January 2018 Newsletter

New video lesson series on open voicings
Happy New Year Cocktail Piano Fans!
Announcing a new video lesson series focusing on open voicings.
2018 brings fresh enthusiasm for an expanded open-voicings, chord melody series that I am making in response to students who wrote in after viewing the free videos and material given in the December newsletter. Those of you who responded already know that these special lessons won’t be advertised or available on the website like my other lessons are. They are available just for those of you on the newsletter mailing list who say that you want to join the study.
Anyone wanting to play cocktail music should have a good understanding of playing tunes with open-chord voicings.  When melodies are supported by these voicings, the tunes begin to take on that nice cocktail sound. Students who learn this technique are on the road to creating satisfying piano arrangements. 

The lessons in this series will be $30 each. This is a little higher than usual because I am making them for a smaller group of students who are already on the mailing list and they are not available on the website.
New targeted mailing list. . .
I will start a new, targeted mailing list for everyone buying these lessons so I can write to you with any new information about the series and also share feedback and answers to questions from other students who are working on the materials.
The first lesson is now available. . .
To kick off the new series, I focus on the popular standard, Autumn Leaves. The melody of this tune lays out well with the open-voicing technique and is much easier to learn than The Christmas Song, which we looked at in the last newsletter. (Dec.2017)

If you are ready to purchase the first lesson in the series now, link to the Cocktail Lessons Page on the web site and scroll to the very bottom. You will see the button to pay for the Open Voicings Lesson there all by itself on the lower left. Or, you can simply click on the yellow button below.
Add to Cart
Need more info about the series? 
If you are interested about the series but want to know more about it, write to me at and I’ll give you more details.
On the road again. . .
By the way, I left my wonderful December location in Cuenca, Ecuador and am currently in Phnom Penh. I’m happy to report there is a terrific new piano shop here called, "The Piano Shop." One of the staff is here with me showing me around the store.
The Piano Shop. . .
 The only piano store in Phnom Penh.  
Check this out!
Slow down the videos to study them more closely with this app.

I have been hearing from a student of mine about an app he uses to slow my video lessons down so he can study them more closely. The App's retains the pitch while slowing the video itself down  This way one can see more precisely where my hands are moving in case they are moving too fast for you. It's called, Transcribe+
Here's what he says about it.

I used to use Amazing Slow Downer. I think it was with a CD player? Transcribe+ is on the iPad / iPhone and works so well on a tablet-touch interface. For me it has replaced Amazing Slow Downer..

Usually I don’t need it because you explain so clearly. Sometimes though I will loop and slow down a passage so I can be sure to repeat it enough to drill it into the hands. What the program does is to give users complete control over the video and audio speed. That way, you can slow down the performance as much as you want and learn to copy the performance note-by-note without changing the pitch.I learned from Transcribe+. for example, that in your Christmas Song performance you used 10ths a lot in the left hand. And you often skipped the 5th in the left hand and played only root and 10th. I also noticed where you timed the RH melody to coincide with the LH chords. I found this stuff out by applying Transcribe to your video. 

Mike in Redondo

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Jazzy Piano · 2006 HWY 101 · Florence, Oregon 97439 · USA

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