Category Archives: Roland

Tips for singer songwriters

Piano Self-accompaniment Tips for Singer-Songwriters

Backing yourself up as a singer can be a daunting task. Here are a few strategies to help improve self-accompaniment skills. Photos of Jordan West by Oscar Genel

Accompanying yourself as a singer can be a daunting task. The main challenge is dividing your focus between playing and singing. The secondary challenge is to keep the performance interesting and engaging for the listener. In this article, I’m going to share a few strategies that helped me improve my self-accompaniment skills.  

Practice Scales in All Keys

Running through major and natural minor scales is a great place to start. At the beginning of each practice session, play major and natural minor scales in every key. For added benefit, try practicing with a metronome in different tempos.   

This is a great exercise to warm up your fingers, boost your muscle memory, and improve ear training. It will also help you pay attention to rhythmic flow. Once you feel comfortable doing so, try practicing without looking at the piano.   

It’s worth noting here that apps like the Roland Piano Partner 2, which you can use with your Roland digital piano, make this particular task extremely easy.  

Start with Simple Grooves

A great place to begin is with simple grooves using the left hand. There are so many grooves you can play. But simple whole note, half note, and quarter note variations are standard in most accompaniments—especially ballads.   

As you get used to playing standard rhythmic patterns in time, start incorporating different combinations into your routine. For example, you can play quarter notes with your left hand, while you’re playing whole notes with your right hand.  

Roots, Power Chords, and Octaves

Try using your left hand to play root notes, power chords, and octaves. In most cases, you’ll feel inclined to play the root and the fifth degree of each chord more than anything else. This is especially common in genres such as pop and folk. But even for jazz and R&B pianists, it’s a solid starting point.

“By changing the order of notes, you can express different colors and emotions.”

Inverted Chords

You can also add variations by playing inverted chords with your right hand. Most piano players who are self-taught learn chords online and assume that there’s only one way to play them. But by simply changing the order of the notes, you can express different colors and emotions.   

For instance, there are three ways you can play a C major chord: root position, first inversion, and second inversion. Likewise, there are four ways you can play a C major seventh chord, with the added third inversion option.   

The more you practice playing inverted chords, the better. In situations where you want to improvise on the spot, you can rely on inversions to avoid panicking about playing the wrong note.  

Incorporating Arpeggios 

Arpeggios can save a performance from becoming stagnant. In fact, well-placed arpeggios will bring rhythmic excitement to almost any piece of music. Instead of playing the chord tones altogether, play them one by one, in the order and rhythm of your choosing.  

Read the full article here

Or find out more about Roland solutions for Singer-Songwriters here!

Roland LX 708

A great performance by Justin Timberlake and Ant Clemons with a Roland LX-708 digital piano…

Roland was chosen to provide an LX-708 digital piano for Justin Timberlakes’ performance with Ant Clemons as part of the Inauguration Performance series!

Jordan Kitt’s Music is proud to represent Roland in Virginia, Maryland & DC, and have this model in stock today for you to see, hear and play for yourself.

Visit here to see the Roland LX-708 in action…

Live Mother’s Day Celebration Webcast with Jim Brickman!

Live Webcast with Jim Brickman — Mother’s Day Celebration

Live Webcast with Jim Brickman
Mother’s Day Celebration
Friday, May 11, 2018, at 12pm PDT / 3pm EDT

Make Mother’s Day extra special this year with a free, live concert from Jim Brickman. Invite all the moms in your life and join us online for this free webcast featuring songs, stories, giveaways, and video dedications.

When you RSVP, you’ll be entered to win a brand-new Roland RP102 Digital Piano! Plus, you’ll receive a link where you can share a personal video message to your mom which may be selected to air during the webcast.

Click the button below to register, send your video, and let Jim make this a Mother’s Day to remember.

Register Now

Registration closes May 10, 2018.