Hi Matthew,
I meant to tell you before now, I did get your course and I am loving it! I have learned a lot already and have been practicing my scales, chord, and inversions every day. I am pretty excited about this because I feel like I am starting to learn the WHOLE keyboard like never before, and I think learning my inversions will really propel my playing. I am in no hurry however, because I don't expect it to come overnight, but that's ok. At least now I know what and how I need to practice to get better. Besides I am enjoying the journey. Your instruction videos are very easy to follow, and I like that I can go back over them as many times as necessary, something I couldn't afford the luxury of, if I had a piano teacher sitting beside me. Great course! Glad I got it!
 
Tom
Kansas
 

 


Mine is the usual story: traditional piano lessons as a child, a general interest in all sorts of music throughout my life. When I retired I decided to go back to the piano. I live in the south of Ireland and there is a university level music academy here and I found a nice teacher. It wasn't long, however, before I realized  the lessons were continuing where I left off as a kid. The approach was designed to make you into a concert pianist or a music teacher. That's fine because we need concert pianists, but I just wanted to play from memory all the tunes in my head.  My teacher was patient and nice as she listened to me stumble through my little Chopin pieces but my progress was very slow and frustrating. I couldn't really take notes, could not review anything. When the lesson was over it was over. I gave it up.

I stumbled along on my own for a while: a book here, a YouTube video there. I had a good ear and after a while I could play a little and have fun but finally got to a place where I was just repeating myself and had no idea how to go farther. What I wanted was a base to build on. I realized I learned best watching somebody show me things. There are many fine players on YouTube and it took me a while to find the approach I felt would be for me. Then I saw a video of "Amazing Grace" on ThePianoByEar where the tune started very basic and then was played in a more and more advanced way. I knew that was for me. I would be happy if I could play like that.

Since I didn't know where I would fit in I bought all the DVDs. That was much cheaper than the piano lessons anyway. It turned out I could comfortably start with the second disk. My only regret is that I didn't find that sort of course as a child, because I really enjoy playing and might have saved myself many years of stumbling around.


Michael
Ireland

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Matthew,
I just thought I'd let you know that I'm enjoying the DVDs, and the lessons via the newsletter, as well. I was able to progress to the lesson on adding a chord to the melody in the right hand fairly quickly, but can see that I'm going to be here a while. I feel very challenged here. When I first ordered your CDs, I was more interested in learning how to  "accompany" people who wanted to sing, rather than learning how to actually incorporate a melody line into the chord. However, the more I do this, the more interesting it has become to me, and I find myself really enjoying it. 
 
The only questions I have, would be about learning to play accompaniment. I'm needing help in the rhythm, with the left hand as well as the right. The more I get into the lessons, though, the more I can see that what I'm doing right now, will help me learn all that, down the road.
 
I'm very happy with the products I've purchased from you. I've looked for a long time, for online lessons from someone who actually plays the kind of music that I want to learn to play.
 
Thanks,
Donna 
United States
 

 

Matthew,

I'm a 74 year old "senior" who took piano lessons for two or three very brief periods of time during my childhood and teen years; but the materials used and the approach to learning, did not appeal to me - did not excite me - did not give me early "successes" and satisfactions - only a continual sense of "I'll never learn this stuff."

As the years have gone by, I have occasionally sat at the piano my wife and I bought more than 40 years ago and played from some of the sheet music, pop song and hymn books written for piano players.  However, when I played, my wife would often say, "Would you just stop the noise!"  Sort of hurt my feelings, but I sympathized with her because my playing really was so awful.

A year or so ago I decided that I really would like to learn to play the piano with a much improved level of knowledge and skill, but I did not want to repeat the approach of long ago.  I decided to make a commitment to learning to play by ear.   I made an effort to find local piano teachers and materials that could help me start out on my goal of learning to play by ear, but without satisfying results. So I turned to the internet and was amazed at all the information and resources that were available.

I settled on your web site, and ordered the first few items available for beginners.  I was emotionally touched with joy when I found that the materials and instruction were so clearly presented that with even only a little practice and study I could begin the process of learning to play by ear.  In just a few weeks, if not a few days, I was experiencing the early satisfactions that I had wanted and needed in my youth.

My piano practice time is extremely limited because I'm still quite active with obligations to my business, my church ministry, and my family. However, I have found that by following your instructions, DVD's etc. my skills are developing.  I know my piano playing must have significantly improved because for the past year, I have never heard my wife say:  "Would you please just stop the noise."   And I have even played a hymn or two, a time or two, for my little church congregation!

From the bottom of my heart, Thank you Matthew for bringing a long time cherished desire and joy to me.  There is a long, long way to go to reach the skill level I'd really like to have. Time and circumstances may prevent me from ever getting "there."  However, the trip itself is one of the most satisfying ones of my life.  Keep up the good work; keep the DVD's and other materials coming.

Gary
Overland Park, KS

 

 


 

 

 

 

This is Caroline, I can't begin to thank you enough for the piano course. I am stopping at the moment at lesson 5, to allow my brain and finger tips to absorb it all in. I love the way you teach. This course is so much fun. I look forward to practicing everyday.  I also think you are very kindhearted and too generous to give me that extra DVD!!! God bless you. I like how you open your student forum for all to see, because i enjoyed reading peoples discussions about the courses.  I also love how you start off with a simple melody and you build it up with chords and variations to show us how you can really dress up a plain melody. LOVE IT! I watched the Xmas DVD and can't wait to get started on that!  I learned about a 7th chord yesterday, I had no idea what it was used for, so when i learnt that it was used to move onto a higher chord I was soooooo pleased, felt like a kid who found a candy at the bottom of my pocket..haha. All these little details make learning piano so much fun, because I know how to use them. Well, if ever I know someone who wants to learn, I will highly recommend to them your courses. Take care and god bless your family!

Mrs. Kido, Japan

 




Matthew,  a few weeks ago I received my copy of Chords Galore. I purchased it during the promotional period because of the introductory price, but I knew I wouldn't watch it right away. I was sure the DVD was full of good information, but I thought to myself, "What could be more boring than an entire DVD full of lessons on chords?"

 

 
Well, today I finally popped it into my computer to see what it was like and I can honestly say I can't quit watching it. The instruction is not boring at all but concise. And the 'real world' examples keep me rushing to the keyboard to try them out. This DVD is another home run! Way to go.

Steve, Missouri


 


This is Clark... I ordered your DVD Advanced III the southern gospel stuff. This is great ! Thank you so much for making this. I've taken lessons off of many top Southern gospel pianist like Tracey Phillips etc.. I play at singing conventions and attend gospel music schools, but this helps break it down where I can slow it down and learn. I'm already starting to apply some of these things to other songs I play. Great Job ! I can't wait to practice this more and to continue with the rest of the DVD. I'm glad I ran across this resource ! Let me know if you ever continue with the southern gospel series. You're great..
Clark, West Virginia (USA)

 

 



I really appreciate the great service you provide. Since it is a DVD it can sometimes bring up a lot of questions and it's really helpful knowing you respond to my emails so fast and answer my questions. That was the one thing I was nervous about when ordering online. I knew I would have a lot of questions and it's so nice knowing you will answer them. A lot of services online do not have great support like you do and I really appreciate it. And I am hoping to buy your next DVD soon, because it has been a dream of mine to play by ear. Thanks again. -
Luke, New York

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Hi Matthew.  As a piano teacher who has a great interest in learning more about playing by ear as opposed to the traditional methods, I am very impressed with your course. You make the approach to the keyboard so easy to understand and your inventive methods are clear, concise, and easy to follow. Also, your personality comes across as a very sincere person that makes you feel an infinity to you even though we've only met via your DVD's.  Thanks for giving budding pianists an effective method that will propel them into the wonderful world of playing by ear.
Jim, Arizona

 

What a deal! Matthew is a great piano teacher and we have found these dvds to be so beneficial! we loved them so much for our daughter, that we bought the advanced set as a gift for our Pastor's wife who wanted them. Athough she has played beautifully for many years, she says that she has learned so much and isn't even finished with the lessons, yet!
Stacy, USA


Hi Matt!  I wanted to say thanks so much for the wonderful music lessons you have been sending me.  I have already purchased all of your DVDs and I am so excited.  I am 70 years old, recently retired, and have always wanted to play piano.  I took traditional lessons about 10 years ago, and frankly, I was a bit overwhelmed until I eventually stopped playing.  Thanks to your lessons I am already making much more progress than I ever dreamed.  Never did I think I could play piano by ear.  Thanks again for your encouragement and may God bless you and your sincere efforts to help others play piano.
Bill
, USA

 

 

NEW LOOK AND FEEL!

 
New Digital Video Format available now!
 
Matthew Stephens
matthew(AT)thepianobyear.com
417-255-4210
Discussion Board: Chord Changes to Songs

Keywords:
RE: Not Guilty by Mandisa
pastor.mike.mcknight
April 15, 2014 at 11:51 PM
Listening to the song, there seems to be a key change at the end of the song after the bridge...

I have the final chorus figured, but can't get the chords for the bridge.

I'm falling on my knees to thank you
With everything I am I praise you
So grateful for the words I heard you say

I (G) know you
I (D/F#) love you
I (Em)gave my life to (C) save you
Love (G) paid the (D/F#) price for mercy
My (Em) verdict, Not (C) guilty.
Keywords:
RE: Not Guilty by Mandisa
Matthew Stephens
August 6, 2011 at 9:06 AM
Hello,

Wow! Great job on getting the chords right! There's only a few things I would change.

Often when chord progressions follow the progression that's in this song, the bass octave can be changed from the root to another note in the chord or (in this case) a walk-down of the scale. Let me explain.

The first chord progression is F to C. Instead of playing the C chord, play C chord on the right hand and E octave on the left hand. This is written as C/E (C over E).


(F)I stand accused
(C/E)There's a list a mile long
(Dm)Of All my sins
(Bb) Of everything that I've done wrong
(F) I'm so ashamed
(C/E)There's no where left for me to hide
(Dm)This is the day
(Bb) I must answer for my life

Also, I'd change this part:
(C/E)My fate is (F/A)in the (Bb)Judges hands
(C/E)but then He (F/A)turns to me (Bb)and says

Few changes on the chorus:
(F) I know you
(C/E) I love you
(Dm)I gave my (Bb)life to save you
(F)Love paid the (C/E)price for mercy
(Dm)My verdict (Bb)not guilty

The second verse, this is the chords I'd use on the part you do not have marked:

(F)How can it be?
(C)I can't being to comprehend
(Dm)What kind of grace
(Bb)Would take the place for all my sin?
(F)I stand it awe
(C)Now that I have been set free

And the (Dm)tears well up as I (F/C)look at that cross
'Cause it (Bb)should have been me

Great job! Hope my few additions help! Let me know if you have any other questions.
YOU can learn to play piano by ear!
Keywords:
Not Guilty by Mandisa
misschelle_06
July 30, 2011 at 6:53 PM
I have been working on this song its by Mandisa... you can find it on youtube if you've never heard it... I have chords figured out not exactly sure if they are right... maybe because it sort of seems just basic to me... maybe needs some melody... Can you check it out for me? Any advice on how I could make it sound better?

(F)I stand accused
(C)There's a list a mile long
(Dm)Of All my sins
(Bb) Of everything that I've done wrong
(F) I'm so ashamed
(C)There's no where left for me to hide
(Dm)This is the day
(Bb) I must answer for my life
(Gm)My fate is (F/A)in the (Bb)Judges hands
(Gm)but then He (F/A)turns to me (C)and says

(F) I know you
(C) I love you
(Dm)I gave my (Bb)life to save you
(F)Love paid the (C)price for mercy
(Dm)My verdict (Bb)not guilty

The second verse is a little different and I am struggling there... I thinks it is pretty much the same until 7th line

(F)How can it be?
(C)I can't being to comprehend
(Dm)What kind of grace
(Bb)Would take the place for all my sin?
(F)I stand it awe
(C)Now that I have been set free

And the tears well up as I look at that cross
'Cause it should have been me

Then after that it seems pretty much the same...

(Gm)My fate was(F/A)in the(Bb)nail scarred hand
(Gm)He streched them (F/A)out for me (C) and said...

I am not sure when I was typing this out if I put the chords in the exact spot... its kinda hard because it seems they kinda change in weird spots.. :) Any help you can give me and changes where I am wrong would be MUCH appreciated :) You're the best!
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