Draft Video Story

Considering my topic is improvising on piano, I felt this video-making opportunity should be taken for demonstrating how to improvise. That’s why I made a step-by-step instructional video for beginning piano improv.

My main inspirations for this were the Food Tube and Health Guru channels on YouTube. They led me to my decision of using a step-by-step format.

Since this video could only be two minutes long, I knew I could include only three steps at most. I thought that was perfect, however, since I wanted my lesson to appear as simple and easy-to-follow as possible. For the first step, I presented the notes I recommended using. In the next step, I suggested what you can do with your left hand. Lastly, I suggested what you can do with your right.

Each step is prefaced by a title card, then it is displayed by video of my hand on my piano paired with audio of my instructions. I took the title card idea from Health Guru, though I adapted it for my video’s style. Rather than flashy and colorful like Health Guru’s, I made my title cards monochromatic. That color scheme compliments the black-and-white of my piano in the recordings, and its simplicity helps my video story feel uncomplicated and approachable. But, just because I wanted the title cards simple doesn’t mean I wanted them boring. To liven them up, I paired them all with a piano lick I recorded.

I concluded my video story with a recording of me soloing. The purpose of this was to present what it looks and sounds like when you use the improv method I taught and practice it for a while. In other words, this ending shows viewers what they’re capable of if they follow my steps. I made it black-and-white to convey that it’s not an integral part of the video.

On the technical side, making my video story went pretty easily. The hardest part was only figuring out a way to record both my hands playing. (I taped my phone to my keyboard’s backboard).

After recording everything, including both video and audio, I imported it all to Premiere and paired the video clips with the necessary audio. I added checkerboard transitions to most of my video clips so the transition from title card to video would seem smoother. I then played with the audio clips’ volumes until all the sound was in a similar range.

The only challenge I had with the software was loudening some of the audio. Premiere has a volume limit, even though some audio clips might originally be very soft. This forced me into softening my video’s overall volume to compensate.

My advice to others beginning with Premiere is to not rely on queuing sequences to render them. When making my Premiere Tutorials videos, I had tons of trouble with rendering, and I think the Queue option was somehow responsible. When I used the basic “Export” option instead, most of my videos rendered successfully.

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3 thoughts on “Draft Video Story

  1. I thought that you did an excellent job on your piano tutorial. I think that something that would be helpful in following your tutorial is if you maybe put the notes you are playing at the bottom of the screen for the F Blues Scale and the base line. You could do this by maybe adding in a bar of music at the bottom or possibly just the letters of the notes. Also, I think you did a good job of filming at an excellent angle to see your hands/fingers playing the piano. I thought that the titles with text really organized your video and made it neat. Lastly, the footage at the end of your audio story is shaky and distracting. However I am imagining that you just placed your recording device on the music stand, to get a good angle and there is not much you can do to make that less shaky. Overall excellent job and I cannot wait to see the final draft of your piano tutorial.

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  2. So far, only one person has given me feedback. Her two suggestions are adding a bar of notes that show the F Blues scale and making my video less shaky in the ending scene. I think her first suggestion is a downright awesome idea. I’m pretty much slapping myself for not thinking of that in the first place. As for her second suggestion, like she said herself, there’s probably too much difficulty in fixing the shakiness. There’s no stopping my keyboard from shaking as I play it, and the only way I could record both my hands playing was by taping my phone to the keyboard.
    As for improvements I’ve come up with myself, I don’t really have any. Maybe I could make the jingle start sooner during each title card, but that’s about it. Other than adding the note chart, my video’s pretty much the way I want it.

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  3. After watching your video, I have noticed that each shot was just a little too shaky, but I would understand that you held your camera because you don’t have a tripod or anything to place your camera on.. I had this same problem. I had to improvise to place my camera on a surface so that my video won’t be too shaky, so I suggest trying to figure out a way to fix this problem. I personally did not think it was necessary to add a black and white effect towards the ending of your video, I think it would have been fine if you kept it colored. Although, if you choose to keep the black and white effect, I suggest making the text white, so that it would match with the theme of the steps and it would make it pop out a little more. Overall, I think you did a good job with the video, you just need to figure out how to make it less shaky, and I also like how you added music when introducing a new step! Don’t forget to add credits towards the end!

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