Posts Tagged ‘etude’

piano etude #8

September 1, 2009

get yer fingers warmed up for speedy time kids!

it’s “fast as you can” time!

etude number 8 works that right hand speed and dexterity to the max! it’s a shorty though, so take your time learning the parts and finding a good fingering and you’ll be performing it in no time (if you’re awesome).


and stay tuned for another “from the archives” post soon!



piano etude number 7

August 8, 2009

two ideas in play here:

1. stacked 4ths.  for example, the opening chords are two separate stacks of fourths:

RH – C F# B

LH – E A D

these are not all perfect fourths, and resolve in different ways, but the color for the etude is established with these stacks.  when the blocked chords become a linear pattern a few seconds in, it’s the same stacks, broken up.  these six notes establish a rhythmic theme for the accompaniment part.

2. hand to hand play (not evident in recording) – the accompaniment part (above) is really a two handed part, with each hand getting a different stack of fourths, so the melody part that appears about 30 seconds in has to happen around this accompaniment part.  i should make a video.  basically when one hand or another is not playing the accompaniment run, it’s reaching up an octave for a melody note.  this makes for fun hand over hand work, and a bit of speed to reach some of the notes.  think of it this way, when you hear the melody come in, it’s played in this order:

right, right, left, right left

etude 7 crop


well, thanks for listening and reading.

p.s.  Hideout Soul Revue is August 15th (a week away!) and not to be missed

p.p.s.  OK!

piano etude number 6

May 22, 2009


this is a favorite of mine among the etudes so far.  until now, counterpoint was a secret love of mine.  now you know.  for a real how-to on counterpoint, start with bach’s keyboard material.  inventions, fugue’s, sinfonia’s, they all set the bar high, and they’re all created with a pretty specific set of rules.  what i tend to do with counterpoint now is approach it within these rules/guidelines and break them as my ear leads.  a recent approach i like alot is to stick more or less to rules for theme and form, but break some of the rules of harmony.

this piece get’s a wee bit out of the harmonic box, but mostly stays close to home.  things that it does do that are the most strict are.

1.  harmonic and rhythmic themes

2.  theme at the relative minor (briefly)

3.  theme at the fifth (modified)

4.  two voices only

5.  canon

right around :53 seconds, listen for the “canon”, which is the theme presented exactly the same way in two different voices, but at different times.  in this case, they’re offset by one beat.  you’ll hear the theme start in the high voice and then follow in the lower voice, remaining exactly the same until the very end, where i changed the lower part to end the piece.

thanks for listening, as always.  and toon in sometime soon, as i’ll hopefully be posting some fresh tracks from a hip-hop record i’m making.

p.s.  i’ll also be updating soonly, with my first attempt at an advertizement.  if you havn’t seen this video site, please stop by!

piano etude number 5

May 12, 2009

well, hello there!  thanks for reading this sentence.  i maid it myself with my bear hands.

this weeks “song of the week” is another etude.  this one is all based on a whole-tone scale.  the score (for the time being) says, “monsters approach triumphant”, cause that’s how it feels in my imagination.  this, like most of the etudes, was a great exercise in limiting the parameters in order to come up with a cohesive piece, and the whole tone scale creates a pretty fun character that can be devious, with all its tri-tones, and dreamy at the same time.  it leaves you hanging a little, listening for a harmonic home-base.

thanks for listening.


p.s.  i’ve made a little house for my stop animation videos, at, give it a looksy!

new etude AND new site

May 5, 2009

hey friends,

thing 1: etude number 4!

this one is the “pretty” one, and the longest of the bunch.  i’m still a little on the fence about it.  i’m happy with the theme and general idea, but may try and trim it down a bit.  stay tooned.  🙂

thing 2:  i just launched as a host for stop-animation shorts i’ve been making.  hope you like them!  they’re ridiculous.



piano etude III

April 29, 2009

here’s an etude focused on right hand chromatic scales!!

it’s mischievous.

Piano Etudes! number 1

April 17, 2009

hey friends,

i’m writing a set of piano etudes!  here’s the first one:

an etude is sort of a teaching piece, often focusing on a specific technique or skill.  some of my etudes (7 so far) stray from the textbook definition a bit, and some are more specifically focused.  i’m approaching them also as recital pieces, so making them fun and performable is important to me.

this one is sort of the Russian of the set, and it’s character requires a certain amount of gusto and articulation. jumpy left hand work, a little rubato in the transitions, and nice crisp staccatos.

more to come!  thanks for listening.

also, VISIT MAMA STEINY at for amazing knitted hats and scarves.  She loves you after all.