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You are here: Home1 / Using the Video and Notes
(Click on the green circle in the middle of the picture to enlarge)
Let me familiarize you with the website and we’ll start by going up to the menu and clicking on the players.
The drop down menu will list the players or you can scroll down and view their picture along with a brief description.
Either way brings you to a player’s page. Let’s select Matt Peterson by clicking the highlighted arrow in the middle
of the picture.
To the right of Matt’s picture is his impressive bio and link to his website. Scrolling down are the courses available
which cover a variety of subjects. Scrolling down further are Matt’s songs categorized by genre which are Classical,
Jazz, Pop-Rock, Christmas, Movie Themes and Blues songs and at the very bottom of the page are the songs for sale
in group buys at a discounted price.
Asterisk & Rankings
Going back to the top, the sentence in red reads “asterisk means song does not have sheet music or Word Notes.
Everybody is familiar with sheet music but the term Word Notes, in this context, will be a new to you and are the notes
written out in letter form which I will go into detail about later in this video. The sentence in green type reads
“Song ranked by difficulty to play from level 1-5 (L-1) being the easiest and (L-5) the hardest.”
Looking at the pop -rock songs you’ll see next to the name of the song the ranking for the level of difficulty.
These rankings are subjective but can be used as a reasonable guide. Looking at the list of pop-rock songs you’ll
notice several with the askaris next to the song title which mean these do not come with sheet music or the Word notes.
The harder to play level 4 songs & especially the level 5 songs were meant for the experienced player who could pick
up how to play a song just by watching the video. Half the level 4 songs and most of the level 5 songs do not come with
the sheet music or the Word Notes but if you want to learn these songs you can learn how to transcribe them by watching
the “How to make the Notes” video on the website.
Let’s pick a song and go to Matt’s Movie Themes and choose Mia & Sebastian.
It’s a level 2 song and there is no asterisk next to the name so it comes with sheet music and the Word Notes.
Clicking on this brings you to the preview page which you will want to watch to see if you can or want to learn to play it.
In the highlighted box at the bottom take note how the song is described. It shows the song title, the players
name followed by intro, whole song & parts. That is the language that identifies a song, verses anything else like course
or mini course. In the intro the player will state the song title and possibly some background information followed by the
whole song played in it’s entirety. It is them broken down into parts that can be played at 100% and 30% speeds.
Buy a Song
If you decide to buy a song there are two options. Hitting the buy button will take you to checkout where you will
need to create an account or log-in, or you can buy it in a group for a discount. Let’s see what other songs are in this
group and click on Buy in group.
There are three other level 2 songs available which are Braveheart, Cinema Paradiso and The Godfather. Grouped songs are
always by the same player and always the same level and an effort was made they be related to each other musically. We offer
the songs in group buys because the program that runs the course structure and paywall on the website does not have a shopping
cart that allows quantity discounts. Single song purchases and group purchases are separate transactions so make sure you haven’t
already purchased one of the songs listed in the group because there won’t be any credit given for buying a song and buying
it again in a group. Conversely if you end up buying all the songs in a group at different times, you’re not getting the best deal.
Watch a Song
Now let’s go from the preview to the main video and watch Matt Peterson playing Mia & Sebastian.
You can see how a shadow is created when a key is depressed making it easy to follow what note the player is playing.
The white notes are marked with letters, the black with a forward slash meaning they could be a sharp or flat. You can see
the controls are similar to any video control panel with full screen, volume, video quality and speed but what’s different
is the chapter markers tab with the horizontal lines. Bringing this up shows how the song is broken down into parts with
the top two-chapter markers being intro and whole song. This song is broken down into 6 parts, each part is followed by
the letters SM, meaning slow motion, which repeats the part at 30% of normal speed. Going to the speed control and
selecting .5 reduces the speed by 50 % and now the slow-motion speed will be 15% of normal. You can see in the chapter
marker column two of the parts 4 & 5 are grouped together letting you watch a longer section of the song but these grouped
parts are not available in slow motion but can be played at 50% speed by selecting .5. The dots on the bottom control panel
are also chapter markers and correspond to the chapter markers on the right.
If the videos run slow or stop playing the slow streaming and slow buffering might be caused by programs running in the
background and open windows on your computer. If shutting these down doesn’t solve the problem you can play the videos
at a lower resolution. We have most the songs transcribed both into traditional sheet music and also a Microsoft Word Notes.
To get these go above the video and to get the sheet music click on the second line where it says sheet music.
The score will be brought up and by going to the upper right-hand corner of the page you can both download and print it.
To get the Word Notes click on the third line where it says Word Notes and this notation then can be found in your downloads.
There you can print it and take it to the piano. The sheet music was transcribed from the video and includes the markings
of the parts where the song was broken down as lined up with the parts in the video.
The Word Notes are the notes written out in letter form copied onto a Microsoft Word graph which was developed
exclusively for this instructional series. Let’s take a look at this Notation and look at the song Mia & Sebastian.
The Word graph is made up of 4 rows and 20 columns and follows the section of songs as played in the parts.
The beginning and ending of each of the parts on the video overlap approximately 1 second but the notation does not.
This notation will probably be unfamiliar because it was developed exclusively for this instructional series. The right hand
is on the second row in black type and the left hand on the 3rd row in blue type. What octave the note is played in is written
on the top row for the right hand and bottom row for the left both in green type. The octaves are from a C to a C
and on an 88-keyboard piano there are 7 C to C octaves with an extra two notes A & B at the very low end.
The lowest C to C is octave 1, the highest C to C is octave 7. Middle C, which we specifically mark on the keyboard, is
octave 4. To make this notation less cluttered we don’t mark the octave of every note but only the ones needed to guide you
thru the piece. The octave is marked by whatever the most left finger is playing. To understand how the most left finger
identifies the octave I suggest watching the video in slow motion and pausing it while looking at the Word Notation and
following both together. With a little practice this notation should become second nature. Scrolling down on the home page
brings you to the octave graph that can be saved to your downloads, printed and taken to the piano.
At the top of the Word Notes page are the symbols for the rhythm where an underlined letter means the note is held
longer and when shown in red indicates the note is played faster.
If a player strikes 2 notes repeatedly this is called a trill and the two notes are written followed by a times sign and a number
indicating how many times the notes are trilled. The fingering is indicated except where obvious, such as when a player
plays an octave or chord. The fingering is marked as the player played it but feel free to change it if it does not feel right. In
order to make some songs simpler to learn some of Andrew’s songs and Matt’s pop-rock songs were edited short in post-production.
Sometimes the edits are barely noticeable, other times you can tell because you can see the splice.
Songs by Category
You can look at the songs by category which includes all the players by going up to the menu and selecting songs.
The categories are Pop-Rock, Classical, Jazz, Movie & Show Tune Themes, Songs with vocals, Christmas Songs and
Blues songs. Let’s click pop rock songs which we have over 230 of.
Next to the songs are the familiar level rankings and also the asterisk for the songs without sheet music or word notes.
There are several instances where the same song is played by different players such as Clocks which Matt and Ken
both played. There are also instanceswhere there are several versions of a song played by the same player such as with
Norb’s Open Arms Version 1 & version 2. The first version would be the simpler one followed by a more difficult one.
Going up to the Menu and selecting courses will list the courses by all the players according to subject matter.
Going down we have listed the Mini Courses which go into the details and analysis of one particular song which is
whatever the player thought is important such as the songs key or chord structure. Watching the previews of any of the
courses will give you a good understanding of what the course teaches.
One more thing. To View the songs and courses you purchased click on Order History located on the top menu then
click on the My Courses tab on the upper left. Our hope is you familiarize yourself with the video, sheet music and Word
Notation relatively quickly and start learning to play. I wish you all well and good luck.