Sunday, 21 September 2008

Noodling for Beginners - video lessons part 1 and 2

Hi Everyone

After posting my recent noodling session .mp3 I have had quite a lot of mail. One person even reckoned I was some sort of "freeeky genius" but, of course this is not true! LOL

I have had a few requests to explain how I do it so, I have bought myself a new video recorder this week and decided to make a video for y'all which I had to split into 2 parts as "youtube" only allow 10 minutes maximum.

These 2 videos are for those that wanted to know more and learn how easy it is to do

I hope you enjoy watching them and that they help you to spend more time having fun at your keyboard/piano.

DISCLAIMER: The singing isn't very good so don't be alarmed and keep young children away from the computer whilst watching this! LOL

I have checked with Mike over at and he is happy that there is nothing in the videos that would tread on his copyright material (even if he is much better at teaching this kind of stuff as a small part of what he teaches over there)

Video 1:-

Video 2:-

For me this is a way to effortlessly practise my pedalling, control of velocity and rhythm and yes I know Mikes already told me its still a little patchy in places (slipping from 3/4 to 4/4...grrr!)

Hope they give you some ideas and of course if you'd like to learn more on how to do this kind of stuff and how to play piano by ear you can always come and join Mike, the gang and I over at

EDITED TO ADD: A few more videos

These 2 are just for ideas and to try and get some feedback as to where I could explain things deeper or clearer for you

Video 3:

Video 4:

In these 2 videos I mention the "Circle of Fifths" just to prevent confusion here is a picture of the Circle of Fifths:-

If you take a look at the outside of the circle notice how the chords go E to A to D to G to C anticlockwise


** Eminor > A minor > D minor > G7 > C **

These last 2 videos are because Lenny over at Pianoworld pointed out that the angle wasn't helping him to see clearly enough what I was playing so hopefully this new angle is a little clearer for him and for you? however, its about the best I'm going to get off of this tripod without getting my big head in the way!

Video 5:

Video 6:

Till the next time, take care

Lee :)

Thursday, 18 September 2008

An example of My pianomagic noodling

Hi Folks

I often see asked over at the forums questions that talk about "exercises" and "how to stop getting bored of practising" and how to "make ones playing more emotional"

I have to confess I don't do any exercises such as Hanon or any scale work of any significance either unless I'm working on a new key (which I am admittedly very lazy with)

No, for me I "noodle" its a technical term LOL

When I get fed up I often noodle around the 1,6,2,5 pattern

In the Key of C this would be the chord progression of C, A minor, D minor and G (G7)

This is a cool chord progression as all the notes in the chords are from the C scale so that almost any melody note played on the white keys sounds good (this is good to know because you can just make things up as you play)

I can noodle like this for hours and go to place in my mind where time just doesn't exist

There are other chord progressions you can use and the other day I recorded myself freely noodling on a major to minor change - for about 20 minutes!!

So, if you've got loads of time on your hands (and no life LOL) you can always take a little trip into the weird and wonderful mind of Seaside Lee when he's noodling - In the first minute the recording drops out a couple of time - dunno why? darn computers! so apologies for that - but, then it seems to be okay

Seasides major to minor practise Noodling [click to hear]

The chords I mainly used were C, Em F and G for the major section
and A minor, F, B diminished and E for the minor section

All I'm doing is playing around with textures, volumes and rhythms, I may throw in the odd 1625 here and there too. Sure, Its all a little repetitive but, it doesn't matter when you are noodling, just keep your headphones on and who hears it anyway! LOL

Nobody ever asks any questions (that's if anyone still reads this stuff?) but, if you want to ask something please feel free to ask away.

This was played on my Casio PX-320 keyboard and recorded using Audacity straight in to my computer from the line outs.

"Happy Noodling"



Saturday, 13 September 2008

Chatting With Rickster at pianoworld

Hi Everyone

There's a member over at pianoworld called "Rickster" and he plays by ear all by himself (which is rather cool in my humble opinion - because I had to be taught!)

Anways, Rickster posted up a video of himself playing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" which was quite amazing because he hasn't been playing piano for too long

here is the video:-

Just fantastic but, I was thinking maybe with a little help Rickster could make this even more F*A*N*T*A*S*T*I*C

And with this in mind I decided to try and help him (its aways a little scary offering advice because you may offend someone)

This is what I posted to try to help Rickster

"Hi Rickster,

Really really nice - loved watching you play

You say you want some feedback?

Its beautiful as is but there are a couple of things you can work on to make it totally awesome

1. Play with more contrast same notes just a little softer in places then coming in with a splash of louder - think passion when you play try and talk to my soul and you may astound yourself

2. the left hand pattern is lovely but just change it in places maybe just some simple block chords or some tenths should do it

3. One last thing try and add little pauses and speed ups to emphasize the emotion in your playing

As I say its pretty as is - play around with those ideas for a few weeks and hey someone may be hiring you for $$$$'s - try and bring a tear my eye with the next video

Would you like me to record something for you to give you some ideas to chew on?"

I then went on to record a version of "Somewhere over the rainbow" with some ideas for Rickster to chew on :-

Some Ideas for Rickster to chew on [click here]

I was hopeful that because Rickster plays by ear that he would be able to hear what I was trying to show him.

He did post me a very nice reply:-

"Hi Seaside_Lee,

Wow, your version of “Somewhere over the RB “was great! I doubt if I could mimic that anytime soon. It does give me some good ideas for improvement though.

Thanks a lot!


I do dearly hope that my friend Rickster takes some ideas with him.

take care, til next time


Tuesday, 2 September 2008

For-chan and "Hear and Play"

Just like a bus you wait around for ages and then 2 come along at once!! LOL

Every so often someone asks about playing by ear over at pianoworld and I end up chatting about how I learned to play by ear as an adult beginner with and Mike Anderson

Anyhow, a member called 'For-chan' was asking for advice because he was finding that Hear and Play by Jermaine Griggs the Number one play by ear course (guffaw) wasn't helping. Sorry Jermaine I love your stuff and nearly always end up buying all your special offers - its cool but, how the heck anyone learns to play by ear off of it? I have no idea!

This is what 'For-chan' wrote:-

"Is there anyone that has had success with hear and Play and is completely happy with their purchase?

Anyway.. I'm really interested in PianoMagic because I like how scales aren't the main focus, more on chords. "

Here was my first reply to his question

Hi For-chan

I have hear and play infact I usually end up buying every new thing that they come out with, I never get anywhere with any of it but, I would say that down to the fact I don't really dig in properly. Would I sell any of my hear and Play DVDs? (no way - they are always on my to do list - I like to watch them from time to time just to see if I can glean anything new)

I can never quite put my finger on why I don't connect but, on the whole I just don't - but, I'm always thinking "one day I'll get it"

Check my blog for my story about pianomagic if you like - it works like magic but, it doesn't work for everyone and you really have to ask questions in the forums when you get stuck.

So many people don't ever make one post not even to say hello which see-ing as the forums is the key to getting really good and understanding everything that never makes sense to me but hey?

I have Sudnow too which starts you right off the bat playing big lush chords from dot sheet notation (Misty and As time goes by and there are many more) and teaches you the way to voice your own choice of songs from lead sheets as you progress.

Its probably not the easiest way to learn how to play by ear but, its a great way to learn to play jazzy cocktail style voicings of the tunes you love - check out swinging barb in the jazz thread she plays like a dream and she is a 100% Sudnow-a-holic [Big Grin]

Hope this helps a little

Then For-chan asked:-

Could you tell me what the Piano Magic course starts off with?

To which I replied:-

It teaches you in the beginning to see (and hear) how chords and melodies follow a very logical path through most of the tunes you know, It teaches you how to hear simple chord changes and their relationships with the melodies you know.

You will work on the songs that you know, the songs that you can whistle, hum or sing and you will learn to play them by ear starting with your simple stuff first.

You will be taught how to add basic rhythm patterns to the songs that you know and from which you will grow into playing erm "For-chan style"

From the basics you can take it wherever you want to go, you will learn about cousin chords and hidden chords, how to resolve accidentals, the C of 5ths and much much more [Big Grin]

There are many many many videos about playing styles whether it be boogie woogie or latin rhythms that all start out from a basic foundation.

I've been there nearly 5 years and am still only touching the surface of what there is to glean but, you have to participate. I have posted more questions than any one else I may not be the best player there but, I'm the best ME - I still thirst for more knowledge and I still keep asking (only you can have the desire to want it)

Some people thrive on having a weekly lesson and being given strict instructions I'm not like that you might be or you may not? only you can know

Then I provided a couple of demos for him as to how I sound and how pianomagic works taking a simple melody and chords and making it sound...erm...prettier?

Demo 1 {click here}

Demo 2 {click here}

To read the entire thread over at pianoworld {click here} I think its an interesting discussion if you are considering joining pianomagic.



Pianoworld Recital Number 11

Hi Folks

I seem to have been to hell and back these last few months - lost my business, my home and family and going bankrupt! well as they say "things can only get better" and I hope they are right.

I must apologize for not posting much here recently but, hey I hope y'all understand.

Anyway, onto the August Recital over at Pianoworld I submitted a piece maybe not the greatest thing I've done but, I still think (hope) my playing is improving. I have had some nice comments so that always helps to keep my chin up.

Here is the direct link to it :- How Deep Is Your Love (Bee Gees) with a little Seaside twist {click to Hear}

thanks for listening and for sticking around