Missed Content


Thrice-weekly videos you've missed!

As always, thanks to YouTube's atrocious notification algorithm, I am writing an article with a few favourite videos you may have missed from the last months, in the hope that in your own time, you will also look at my main Videos List and see if anything tickles your fancy.  I'm actively posting three times per week so even if you're not notified, you can be sure that checking back will result in some new content for you to enjoy.  I always aim for variety.

Following a poll I did a while back, I'm aware that people want technical exercises (sometimes jazz-related) and some tutorials, so that's what I'll highlight here.  That said, people also like to see me performing without talking so I'll begin with this video (likes, comments and subscriptions always welcome!) which is me playing a composition I wrote about 9 years ago; it was to celebrate my ten years in Budapest so it had some sentimental value to perform it.  All my compositions can be found here.

You may also be happy to know that I am now in the right headspace to recommence the activities of my namesake (danthecomposer), so expect more posts on my Instagram of composition chord progressions and snippets of melodies as teasers! Follows welcome.

Now that you've hopefully enjoyed that little ditty, here is a selection of my favourite videos that I think you will find most useful, and why...

1. How Do I Practise?

Everybody has different needs because they are following Their unique path but tendon stretches, finger independence and personalising various technical exercises, finding new chords, etc. is important to everybody.  In this video, I share, with a voice-over (first time! I liked it; others, too!) what I do pretty much every day.  It includes finger alternations with an emphasis on endurance, chromatic ideas and octave stuff.  I also like playing around with chord types, arpeggios and all 12 keys.  I do 90% of my daily stuff with eyes closed or at least not looking at the keys.  You are strongly encouraged to do that, too.  Whatever you do, refine your daily work-out regime and really, do it daily.

2.  A Stream of Improvisation

Many subscribers want to be able to improvise; not necessarily at the top level of jazz but just mess around with melodies over the top of random/written chords.  Improvisation is best approach as described in this video: use notes of the chord at hand, then add some chromatic connections between those.  Doing this without stopping is a nice challenge and that's the point herein: it forces you to watch your fingers play what they want to play, how and where they want to play, without being too distracted by theory.  Just 4 notes (from the chord) with some chromatic connections.  If you want, add notes of interest like the b5 (for some blues) and the more advanced extensions of 9, 11 and 13 (and even alterations thereof, if you dare!)

3.  Snapping Out of It

There were two reasons behind this video: not only did I want to share the exercises but the philosophy behind it was to highlight how much progress you can make in minutes, even if you think such exercises take weeks or months to master.  No.  Minutes! (Or hours at the longest).  The idea is that by repeating at a speed you can do it, you can experience what it means to 'become a spectator': you watch your fingers doing what they're doing and your mind's eye can switch concentration from one hand to the other without interfering with what's going on.  The more you get used to this, the better your fluency will be, not to mention feeling good that you can do something... just increase the tempo by 10-20bpm when you get comfortable.  It's truly minutes and hours, not at all months and years!

4.  Bouncing Chords Through Keys

This is probably one of my favourite exercises, for all levels, especially since it can be personalised for any scale and any chord types and the chords can be played in various ways as you see fit to your abilities or path.  The idea reinforces major scale mastery (!!!), chord types in new keys, precision, internal piano (because you do it eyes closed), fluency, timing, endurance, thinking ahead... it's just brilliant, quite frankly.  Of course you can do it with just one hand but both together is best since then you get both hands used to playing chords which is very important no matter what genres you like.

- - -

I have a feeling, and this is not said negatively, that my channel is going to become a kind of technical exercise database, focusing scales, fingering, chords, progressions and some philosophies.  I am totally fine with that but it does seem that my least viewed videos are tutorials.  I guess it's because people don't want to learn the song I'm sharing.  The problem is that it's not about the song, it's about the philosophies and methods used in learning the song.  I often talk about other theory, or listening exercises, or methods for mastering melodies... and so many miss these teachings because they think they're to learn the song.  If anybody reads this and avoids my song tutorials for this reason, do please reconsider.  All my tutorials can be found in this Sorted Songs Analyses playlist.

Here is a beautiful song, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, in which I share many useful tips, yet it is terribly underviewed (which means YouTube doesn't promote it rather than people don't want to see it, I suppose).  Timestamps are always available, despite length.

Finally, don't forget about my free to join and use Video Management Website, on which you can create your own playlists by adding and removing any video from YouTube (via the site itself) and see videos in Themes made by myself for your benefit.  More features are coming; we're just seeing how people interact with the website in its first incarnation and noting feedback.  If you join it, you also get 20% off my Water Pianism Syllabus, which you can read about in detail, with a free PDF, here.