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Why not follow me on Facebook and Twitter?

Hey all – in case you didn’t know, you can now follow me on both Facebook and Twitter. I’ve had the accounts for ages and ages, but I’m working on improving the way I reach out to viewers and fans of the channel, and these days the big social media platforms offer an easier way of reaching out to people than traditional blogs.

I’ll still post important stuff on here, but often I come across cool or interesting stuff I’d like to share, and FB and Twitter offer much more natural platforms for that than a traditional blog. So please do “like” me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, if you have an account!

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Seven Studies: sales page live

As promised in the launch post earlier, I’ve just put the sales page for Seven Studies in Pop Piano live. You can find it here.

The ebook is ready for instant download, but I’m still waiting for the print edition to fully percolate through the world’s international distribution channels. It’s being distributed by the Ingram Content Group, which in principle means it’s available to a huge number of sellers worldwide, including all the major bookstore chains and book websites.

However, when you’re a small publisher not everything gets picked up right away…! Right now Amazon has patchy availability, and The Book Depository (the store I recommend for international delivery of my other book, How To Really Play The Piano) isn’t listing Seven Studies. This should change soon as its availability status trickles through the various systems.

In the meantime, I’ve added some links to the sales page for sellers that are listing the book, such as Wordery.com. (Like my other book, Seven Studies is produced print-on-demand, so whoever sells it, it’s shipped out of one of two warehouses worldwide; it’s just a question of how often sellers update their databases, and – in the UK at least – Amazon’s system realising there is sufficient demand to make stocking worthwhile). If you have any questions on any of this, give me a shout using the email contact on the sales page, or in the comments here.

Oh, and the accompanying sound files are gradually going live here. The should all be up within the next 10 days.

Phew – I need a lie down…

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Seven Studies in Pop Piano is here!

Today is official publication day for Seven Studies. It’s been a pretty long journey getting here (for a relatively short book), but I can honestly say it’s one of the trickiest projects I’ve ever worked on.

Now, though, I’ve got a product I’m really happy with – and, what’s more, one that has a great cover (hat tip to Simon Avery of idobookcovers.com).

splurgesmall

Availability-wise, we’ve got a fairly gradual roll-out going on just because it takes a while for the new ISBN and book data to percolate through various retailers’ systems. Right now the book is definitely available on Amazon UK. International availability should follow soon when The Book Depository starts to stock it. It’s also being fully distributed by Ingram, which means it should become available, at least for order, in bookstores in places like the US, Canada, Australia, NZ and more. I’ll update as I get more information.

The PDF ebook version is good to go: I’m just holding off publishing the sales page to see if The Book Depository list the book before the end of the day, so I can include print and digital on one page from the get-go. If they don’t, I’ll put the page live by 9pm UK time so anyone who wants a digital copy can get one.

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I’ve finally updated the spreadsheet of tutorials! I kept remembering – usually at 3am – that I needed to do it, but when I finally loaded the thing up this morning I realised I hadn’t actually added anything to it since… January. Whoops. Anyway, it’s all done now, completely up to do with all the latest piano tutorials.

Quick reminder for you that the Seven Studies beta testing period is coming to an end. I won’t start looking at the feedback until the end of the week, so there’s still time to download your copy and give me your thoughts – they’re all appreciated! You can download the beta PDF here.

Aaaaaand just in case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a new tutorial up on the channel this morning – the first in a series called Train Your Piano Brain, in which I’m going to be experimenting with some new teaching and learning strategies, like gamification, to help piano learners build a strong “piano brain” that makes learning easier and progress less frustrating. More on this soon…!

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The good news is that Seven Studies in Pop Piano is all done bar the shouting. I’m holding off actually releasing it until I’ve got next week out of the way (I’m heading away on holiday, and don’t want to go live immediately before I leave, in case of technical problems) but it’ll be out there very soon. Check out the video for a preview!

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Just a quick update on the new book, Seven Studies in Pop Piano, for those of you who have been asking. Not entirely unexpectedly (and as happened with last year’s book, An Introduction to Cocktail Piano) my timings have slipped slightly as life has got in the way and I’ve run into various challenges getting the thing exactly as I want it.

However, we’re neeeaaarrrrlllly there, and Seven Studies should appear in the next few weeks. I’m hoping to have print and digital editions out at the same time, but not ruling out doing a ‘soft launch’ of the digital edition first, especially as I recall lots of last minute teething problems when I launched the print edition of How To Really Play The Piano.

So if you’re wondering why I’ve been so quiet it’s not because I’ve vanished – I’m just spending a lot of time in front of the piano, Sibelius and InDesign trying to get this thing put together…!

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Edit, 19 April: I’ve pushed by the publication date a bit, but we’re nearly there. More info here!

Several people having been asking me about the pop piano book I mentioned a few months ago (thanks especially to Greg for reminding me!). Anyway, I’m pleased to let you all know that Seven Studies in Pop Piano is going to be available as a digital download later this month or early in March, depending on how long it takes me to finalise the layout. If all goes according to plan a print edition will follow soon afterwards.

Right now it all looks a bit like this:

This is what it looks like right now

Seven Studies is going to be a little different from last year’s An Introduction to Cocktail Piano. That book took the cocktail style and looked at most of its characteristic sounds and techniques. That’s harder with pop piano, because it’s such a diverse style. So, instead, I’ve written a collection of short solo piano pieces (the “studies” of the title) of that demonstrate some of the important techniques and give you a chance to practise them.

Alongside each study will be extensive explanatory notes, and, as with Cocktail, there’ll be an accompanying video in which I play through each of the studies in turn and discuss it.

So, there we go – I’d better stop writing about it and actually get writing it. Feel free to post any questions below 🙂

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I’ve just published a new – and rather lengthy – tutorial covering all the basic piano chords you’re likely to need to play most popular songs. You’ll find it embedded at the bottom of this post.

Anyway, because the darn thing is so long I decided it might make sense to provide some kind of index to help people navigate it. So, here it is: click the timestamp for a particular chord category and you’ll go right to the relevant section of the tutorial (it’ll open in a new window…).

If you’re not sure about some of the theory things I talk about, like thirds and voicings, be sure to watch the first part of the video, where they’re all explained.

Basic major and minor
Dominant seventh (chords ending -7, e.g. G7, Eb7)
Minor seventh (chords ending -m7)
Major seventh (-maj7)
Sixth (-6 or -m6)
Ninth (-9) – NB, I don’t mention this in the tutorial but the minor ninth (-m9) is the -m7 with an added major third.
Major ninth (-maj9)
Added ninth (-add9)
Suspended fourth (-sus or -sus4)
Diminished and diminished seventh (-dim or -°; -dim7 or -°7)
Augmented (-aug or -+)

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A funky Christmas Carol

I’ve just posted a new tutorial showing you how to turn a Christmas carol into something a bit more upbeat.

Here’s the PDF download of the score I mention in the tutorial. And here’s the video:

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My crowdfunding campaign

As some of you may know, I’ve recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Patreon. What I’m trying to do is build the revenue I earn from the channel so that I can reduce the hours I give to my day job and spend more time making piano tutorials and writing piano books.

The great thing about Patreon is that it works by gathering together a large number of people to each give a small amount (say, a dollar) for each tutorial I make. And, as with all crowdfunding projects, there are rewards on offer for supporters.

If you’d like to support what I’m doing with the channel, not only would I be very grateful, but you’d be helping to guarantee the future of what I like to think is quite a valuable resource for piano learners. You can find my Patreon campaign page here 🙂

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