Learn How to Play Keyboard / Piano With Auto-Accompaniment: A Self Tuition Book For Absolute Beginne

PDF Learn How to Play Keyboard / Piano With Auto-Accompaniment: A Self Tuition Book For Absolute Beginne Paperback – January 11, 2022

Book author
  1. Martin Woodward
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As the title suggests, this book has been written for absolute beginners who wish to play keyboard using auto-accompaniment and assumes no prior musical knowledge - just the desire to do it! Items covered include: Buying your first keyboard or piano; Reading music from scratch (treble clef mainly, bass clef briefly); Easy, effective finger exercises which require minimal reading ability; Important musical symbols; Your first tunes; Audio links for tunes and exercises; Key signatures and transposition; Pre-scale exercises; Major and minor scales in keyboard and notation view; Chord construction; Chord fingering; Chord charts in keyboard view; Arpeggios in keyboard and notation view; Arpeggio exercises; Playing from a Fake Book with auto-accompaniment; Over 25 tunes included and free link to more; Plus, more! After completing this book, you will have a good basic understanding of music theory as well as a good basic playing technique, paving the way for more advanced study in your chosen field - jazz, blues, pop, etc.


As the title suggests, this book has been written for absolute beginners who wish to play keyboard using auto-accompaniment and assumes no prior musical knowledge - just the desire to do it!

So, what exactly is auto-accompaniment and is it right for me?

Well, basically it depends on your ultimate intentions. If you wish to play conventional classical music, then using auto-accompaniment is certainly not the way to go. For serious classical music you really need to purchase a conventional piano or a digital one with a hammer action keybed and learn to read music for both treble and bass clefs. In classical music the left hand could be just as active as the right hand, making it necessary to learn and practice scales and exercises for both hands to achieve equal strength, flexibility, and independence, whereas with most other styles of playing the right hand is usually far more predominant.

All arranger keyboards and some digital pianos / organs have the facility to either use the instrument as a full keyboard (in piano mode) or to split the keyboard at a chosen point and use the upper half for the right-hand melody work and the lower portion with an alternative sound / instrument for bass etc., or auto-accompaniment. But note that you’d be struggling in full piano mode with less than 73 keys.

In the auto-accompaniment mode, a particular rhythm and style can be selected which will play bass, drums, and other instrumentation as soon as a chord is played below the pre-determined split point. As the chord is changed, the instrumentation will follow automatically. In most cases there will be: • An intro - one or more • Variations - often four different ones • Fills which can be triggered to activate automatically between variations • Endings - one or more This results in the player being in control of a complete multi-instrument band / orchestra. Clearly using this option enables even a novice to produce professional sounding work easily.

When using auto-accompaniment, the left hand is used only to play chords in the lower half of the keyboard to trigger the auto-accompaniment, so, playing conventional classical music would be impossible this way. But just about all nonclassical sheet music is written with a chord line above the staves and may or may not have the bass clef included - if the bass clef is there, this can simply be ignored. Don’t worry, I’ll explain all about the clefs and staves as we go along.

Consequently, to play from sheet music with a chord line you would only really need to learn the treble clef (for the right hand) and of course you would need to learn how to play chords with your left hand. Therefore, in this book we will mainly be dealing with left-hand chords and the treble clef, although I will also briefly explain about the bass clef.

So, would learning this way make me a substandard musician?

No, not really, just different, but you could of course learn both! Many superb jazz and rock keyboard players do very little with their left hands. Even though they may not be using auto-accompaniment, very often their left hands are used mainly for playing chords as was the case for me during my soul and prog rock days on the Hammond organ. In fact, many great jazz and rock musicians can’t even read music. And to be honest during my touring days I never needed to read music once. But some musicians are totally superb at everything - for instance, Rick Wakeman can play any piece of classical music as well as being a manic rock improvisor, but the likes of him are few and far between.

I suppose you could compare using auto-accompaniment to driving an automatic car as against a manual - it’s a lot easier to start with, but both can get complicated as you progress to advanced levels.

In short, auto-accompaniment keyboards are brilliant for one-man entertainers be it for home amusement or even to a professional level. In fact, I used one of these as a solo performer in Cyprus a few years ago. And of course, another great advantage is that there is only one person to get paid, making it very much more profitable in this event! Note that if you are playing with a band, auto-accompaniment would never be used.

In the next chapter we’ll discuss the different types of keyboards available, and which one will be best for you. Also, throughout the book you will see pictures of various arranger keyboards. These are not advertisements per se, they are just to fill space and to briefly show you a few of the many boards available - all of which have autoaccompaniment.

I have no allegiance to any particular manufacturer; they all have their good and bad points!​
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