Midi 101: An introductory Lesson on Creating Midi Files

Cakewalk 3.01 showing Piano Roll, Staff and CA...Image via Wikipedia

In order to create a MIDI file you will need (at a minimum): a wave table sound card, a MIDI adapter cable, a MIDI keyboard and a good quality pair of stereo PC speakers. The speakers should contain a sub woofer; if at all possible. You will also need some sequencer software. Without a doubt the best sequencing software on the market is CakeWalk; however it can be a bit pricey at around $350. If you want something a little less expensive you might consider Power Tracks Pro Audio; which comes in at around $50. Unless you are getting into professional MIDI sequencing; this software will have all the features you'll need. 

MIDI files can be created in different ways using a MIDI capable program. Most programs allow you to point and click the notes onto the music staff, play the notes using a MIDI capable electronic keyboard connected to your computer and recording audio directly through your computer's microphone. 

 MIDI files are created in computers but are also used in other equipment such as the Roland Music Player, electric keyboards and player pianos. Entire fully orchestrated compositions can be put in a MIDI file and played with the different instruments tone quality imitated either on your computer or the above mentioned equipment by way of saving the file to a floppy or CD ROM.

If your goal is to record, your first step to creating a file will be to select a blank track in your sequencer. Next you will select the instrument you would like to record and choose an empty channel number. Keep in mind that the channel number you are recording has to always be the same as the transmit channel on the synth you are using. For example, if you are using a transmit channel of 11 then your synth channel has to also be set to 11. You can't use one on 11 and the other on 14. Next, you'll choose an instrument number on your sequencer and finally hit the "record" button. 

Midi Article Credit: Jermaine Griggs 

I'm thinking that everyone that plays music should get familiar with midi. Over Thanksgiving break, with a midi keyboard, I plan to practice progressions, and then experimenting with composing, editing and sequencing. How about you... are you understanding midi more and more?

Wishing all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving with blessings around your table!

-- LadyD Have a heart that never hardens and a touch that never hurts. Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
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Popular Requested Sheet Music for Thanksgiving

Beautiful Autumn

Most popular requested sheet music for Thanksgiving can be found at http://solosheets.blogspot.com/

 Edward Weiss offers free pdf downloads for some very pretty piano solo sheet music with New Age style.

If you are looking for hymns and contemporary church music for the church musician, like "Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving", Filled With Joy, Miracle of the Night Sky and more, visit http://www.whitneytunes.com/

Most Popular Prayer Songs For Thanksgiving

Bon Jovi’s Living On A Prayer deals with a young working-class couple striving to make it on their own in face of constant hardships. Like A Prayer has become Madonna’s most popular song internationally.
  1. Living On A Prayer (Bon Jovi) … Number 1 most-requested song from 1987
  2. Like A Prayer (Madonna) … Number 5 from 1989
  3. Prayer For The Dying (Seal) … Number 26 from 1994
  4. I Say A Little Prayer (Diana King) … Number 45 from 1997
  5. Travelin' Prayer (Billy Joel) … Number 67 from 1974.

Most Popular Giving Songs For Thanksgiving

Many songs like Marvin Gaye’s Got To Give It Up and Rick James’ Give It To Me Baby are still highly popular, yet are not readily associated with Thanksgiving. Below are song titles with the word give and that have at least some relevance for reflection at turkey dinner time.
  1. You Give Love A Bad Name (Bon Jovi) … Number 6 most-requested song from 1986
  2. Give Me Just a Little More Time (Chairmen of the Board) … Number 10 from 1970
  3. Don't Give Up (Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush) … Number 12 from 1987
  4. Give It To Me (Timbaland, Nelly Furtado & Justin Timberlake) … Number 29 from 2007
  5. Give It Away (Red Hot Chili Peppers) … Number 31 from 1992
  6. You Give Good Love (Whitney Houston) … Number 37 from 1985
  7. Give Peace A Chance (John Lennon) … Number 38 from 1969
  8. I've Got So Much Love To Give (Barry White) … Number 56 from 1973
  9. Give A Little Bit (Supertramp) … Number 56 from 1977
  10. Give Me The Night (George Benson) … Number 57 from 1980

Vanessa Williams & Brian Mcknight - Love Is

    One of my favorite songs is Love Is by Brian McKnight and Vanessa Williams. These two are very beautiful, talented people.

    Free sheet music to Love Is can be acquired at http://pianotte.szm.com/L.htm

    Here are the piano chords to a very easy song to play in the Key of C, Love Is:

    They say it's a river
    That circles the earth
    A beam of light shining
    To the edge of the universe
    F              G
     It conquers all
    F            G
     It changes everything
    They say it's a blessing
    They say it's a gift
     They say it's a miracle 
    And I believe that it is
    F              G          
     It conquers all
    F             G
     But it's a mystery
    ---------Chorus 1 *
    C        F          G  
    Love breaks your heart
    C         F         G
      Love takes no less than everything
    C         F       G
      Love makes it hard
             Bb          Dm       G7
    But it fades away so easily
    In this world we've created
    In this place that we live
    In the blink of an eye, babe
    The darkness slips in
    F                   G
     Love lights the world
    F                   G
     Unites the lovers for eternity
    ---------Chorus 2 * 
    C        F          G
    Love breaks the chains
    C         F          G
      Love aches for everyone of us
    C        F          G
    Love takes the tears and pain
            Bb                Dm             G7
    And it turns it into the beauty that remains
    Am7              F
      Look at this place
           G/B           F        C  
    It was paradise but now it's dying
    Dm7       C        F
      I'll pray for love
    Dm7         C         G   
      I'll take my chances that it's not too late
    -------Repeat Chorus 1 & 2
    Here's another beautiful song by Brian McKnight, Back At One
    Bsus9                      Abm7 
    It's undeniable that we should be together  
          E6/9                       C#m7                    F# 7 (Bb°)  
    It's unbelievable, how I used to say that I'd fall never 
    The basis is need to know  
    If you don't just know how I feel  
    Am7                            Abm7(5+)    Fm7/4 
    Then let me show you now that I'm for real  
    Am7                 Abm7(5+)          F#7 
    If all the things in time, time will reveal (Yeah...) 
    One, you're like a dream come true 
    Two, just wanna be with you 
    Three, girl it's plain to see 
            C#m7                     F#7 
    That you're the only one for me and 
    Four, repeat steps one through three 
    Five, make you fall in love with me 
    Am7         Abm7(5+)           Fm7/4 
    If ever I believe my work is done 
             F# 7                  Bsus9 
    Then I'll start back at one (Yeah-yeah yeah...) 
    Bsus9                         Abm7 
    It's so incredible, the way things work themselves out  
          E6/9                  C#m7         And all emotional, once you know what it's  
    C#m7  Ebm7 E6/9    F#9/4 (F#7) 
    all      about,     Yeah  
    Bsus9                     Abm7 
    And undesirable, for us to be apart  
    Am7             Abm7(5+)     Fm7/4 
    I never would've made it very far  
    Am7                     Abm7(5+)           F#7 
    'Cause you know you got the keys to my heart 'Cause...  
    One, you're like a dream come true 
    Two, just wanna be with you 
    Three, girl it's plain to see 
    C#m7                 C#m7 Ebm7  E6/9  F#9/4 
    That you're the only one  for    me    and 
    Four, repeat steps one through three 
    Five, make you fall in love with me 
    E6/9                         C#m7  
    If ever I believe my work is done 
    F#7                     Bsus9 
    Then I'll start back at one  
    Say farewell to the dark of night 
    I see the coming of the sun  
    Ebm7                              Ab7/4 Ab7 (C°) 
    I feel like a little child, whose life has just begun  
    You came and breathed new life  
               Ebm7           Abm7 
    into this lonely heart of mine  
    You threw out the life line  
    F#7                 G7 
    Just in the nick of time ?? 
    (same chords ½ tone up? enjoy) 
    One, you're like a dream come true 
    Two, just wanna be with you 
    Three, girl it's plain to see 
    That you're the only one for me 
    And four, repeat steps one through three 
    Five, make you fall in love with me 
    If ever I believe my work is done 
    Then I'll start back at one 

    All the best, LadyD Amplify
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    Steps To Video Making and Marketing

    A Sony TRV-950 mini-DV digital video camera. 3...Image via Wikipedia
    Three Steps To Add the Power of Video to Your Website
    1. Shoot Your Video
    2. Upload It To YouTube
    3. Link or Embed Your Video Broadcast

    What should your first video message be? 

    If a visitor stopped by your show room you'd take the opportunity to show them around. Do the same thing on your website or blog. When a visitor arrives, welcome them to your site with your instruction video. In essence, you want to show them around your "virtual Internet showroom."
    Tell them how you're different and the benefits you or your products offer. If your site has links, then tell your visitor what information they will find if they follow those links.
    I offer lessons and instructions online. I play the piano and offer certain music resources to take your piano playing to the next level.

    Step 1: Shoot Your Video 

    Set up your camera and position yourself about two or three feet in front of it and start talking. In the beginning, I used a digital camera and set it on a tripod. Then I set the camera on video and sat down and started talking.

    Don't worry about what you will say, just start talking and recording. If you were a first time visitor to your website what would you be looking for and what would you want to know?

    Don't worry about scripting out what you will say. Just talk off the top of your mind and don't be afraid to record several takes. The delete button is powerful and allows you to re-take the shot many times over.

    Then watch them back and pick the best one. The exercise of being in front of the camera and just talking will help you perfect what you say. It will also help you get past your fear of being in front of the camera. By recording several takes, it will help you to look, sound and feel natural. And that's important! Remember to smile and just be yourself.

    One of the greatest powers of using video in your marketing is that it gives your customers and prospects the opportunity to meet you face to face. Once you are happy with the take, put it up on YouTube.

    Step 2: Upload to YouTube 

    If you do not yet have an account go to www.youtube.com and sign up for a free account. Once you have it set up, which will take a few minutes, connect your video camera to your computer and upload your video to YouTube. Most video cameras come with software that may require you to transfer the video to your computer before you can move it to YouTube.

    The hardest part of the whole process is often getting the video off your camera. If you have trouble then you might want to consider investing in a video camera that is made specifically for putting video onto computer or uploading it to the Internet.

    Step 3: Link or Embed Your video for broadcast. 

    Once you have your video on YouTube you will find two different sets of Internet coding to the right of your video. The URL code lets you link people to your YouTube video and the Embedded code lets you place that video directly onto your Website.

    I recommend you place your videos on your Website. Keep your visitors on your site rather than sending them away to another site. If you maintain your own Website then simply copy and paste this code onto your Web page. If you have someone who maintains it for you, then send the code to them. It can save you hundreds of dollars in getting video on your Website. The key is to just do it.

    As a music teacher, I enjoy recording students playing their favorite songs and then sharing the link with family members and friends. I also have enjoyed making a video of pirate images and children's books with background music on one of my blogs.

    Once you have put a welcome video on your website, there is a lot more you can do. Most importantly, put your website or blog URL in the Description Box. That way you will be directing more traffic to your site and increase effective newsletter sign ups.

    Indeed there is power in adding video to your website.

    All the best, LadyD Amplify
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    How To Improvise Using 4 Left Hand Notes

    Hamburg Steinway D-274Image via WikipediaIt is so wonderful to provide free online piano lessons to all ages and at all levels.  I have been teaching piano lessons in my home for over 15 years now.  I have enjoyed playing with various musicians in San Diego County for 30 years.

    Beginner piano students are always looking for tips on moving right hand notes and matching some other bass notes with their left hand. So many folks are looking for practice methods that will encourage them to learn to improvise and play piano by ear. They want easy piano lessons.

    I found a great teaching video from Yoke Wong that I wanted to share with you.  After seeing the video, you will be playing piano lessons. So, here we go.

    How to improvise using 4 left hand notes by pianomother on YouTube.

    Be sure to practice and apply the technique!

    G minor is a minor scale based on G, consisting of the pitches G, A, B, C, D, E, and F

      Hand Coordination Techniques


    This is Piano Diana . 

    Many of you have expressed an interest in taking
    your piano playing skills to the next level. 
    I want to help you get
    there by ensuring that you get the most out of
    your piano practice and learning experience.

    Studying music is like studying a foreign
    language. To become fluent, one needs to be
    competent in both reading and speaking. Now,
    apply this to your piano playing. How well do you
    read? What about improvising? How well do you
    improvise?  These techniques (sight reading and
    improvising) go together, just as reading and
    speaking do.

    Over the many years of my musical career, I have
    come across trained pianists who are excellent
    sight readers but really struggle with
    improvising.  That, obviously, is not a good

    If you think you need help in improvisation, I
    have an important message for you. 

    A special friend of mine, Yoke Wong, is an
    accomplished pianist and music educator who

    specializes in piano improvisation. She has
    compiled a comprehensive home study course
    called, Definitive Piano Improvisation to help
    piano students master the art of improvising. I
    generally do not promote other courses, but this
    one is unique and deserves your attention. Since
    I am very aware of the value and importance of
    improvisation, I also recognize the value of this
    course. It can really make a significant
    difference in your piano playing.

    Home Study Course

    If you seriously want to upgrade your skills, I
    urge you to get this DVD home study course

    The course comes with 11 hours of video
    instruction, 2 CD’s and a 142-page binder. For
    those who take advantage of this offer right now,
    Yoke will include a bonus of her “Inspirational
    Moments Digital Sheet Music.”

    Because of the special price, this offer will be
    available to the first 50 customers only. The
    offer ends 7-14 days from today.

    Definitive Improvisation Method

    Your feedback is very important in helping us
    evaluate how the course has made an impact on
    your piano playing world. I would love to hear
    from you once you have tried it out!

    Thanks for your response!

    Piano Diana  

    Visit pianomother's site for more information at http://www.pianomother.com

    All the best, LadyD Amplify
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    I Know You Know by Esperanza Spalding

    Esperanza (album)Image via Wikipedia

     Chords to I Know You Know

    simple blues scales A and D  

    Intro G
    Verse G C
    Pre-Chorus Em D C D
    Chorus G C

    After trying it once more I think I had the second chorus wrong too.
    E5-D5-C5-D5 (aka power chords rooted on the A string, frets 7-5-3-5) sounds better than what I said in my first comment.


     Precious Chords
       / Esperanza Spalding  /
      / Precious            /
     / Esperanza Spalding  /
    For this tab I've just transcribed the chords. Since this is jazz, the
    bottomline IS the chords and everything is improvisation from there.
    These chords might not be a 100% flawless, so I'd really appreciate some
    help and good advice! :D
    The main progression is switching between a plain D and a Bbmaj7+5,
    which is just Bb and C added to the D major scale. For improvisation,
    this is pretty much just a D mixolydian scale. I'll name that part
    the Interlude, as the song always returns to that before moving on.
    Harmony vocals open, and the Wurlitzer enters with the chord D/C ...
    | D | % | Bbmaj9+5 | % |
    | D | % | Bbmaj9+5 | % |
    | D | % | Bbmaj9+5 | % |
    | D | % | Bbmaj9+5 | % |
    | G#o | Gm11 | C13 | %  A13 |
    | D | F#7+9+5 | Bm9 | E13b11 |
    | Bbmaj9  D(add9) | F#7+9+5  Bm7+5 | Em7 A11  D | %  A6 :||
    (from here it's back from the top, down to the 2. ending,
     which is leading on to the C-part.)
    | %  C#�  C9 |
    | Bm9  Bbmaj9 | Am11  G#� | Gmaj9  F#7+5 | Em11  A#o |
    | Bm9  Bbmaj9 | Am11  G#� | Gmaj9  F#7+5 | Em11 |
    | Emaj9/G# | Gm6 | D/F# | Bm7  -/A |
    | Emaj9/G# | Gm6 | D/F# | Fmaj7 | Em9 | Bb+5 |
     2x Interlude
     2x Chorus

    I Know You Know



    A big thank you to Gotaro for this song request! How can you rate a 5 star performance? She is over the top! Esperanza is a fantastic musician and the best bassist around! LOVE her music!

    All the best, LadyD Amplify
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