Gift Of Education
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- Apr 15th, 2010
Jordan Rudess, Dream Theater’s master synthesist, is an internationally recognized keyboard wizard. Watch as Jordan demonstrates important keyboard warm-up and performance techniques!
Being a wizard doesn’t happen overnight; they don’t just wake up one morning and channel their their incredible creative magic (if only it was that easy). In reality there’s a whole process of achieving wizardry that happens behind the scenes. This process... this arcana, is the essential ingredient of achieving the throne of wizardry.
In this tutorial, Keyboard Wizdom, Jordan delves into his video vault and shares with us the essential keyboard and synthesis techniques that have propelled him into the progressive rock spotlight as one of the worlds most highly acclaimed keyboard masters.
This tutorial reaches deep into Jordan's vast keyboard experience showing us pianistic treasures that were handed down to him by the piano maestros at the renown Juilliard school in New York City. Jordan shares with us his constantly evolving approach to the synthesizer which he is always developing for Dream Theater. From technical exercises to warm-up routines, Jordan provides us with a unique, inside look at how he polishes his skills and prepares for the rigours of live performance. Then he invites us inside his creative world showing us how he “dreams” up the pyrotechnic leads that span the Dream Theater catalog of unparalleled progressive rock.
The side of Jordan Rudess that few people have the honour of knowing is: Jordan the teacher. With his friendly, generous spirit he inspires us to work harder, to practice with intention and to perform to the best of our ability. macProVideo welcomes Jordan to our growing family of A-List trainers with this first of many tutorials: Jordan Rudess: Keyboard Wizdom.
For a full list of the topics covered, see the Tutorial Outline
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it's always a pleasure to hear jordan rudess play, and watching these videos is twice as enjoyable. you get to see numerous close-ups of the keyboard while he's running his riffs, which is obviously something you don't get when you go to a concert, or even [typically] watching them on video. overall, i found the videos informative and fun to watch. if i could sum it all up, i'd say the videos were enlightening and enjoyable, but not as useful as i'd hoped. i could've benefited much more from more in-depth demonstration of his performance techniques, which is a very weak area for me. the beginning ['warm-up'] exercises were perfect for me, but they comprise only about 1/4 of the series, and i found myself wanting much more. otoh, i found many of the videos on programming to be pretty basic. the most common approach he uses in them is to play the individual sounds that make up a patch, then demonstrate how that sounds when played. it's also not uncommon for him to have a segment he introduces with, 'here's a lick from such-and-such' [song from one of the dream theater albums], and then play the lick. that's it. i'm left feeling, 'yeah... and...?' not that i don't enjoy listening to dream theater or watching jordan play, but that's not what i expect from a tutorial. it would be MUCH more useful if he followed up his demo with either more in-depth details on how he plays it, or on how he designed the patch. what i'd like to see is this: get jordan back in the studio and have him redo the tutorial, cutting it into two separate tutorials -- one on performance technique, and one on synth programming. in each tutorial, have him go into much greater detail. for example, in the performance tutorial, have him explain how he plays the licks he's demonstrated and go through them slow motion [it's a pain having to rewind the video time and time again to try to figure out his fingering]. have him explain the pitfalls to watch out for, possible exercises to support the passag...
Wow, what a virtuoso you are! I really enjoyed watching you. I would have like to see your settings and how you make your layers. But still trying to replace my jaw...
Awesome insight into some of the techniques behind a phenomenal player/artist. Nice ideas on splitting the keyboard into different sounds, layering, and adding expressivity to your performance.
Enjoying going through the lessons and seeing upfront his performances revealing his finger styling and technique. But I wish he gave more detail how he set up his sounds so we know what is required. He demonstrates on a Kurzweil but then performs on the Korg Triton. Is he using the built in sounds of the keyboard or he is hooking up to a DAW with vst plug-ins? If so which library is he using. For his final 3 performances is he going through prearranged presets triggered by his feet? Because he doesn't touch a single button while his sounds are changing. Can I just use a Korg Triton to get those sounds layered, and triggered or do need something more?
Love Jordan, love Dream Theatre. If you're a keyboard player or is learning you should watch! If you're a fan of Dream Theatre but don't play, you still should watch it!
Jordan never ceases to amaze. A must watch for any keyboard players who want to improve their performances. From pre-gig warm-ups to keyboard layering and splits to managing all that live.
The best, most instructionally sound course on keyboard and synthesizer technique. This course is jam-packed with inspiration and motivation for anyone aspiring to become a better keyboardist.
Videos 1 to 17 are great, where Jordan shows different techniques to practise in the keyboard. After that he gives a glimpse of splits, layers, and bank switching while playing different parts of Dream Theater's repertoire. Jordan is an incredible keyboardist, and great musician. Maybe videos 18+ are for the fans, maybe there's a lot to learn there for the advanced, for me the lesson ended at video 17. I feel like he's got lot to teach, but instead he showed what an incredible player he is.
i have had music lesson from members of the Mpls Symphony since i was 7. Jordan's lessons are easy to absorb and fascinating to observe his analytical genius. He has the rare ability to take the technically difficult and "intellectually marinate it" so tha the student can readily absorb his demonstration and translate it to our own keyboard. Jordan is a musical Genius and i feel fortunate to have his tutorial so readily accessable to me.
The practice sections are excellent - just like having an instructor in your room, and the sections on layering instruments interesting although not especially revealing. The solos are great to watch and listen to but have no tutorial aspects, which is disappointing. What stands out though is the character of Jordan - a superstar without an attitude - just great professionalism and an engaging manner.
I liked the tutorial. Jordan is a great teacher / musician and uses his years of experience to help you with warm-ups and overall playing approach while keeping it serious, but fun!! I highly recommend this to the novice and the advanced player - Jordan, you're the badddest! God bless you, Rick Ramirez Independent Recording Artist
Watching Jordan makes me feel like an abject failure, that I have spent my life without vision, talent, or purpose. I suppose spending 8 hours a day in the practice rooms at Juilliard has a lot to do with Jordan's acumen, but his playing is so fluid, so natural that any attempts I may make to emulate him will be pathetic at best. However, his instruction and exercises, particularly on how to strengthen individual fingers, are truly brilliant and are a window into his phenomenal skills. I am now a devotée and worship at the keyboard altar of Mr. Rudess. Thanks, Martin, and the rest at MacProVideo for making this video available! Can't wait to see Petrucci's. Then my life as an aspiring musician will truly be over…