MY VIDEO GAME PIANO PRACTICE SESSIONS

To improve my piano playing, I record myself practicing – mostly arranging video game music. I’m a classically trained pianist since the age of 5 (who enjoyed a kind of D-list internet celebrity in the 2000’s) trying to get back into the music scene, flourish as a musician, and craft an album all at the same time.

 

I record and listen to myself often to improve my technique, but I also want to embrace a “warts-and-all” approach to presenting creativity. So, in utter embarrassment, I present all my fumbles, fat fingers, creative cul-de-sacs, and generally bad playing in the service of showing you the excellence begins with an astounding amount of mistakes. Check back often, as I will frequently replace this practice session with others.

0:29 The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim – Main Theme

2:11 Final Fantasy VI – Terra’s Theme 

4:30 Nier Automata – City Ruins

8:18 The Legend of Zelda, LttP- Dark World Theme

8:49 The Legend of Zelda – Overworld Theme

9:09 The Legend of Zelda – Fairy Theme

10:36 Super Mario World – Overworld Theme

12:45 The Legend of Zelda II – Grand Palace Theme

14:22 Smash Bros Melee – Main Theme ●●

16:00 The Guardian Legend – Finale Theme

18:50 Super Metroid – Jungle Theme

20:10 Radical Dreamers – Main theme

Highlight ●    Learning by Ear △    Best of the Session ●●

Recorded August 14th, 2020

 

Now that I’ve been recording my practice and presenting them in this formal and disarmingly social setting, I’ve noticed my sound changing. Not so much a change in dynamics or mood – a change in how I think about practice. It’s not so much me noodling around at the piano in front of a pretty landscape. It’s something I’ll listen to for hours on end to scrutinize. It’s something that will represent me and my talents these days. It’s also rough and laughably raw, so how vain could I possibly be? Presenting finished work to the public eye is one thing. Revealing all levers and pullies it took to get there is quite another.

 

But dear God, will somebody teach this kid to hit the right notes ON TIME? I can hear every flub and missed 32nd note as clear as breaking glass in a crystal showroom. Part of the benefits of listening to your practice: you can hear what would be unacceptable in a Spotify album.

ANYTHING YOU WANT TO SAY?

OLDER RECORDINGS

Recognizable Themes

 

0:00   Metroid – Kraid’s Theme

1:40   Dark Souls – Gwen’s Theme

2:20   Super Metroid – Norfair Theme

3:17   Earthbound – Onett Theme

4:38   Heroes of Might and Magic 2 – Sorceress’ Theme ●●

7:10  The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time Song of Storms

9:13   Nier Automata – City Ruins

10:53   Legendary Wings – Level 2

13:55   The Legend of Zelda II – Grand Palace Theme

15:48   Echochrome 2 – Main Theme

19:50   God of War – Main Theme

21:42   Final Fantasy VII – Highwind Theme

22:55   Final Fantasy – Prelude

Highlight ●    Learning by Ear △    Best of the Session ●●

Recorded August 2nd, 2020

 

This was the session that convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt of two things. 1.) my chord structures are getting more exotic by the day and 2.) my rhythm has been shot to hell from the decades of not focusing on my technique. The edict from here on out is to practice with a metronome and see if I can hammer home the lesson that time is a rule, not a guideline.

 

The addition of linking more people to my practice has dramatically changed how I practice. The social element alone presents unique ways of listening: what is a highlight? What is fluff? What’s the dividing line? I’ve known for a long time that the public eye demands a kind of excellence from you that’s hard to simulate. But it never occurred to me that practice would similarly improve under public scrutiny as well.

 

Highlights include the obscure beauty The Sorceress’ Theme that I’ve loved since the moment I first heard it. The syncopated head-boppin’ joy of The Song of Storms around 8:12. 15:48 is especially fun, because you get to hear me try to figure out the Echochrome 2 theme song by ear in real time. By around 18:00, you can hear me finally start to “get it”. It’s pretty fun to hear the gears turning.