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I want to make pieces easier to play. I have a book.... #2827087
03/15/19 09:05 AM
03/15/19 09:05 AM
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Posts: 35
Spokane Wa.
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rickyd123 Offline OP
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I'm at an early intermediate level. I have a book that is aimed at that level. I was practicing Cats In The Cradle recently. I listened to it on YouTube. It was obvious to me the piece I was playing was different from the original. It sounded very similar, but the writer of my book had changed in away to make it easier without changing how it sounded in general.
I have some other pieces I'd like to play that are much to difficult for me to play. My question is: Is there a technique that I can copy that writer of the easier book used. Can apply it to hard songs I want to play, so they will be easier play without losing their overall sound.
My ideas are: 1. Practice the piece and when I run into a difficult spot re-work the notes from there to make it easier. 2. Remove the bottom one or two notes from most of the piece. 3. Remove the top one or two notes from most of the piece.
I'm just through things against the wall to see if anything sticks.

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Re: I want to make pieces easier to play. I have a book.... [Re: rickyd123] #2827089
03/15/19 09:11 AM
03/15/19 09:11 AM
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dmd Offline
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I do not think some sort of "mechanical" system of dropping off notes is going to get you what you want.

You need to know the underlying chord structure and then you can substitute/remove/add things (notes) here and there while keeping the melody intact and maintaining the overall chord structure.

It takes a bit of theory background that you may or may not have.


Don

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Re: I want to make pieces easier to play. I have a book.... [Re: rickyd123] #2827094
03/15/19 09:32 AM
03/15/19 09:32 AM
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rickyd123 Offline OP
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Ok. I know a little theory. Like circle of 5ths and chord relations, but not a lot.

Re: I want to make pieces easier to play. I have a book.... [Re: rickyd123] #2827095
03/15/19 09:39 AM
03/15/19 09:39 AM
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Most non-classical 'songs' have their melodies on top underpinned by the bass notes.

You can remove most other notes to your heart's content, until you're left with nothing but the melody and the bass line........(or as much as your ear tells you enough is enough wink )


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: I want to make pieces easier to play. I have a book.... [Re: rickyd123] #2827097
03/15/19 09:49 AM
03/15/19 09:49 AM
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rickyd123 Offline OP
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I've been googling it a little this morning and most of what I've read agrees bennevis. thanks

Re: I want to make pieces easier to play. I have a book.... [Re: bennevis] #2827101
03/15/19 09:58 AM
03/15/19 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Most non-classical 'songs' have their melodies on top underpinned by the bass notes.

You can remove most other notes to your heart's content, until you're left with nothing but the melody and the bass line........(or as much as your ear tells you enough is enough wink )



Yes, you can do that.

That will certainly make it easier to play.

Then, you can put notes back in little by little as you are able to according to your skills.

The notes you put back in do not have to be the ones that were there originally.

However, they should be part of the chord for that portion of the tune.

The 5th would be a safe choice, usually.




Last edited by dmd; 03/15/19 10:01 AM.

Don

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Re: I want to make pieces easier to play. I have a book.... [Re: rickyd123] #2827104
03/15/19 10:03 AM
03/15/19 10:03 AM
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rickyd123 Offline OP
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Thanks that gives me a good idea of how to approach it.

Re: I want to make pieces easier to play. I have a book.... [Re: rickyd123] #2827126
03/15/19 10:57 AM
03/15/19 10:57 AM
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Try to keep the root and 3rd of the chord + the melody. If the melody start on 4 & or 1 &, you can move it to the strong beat. If you have a syncopated rhythm, you can also move the rhythm to strong beat. That's what an arranger will do to make an easy piece from an advance.


Last edited by Serge88; 03/15/19 10:58 AM.


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Re: I want to make pieces easier to play. I have a book.... [Re: rickyd123] #2827147
03/15/19 11:25 AM
03/15/19 11:25 AM
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The other option against playing simplified arrangements (sometimes less than ideal) or trying to re-arrange more difficult works to your level is to play works that are originally written for some one at your current level. When your skills advance, then you can try more difficult works that suit your newly-acquired skills. There is some satisfaction in knowing that you have played an "original" rather than a simplified arrangement.

Regards,


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Re: I want to make pieces easier to play. I have a book.... [Re: rickyd123] #2827154
03/15/19 11:45 AM
03/15/19 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by rickyd123
1. Practice the piece and when I run into a difficult spot re-work the notes from there to make it easier. 2. Remove the bottom one or two notes from most of the piece. 3. Remove the top one or two notes from most of the piece.

I do this very occasionally, for instance when I have to play four notes simultaneously and it hurts my hand to stretch it that much. It is an interesting exercise for training your hearing. Because the four notes is a stretch, either the bottom or the top one needs to go, and I test both options, and try to discover which three notes harmonizes best with the melody line.


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Re: I want to make pieces easier to play. I have a book.... [Re: bennevis] #2827159
03/15/19 11:53 AM
03/15/19 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Most non-classical 'songs' have their melodies on top underpinned by the bass notes.

You can remove most other notes to your heart's content, until you're left with nothing but the melody and the bass line........(or as much as your ear tells you enough is enough wink )


I had a voice teacher who used to do this. I was amazed to see that I could hand her music she didn't know and she could just knock it out of the park. Then she showed me that she knew what she could leave out (piano) while she was singing. I still think it's amazing that anyone can sing full on while playing piano.

Re: I want to make pieces easier to play. I have a book.... [Re: rickyd123] #2827175
03/15/19 12:27 PM
03/15/19 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by rickyd123
I'm at an early intermediate level. I have a book that is aimed at that level. I was practicing Cats In The Cradle recently. I listened to it on YouTube. It was obvious to me the piece I was playing was different from the original. It sounded very similar, but the writer of my book had changed in away to make it easier without changing how it sounded in general.
I have some other pieces I'd like to play that are much to difficult for me to play. My question is: Is there a technique that I can copy that writer of the easier book used. Can apply it to hard songs I want to play, so they will be easier play without losing their overall sound.
My ideas are: 1. Practice the piece and when I run into a difficult spot re-work the notes from there to make it easier. 2. Remove the bottom one or two notes from most of the piece. 3. Remove the top one or two notes from most of the piece.
I'm just through things against the wall to see if anything sticks.


Do not remove the top notes, as this usually carries the melody. Learn the melody well, as it essential to the piece. Then learn the chords, and you can start with root chord arrangements. From there you can progress to a walking bass, or chord inversions, to minimize hand movement and get even better with harmony.


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Re: I want to make pieces easier to play. I have a book.... [Re: rickyd123] #2827177
03/15/19 12:31 PM
03/15/19 12:31 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
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Originally Posted by rickyd123
I'm at an early intermediate level. I have a book that is aimed at that level. I was practicing Cats In The Cradle recently. I listened to it on YouTube. It was obvious to me the piece I was playing was different from the original. It sounded very similar, but the writer of my book had changed in away to make it easier without changing how it sounded in general.
I have some other pieces I'd like to play that are much to difficult for me to play. My question is: Is there a technique that I can copy that writer of the easier book used. Can apply it to hard songs I want to play, so they will be easier play without losing their overall sound.
My ideas are: 1. Practice the piece and when I run into a difficult spot re-work the notes from there to make it easier. 2. Remove the bottom one or two notes from most of the piece. 3. Remove the top one or two notes from most of the piece.
I'm just through things against the wall to see if anything sticks.

You can also just use your own accompaniment for songs with simple melodies. The method book I am using has exercises in accompanying and transposing in every unit and I'm really astounded by how far one can get with only the I, IV, and V chords smile


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Re: I want to make pieces easier to play. I have a book.... [Re: rickyd123] #2828460
03/18/19 09:41 PM
03/18/19 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by rickyd123
. 2. Remove the bottom one or two notes from most of the piece. 3. Remove the top one or two notes from most of the piece.
I'm just through things against the wall to see if anything sticks.


Actually, just the opposite -- you want to keep the top and bottom and throw away the middle. Top is melody (mostly) and Bottom is bass.


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Re: I want to make pieces easier to play. I have a book.... [Re: rickyd123] #2828634
03/19/19 11:12 AM
03/19/19 11:12 AM
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Toronto, Canada
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Generally you can just play the top melody note with the bass part. If the bass consists of 3 or 4 note chords, you can reduce it down to just 1 note or a 2 note interval. Try not to repeat a note like the R is playing an A and the L is playing a lower A so that we maintain a bit of harmony in the piece.

Re: I want to make pieces easier to play. I have a book.... [Re: rickyd123] #2828830
03/19/19 09:59 PM
03/19/19 09:59 PM
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I come from a Jazz world so you got the melody and bass line you just fill-in as you like focusing on good voice leading. This should give you a good opportunity to use all the chord inversions you've practiced forever and basic chord substitutions knowledge to fill in-between melody and bass. It's all about good voice leading.


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