Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting/music


I am listening to what I would call kind of simple songs. When doing this I am trying figure out the piano part in those songs. They sound easy to play but I jsutcan't figure out the exact rhythm and the exact notes being played. If people tell me exactly what to do I may learn the song after some practice time but with certain songs you will never get that kind of help. Do you have any tips on how to figure out the piano parts in simple songs? Since I can't her the exact rhythm and notes being played I don't think think any audience will. Is this a good reason why I shouldn't try to be so exact and just do my thing on the piano?


   THE QUESTION IS : WHAT TIPS on how to figure out a piano part to play on ''simple songs''
?? good question (in all the hundreds of questions, THIS IS the first time I have had this question, and it is an interesting one , at that...
    Well, I have done just that myself, listen to a song on radio, or whatever and hear the STYLE of the song, and try to duplicate it on the piano... I HAVE DONE This to old rock-n-roll songs, as well as modern songs..
    YOU will have to know how TO PLAY VARIOUS styles on the piano, incl. the rock rhythms, arpeggio or guitar style on piano, jazz chords with added 6ths, 9ths, maj 7ths, etc.. and hear that IN THE MUSIC your are listening to (to recognize that particular sound).. and I'd say, DON'T TRY TO BE EXACT with the notes BEING PLAYED that you hear but more listen to the style of the piano LEFT HAND, and the style of right hand (usually the right hand does NOT play the melody exactly with the singer or melody because that is THE JOB of the performer, unless you are doing it all along on the piano...
     YOU should focus on reproducing the STYLE of the song, as best you can instead of focusing on the notes you hear.. IF YOU hear an octave bass with inner chords, or arpeggio left hand, or cluster left hand or open 7ths or open chords in the left hand, and what OCTAVE the left hand is playing in (on the piano)
      You should also know how to play various rhythm styles on piano, like latin, or march, or jazz, or country, or even modern show song styles... there is a way to    simulate it ..
     I do know folks who can hear every exact note being played, but for the most part, that is not a standard you or I need to acquire, but to learn how to perform the song in the STYLE YOU HEAR... for example when  I  learn   how to play a rock song on piano, it is taking a guitar, piano part and putting it on piano... so yes, use your own ability to make IT SOUND RIGHT... (THAT IS KEY, -- make it SOUND RIGHT)
CHUCK   (THANKS for the great question)  

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I am a professional musician, I can play by ear, I arrange music write music, teach music in the public school system, and teach privately. My father was a school music teacher, and I have written three volumes for teaching beginning string players, taking them from scratch to high school level. I have performed in a local production of Music Man (musical) with celebrities John Davidson/Susan Watson and have my masters degree in education. I retired from the classroom in 2004 with 38 yrs. experience-now still substituting for music- and writing arr. for my cello trio(with two audio cd's and one dvd of a performance) I have directed church choirs and am principal cellist in our local community orchestra. I really love to arrange music for the groups I perform in and sing and have music in my life every day. A day without music, is a mistake, like having a day without sunshine.


Employment history: I have been employed by our local school district since 1967 as a music teacher from grades 1-12 Organizations: I play cello principal chair in the local community orchestra, and sing in a chorus,and perfom in a barbershop quartet

Education: My early life in high school and college was summer workshops in choral conducting with founder of Westminster Choir College (N.J.) Dr. John F.Williamson (in Who`s Who in Music) and summer workshops with Robert Shaw in San Diego Grad. of Sacramento STate Univ.and masters from Univ. of La VErne, ca

Awards: awarded the Bank of America award in my high school senior year for music

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