About Me

I recently got a Yamaha DGX-640 Portable Grand Digital Piano.  Been wanting one forever.  Well, not exactly forever, and not exactly a DGX-640.  My piano-playing past is kind of a checkered history.  As a child, I took 3 years of piano lessons.  That wasn’t three years in a row with one teacher.  It was 1 year of lessons, taken three times.

See, Dad was Navy and every time we (or my teacher) moved, there was a brief gap before finding a new teacher.  Then the new teacher always wanted to start me from scratch and teach me HER way.  By the third teacher, I was pretty darn good with that first year’s worth of lessons.  After teacher number three, I’d had enough.  I loved her… Mrs. Little.  From a little boy’s perspective, she seemed immensely old.  Tiny, white hair, and the only teacher that made any lasting impact on me.  She had a little white chihuahua that was old, and always trembling.  She said in dog years, he was about 126.

 

The next time we moved, I told Mom and Dad no more… it just wasn’t any fun having to learn the same lessons every time a new teacher came along.  Especially after Mrs. Little had actually allowed me to make real progress.  No more starting over.

Took a few years off from playing.  Then one day, I was maybe 13 or so, the piano began looking… fun.  No lessons, and no sheet music.  Just started sounding songs out.  Mom had a brother who was possibly the best southern gospel pianist to ever play the piano.  He played by ear, and has been my biggest inspiration.  If you remember Floyd Cramer, my uncle played with a similar style (but much better).

Ever since, I’ve loved the piano.  Within a very narrow style, my playing is pretty decent.  Kind of an up-tempo over-caffeinated southern gospel country music style.  Usually in the key of C, and usually faster than the songs are supposed to be played.  Then for several years, I kind of drifted away from playing.  A few months ago I had the opportunity to play… fast, loud, and any time night or day… without bothering anyone.  Since then, I’ve been trying to sneak in some practice whenever I can.

Jump back a few years, same uncle, showed me a digital portable grand piano he used.  He played on it, it sounded great.  Way better than an electronic keyboard.  Especially because it PLAYED like a real piano.  The keys moved the same, they had weight, a good feel, and you could use the same techniques as playing on a piano.  With my revitalized interest, I remembered his digital piano, and started looking online to see what was out there.

Now, here I am, writing about my own digital grand piano.  Hopefully my writing and videos can help someone decide if the DGX-640 is for them.  But also, this will keep me honest.  I’ll need to practice, post videos, and learn constantly in order to keep writing.

So no, I’m no expert.  But I’m certainly enthusiastic!

19 thoughts on “About Me

    • Hi Troy, I appreciate the interest. You’re right, the downloaded version of Amazing Grace is a bit different. I did this one way back before I knew how to record everything all at once. One take for video, and one for sheet music… but since I play by ear, it’s always a bit different each time. It’s similar, but not exact. If you want to hear the sheet music version exactly as it will be played, this link to “Learn to Play Amazing Grace” will show you how it should sound. I’m sorry the first and second versions aren’t exact matches… I’m doing much better these days (learned how to record everything in the same take!) Again, thanks for your interest in the music. :^)

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  2. I love anyone who can play by ear and I love Old-Time Gospel. Are you letting your new digital piano write the music as you play? That is a nice feature on these new digitals but they are far from being about to write notation accurately. If you play only by ear, you may not know that the piano isn\’t writing it accurately. I\’ve learned that I can let the piano lay down the basic notes but then I always have to go back through and do editing for it to be an accurate representation of what I want the piece to sound like. That\’s my tip.

    • Hi Sylvia, Thanks for the comment, and the tip. I’m not sure what you mean by letting the piano write the music; I think maybe it does. It records what I play, and gets transferred to my computer. I use a free program to convert the midi to sheet music. It seems to play back the same as I do, but not reading much sheet music, there’s room for error.
      I really love Old-Time Gospel Music too. Do you post on Youtube? I’d enjoy hearing your music.
      Thanks for the information!

    • Hi Andrew,
      Thank you, that means more than you might imagine. I really appreciate the support. To answer your question, I’ve learned a lot since starting this page. Don’t have midis of the early songs, but at some point I learned how to save them. Maybe you could help me decide; so far, this site has been a labor of love, and a pretty big expense to maintain. I was hoping Amazon and Adsense would pay for the site’s upkeep but so far that hasn’t worked out. All I can think of is charging a small amount for the midi files. I don’t even know how to manage that at this time, it’s all just thoughts whirling around.
      What do you think? Would it feel fair for me to charge for the midi files? Maybe something like .75 cents? Not trying to get wealthy on it, just trying to not lose money… at least, not so fast. :^)
      I’d appreciate your thoughts.

    • Hi Andrew,
      Thanks, your support really helped me out. I emailed what I currently have to your gmail account. If they work, you can buy me a cup of coffee. :^)
      Let me know how it goes.
      Thanks!
      Alan

  3. I have downloaded several of your songs and have loved everyone of them. You are truly gifted. I am hoping you can help me. I have been look for the sheet music to “Well of Grace”. I do not know who wrote it. You can listen to it on youtube “Well of Grace song by the Melody Boys” If you could play that song and then I could download sheet music that would be wonderful. I am hoping you can help me with this. If not I will certainly understand. Thank You

    • Hi Deborah,
      I listened, and you’re right- it’s a beautiful song. Couldn’t find out who wrote it or if it’s copyrighted. It may take me a while to get to, but after I finish the song I’m currently working on, I’ll give it a try and see if I can come up with something for you. Fair warning, I’m a professional procrastinator, so it might be a while. :^)

  4. Thank you for your response. I was just so excited that you answered and would even think about doing the song for me. I just hope that you will not procrastinate on this project. Thank you again for responding and look forward to the song you are working on. I also look forward to getting “Well of Grace” I have been looking for 6 years for this song.
    w

    • It does help a bit. When I’m learning how the melody to a song goes, I listen and play along. Until a couple of years ago, my only key was C, but this little project has helped me learn more, and F is one of the ones that are comfortable to play in. Thanks!

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