The Joy of Six for Piano (download of book and CD)Regular price $9.95
by Alan Dworsky
Before I was a drummer, I was a piano player. And in this book, I've gone back to my original instrument and adapted African and Afro-Cuban polyrhythms to the keyboard in a world-beat classical style. At the heart of this 96-page book are four beautiful solo pieces designed to teach a variety of rhythms and rhythmic concepts. Each piece is covered in a separate lesson, where it's broken down into bite-sized patterns that start easy and gradually get more difficult.
The video clip below was made by Owen McCall, who bought the book, learned all the pieces by heart, and then posted them to YouTube. Here he plays the last piece in the book--Invention 4. Thanks so much Owen!
Although this book is for intermediate to advanced players, there's nothing here that's difficult from the standpoint of piano technique. In fact, what each hand does separately is actually pretty easy. It's the rhythms that are tricky--getting the hands to dance together in time.
But I'll be with you every step of the way, anticipating your questions and pointing out whatever I think will make your journey easier. And the audio files that come with the book contain a recording of every pattern and piece, making "The Joy of Six" a complete self-instruction package.
“Within fifteen minutes of opening the book and listening to the CD, I was playing the first few patterns to invention one, and was so excited I could hardly stand it. Easily the best, most systematic, most immediately rewarding book on keyboard playing I have ever used.” Schim Schimmel
“Fantastic!” Jeremy Hanson, Piano Instructor, MacPhail Center for Music
"I feel like you are sitting next to me on the piano bench." Jesse Summers
"Thanks for your wonderful instructional materials. You really take a student step by step in a logical, clear, and fun manner. If music was taught in your manner, everyone would be playing music". Elliott Shapiro, New York
Keyboard Lessons for Beginners (video download)Regular price $9.95
You don’t need to know how to read music to learn to play keyboards. This video gives you a player’s-eye view, so all you have to do is play along. And rather than make you wait while I explain preliminary information, my approach is to get you playing immediately and then explain what you need to know along the way. So set up your keyboard and put the video where you can comfortably see it, and be prepared to be making music within less than a minute after we get started--even if you've never touched a keyboard before.
The video contains seven lessons that are between 5 and 10 minutes long. By the time you’ve finished watching each lesson once, you should be well on your way to mastering a simple but beautiful piece. And as you learn to play, you’ll also learn to identify notes and get a basic introduction to technique, rhythm, harmony, and chords. The best way to tell if the video is right for you is to watch Lesson 1 above.
You can play the pieces on any keyboard (including an acoustic piano) and you can use any sound you like. Good luck as you start your keyboard journey!
Running time: 52 minutes
Keyboard Rhythms: Improvising Like a Drummer at the Piano (video download)Regular price $9.95
There are countless instructional resources available to keyboard players who want to learn to improvise using scales and chords. But rhythm? Not so much. So in this video I’ve tried my best to fill that gap by applying the rhythms I’ve learned as a drummer to the keyboard.
The video is an hour long and divided into seven step-by-step lessons. You’ll learn to improvise using the pop clave rhythm, offbeats, shuffle steps, 6-licks, 7-licks, 10-licks, triplets, and mixed licks. What you won’t find are boring exercises. And throughout the lessons the music never stops, as you can see in the sample clip below:
To make the licks and the concepts clearer, I use charts on-screen. These aren’t traditional music notation, but rather the simple box charts that drummers use to notate rhythms. Even if you’ve never learned to read music, you’ll find them intuitively understandable.
Once you’ve learned the rhythms in this video, you can apply them to the scales and chords you already know, and take your keyboard improvising to the next level.
"Al's exercises and ideas open countless possibilities for improvisation. Incredibly helpful!" Pablo Augustin Obregon, Switzerland