Total Preset Christmas Swing
To carry on the WersiClub "Christmas theme" I have a seasonal "Total Preset" for you to try. This preset is just right for some of our lively Christmas favourites such as Jingle Bells, Rudolf, Frosty the Snowman, (come on now, admit it, you have been known to play them) and just about any other tune that you can fit to it, Christmas or otherwise!!
However the setup and the way I play this could be a little alien to many of you who play the instrument "properly" but they do say that variety is the spice of life!! so I will use this as my excuse in this case.
Possibly to understand my thinking behind the preset I ought to offer a little explanation on how I attempt to play my own instrument!
Explanation of my method of playing
Although I did not start playing keyboard instruments until I was 21 (I am a little older than that now 61), I obviously had an ear or memory for tunes as once I realised what the black and white keys were for it wasn't too difficult to transfer all the accumulated tunes that had been rumbling around in my head since the days of the "steam radio" onto the keys.
Regrettably I do not read music which has its disadvantages when you would like to learn a new song quickly, as I have to hear it many times and wait for it to sink in, this can take quite a long time these days!! Also, and I am sure this is true of many "ear players" we play what we think may be right but it ain't necessarily so!! but what the heck!! we all enjoy what we can do. So, in a nutshell, basically I am an "ear player" and a "style player" who only plays left hand chords, and as for the right hand, well the late Les Dawson would be proud of me!!. I used to play pedals on my old "Cosmos" years ago but with styles being so much improved it tends to make me a little lazy in that direction. This leads me on to our preset itself which could be termed as the "lazy persons preset". Why?
Expression Pedal Cross Fade Feature
I think I have mentioned in a previous article that the best feature of the Wersi Organ for me is the "expression pedal cross fade" feature that came with version 5, and I have to admit to it being the basis of all my playing. I do not personally know of any other instrument that has this feature. Perhaps if some of you do know of other instruments employing this you would be kind enough to let me know. I am also interested to know how widely used this feature is. I do know that for some that have been brought up on the traditional method of how an organ is played, ie. expression pedal in back position "no sound", pushed forward "full sound", the cross fade method can seem a little alien and unnatural at first but as I was not one of those maybe it is why I have adapted to it a little easier, who knows?
This is where the "lazy persons preset" comes in. The expression pedal cross fade allows us to have the maximum variation of sounds all in one preset without the need to change. Just how lazy is that?? suits me just fine!!
As I am usually wrong 99% of the time on most things, I am probably wrong also if I say that an ear player possibly has a slight advantage using this method of playing as we hear in our minds when a particular instrument or part of the orchestra needs to be applied, and getting the feel for this is what the cross fade is all about. If you don't agree I guess you will all write and put me in my place.
The preset is available as a print-out type that you can then take to the organ to set up, and also as a downloadable file, but you will need the OAA arranger to get the correct style. If you print it and do not have the OAA a suitable Wersi Foxtrot style such as Fox 1 Temp 192 would probably be ok. Also if you would like to expand the range of songs for the preset even further try Wersi Style "Boogie Swingband" Temp 128 for "Rocking around the Christmas tree", "Santa Clause is coming Today", or if you are feeling really adventures, "White Christmas".
Please click on the link top or bottom of the article to access the preset page.
Total Preset "Christmas Swing"
In the new year I may try another preset using the same expression pedal method but perhaps with a little more sensible song for you.