinking. Don't think so. I reckon a 6/8 Style will fit this song admirably. I have two altogether: 6/8 Ballad 1, and 6/8 Ballad 2 .. and each of these has two variations, a MAIN A and a MAIN B. I have sampled them with 6/8 Ballad 2 first (Variation A, then Variation B); and then 6/8 Ballad 1 (Variation A, then Variation B). What we are looking for is a STYLE that will be suitable to use for this piece.

Listen to these Styles 'as is' by clicking on the below:

Click the back-button afterwards to get back to this page.
DEMO of 6/8 Ballad 2 & 6/8 Ballad 1.. in that order; MAIN A, then MAIN B for each one

Are there any there you fancy using to play What A Wonderful World? Not as far as I am concerned. Nothing remotely follows the patterns I am looking for. They all have the right 'beat' to play the song, so I could just sit down and play it to fit. But there's no way that would satisfy me as the backing PARTS are not what I was hoping to hear.

In the end, I am opting for the last one in that DEMO .. 6/8 Ballad 1 Variation B .. and will see what I can do with it.
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Re: What inspires you to play a piece of music? Creating a S

Postby Hugh-AR » 12 Dec 2019 11:29

First, I get 6/8 Ballad 1 Variation B up on the screen. The PARTS of the STYLE show, and are named:

RHYTHM 1, RHYTHM 2. BASS, CHORD 1, CHORD 2, PAD, PHRASE 1, PHRASE 2.

Apart from the two Rhythm ones and the Bass one, there is no real significance in the other names apart from giving you an indication of what type of backing may be in each slot. If you are creating a PART yourself you can actually put any type of backing in any of those slots.

So for 6/8 Ballad 1 Variation B I'll have a listen as to what is actually in each PART.

You can turn each PART ON or OFF by pressing the corresponding Data Control Button under the screen. Being able to do this means that you have control over which backing PARTS you want to have in the piece you are playing. This is not true of all organs and keyboards .. although it is with all Yamaha keyboards. With the Roland organ (apart from the last one) it's all the STYLE or none. If you have a Roland please correct me if I'm wrong.

So in this DEMO below I have switched the Rhythm to OFF, played an F chord, and you hear the BASS Part (on it's own); followed by CHORD 1 (on it's own); then CHORD 2 (on it's own); and finally CHORD 1 and CHORD 2 together. There are no other 'Parts' in this Style.

Click on the below to listen; then click the back-button afterwards to get back to this page.
DEMO of BASS; then CHORD 1; then CHORD 2; and finally CHORD 1 and CHORD 2 together

Just out of interest, you can hear voices being 'panned' to both the left and the right (particularly if you have headphones on). This is what gives the 'fullness' to the backing.
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Re: What inspires you to play a piece of music? Creating a S

Postby Hugh-AR » 15 Dec 2019 23:23

The AR is an organ where you can create your own STYLE PARTS, and that is what I am about to do in this Topic. You can do this in all Yamaha keyboards too, but then when you have 2,500 or more STYLES to choose from, and can even purchase 'bespoke' STYLES for a particular song, who would want to do this?

And the answer to that is people like me, because I can guarantee that none of the Styles on offer are going to be exactly what I am looking for in a backing. How likely is it that someone else will have produced something that I have in my head?

OK. So I have listened to the PARTS in the Style I have chosen, Style 6/8 Ballad 1 Variation B. I'll approach this by looking at one PART at a time and deciding what I can do with it. But maybe first, I should explain how you get at the STYLE in order to make changes to it.

The explanation below is specific to the AR organ, but the principle behind what I am going to say is the same for all Yamaha keyboards. Same ideas but a different way of doing it.

First, get the STYLE you are wanting to work with up on the screen. So I have pressed the Tab in the STYLE section that says BALLAD:

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.. and have chosen 6/8 Ballad 1 by pressing the top right Data Control Button under the screen.

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This STYLE is now showing on the screen, with it's name at the top. At this point I don't choose a MAIN A or MAIN B as this comes later.

The Program (App?) for handling STYLES is called ACCOMPANIMENT PROGRAM (ACCOMP. PROGRAM for short) and this button is on the right of the screen.

Having got the Style you want showing, we now have to 'load' it into ACCOMP. PROGRAM.

Press and HOLD the ACCOMP. PROGRAM button, and whilst holding it down press the Style Tab BALLAD (ie. the one you set up to make adjustments to). Let both buttons go.

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You will now have your STYLE up on the screen with the name at the top, but it will look different to what you had before as it now contains all the functions for adjusting the Style.

If you were to just press the ACCOMP. PROGRAM button and let go you will see this:

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All the functions are there for you to do some adjustments to the Style, but it says No name at the top. You've just missed out on loading your STYLE into ACCOMP. PROGRAM!

Assuming that you've got Style 6/8 Ballad 1 showing at the top, note that the screen you are looking at is the BASIC screen. It's highlighted top right. This is the 'default' screen when you load your Style in. Now, if you remember, the Style Variation I was wanting to use was MAIN B. I did say that this would be done later .. and now is the time to do it. Look at the screen and you will see MAIN A is highlighted. This is the 'default'. By pressing the appropriate Data Control Button under the screen move the highlight down to MAIN B.

We can now take a serious look at all those PARTS. We have already listened to these 'individually' so the next step is to hear them individually again, but from ACCOMP. PROGRAM this time.

We are in the wrong screen for doing this. Press the button next to RECORD and you will see this (but with your Style Name showing at the top, not No name):

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You will see each of the PARTS running across the screen (RHYTHM 1 & 2; BASS; CHORD 1 & 2; PAD; PHRASE 1 & 2). And using the Data Control Buttons under the screen we can switch each one between RECORD; PLAY; MUTE; and DELETE.

So move all the PARTS to MUTE. Now, one at a time, move the highlight to PLAY (with all the other ones on MUTE).

To hear what is in these PARTS press the START on the left.

I'll say that again, press the START on the left.

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The notes you hear will go through the 'measure' and then repeat themselves. To stop it playing, press the START again.

I'll say that again. To stop it playing, press the START again. Then move the one you were listening to back to MUTE and get another of the Parts to PLAY.

To end your session, just press the ACCOMP. PROGRAM button again. If you had made some changes you will see a message warning "If not SAVED the data will be lost. Are you sure?" with options OK or Cancel. Click OK to leave the program without changes. But we haven't made any changes, so you won't see this message and will just leave the programme.

To be continued ...
It's all about the music. Yamaha AR 80 Player.
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