Two months is a good time to do a review of my affiliate marketing activities. I reflect on some of the lessons learned and on my next step up.
Although I can't say that he's my favourite composer, I do have tremendous respect for his genius. To be able to hear how five voices can weave together harmoniously in a fugue and create that - it's just amazing.
I must admit that I enjoy listening to Bach's music more than playing it.
A quick search on Amazon reveals that these are 10 of the most popular recordings of the master of the fugue:
- Joan Kennedy: The Joy of Classical Music- The Audio Companion to the Best Seller
- Bach: 6 Brandenburg Concertos / 4 Orchestral Suites -Trevor Pinnock and The English Concert (1989)
- Best of Bach
- Bach: St. Matthew Passion by The Collegiate Chorale, Charles Bressler, Betty Allen, William Wildermann and Adele Addison (1999)
- J.S. Bach: Matthäus-Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach, Herbert von Karajan, Walter Hagen-Groll, Berlin National Cathedral Choir and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (1990)
- Bach: Matthäus-Passion (St. Matthew Passion) by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf / Peter Pears, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau / Walter Berry, Raymond Clark / Bela Dekany, Ralph Downes / Christa Ludwig and Nicolai Gedda / John Carol Case (1989) - Original recording remastered
- Build Your Baby's Brain 1 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, George Frederick Handel, Franz [Vienna] Schubert and Antonio Vivaldi (1998)
- Leonard Bernstein - A Total Embrace: The Conductor by Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, Igor Stravinsky, Maurice Ravel, Johann Sebastian Bach and Bela Bartok (2003) - Original recording remastered
- Paper Music by Bobby McFerrin, Peter Howard, Johann Sebastian Bach, Luigi Boccherini and Gabriel Faure (1995)
- UltraSound - Music for the Unborn Child by Claude Debussy, Johann Sebastian Bach, Robert Schumann, Jules Massenet and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1999)
If I had to choose which three to add to my library on my next music order, I'd have to go with the following:
#5 - Herbert von Karajan, Walter Hagen-Groll, Berlin National Cathedral Choir and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra's recording of St. Matthew's Passion: A solid group of performers and at a price point that I might - just might - loan out to a responsible student.
#8 - Leonard Bernstien's recording: I have fond memories of studying Leonard Bernstein in music history.
#9 - Paper Music with Bobby McFerrin: I've enjoyed Bobby's music in my youth. I admire him even more with the work he has been doing with The Music Instinct: Science and Song, which looks at music and the brain.
I leave you with one of my favourite works by Johann Sebastian Bach, the Brandenberg Concerti
My post-blog migration clean-up is still ongoing. It's amazing how many dead links I've been discovering or missing video links. Updating every single blog post I've made since 2005 is a HUGE undertaking. However, in addition to it being a fun trip down memory lane, it has been a great opportunity to explore affiliate marketing.
As I mentioned in an earlier in Sheet Music Plus and Passive Income Streams, I've waded into the pool of affiliate marketing. Simply put, whenever I review or recommend a product, as an affiliate or associate, I get my own personal URL to that product. I don't believe in endorsing products I'm not keen on, so I will share with you materials that either my students, fellow teachers and I have found useful. Or in the case of album reviews, my aim is to introduce you to music you may not be familiar with and to promote local musicians.
Hopefully, you find them useful, or at least intriguing. If you do, then click on the link and then order away. Yes, affiliate marketers get a small commission for each completed sale. However, that all adds up in the long run.
One thing I have noticed as I clean up and update my blog posts is that there's an open field of opportunity. Each time I share a great performance with my students and readers or each time I reflect upon interesting pieces, I can share with you a link to make it easier for you to hunt down the music. It's a win-win situation.
How has it been working? Well, as with any passive income stream, it takes time to build and I've only been at it for a couple of weeks. However, I'm pleased to report that at least two people have purchased music I recommended just this week via sheetmusicplus.com .
I leave you with a funny blog post that I updated this morning, called "Angry Piano Music". I had a good chuckle remembering my female students who came in a string, asking specifically for "angry music" to play. It was a huge stress reliever for them!
You may be intimidated the first time you crack open a fake book. However, if you're familiar with (or at least willing to learn) your chords, then that's half the battle. A fake book contains pieces written out in lead sheet form. That is, you see the melody and chord symbols written above:
The idea is that you "fake" - or create - your own accompaniment. Throw down a pop groove on "Happy Birthday" one day. The next day, you could play it in ragtime style.The possibilities are endless.
Plus, with the music condensed in this format, you can have hundreds of songs in one book. It's so much easier to bring one fake book to a gig than 10 music books.
These are some of the fake books that I've collected over the years. They are also the ones I shared with my fellow music teachers when I did a presentation to the Piano Pedagogy Group last month:
Fake Books for Beginner to Intermediate Students:
Everything is in C Major. For an added challenge, you can ask your students to transpose them into other keys once they've learned the pieces.
|look inside||Your First Fake Book Arranged by Alexander Citron. For Guitar, Piano, Keyboard. Hal Leonard Fake Books. Vocal Standards and Pop. Difficulty: easy-medium. Fakebook (leadsheet notation). Vocal melody, lyrics, leadsheet notation and chord names. 158 pages. Published by Hal Leonard (HL.240112) (7) ...more info|
|look inside||The Easy Christmas Fake Book - 2nd Edition (100 Songs in the Key of C). By Various. For C Instruments, Melody/Lyrics/Chords. Easy Fake Book. 160 pages. Published by Hal Leonard (HL.240209) (7) ...more info|
There are other books as well, such as gospel and country.
Fake Books for Intermediate to Advanced Students as well as Music Teachers:
|look inside||The Disney Fake Book - 3rd Edition By Various. For Guitar, Piano/Keyboard, Vocal, C Instruments. Hal Leonard Fake Books. Disney. Difficulty: easy-medium. Fakebook (spiral bound). Vocal melody, lyrics and chord names. 288 pages. Published by Hal Leonard (HL.240039) (6) ...more info|
|look inside||The Best Fake Book Ever - C Edition - 4th Edition (C Edition). By Various. For Guitar, Piano, C Instruments, Keyboard. Hal Leonard Fake Books. Difficulty: medium. Fake book. Vocal melody, lyrics and chord names. 856 pages. Published by Hal Leonard (HL.290239) (16) ...more info|
Tip: Get the full-sized version. I first bought the mini-version and that was useless at gigs since the print was too tiny and I was playing in a dimly lit area.
I really like how the songs are listed by era as well as in alphabetical order.
|look inside||The Ultimate Christmas Fake Book - 4th Edition (for Piano, Vocal, Guitar, Electronic Keyboard & All C Instruments). By Various. For Piano/Keyboard. Hal Leonard Fake Books. Christmas. Difficulty: easy-medium to medium. Fake book. Vocal melody, lyrics and chord names. 157 pages. Published by Hal Leonard (HL.240045) (17) ...more info|
I now take this book to gigs but will sometimes sneak in the Reader's Digest Merry Christmas Songbook when I don't want to think too hard.
This jazz fake book has been recommended to me by several gigging musicians:
|look inside||Just Jazz Real Book - C Edition (C Edition). By Various. For Melody/Lyrics/Chords. Fake Book. Fake Book. Jazz. Difficulty: easy-medium to medium. Fakebook. Vocal melody, lyrics, chord names, black & white photos, discography and introductory text. 400 pages. Hal Leonard #FBM0003. Published by Hal Leonard (HL.321416) (5) ...more info|
This is listed on Conservatory Canada's Contemporary Idioms Syllabus. However, these are best used in a combo situation. Personally, I find using a fake book to play Latin music in a solo situation pretty challenging - for now:
|look inside||The Latin Real Book - C Edition (C Edition). By Various. Arranged by Chuck Sher. For C Instruments, Melody/Lyrics/Chords. Latin Jazz and Latin. Difficulty: easy-medium to medium. Fakebook (spiral bound). Melody and chord names. 572 pages. Published by Sher Music Company (HL.240138) (2) ...more info|
This may seem odd, but as my jazz piano instructor, Derek Stoll told me, it really doesn't matter what you play so long as people hear the tune and the chords are right:
|look inside||Classical Fake Book (Over 850 Classical Themes and Melodies in their Original Keys). By Various. For Guitar, Piano, Piano/Keyboard, Melody/Lyrics/Chords. Hal Leonard Fake Books. Classical Period. Difficulty: easy-medium. Fakebook (spiral bound). Standard notation, chord names and vocal melody (on some songs). 646 pages. Published by Hal Leonard (HL.240044) (8) ...more info|
Useful at wedding gigs!
|look inside||Wedding & Love Fake Book - C Edition (5th Edition). By Various. For Melody/Lyrics/Chords. Hal Leonard Fake Books. Love and Wedding. Difficulty: easy-medium. Fakebook. Vocal melody, lyrics and chord names. 480 pages. Published by Hal Leonard (HL.240041) (6) ...more info|
A few of my students past purchased these fake books and have enjoyed them:
|look inside||The Ultimate Pop/Rock Fake Book - In C (4th Edition). By Various. By Various. For Guitar, C Instruments, Piano/Vocal. Hal Leonard Fake Books. Pop Rock, Rock and Pop. Difficulty: easy-medium. Fake book. Vocal melody, lyrics and chord names. 584 pages. Published by Hal Leonard (HL.240099) (28) ...more info|
|look inside||The Praise & Worship Fake Book (An Essential Tool for Worship Leaders, Praise Bands and Singers!). By Various. For C Instruments. Hal Leonard Fake Books. Worship. Difficulty: easy-medium to medium. Fakebook (spiral bound). Vocal melody, lyrics and chord names. 432 pages. Published by Hal Leonard (HL.240234) (20) ...more info|
I recently purchased the Praise & Worship one. I should use that for sight reading.
Pianists - make sure you buy the "C" edition fake books!
If you need some guide books on how to read lead sheets, check out my earlier post, Jazz Music and Improvisation Guide Books.
As I mentioned earlier, I recently presented to the Piano Pedagogy Group. The piano teachers in this group are currently working on their Grade 10 or their Piano Pedagogy certification through Royal Conservatory of Music, Conservatory Canada or London College of Music . They are all classically trained (translation: improvisation, lead sheets and chord charts are scary). This is a list of the "How To" books that I use whenever I teach and play contemporary music (e.g. pop, rock, Latin, jazz, ragtime) that I shared with them:
|look inside||How To Play From A Fake Book By Blake Neely. For Guitar, Piano/Keyboard. Piano. Instructional. Instructional book. Standard notation and instructional text. 88 pages. Published by Hal Leonard (HL.220019) (1) ...more info|
|look inside||Lead Lines and Chord Changes By Ann Collins. For Piano. Piano Collection; Piano Supplemental. Early Advanced; Late Intermediate. Book. 80 pages. Published by Alfred Music Publishing (AP.199)...more info|
|look inside||Volume 1 - How To Play Jazz & Improvise By Jamey Aebersold. For any C, Eb, Bb, bass instrument or voice. Play-Along series with accompaniment CD. Jamey Aebersold Play-A-Long series. Beginner, intermediate. Book & CD. 104 pages. Published by Jamey Aebersold Jazz (JA.V01DS) (22) ...more info|
|look inside||Volume 3 - The II/V7/I Progression By Jamey Aebersold. For any C, Eb, Bb, bass instrument or voice. Play-Along series with accompaniment CD. Jamey Aebersold Play-A-Long series. Beginner, intermediate. Book & CD. 100 pages. Published by Jamey Aebersold Jazz (JA.V03DS) (6) ...more info|
|look inside||Boogie Woogie for Beginners Arranged by Frank Paparelli. For Piano/Keyboard. Keyboard Instruction. 48 pages. Published by Hal Leonard (HL.120517) (2) ...more info|
There are a few more in my "To Check Out" pile. I'll add them once I've had a chance to go through them a bit.