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Talking Bach with Pianist Ramin Bahrami
Iranian pianist Ramin Bahrami is considered one of today's most interesting interpreters of Johann Sebastian Bach's music. A regular performer at Cremona Musica, Bahrami and flutist Massimo Mercelli presented works from their latest CD, "Bach Sanssouci", on the Decca label. Piano Street's Patrick Jovell was happy to get the chance to talk to the inspirational performer. Read more >>

Topic: My Piano Journey  (Read 10547 times)

Offline keystroke3

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My Piano Journey
on: April 02, 2012, 03:05:52 AM
Hey everyone!

So it's always been my goal to play the piano for a living.  Like if my job was to practice four or five hours a day and support myself completely through playing concerts, selling recordings, ect., that would seriously be my dream life.  

The main problem is, I don't really enjoy playing most classical music.  Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for it and I understand that most of all western music is based off classical music, but for me personally it doesn't get me going the way other styles of music do.  So I'm gonna try in whatever way I can to earn a living playing music I enjoy playing.

A little about me:
I'm 21 years old and I go to UW Oshkosh in Wisconsin.  I started playing piano in kindergarden and quit in fifth grade 'cause my mom said I had to practice before I played basketball with my friends.  Didn't really touch a piano until my freshman year of college, when I heard a David Sides video, which inspired me to take it back up.  I really got into it and started learning, first by tutorial and later by just improvising, songs inspired by people like David Sides, Stantough, Ray Mak, and Kyle Landry.  I ended up learning about 15 to 20 songs by the end of my sophomore year.  

I got a "job" playing over the summer in the lobby of a Marcus Theaters where they payed me in movie passes and tips, but I loved every second of it and it really got me seriously thinking about playing piano for a living.  My junior year (this year) I switched my major over too music and started taking lessons, which has helped my playing tremendously.

Why am I posting this?
There are a couple of reasons I'd like to post my journey.  First, I realize it'll be a long journey to get great at piano, and I feel like this will help keep me motivated and disciplined.  Second, I know there are tons of people on this forum that are much better pianists than me, so feel free to post any comments.  Positive comments are obviously appreciated and criticism will only make me better, so seriously, don't hold back.

My Goals
Long Term Goal: Make a living playing piano
Medium Term Goal: Get 1,000,000 hits on Youtube (I feel like this is a good milestone to hit to indicate I'm playing music that people enjoy)
Short Term Goal (6 weeks): Put 7 songs up on youtube

So far I've put one song on youtube, the David Sides version of Lollipop, it was one of the first songs I learned.  Here's the link if you want to check it out:  

So yea, that's about it, I'll probably post once a week, Sunday nights to go over what I did and the steps I'm making towards my goals.  For next week, I plan to put up "Can you Feel the Love Tonight", the Kyle Landry version.

Thanks in advance for the support!

-Keystroke
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #1 on: April 09, 2012, 01:25:06 AM
Week 1

Good first week, put up another video, "Can you Feel the Love Tonight."


Also did a couple takes of "Down" by J Sean and Lil Wayne.  Got on a roll practicing and learned the first two parts of Rachmaninoff's prelude in C sharp minor, slow, but memorized, and fine tuned my Debussy piece I'm working on.  I feel like the faster I can learn these pieces, the faster my learning curve to getting really good at piano.

As far as my goals go, I have 2 of seven songs up on youtube.  Not exactly viral videos, "Can you Feel the Love" has 70 views, and "Lollipop" has an earth-shattering 135 views, granted they're both versions that have already been done before, so I can't expect too much.  Just glad to have some songs up.  Here's the week in review:

Monday
Practice Time: 165 Minutes

Tuesday
Practice Time: 45 Minutes
Recorded 12 Takes

Wednesday
Practice Time: 135 Minutes

Thursday
Practice Time: 115 Minutes
Recorded 2 Takes

Friday
Practice Time: 130 Minutes

Saturday
Practice Time: 100 Minutes

Sunday
Practice Time: 30 Minutes


Total Practice Time: 12 Hours (I'd like to be up around 15 hours a week)
Practice Time/Day: 1 hour 43 minutes per day

Youtube Views:
Lollipop:135
Can You Feel the Love Tonight: 70
Total: 205

-Keystroke
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline 49410enrique

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #2 on: April 09, 2012, 03:08:59 AM
go for it! glad you're here, good group of folks here, great resource to tap into, the forum's happy to help so long as you come across as sincere, don't be too much of arse (we all have assy moments but so long as you try and help where you can, it's easy to help back).

and yeah chase after what you're passionate about, consider 'putting up' with classical as a means to end (i.e. it'll help your other playing), who knows  it might end up growing on you as you get older.

i actually liked the lollipop, you managed to turn something pretty annoying into at least something interesting to watch and hear (i don't think it would work as audio only but seeing you play it's apparent you are into it, that's 60% of the sale right there, your playing closes the deal).).


now i'll go dance.

Offline revanyoda777

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #3 on: April 09, 2012, 03:37:56 AM
That's awesome. I'm kind of in the same position as you. I'm 22, and at the moment trying to get a youtube video up.

My style of music is mostly video game inspired, and I'm currently learning/playing the Final Fantasy X piano collections. It's only a matter of time before I post my Besaid Island cover, but I'm in the process of getting an audio interface at the moment (may take a while >:[

 I am also passionate about classical music as well (especially Chopin). It's hard work but if you have a passion for it you will succeed and meet your goals.


Btw I liked your vids. My channel is Melchiorblade7 if your interested :]

Offline revanyoda777

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #4 on: April 09, 2012, 03:40:22 AM
Oh. And if I may ask. What recording equipment do you use? I'm having some trouble on the audio end of things.

Offline piano_vs_science

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #5 on: April 12, 2012, 10:25:15 AM
have you tried wearing weird make up or having an unusual hairstyle???
it might make you stand out more

and 1 more thing...



MY FAITH IN MY DREAM OF BECOMING A FAMOUS SCIENTIST HAS BEEN RESTORED!!! ;D
"e^ix=cosx+isinx"
Leonhard Euler

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 02:21:13 AM
Thanks for the comments,

49410enrique, yea some of the classical music is really growing on me.  Especially the Rachmaninoff piece I'm working on, a lot more intense than mozart. 

revanyoda777, you should check out Kyle Landry if you haven't already, he does some amazing video game stuff (as well as everything else lol), but yea let me know if you post a video I'll check it out for sure.  As for my mic, I'm not actually sure what it's called, its at school in my locker right now, but it's a usb plug in so I know it's not super legit, but I got it free from my cousin so I figure I might as well use it, and it has decent audio quality (at least way better than the camera).

piano_vs_science, maybe I'll dye my hair pink :).  and good luck with the scientist thing lol

Here's week 2...
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #7 on: April 16, 2012, 02:36:51 AM
Week 2

Week 2 is complete! Put up another video, "Down" by J Sean and Lil Wayne.



Btw, anyone know how to embed the link so you can just watch it on this website?

10 minutes off my practice goal of 15 hours a week.  Can't complain, that's pretty close.  So this week I realized it's gonna be way harder than I thought to get to the million view mark.  I was just browsing through youtube piano videos, and I started seeing these ridiculously talented piano players with only like 5,000 views.  I think at the end of the day it's gonna be more marketing than talent, unfortunately.  I guess that's just the way the world works, I can hate it or I can adapt.

Monday
Practice Time: 135 Minutes

Tuesday
Practice Time: 200 Minutes
Recorded Takes

Wednesday
Practice Time: 90 Minutes

Thursday
Practice Time: 165 Minutes

Friday
Practice Time: 60 Minutes

Saturday
Practice Time: 180 Minutes

Sunday
Practice Time: 60 Minutes


Total Practice Time: 14 Hours, 50 minutes
Practice Time/Day: 2 hours, 7 minutes per day

Youtube Views:
Lollipop:203
Can You Feel the Love Tonight: 123
Down: 45
Total: 371

-Keystroke
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline piano_vs_science

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #8 on: April 18, 2012, 11:08:55 AM
go for it! glad you're here, good group of folks here, great resource to tap into, the forum's happy to help so long as you come across as sincere, don't be too much of arse (we all have assy moments but so long as you try and help where you can, it's easy to help back).

and yeah chase after what you're passionate about, consider 'putting up' with classical as a means to end (i.e. it'll help your other playing), who knows  it might end up growing on you as you get older.

i actually liked the lollipop, you managed to turn something pretty annoying into at least something interesting to watch and hear (i don't think it would work as audio only but seeing you play it's apparent you are into it, that's 60% of the sale right there, your playing closes the deal).).


now i'll go dance.


that guy wearing a tie looks like my science teacher!!! :o
"e^ix=cosx+isinx"
Leonhard Euler

Offline db05

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #9 on: April 18, 2012, 04:17:20 PM
Interesting goal setting there. And serious documentation. Not my type of music, though.

I have to wonder why it's so important to have a million hits on Youtube. It doesn't quite lead to the lifetime goal of making a living. May I suggest aiming for a recording contract instead? Easier than counting YT hits, if you find the right people to send your demo to. I've heard of people getting discovered in YT but you have more initiative than that.

Maybe you could play in an ensemble/ band. Or work as a sessionist for several artists. I hear that pays well.
I'm sinking like a stone in the sea,
I'm burning like a bridge for your body

Offline pianoman53

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #10 on: April 18, 2012, 04:21:49 PM
that guy wearing a tie looks like my science teacher!!! :o
Do you even care a bit about piano? I mean, why did you even join here, if you only want to talk about science?

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #11 on: April 22, 2012, 08:56:22 PM
dB05, you have some good points, although I don't think I'm skilled enough yet to start looking for  recording contracts, so in the meantime while I keep practicing I figure I might as well try to market myself.  Plus if I feel like it would be a lot easier to get noticed if I can say I have a million youtube views.  But I really like the ensemble/ band idea, I'll defiantly check that out.  Thanks for the advice!

Here's week 3...
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #12 on: April 22, 2012, 08:59:33 PM
have you tried wearing weird make up or having an unusual hairstyle???
it might make you stand out more

and 1 more thing...



MY FAITH IN MY DREAM OF BECOMING A FAMOUS SCIENTIST HAS BEEN RESTORED!!! ;D

In what field?  I used to want to be an astrophysicist.
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #13 on: April 22, 2012, 09:12:33 PM
Week 3

Put up another video, "Whatcha Say" by Jason Derulo.



Had a solid week of practicing, really focused well, worked a lot on my "Prelude in C sharp minor."  I'm actually really digging this piece.  I was thinking of learning his "Prelude in G minor" over the summer, I youtubed it and it sounds pretty sick, it's gonna be challenging for sure though.

And I finally hit my 15 hours goal, so pretty content about that.  Noticed I focus a lotttt better when I use a metronome.  I think I'm just going to use one from now on all the time.

Monday
Practice Time: 185 Minutes

Tuesday
Practice Time: 205 Minutes

Wednesday
Practice Time: 125 Minutes

Thursday
Practice Time: 165 Minutes

Friday
Practice Time: 125 Minutes

Saturday
Practice Time: 105 Minutes

Sunday
Practice Time: 100 Minutes


Total Practice Time: 16 Hours, 50 minutes
Practice Time/Day: 2 hours, 24 minutes per day

Youtube Views:
Lollipop: 301
Can You Feel the Love Tonight: 251
Down: 208
Whatcha Say: 72
Total: 832

-Keystroke
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #14 on: April 22, 2012, 09:35:36 PM
Week 3

Put up another video, "Whatcha Say" by Jason Derulo.



Had a solid week of practicing, really focused well, worked a lot on my "Prelude in C sharp minor."  I'm actually really digging this piece.  I was thinking of learning his "Prelude in G minor" over the summer, I youtubed it and it sounds pretty sick, it's gonna be challenging for sure though.

And I finally hit my 15 hours goal, so pretty content about that.  Noticed I focus a lotttt better when I use a metronome.  I think I'm just going to use one from now on all the time.

Monday
Practice Time: 185 Minutes

Tuesday
Practice Time: 205 Minutes

Wednesday
Practice Time: 125 Minutes

Thursday
Practice Time: 165 Minutes

Friday
Practice Time: 125 Minutes

Saturday
Practice Time: 105 Minutes

Sunday
Practice Time: 100 Minutes


Total Practice Time: 16 Hours, 50 minutes
Practice Time/Day: 2 hours, 24 minutes per day

Youtube Views:
Lollipop: 301
Can You Feel the Love Tonight: 251
Down: 208
Whatcha Say: 72
Total: 832

-Keystroke

I think this is really gonna work out for you because you're taking a really methodical approach.
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #15 on: April 30, 2012, 03:02:24 AM
Week 4

Spent most of the week practicing for my recital, but had some time to put up another video, "So Sick of Love Songs" by Neyo.  Here's the link:
&feature=channel&list=UL[/youtube]

So piano recital went alright but defiantly coulda been better.  My first recital since 5th grade, so I was pretty nervous and I messed up a couple parts, but didn't have to stop and reset or anything.  I was kinda disappointed, but I started thinking big picture, and I'm gonna have to take my bumps and bruises.  I feel like playing in front of people is a skill in itself and I haven't had much practice doing it.  That's why its a journey, hopefully each recital I get better and better at handling the pressure.

Monday
Practice Time: 180 Minutes

Tuesday
Practice Time: 115 Minutes

Wednesday
Practice Time: 60 Minutes

Thursday
Practice Time: 85 Minutes

Friday
Practice Time: 100 Minutes

Saturday
Practice Time: 90 Minutes

Sunday
Practice Time: 100 Minutes


Total Practice Time: 12 Hours, 10 minutes

Practice Time/Day: 1 hour 44 minutes per day

Youtube Views:
Lollipop:352
Can You Feel the Love Tonight: 292
Down: 236
Whatcha Say: 108
So Sick:60
Total: 1048

-Keystroke
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline 49410enrique

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #16 on: April 30, 2012, 12:01:57 PM
looks good. keep at it. any recordings from the recital? what did you perform? other details?

also in case you weren't aware of her channel, sunny choi has done a really nice job of working the 'pop' piano market, her yt videos get a TON of view, she has very nice video quality, i.e hd, dresses  the part, good audio, solid camera work, etc. you might want to check it out for inspiration and other tips. heck she might be super nice if you pm her and start a dialogue with her on how she has done it and what' she does that works and doesn't, etc. super important to get feedback from someone out there actually doing what yo ulike and would like to do.


eature=watch

now granted it's pretty chick so she'll get tons of view from dudes on that alone, but don't underestimate the power of teen girls going crazy for something, heck they're probablyt he best 'repeat' customers on the planet (just look at how much movies like twighlight and the hunger grames and such made on 'repeat views' along on them?)

this is cool eminem medley of hers

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #17 on: May 08, 2012, 01:42:43 AM
Wow.  That video was sickkkk!  But yea I defiantly agree its a combination of her talent plus a professional recording plus great video quality and stuff.  I'd love to do stuff like this at some point, I'm majoring in music recording, so once I start getting into my core classes I should be able to take care of the audio portion myself.  As for the video part, I'll have to hire someone to do that for me, or maybe I could get a video student to help me out at a cheaper price.

But bottom line, I still have to get a lot better at piano, can't wait for this summer where I don't have classes and I can just focus on my piano skills.

As for the recital, I performed "Arabesque" no 1 by Debussy.  No recordings unfortunately :/ although I might just make one myself and upload it. 

Here's week 5...

Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #18 on: May 08, 2012, 01:56:23 AM
Week 5

No new video this week, I've been working a lot on my Rachmaninoff and my vocal pieces for my juries.  Best week of practicing I've had in a long time though.  One of my friends in the piano studio told me I don't practice enough.  If thats not motivation idk what is!  I also feel like I'm starting to practice a lot more efficiently than I have been.  I've been reading through this forum and I've found a lot of good advice such as practicing in rhythms and using mental practice, and I'm starting to implement those into my practice routine. 

Monday
Practice Time: 4 Hours 20 Minutes

Tuesday
Practice Time: 3 Hours 15 Minutes

Wednesday
Practice Time: 2 Hours 45 Minutes

Thursday
Practice Time: 3 Hours 15 Minutes

Friday
Practice Time: 2 Hours 55 Minutes

Saturday
Practice Time: 3 Hours

Sunday
Practice Time: 2 Hours 45 Minutes


Total Practice Time: 22 Hours, 15 Minutes
Practice Time/Day: 3 Hours 10 Minutes per day

Youtube Views:
Lollipop:407
Can You Feel the Love Tonight: 323
Down: 251
Whatcha Say: 125
So Sick: 87
Total: 1193

-Keystroke
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline 49410enrique

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #19 on: May 08, 2012, 02:46:46 AM
keep at it good man. you're onthe right track. get some videos, trust me you will see and hear things you dont' catch when you practice, it is a  very powerful analysis tool. it will also help you with performance nerves which tend to only go away with repeated exposure for most, myself included.

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #20 on: May 14, 2012, 04:15:29 AM
Thanks man, and I agree, the more times you do something the better you get at it, which includes performing.  We have a weekly piano seminar during the semester and I plan on playing in that as much as I can.  Like if we ever have extra time I'll run my piece and build my tolerance up as much as I can. 

Here's week 6...
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #21 on: May 14, 2012, 05:25:32 AM
Week 6

Two new videos this week, here's the link for "What's my Name" by Drake and Rihanna:


Then I recorded the piece I played for the recital, "Arabesque" No. 1 by Debussy:


Feel free to critique, I've only been playing classical stuff for two semesters so I'm aware I have a lot to work on, especially stylistically.

So after six weeks, I hit my first goal of getting 7 songs up on youtube, and I do feel accomplished.  Not that its really that big of a deal, but its the first step towards my long term goal and I've hit my first benchmark.  Now on to the next one!

Total practice time was only 6 hours 10 minutes this week.  It was finals week, so I was focusing a lot on studying for other classes, and I just took the weekend off to relax so I can hit summer hard.  Big plans for this summer.  I'm not going to have access to a grand during the summer, so I probably won't be putting up any videos.  Instead I'm just going to use these 16 weeks to build my skills as much as I can.  Here's my summer goals:

Summer Goals:

Goal 1: Improve my piano technique
1. Play all scales four octaves at 138 bpm (click=quarter, play sixteenths), consistent at 104
bpm
2. Play all arpeggios 4 octaves at 138 bpm (eighth note triplets), consistent at 92 bpm
3. Play all Broken Chords at 208 bpm (eighth notes), consistent at 138 bpm
4. Learn all scales C major through G sharp minor (C, Am, G, Em, D, Bm, ect.) in thirds, sixths, and tenths
5. Learn piano runs and fills (see secondary warm up) through G sharp minor
6. Improve my sight-reading
7. Improve my cerebral knowledge of theory (chords, intervals, ect.)

Goal 2: Increase my Piano Repertoire
1. "Prelude in C Sharp Minor" by Rachmoninoff at performance level (already have it memorized)
2. "Pirates of the Caribbean" by Jarrod Radnich at performance level (absolutely SICK cover!)
3. "A Whole New World" by Kyle Landry at performance level
4. "Mephisto Waltz" Number 1 by Liszt, learn half at a slow tempo

This is going to be tough, its a lot of stuff to learn in one summer, and not sure if Pirates and Mephisto are out of my league, but I feel like you wont get better unless you push yourself and try to play pieces that challenge you, and even if i can't learn it up to tempo, I'm sure I'll still gain a lot by trying, kinda a shoot for the moon land among the stars kinda thing.  As for the technique stuff, I've already learned all the scales/arpeggios/broken chords and have some of them up to tempo, but I want to really solidify them.  For the thirds/sixths/tenths, I'm just going to take one key a week to focus on.

So how do I plan to do this?  Each day, for six days a week, I'll have two practice sessions, that will total to 3 hours.  Each session has a warm up that focuses on technique, followed by repertoire work, followed by a "cool down" where I'll go over technique again in a couple keys to review and really drill in the fundamentals.  Here's how it'll all break down.

Session 1: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
1. Cerebral Warmup: 10 Minutes (on Ricci Adams musictheory.net)
1. Note Identification - x10 Treble, x10 Bass
2. Interval Identification - x10
3. Chord Identification - x10
4. Keyboard Interval Identification x10
5. Keyboard Chord Identification x10
6. Interval Ear Training x10 Ascending, x10 Descending, x10 Chord
7. Chord Ear Training x10 Ascending, x10 Descending, x10 Chord

2. Primary Warmup: 15 Minutes, work on 1 key per week
1. Scales 3rds/6ths/10ths 4 Octaves
2. Chords All inversions
3. Broken Chords All inversions
4. Arpeggios 4 Octaves
5. Octaves 3 Octaves
6. Cortot Finger Drills x1 each rhythm (dotted eighth sixteenth, sixteenth dotted eighth, triplet eighth, eighth triplet)

3. Sight-Reading: 10 Minutes

4. Pirates of the Caribbean: 45 Minutes

5. A Whole New World: 15 Minutes

6. Primary Cool Down: 10 Minutes, pick three keys to review
1. 3 Scales 4 Octaves
2. 3 Broken Chords All inversions
3. 3 Arpeggios 4 Octaves

Session 2: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
1. Secondary Warmup (aka learn how to do stuff that looks cool): 15 Minutes, one key per week
1. Chromatic Scale 4 Octaves (Practice the first couple weeks until I know it, then review once per day)
2. Alternating Chromatic Octaves 2 Octaves (same as chromatic scale)
3. RH Arpeggio (125, 135, 1235) 4 Octaves
4. LH Jump Bass Arpeggio Down All Inversions
5. Two-Handed Arpeggio 4 Octaves, All Inversions
6. Trills 1 Octave Up
7. Walking Octaves 2 Octaves
8. Broken Chord Scale 1 Octave

2. Prelude in C Sharp Minor: 20 Minutes

3. Mephisto Waltz: 30 Minutes

4. Secondary Cool Down: 10 Minutes, Pick three keys to review
1. 3 RH Arpeggio (125, 135, 1235) 4 Octaves
2. 3 LH Jump Bass Arpeggio Down All Inversions
3. 3 Two-Handed Arpeggio 4 Octaves, All Inversions
4. 3 Walking Octaves 2 Octaves


So there's my plan for the summer.  I feel like if I can stay consistent with this the whole summer I can come back to school with solid technique and a better overall music sense.  Feel free to comment if you have any advice on things to add or take out, or whether or not you think this is a good training plan.

-Keystroke
 
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline 49410enrique

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #22 on: May 14, 2012, 12:34:04 PM
above plan looks solid. more importantly, you have a plan! stay flexible , that is within your framework be able and willing to adjust.  like an old saying that i really like goals, when you're not succeeding, adjust the step to the goal, not the goal itself!

you should post your videos to the audition board. this is a great place for your achrive, but this will help 'get more eyes' on you.  

i agree with trying to perform at your weekly seminars (we had them in my previous program called 'studio class' where all the students in piano for a given professor met 1x per week to play/perform some of their repertoire, the students then practiced active listening to give positive feedback and critique/what should improve.  main thing was it served as a performance practice so by the time you stepped on stage for a department program or jury, you already had oh i don't know 3x or more 'peformances'. makes a worldof differences.

as for you practice, i would advise as your practice stamina improves, if you final session is not too late in the day and you have access to an instruemtn, consider an evening review, there is considerable evidence (on the brain science side) that retention and such increase dramatically if you reintroduce material again before you enter a semi-comatose state, that is if you can spend even only 20 minutes in the evening reviewing what yo practiced earlier, i.e play through some of your new stuff, before you turn in for the night, your progress will be conserdably faster (studies weren't on piano practice per say but basic learning processes, information retention, etc. i don'thave citation right now this is info from an old prof of mine long time ago).

radnich's arrangements are great. i would consider also one of his 'virtuosic' solos for christmas music he just released last year, right now is a great time to start on those to have it ready to rock christmas time. post one of those and you'll get a bunch of new hits especially around the holidays.

i particularly like the 'first noel' solo, not his flashiest of the virtuoso solos, but certainly one of the prettiest, i myself am STROGNLY consideration putting this into my 'evening/prebed practice routine' it is sooo pretty, i will probably buy it today....if you work this and i take it on we can certainly bounce ideas off of each other.

https://www.reverbnation.com/tunepak/3434480

i admire your organization and appraoch, i would do well to learn from you and adopt s imilar method myself (long ago i sorta did the same thing buut i've been sloppy as of late, i need to clean my act up).

Offline piano_vs_science

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #23 on: May 14, 2012, 12:34:16 PM
In what field?  I used to want to be an astrophysicist.

wow!!! really???
i currently want to be an astrophysicist





i used to want to be a pianist and my hero was Lang Lang

but now it's Stephen Hawking and Valentina Lisitsa
"e^ix=cosx+isinx"
Leonhard Euler

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #24 on: May 22, 2012, 04:57:19 AM
Thanks for the advice, I'll defiantly post some videos to the audition boards.

Its interesting what you say about practicing at night.  I've heard the same thing about if you study for a final late at night your brain will retain more of the information, and it seems logical seeing as your brain stores information you learn throughout the day as you sleep, and it defiantly can't hurt.  I'm always looking for more ways to be more efficient in my practicing, so I'll defiantly give it a shot.

Listened to the first noel solo, it sounds great, I'd like to learn it sometime in the future, but I'm pretty set on learning the stuff I'm working on right now.

Thanks for the input, here's week 7...
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #25 on: May 22, 2012, 05:15:02 AM
Week 7

Gotta love summer, no school and had my best week of practicing yet, its just really easy to focus without having to worry about 7 other classes at the same time.  Stuff seems to be coming along really fast, I learned all the hard sections of pirates (not up to speed but memorized), and I feel like my scales/arpeggios/ect have taken a huge step forward in just this first week.  Excited to see how far I can take my skills this summer.

Monday
Practice Time: 3 Hours, 25 Minutes

Tuesday
Practice Time: 3 Hours, 10 Minutes

Wednesday
Practice Time: 3 Hours, 5 Minutes

Thursday
Practice Time: 3 Hours, 5 Minutes

Friday
Practice Time: 3 Hours, 10 Minutes

Saturday
Practice Time: 3 Hours, 15 Minutes

Sunday
Practice Time: None


Total Practice Time: 19 Hours, 10 Minutes
Practice Time/Day: 2 Hours, 44 minutes per day


-Keystroke
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #26 on: May 30, 2012, 04:09:07 AM
Week 8

Week started off really good, then had a wedding to go to on the weekend which killed my practice time.  A lot harder to focus when I'm not on my routine.

Monday
Practice Time: 3 Hours, 10 Minutes

Tuesday
Practice Time: 3 Hours, 5 Minutes

Wednesday
Practice Time: 3 Hours

Thursday
Practice Time: None

Friday
Practice Time: 3 Hours

Saturday
Practice Time: 35 Minutes

Sunday
Practice Time: 15 Minutes


Total Practice Time: 13 Hours, 5 Minutes
Practice Time/Day: 1 Hour, 52 minutes per day


-Keystroke
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #27 on: June 12, 2012, 12:59:40 AM
Weeks 9 and 10

Went to vegas for a week (won 800 bucks in blackjack!), so didn't practice as much as usual, but it was nice to have a little break from piano.  It was actually really inspiring seeing all the musicians on billboards that have made it big, kinda motivating.  Anyways, things are movin along, I have all of pirates learned, although it's not even close to tempo.  Rest of my pieces are coming along smoothly as well, and my arpeggios are really starting to sink in to my fingers.

Found an electric piano that I can use close to where I live, so I may be putting up some more videos in the near future.  I'd defiantly prefer a grand, but an electric is a lot better than the upright I am practicing on now, and I'm thinking about using the different sounds to make a more creative project, something other than just a normal piano cover.

From now on I think I'll just record the total practice time per week instead of each day, it's just less of a hassle.

Week 9 Total Practice Time: 5 Hours, 30 Minutes
Week 9 Practice Time/Day: 47 minutes per day

Week 10 Total Practice Time: 11 Hours, 35 Minutes
Week 10 Practice Time/Day: 1 Hour, 39 minutes per day

-Keystroke


Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline 49410enrique

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #28 on: June 12, 2012, 11:35:33 AM
i feel you on the electric route, due to my summer school schedule i either can practice on the digi or not at all for the time being since much practice has to happen early in the am i.e before 600am or late i.e after 9 pm ,

yeah a break now and then not only doesn't hurt, prolly helps you tons.

great job. keep it going. do post more videos.

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #29 on: June 20, 2012, 06:00:35 AM

Week 11

I defiantly like the sound and feel of an acoustic better, but I just bought a chord to plug the electric piano into my computer and it actually sounded pretty good.  It doesn't have as much of the warm ring as an acoustic, but it's a lot cleaner sounding cause there's no mike noise.  I'll probably start posting more videos with it seeing as I don't have access to a grand.

Week 9 Total Practice Time: 18 Hours, 30 Minutes
Week 9 Practice Time/Day: 3 Hours, minutes per day

-Keystroke
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #30 on: July 02, 2012, 02:43:19 AM
Weeks 12 and 13

Read this online book on practice efficiency and technique.  Started doing this "Mental Play", which is a form of visualizing the notes to memorize them.  Omfg, this is gold!!!  I started memorizing stuff wayyyy faster than ever before! It feels like I really know the music inside and out instead of just knowing it in my hands.  Plus I can practice even when I'm not at the piano.  Super excited.

Week 12 Total Practice Time: 20 Hours
Week 12 Practice Time/Day: 2 Hours, 51 minutes per day

Week 13 Total Practice Time: 18 Hours, 55 Minutes
Week 13 Practice Time/Day: 2 Hours 42 minutes per day

-Keystroke
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #31 on: September 05, 2012, 01:42:16 AM
Summer Update

So over the rest of the summer, I practiced around 2 to 3 hours a day, taking some time off for vacations and what not, here's how I did with my goals:

Tecnique Goals:
1. Play all scales four octaves at 138 bpm (click=quarter, play sixteenths),
Got about 7 scales up to this level, couldn't complete all of them
consistent at 104 bpm
Check
2. Play all arpeggios 4 octaves at 138 bpm (eighth note triplets),
Got 5 arpeggios up to this level
consistent at 92 bpm
Check
3. Play all Broken Chords at 208 bpm (eighth notes),
Got 5 keys up to speed
consistent at 138 bpm
Check
4. Learn all scales C major through G sharp minor (C, Am, G, Em, D, Bm, ect.) in thirds, sixths, and tenths
Check
5. Learn piano runs and fills (see secondary warm up) through G sharp minor
Ended up expanding the different kinds of runs and fills, I'm only learning them in the "8 essential keys" (C, G, D, F, Bflat, am, em, dm) for now.  So the goal kinda changed halfway through summer, but my technique defiantly improved so I'm gonna say check.
6. Improve my sight-reading
Kept this up for the first ten or so weeks, then slacked off a little
7. Improve my cerebral knowledge of theory (chords, intervals, ect.)
Same with sight reading, first ten weeks or so

Repertoire Goals:
7. "Prelude in C Sharp Minor" by Rachmoninoff at performance level
This piece really frusterated me, I have it all learned, but its still sloppy, idk why, maybe cause I always practiced it last in my schedule
8. "Pirates of the Caribbean" by Jarrod Radnich at performance level
Still couldn't get this one up to speed, but I learned tons (how to play big leaps, thumb over technique, ect) just by attempting it.  I think I'm gonna wait till next summer and hopefully my fingers will be able to handle this piece.
9. "A Whole New World" by Kyle Landry at performance level
Check.  Really like this song.
10. "Mephisto Waltz" Number 1 by Liszt, learn half at a slow tempo
Ended up dropping this goal halfway through summer and concentrating on my other ones.

So overall, I would defiantly consider it a successful offseason.  I feel wayyy more confident at the piano, especially playing fast runs and octaves.  My scales/arpeggios/broken chords are ten times more solid than they used to be, my jump bass and leap playing skills have improved tremendously, and I've started to get used to "mental play" techniques.  Also put up a couple more videos once I finally figured out how to hook up the electric piano to my computer, I'll post them in a little.

Now time to move on, here are my goals for the next 7 weeks...
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline 49410enrique

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #32 on: September 05, 2012, 01:51:44 AM
THIS IS AWESOME WAY TO GO!

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #33 on: September 05, 2012, 02:02:48 AM
7 Week Goals

Technique Goals:
1. All Scales (major and minor) at 116 bpm
2. All Arpeggios at 104 bpm
3. All Broken Chords at 160 bpm
4. 3rds, 6ths, 10ths at 104, through E flat major
5. Octaves through E flat major at 120 bpm
6. Complete "runs and fills" in C, G, F, and am

Repertoire Goals:
1. Put up 4 more videos
2. Spend 30 minutes a day marketing videos virtuoso

I have no idea how to really market videos, so I'm just gonna spend 30 minutes a day either researching how to get more views or actually doing some marketing work once I figure out how.  As for the 4 videos, I'm gonna try to make them more "" than my last videos, I figure that'll make them more exciting.  Here's gonna be my basic daily plan, pretty similar to my summer one.

Practice Session 1: 1 hour, 10 minutes
1. 3rds, 6ths, 10ths, Octaves, Cortot exercises, focusing on one key a week.  Time: 15 Minutes
2. Work on new songs for videos.  Time: 45 Minutes
3. Scales/Arpeggios/Broken Chords in all keys, focusing on ones that give me trouble.  Time: 10 Minutes

Practice Session 2: 55 minutes
1. Runs and fills, focusing on one key.  Time: 15 minutes
2. Work on piece for my piano class.  Time: 30 minutes
3. Runs and fills, all keys.  Time: 10 minutes

So the total time will be 2 hours, 5 minutes.  I have 20 credits this semester so it'd be tough to get 3 hours a day in, but two should be fine.
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #34 on: September 05, 2012, 02:16:34 AM
Oh, and here are another 3 videos I recorded over the summer...

1. "It Girl" by Jason Derulo



2. Disney "A Whole New World", Kyle Landry Version



3. "Stereo Hearts" Adam Levine and Gym Class Heroes



Feel free to comment/like/subscribe if you have a youtube account :)

-Keystroke
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #35 on: September 10, 2012, 11:41:34 PM
Week 24

Completed F sharp this week for scales/octaves, and put up another video!  Right on track with my goals so far.

"Just the way you are" - Bruno Mars.  Feel free to like/comment/subscribe

Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #36 on: September 24, 2012, 03:26:00 AM
Weeks 25 and 26

Great week of practicing.  Scales/arpeggios/broken chords are starting to really click, I can go through all the keys chromatically and play them smoothly, decently fast.  My teacher passed me on the Rachmoninoff, although I don't think it's really polished.  Got a new Schumann piece and an etude.

I really like the concept of etudes, I didn't know there were pieces out there specifically designed to work on a specific technical skill.  If I can learn 10 or so over the course of a year I feel like I could get just rock solid technique.  Turning songs into covers is also getting easier, I feel like I can play much more technically difficult covers and learn them just as fast if not faster than before.  Still not sure how to promote my videos really, I still don't have any video over a thousand views, now really sure if I'm not promoting correctly or if it just takes a long time to get noticed or if you just have to get lucky.

Anyway, here's the new video, Justin Bieber, Big Sean "As Long As You Love Me"



-Keystroke
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline 49410enrique

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #37 on: September 24, 2012, 11:08:10 AM
Weeks 25 and 26

...  Got a new Schumann piece and an etude.

I really like the concept of etudes, I didn't know there were pieces out there specifically designed to work on a specific technical skill.  If I can learn 10 or so over the course of a year ...
kudos to you for picking schumann, i swear i really do try to like bobby...someday perhaps.

wow 10 etudes in a year!? i must stop fooling around- i sit on 1 or 2 etudes for months and months before moving on.....

rock on man! you're doing great 8)

Offline ranniks

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #38 on: September 24, 2012, 11:42:06 AM
looks good. keep at it. any recordings from the recital? what did you perform? other details?

also in case you weren't aware of her channel, sunny choi has done a really nice job of working the 'pop' piano market, her yt videos get a TON of view, she has very nice video quality, i.e hd, dresses  the part, good audio, solid camera work, etc. you might want to check it out for inspiration and other tips. heck she might be super nice if you pm her and start a dialogue with her on how she has done it and what' she does that works and doesn't, etc. super important to get feedback from someone out there actually doing what yo ulike and would like to do.


eature=watch

now granted it's pretty chick so she'll get tons of view from dudes on that alone, but don't underestimate the power of teen girls going crazy for something, heck they're probablyt he best 'repeat' customers on the planet (just look at how much movies like twighlight and the hunger grames and such made on 'repeat views' along on them?)

this is cool eminem medley of hers


I can't stand her head swaying. Out of principal I won't elaborate.

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #39 on: October 15, 2012, 02:20:36 PM
Weeks 27 through 29

Only one new video this past three weeks, "Vegas Girl" by Conor Maynard.



And yea 49410enrique, looking at it now 10 etudes might be a stretch, but I think I should be able to get 4 or 5 in.  I just finished memorizing the Chopin one, although it needs to be a lot faster and to be polished up.  As for my Schumann Noveletta, I have the whole thing read but I still need to memorize it.

Scales, arpeggios, ect are still progressing along nicely, I'm confident by the end of the semester I'll have them all at my goal speeds.

As for my youtube videos, I finally got one over 1,000 views! My "As Long as You Love Me" cover hit almost 3,500 as of today.  I'm thinking I need to focus on playing songs that are just coming out now, because even if there are good songs from a long time ago, people aren't actively searching for them.  Got my subscribers up to 25, I feel like once I can get that to around 100 it'll be a lot easier to get views.

-Keystroke3
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline perprocrastinate

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #40 on: October 15, 2012, 10:19:15 PM
looking at it now 10 etudes might be a stretch, but I think I should be able to get 4 or 5 in.  I just finished memorizing the Chopin one,

Which Chopin Etude are you working on? They're extremely rewarding pieces if you can do justice to them, despite their brevity.

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #41 on: December 30, 2013, 03:59:45 PM
I'm Back :)

So it's been about a year and three months since I posted last, I got too busy to post for a while and eventually I kinda just forgot about it.  I've been workin my ass off though, here's what's been happening since.

1. Fall Semester: Memorized and performed the Schumann Noveletten and the Chopin Etude.  The Chopin Etude did wonders for my technique, I feel like it transformed me into a whole new player, I feel wayyy more comfortable with my arpeggios than I ever have before.  I also got a couple more $50 cameras off of ebay and have been experimenting with multiple camera angles, I think they make the videos a lot more dynamic.  Here's the link to the Chopin, the Schumann is also on my channel if your interested:



2. Spring Semester: I was starting to get deeper into my recording classes, and over winter break I learned the violin (still pretty beginner though).  I started doing some multiple instrument covers involving piano, drums, guitar, and violin.  Also figured out how to do some basic camera movement with iMovie. Here's one of a Bruno Mars song I did:



The camera movement as well as the lighting (I bought some fluorescent work lights from Menards and put wax paper over the top) I feel gives my videos a much more professional look.  I still wasn't getting many views on my videos, only every so often would one get over 1,000.  Then I released a Lil Wayne song and it grew pretty fast, and now it's up to 9,000 plus views!:



Also learned a Lizst Etude this semester.  Didn't really like it other than the middle section, but it helped my technique a tonnnn.  It really gave me that comfortable feeling over the keys:



Finally I did my first collaboration!  It was super fun and people were really excited about collaborating.  It was a ton of work though, I had to make a scratch track, send out sheet music, schedule recording time, and then spent like 8 hours two days in a row editing it.  It was totally worth it though, everyone who was in it was super excited about it.  Here it is, Heartless by Kanye West:



I was still struggling hard to get subscribers and views at this point, I had still to reach 100 subscribers.  It defiantly wore at me at times.  I would put so much time learning, recording, and editing a video and still have videos barely get 100 views.  And 75 were probably my Mom... lol.  But gotta keep grindin ;)

3. Summer: Had a ton of goals for summer, mainly to improve my technique, sight-reading, and to get a lot more efficient at learning and recording songs.  Also bought Avid Media Composer so I finally had a professional program to do editing on.  It was a huge pain to learn, but after watching 3-4 YouTube tutorials per day for about a month I had the hang of it.

Did my first online collaboration.  It was with Angelorubio, a pianist from Germany, super cool guy and awesome pianist, you should check out his youtube channel when you get the chance.  Doing a collaboration completely online was a huge challenge because it was a lot of sending stuff back and forth and dealing with different file types (and big file types for video) but it turned out awesome, and we ended up doing another one by the time the summer was over.  Here's one of them, "Ceiling Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore.  Probably my favorite video I've done:



Worked with my first singer too, Adrienne Thomas a singer from Minneapolis.  We did a cover of "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons, I thought it turned out really good:



Also figured out green screening.  I literally bought a bed sheet at Walmart and hung it up in the basement.  Good old DIY.  Anyways, I had been practicing violin a lot and I just got this new red blazer from the thrift shop and decided to try and be creative and do some self cloning with my video software:



At this point some of my videos were starting to pick up some steam; I think a combination of better technique and video editing (I learned how to do stuff like cool titles and basic color correction) helped make my videos more entertaining.  Finally at the end of the summer I put one up to really try to showcase some of the new technique I had been working on (mostly fast octaves and crossover arpeggios) and it was my first to get over 10,000 views, I was super jacked:



At this point I was starting to see some subscribers, I was at 225 by the end of summer, which gave me a huge motivation boost.

4. Fall Semester: Worked super hard this semester, learned the first movement of the Patatique Sonata by Beethoven.  This is probably my favorite Sonata, its way more dark and powerful than any other one I've heard:



I was taking a couple marketing classes this semester and started getting a better feel for how promote stuff.  I started a Facebook Page:https://www.facebook.com/zachevansmusic
and I started trying to target videos to certain people (for me it's mostly people from the ages of 15 to 25 who like pop music and piano).  My views started growing way faster.  Two videos, "Berserk" by Eminem and "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus both got over 10,000 views and by the end of the semester I was at 500 subscribers and over 100,000 channel views. 





I also tried to do some more creative videos to get more views.  One was "The Coolest Mary Had a Little Lamb You've Ever Heard", where I took Mary Had a Little Lamb and added a bunch of crazy runs to it:



The other one was a piano cover but I used Mac N Cheese boxes to make a drum beat.  Here's the story behind that: A speaker in the marketing department from Kraft was coming in, so in two days I put up the video (spent like 8 hours each day, it was a huge adrenaline rush!).  Then my plan was to go to the meeting and pitch it to the speaker saying it could be a good promotional tool for them, hoping he would post it on the Kraft Facebook page (which had a ton of likes) and that way my video would get a ton of exposure.  Unfortunately, it turns out he USED to work for Kraft but does not any more.  Gahhhh!  Anyways, I tried to contact Kraft anyways but had no luck.  Well, at least I got an interesting video out of it :)



Also did a couple of splitscreen videos, and my first with a rapper!:




So that brings me to now.  I've grown a ton in the past year as a pianist and as a person.  My ultimate goals have defiantly changed.  I love piano, but my ultimate goal now is to become a music producer.  I think using piano as a tool to build up my YouTube channel could be a great way to get my name out there as a producer (I figure people who like pop piano covers would also like original pop songs I put out).  I'm super excited about the possibilities and am just gonna keep grindin.

Here's what I got for January.  First week I want to learn, record, and edit 8 songs in one week.  Just to see if I can do it.  I call it Hell Week.  If I can beast mode those it'll give me some buffer room so I can continue to put out videos every two weeks or so and still have time to work on bigger more intensive projects.  I'm also working hard on violin, and finally doing some research on video editing.  My piece for next semester is Grieg's Concerto in A Minor.  It'll be a challenge but I love challenges ;)

I'll try to keep this updated pretty often, maybe once every two weeks or so to check in and let you guys know what I'm doing.  Thanks for all the support :)

-Zach Evans




Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #42 on: December 31, 2013, 03:27:05 AM
You're back!!!

Dude I thought you were abducted by aliens or something!
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #43 on: January 16, 2014, 04:03:09 PM
Haha nope just busy ;) but good to hear from you rachmaninoff_forever

Here's a new video I did, it's a remake of Dark Horse (Katy Perry ft Juicy Jay).  I cloned myself using my video editing program.  I really want to start doing more creative videos like this one.  So far, violin cloning cover videos have been my most creative outlet, but I really want to thing of even more creative ones involving violin, piano, and guitar.  Let me know if you guys have any ideas!



For some reason I really love doing Katy Perry instrumentals, every time she comes out with a song it seems to work well to cover.

-Zach Evans
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #44 on: January 21, 2014, 01:44:43 AM
Did some work in the past week, recorded and edited 8 piano covers, trying to get ahead so I'm not always scrambling to post one, so now I can work towards more creative, time consuming ones.

Anyways, here's the first in the series, "Timber" by Pitbull feat. Kesha.  I think it sounds different but still pretty good on piano

Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #45 on: February 07, 2014, 06:23:22 AM
Been doin a lot of work the last couple of weeks.  Did 2 collaborations.  One was with a violin player from LA and a pianist from Germany, and a drummer who I know.  The other was with all people I know, a saxophone cover.  I really like doing collabs, It's a way more rewarding experience when you're all working together towards a single goal instead of just grinding by myself.  Anyways, here they are, Monster by Eminem/Rihanna and Closer to the Edge by 30 seconds to mars:

Monster violin/piano/guitar cover:




Closer to the Edge Saxophone/piano/guitar cover:




Got a new plan too for really knowing new keys.  I'm gonna take a new key every 2 weeks, do scales/arpeggios/finger drills in that key, sightread in that key, chord progressions in that key, and learn/record 3 covers in that key.  I think this way I can really drill the keys into my head from a bunch of different angles.  I'm going to do F the first to weeks, then B flat the next two weeks, then D the next two weeks, then repeat the cycle.  I already know C and G pretty well, so if I can learn these keys well, I'll be good with any song up to 2 sharps and flats.  Anyways, I'm excited to see how it works out.
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #46 on: February 13, 2014, 07:10:57 AM
New song, "Show Me" by Chris Brown and Kid Ink.  Typically my hip hop covers do better than my pop covers, so we'll see how this one gos :)

Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #47 on: April 06, 2014, 12:30:22 AM
Went to a piano conference in Chicago!  Had a ton of fun and learned a lot too.  Ended up buying a book/DVD set called 3D piano.  It basically goes through every piano technique from free falls to octaves to arpeggios and explains the form of how to do them.  I know there are a ton of books out there already (Hanon, Cortot, ect), but I think it'll help to have a dvd so I can really see what they're doing.  I'm going to do 15 minutes worth every day before I practice and take a section a week until I have the whole thing done.  I'm hopin it'll boost my technique up another notch.

Anyways, still puttin up videos, stayin on the grindddd.  Here's a counting stars one I'm pretty proud of:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kL9oJ1RpRUw





Didn't get as many views as some of my other ones, starting to figure out my hip hop covers tend to do better for whatever reason.

Then I've been working on a Say Something cover for like 6 weeks, spent a ton of time on it.  It's not my usual thing, I was working with a pop punk singer and the cover is nothing like the original.  Here it is!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SSd-DEswnQ



-Zach Evans
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #48 on: April 06, 2014, 03:50:33 AM
You need to remove the 's' in https so that the video shows up.  Otherwise, it indicates "invaide YU link".

Offline keystroke3

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Re: My Piano Journey
Reply #49 on: June 16, 2014, 08:39:38 PM
Oooh ok, thanks a ton, I could not figure that out for the life of me.

So the last few weeks have been great.  I've been taking one key a week to work on sightreading and lead sheet reading.  Here's my system:

1. Sightread a song slowly
2. Sightread it again but say the chord names out loud as I'm reading
3. Sightread without looking at my hands at all.

This process has reallllly helped my sightreading, I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to improve.  I used to have to look down at my hands all the time, but now I can usually just "Feel" where the notes are, even if I have to jump down a fourth or fifth.

Then I do a round of Lead Sheet practice - I take flashcards with all the chords in a key (except for the vii chord), then shuffle them and lay them out on the stand.  I play octaves in the bass and chords in the right hand, trying to keep the chords as close as possible (smooth voice leading instead of jumping around)

1. Read through them
2. Read through them without looking at hands
3. Improvise over them

I've seen tremendous improvement using this strategy.  By the end of the week, I'm getting the "no look" chords down fast without thinking too much, and my improvising has improved a ton. Let me know if you guys have any other strategies for sightreading/chordreading.

As for new videos, I put up a couple normal piano covers, but I think from now on I'm going to try to add different things into it (like violin and mini beatboxers ;)).  Here's an example, "Problem" by Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea:

https://youtu.be/OVX-GGZBQRQ



Lemme know your thoughts!

-Zach Evans
Become a Piano Superhuman: Free Course - https://www.bestpianoclass.com/streetsignup

My YouTube Piano Covers and instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/user/Keystroke3
 

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