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Gigbag: June 2006

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Yamaha P140 Series Keyboards
Moog Little Phatty
EarMaster 5

Yamaha P140 Series Keyboards

In the market for a compact, contemporary-looking, computer-compatible electronic piano? Yamaha’s P140 series keyboards are worth a look, featuring 88 weighted keys, 64 notes of polyphony and 14 realistic voices, each with three tonal variations. In addition to a host of onboard effects, the P140 pianos also include a twotrack adjustable tempo sequencer that allows for recording, practice play along and overdubbing a second part. And the pianos can store your works in progress via integrated Flash-ROM.

Moog Little Phatty

Before Bob Moog passed away in 2005, he designed the sound engine for the Little Phatty, Moog Music’s latest analog synthesizer. It’s a treat for old-school synth enthusiast, boasting a 100-percent analog signal path with true analog controls, 100 user editable presets and a 37- note keyboard with +/-2 Octave Transpose. Act quick and you might snatch up on the first 1,200 Phatties-each one individually numbered as a Bob Moog Tribute Edition synth.

EarMaster 5

Made for musicians at all skill levels, eMedia’s EarMaster 5 is a CD-ROM-based ear-training method designed to hone your hearing skills until you can “play or sing anything you hear.” The CD contains over 650 lessons covering areas like interval comparison, chord progressions and rhythm reading. The software is interactive and allows for the input of a microphone or MIDI instrument for use with some exercises. Available only for Windows.

Play Like Miles

A bunch of recently released instructional music books focus on jazz’s Dark Prince.

Guitarist Corey Christiansen and pianist/composer Per Danielsson collaborated on Mel Bay’s Essential Jazz Lines: Miles Davis, a book/CD combo available for trumpet and for guitar that’s intended for the intermediate student. The authors delve deep into Miles’ approach to bebop improvisation before presenting one-, two-, and three-measure phrases that sound like something Miles would have played back in the day. The CD includes rhythm parts and includes tracks that modulate through the cycle of fourths in order to help you play in each key. The guitar edition conveniently includes tablature in addition to standard notation.

Sure, Miles Davis didn’t play guitar-but so what? You can play Miles’ tunes on guitar, and Hal Leonard’s Miles for Solo Guitar was published to show you how. Guitarist Jamie Findlay arranged 15 classic Miles and Miles-associated tunes for chord-melody guitar and presents them in standard notation with chords and also in tablature. The accompanying CD let you hear how it should sound.

Additionally, Hal Leonard just put out installment 49 in its Jazz Play Along series, which presents lead sheets for 10 Miles-associated standards like “Bye Bye Blackbird” and “My Funny Valentine.” Like all the other books in the series, the selling point is the included CD, which includes tracks with removable bass and piano parts, professional rhythm accompaniment and extra choruses for more soloing.

Hal Leonard books can be purchased at

Originally Published