Playing at Conference

I just got finished leading the band at a state men’s conference.  I was on keys and did some old school gospel songs and some new stuff too.  

If you haven’t noticed, a lot of the new stuff being played nowadays has a LOT of moving parts. 

And if you don’t know your chords and how chord progressions work, then you will get lost quick. 

A few of the songs we played had everything from 7+5+9 chords to m7b5 (add 11) chords to just plain old major and minor chords.  ​

But the key is that you just have to know the numbers.

For example on a 7+5+9, you just start with a MAJOR chord (because there’s no lowercase “m” which means “minor).

So for C7+5+9, you just play C E G.  Then add the 7th.  C E G Bb
Then sharp the 5th so now it’s C E Ab Bb​​​​​​​​​​​ and then sharp the 9th.  
Now the 9th is the same note as the 2​ so now your notes are C E Ab Bb Eb.

You play the “C” note in your left hand and play the E Ab Bb Eb in the right hand.

As long as you know your major chords, you can figure out any chord.

HOWEVER, you DO NOT want to be doing this on the fly.  Of course, you would practice ahead of time but I have also found that just KNOWING how to make the chords is not helpful if you do not know WHERE you can substitute them in songs.

Of course, that’s what we teach in our courses.  You can check out the syllabus (course outline) for each lesson here

If you are more intermediate to advanced, then I would probably just go with AP 204 (where you will learn almost all the chords and chord progressions you will need).​​

​God bless!

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Just another day

I remember when I was learning to play.

Yeah, yeah I could already plan all my major and minor chords and I read music and play complicated classical pieces and different things.

I mean, I could take a chord chart and play the song but I had NO idea what I was playing.

You see, music is a language and just because you know your ABCs and have memorized a few words doesn’t mean you know how to read or understand sentences.

Today, I can listen to a song and learn it in about 5-10 minutes.  I can look at a chord chart and tell you what key it’s in just from looking at it and then I can play it in any key.

I probably have 1000 songs memorized.

But that didn’t happen overnight.

You see, it was JUST ANOTHER DAY at the Smith house but I sat down and started to really study music.

I started learning the Roman Numeral System, I started learning all my chords, I learned a new fill.

I got upset because I couldn’t quite get the new chord or fill 100% right yet.

But I realized that it was a PROCESS.

So I got up and came back a few hours later and worked on it some more.

And I just kept learning SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY until I could play.

So don’t waste those “just another days”. 

Use the time you have been given and use it wisely.

Today will never come again!

God bless you and…login and learn something new today!

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Free chord sheet (old school song)

Hope you enjoy learning this song!

BECAUSE OF WHO YOU ARE CHORD SHEET (written in Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced)

P.S. Have you read our latest post about how “I almost recorded you a video lesson”

And the truth is you might learn something if I had done it.

But the truth is ALSO, that you don’t need another video lesson.

You need a system. What we teach here at Apostolic Praise is a proven system that works and has taught thousands of people to learn to play.

First of all, you start with major and minor chords. Then you learn some fills. Then you learn inversions. Then you learn the Numbers. Then you keep learning new chords until you know them all.​​​

And all along the way, we are teaching you songs to go with each new concept and help you actually put it into action.

You keep taking one bite at a time until you “eat the elephant”. (The old joke is “how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”)​​

A lot of people are like the energizer bunny and they jump from teacher to teacher and program to program and youtube video to youtube video trying to learning something new but never really putting all the pieces together to learn how to play.

​I felt the same way when I was learning to play.

I wish I had a program like Apostolic Praise when I was learning.

AND it’s never too late. I told my brother (who is 17) yesterday that I really didn’t learn to play keys until I was about 17.

And I’ve taught people in their 70s.

You may say “well I’ll never learn – I got to this point and it’s as good as I will ever be.”

I don’t believe that’s true.

I believe with the right things to practice, the right exercise songs and having a growth mindset of “learning something new everyday” that almost anyone can learn how to play music and be capable of playing in church.

God bless you and…login and learn something new today!

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I almost recorded you a video lesson…

And the truth is you might learn something if I had done it.

But the truth is ALSO, that you don’t need another video lesson.

You need a system. What we teach here at Apostolic Praise is a proven system that works and has taught thousands of people to learn to play.

First of all, you start with major and minor chords. Then you learn some fills. Then you learn inversions. Then you learn the Numbers. Then you keep learning new chords until you know them all.​​​

And all along the way, we are teaching you songs to go with each new concept and help you actually put it into action.

You keep taking one bite at a time until you “eat the elephant”. (The old joke is “how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”)​​

A lot of people are like the energizer bunny and they jump from teacher to teacher and program to program and youtube video to youtube video trying to learning something new but never really putting all the pieces together to learn how to play.

​I felt the same way when I was learning to play.

I wish I had a program like Apostolic Praise when I was learning.

AND it’s never too late. I told my brother (who is 17) yesterday that I really didn’t learn to play keys until I was about 17.

And I’ve taught people in their 70s.

You may say “well I’ll never learn – I got to this point and it’s as good as I will ever be.”

I don’t believe that’s true.

I believe with the right things to practice, the right exercise songs and having a growth mindset of “learning something new everyday” that almost anyone can learn how to play music and be capable of playing in church.

God bless you and…login and learn something new today!

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Are you a turtle or a rabbit? This is a MARATHON – not a RACE.

One of the hardest things to do (for most people) is to be consistent.  There are a lot of teachers out there trying to teach people how to play music.  

Unfortunately, this opens the door for a lot of people to just “jump around” from teacher to teacher and place to place never really learning to play.

The key is consistency.

God has given us at Apostolic Praise School of Music a system that we KNOW teaches people how to play church music faster.

But you are going to need to commit to the system for at least THREE years.

I have found that the majority of people have an ear for music.

If you can recognize your favorite song when it comes on, then you can probably learn to play by ear.

We currently have 26 courses and while they are all important, the most important ones are AP 100 to AP 204.

There are 108 lessons in these 9 courses.

That means if you master 1 lesson per week (which is how they are designed) then it will take you about TWO years to finish all of these lessons.

Can you be playing in church by AP 100?  Some churches, yes (depending on what style your church plays).

Contemporary music and worship music are generally the easiest thing to play while faster songs and gospel style music are generally more complicated.

Most (smaller to mid-sized) churches, you could probably be playing in by the time you finish AP 102 and begin AP 103.

Some churches you may not be ready until you finish AP 204 a few years later.

But the key is to STICK with a program that WORKS until you learn to play.

Learning to play is not overnight.  It is a MARATHON – not a RACE.  

Remember the story of the turtle and the rabbit racing?  The turtle won because he just kept consistently going while the rabbit just ran sporadically when he felt like it.

It’s the same with learning to play!

Time to dig your heels in and go learn something NEW!

P.S. You will learn how to play a real SONG with CHORDS in your FIRST lessons with Apostolic Praise

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Free 1-minute Tutorial – Learn how to use Suspended 4 Chords

Do you know how to play and use Suspended 4 chords? Here’s a sample from one of our lessons!

Get more easy lessons like this!  Sign-up today at www.apostolicpsom.com/membership


God bless you and your playing!

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Fun NEW Minor Key Latin Style Song

This song is a lot of fun to play! Have a good time learning it!

DOWNLOAD HERE: NADIE COMO TU PDF

RTF AND TXT files for Onsong here also.

This new song is in the minor key of Ebm which is a much easier minor key to play in then you might think. This song is a blast to play.

The key of Ebm (say “E flat minor”) has the notes
Eb F Gb Ab Bb B Db Eb

It has the same notes as the key of Gb major by the way.  Eb minor and Gb major are relative keys. 

To find a relative key just take the major key and go down three half steps or notes. 

Now, the best way to think of songs in minor keys is like you are playing in a major key.

So we are actually going to say that this song is in the key of Gb major.

So the notes of Gb major are Gb Ab Bb B Db Eb F Gb

Let’s put some numbers with these.
Gb = 1 (major)
Ab = 2 (minor)
Bb = 3 (major in this song)
B = 4 (major)
Db = 5 (major)
Eb = 6 (minor)
F = 7

Gb major = Gb Bb Db
Ab minor = Ab B Eb
Bb major = Bb D F
B = B Eb Gb
Db = Db F Ab
Eb minor = Eb Gb Bb

A few bonus chords you will need to know are Bbsus4 = Bb Eb F and Eb+5 = Eb G B

Learn more about these types of chords in AP 102.

Have fun!


God bless you and your playing!

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Top 5 Starter Keyboards

Looking for a new keyboard? Apostolic Praise School of Music has got you covered! There are SO many options out there. What should I go with? Well, that depends on what you are using it for. Let’s look at a few things.

1. WHO ARE YOU PURCHASING IT FOR AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU NEED

If you are purchasing it for a small child (that may possibly destroy it) then you will be fine with just a 61 key keyboard. However, if you are purchasing it for a teenager or adult or anyone above the age of let’s say 8 years old (or that is responsible with what you give them), then you need an 88 key keyboard. Trust me on this. You are going to NEED those extra keys. Promise.

This is the MOST important thing.

2. FULL WEIGHT / SEMI WEIGHT VS CHEAPER QUALITY PLASTIC KEYS

Second, the keyboard should have FULL WEIGHT or SEMI-WEIGHT action keys. With these, the keys themselves are much better quality (versus just being flimsy plastic) and will last much longer and they are way less likely to be broken. Full and semi-weight keys are generally one solid piece. On cheap keyboards you can put your finger under the key itself (meaning they can be pulled off or broken pretty easily).

3. YOU NEED A PIANO STAND

Sure you could use a table but it’s awkward. The best thing is to buy an adjustable stand that can be raised or lowered as needed (depending on the height of the person playing it or if they prefer to play standing up or sitting down).

This Pro Series keyboard stand on Amazon is good quality in my experience (so it doesn’t fall down or shake while you are playing or during service LOL).

4. YOU NEED A SUSTAIN PEDAL

It is a necessity – not a luxury. It is part of the instrument. It doesn’t matter how good you are. If you try to play a worship song without one, you will NOT sound good. This is especially frustrating for beginners who sometimes already feel like they do not sound good!

You will also still need to buy a sustain pedal (I personally use this M-audio sustain pedal from Amazon) which is only around $25.00).

You can buy an even cheaper one like this Yamaha sustain pedal from Amazon (which I personally used for YEARS – probably like 10 years – before it finally broke) for around $15.

Most economical 61 key starter keyboard (around $70ish)

RockJam Compact 61 Key Keyboard with Sheet Music Stand, Power Supply – Buy on Amazon here

This may be the MOST economical NEW keyboard option out there.  I would recommend this only for complete beginners who are VERY young OR for people on a very strict budget.  It only has 61 keys.  It does not have full-weight or even semi-weight action keys which is super important in my opinion (and the keys will last much longer and are less likely to be broken if they are full or semi-weight).   You will also still need to buy a sustain pedal (I personally use the M-audio sustain pedal from Amazon) for around $25.00) although you can buy an even cheaper one like this Yamaha sustain pedal on Amazon (which I personally used for YEARS – probably like 10 years – before it finally broke) for around $15.

This keyboard does NOT come with a stand.  You can buy a basic keyboard stand which in my experience is good quality (so it doesn’t fall during service LOL).  I personally use one like this Pro Series one from Amazon

Best 61 Key Keyboard for Kids (around $100ish)

Alesis Melody 61 Key Keyboard Piano for Beginners with Speakers, Stand, Bench, Headphones, Microphone, Sheet Music Stand and 300 Sound – Buy on Amazon here

This is one of my favorite choices for a keyboard for kids under the age of about 7.  It is inexpensive so if they don’t really like piano (or they damage it) then you haven’t invested much.

Also, it comes with HEADPHONES – trust me you will really love this.

AND it has 300 different sounds that the kids can play around with.  Might seem like a worthless thing but most of church music is going to multiple instruments (we call them layers) and AUX keys (which is the second or third keyboard that plays different sounds that you might see at different churches or conferences).

Playing around with the different sounds will help your prodigy learn to distinguish between sounds such as “brass” or “strings” or “electric piano” versus “acoustic piano”.  Fun for now, but actually a very useful thing to learn.

Finally, it also comes with a stand and a bench (some keyboards you have to buy these items separately).

AND it has a cool microphone so they can use the keyboard as an amplifier to sing along with their favorite songs.

Best Semi-Weight 88 Key Keyboard (around $200ish)

Alesis Recital – 88 Key Digital Piano Keyboard with Semi Weighted Keys, 2x20W Speakers, 5 Voices, Split, Layer and Lesson Mode, FX – Buy on Amazon here

If I were going to buy a good starter piano and wanted to only spend around $200ish this is what I would go with.  It has 88 keys which is THE most important thing.  It does not have full-weight keys which is best but it does at least have semi-weighted keys so it will give you a pretty good “real piano” feel which is something you want from day one playing.  The keys are also much sturdier and less likely to break over time than the cheap plastic ones you will find on cheaper quality keyboards.

You will also still need to buy a sustain pedal (I personally use the M-audio sustain pedal from Amazon) for around $25.00) although you can buy an even cheaper one like this Yamaha sustain pedal from Amazon (which I personally used for YEARS – probably like 10 years – before it finally broke) for around $15.

Best Full Weight 88 Key Keyboard (around $300ish)

Alesis Recital Pro – 88 Key Digital Piano Keyboard with Hammer Action Weighted Keys, 2x20W Speakers, 12 Voices, Record and Lesson Mode, FX and Display – Buy on Amazon here

This is THE best (and cheapest) keyboard that has BOTH 88 keys and has full-weight keys (which is super important).  You can plug headphones into (like virtually every keyboard) and this is the keyboard I would buy if I were starting and just wanted to get something inexpensive that feels and sounds like a REAL keyboard.

Remember, full-weight action keys are extremely important because it gives you the “feel” of a real piano which is something you want from day one playing.  The keys are also much sturdier and less likely to break over time than the cheap plastic ones you will find on cheaper quality keyboards.

You will also still need to buy a sustain pedal (I personally use the M-audio sustain pedal from Amazon) for around $25.00) although you can buy an even cheaper one like this Yamaha sustain pedal on Amazon (which I personally used for YEARS – probably like 10 years – before it finally broke) for around $15.

Also this keyboard does NOT come with a stand.  You can buy a basic keyboard stand like this Pro Series from Amazon which in my experience is good quality (so it doesn’t fall during service LOL).

Great At Home Practice or Children’s Church or Home Missions Church Keyboard (88 keys and around $500)

YAMAHA P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano with Sustain Pedal and Power Supply – Buy on Amazon here

This is a great “at-home practice” keyboard or “children’s church” keyboard or possibly “small home missions church” keyboard.

The most important thing when looking for a good practice piano is that it has all 88 keys.  Please don’t get anything less.  You will need those extra keys.  I promise.

The SECOND most important thing is to get something that has what are called full-weight action keys.  This is extremely important because it gives you the “feel” of a real piano which is something you want from day one playing.  The keys are also much sturdier and less likely to break over time than the cheap plastic ones you will find on cheaper quality keyboards.

The THIRD most important thing is having a sustain pedal (you can just use the basic one that comes with it or upgrade to the sustain pedal I personally use – the M-audio sustain pedal from Amazon – for around $25.00).  This keyboard has all three and is one of my most recommended choices for a keyboard.  This is ALSO a Yamaha keyboard and they tend to last a very long time (even with how violently we church musicians sometimes play – LOL).

One thing this keyboard does NOT come with is a stand.  You can pay extra and get the stand that comes with it (which I would recommend if you are using this with smaller children) OR if you are an adult, you can buy a basic keyboard stand.  Just make sure it’s good quality so it doesn’t fall during service.  I use one like this Pro Series from Amazon personally.

When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission.


God bless you and your playing!

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Fun Old School Minor Song

This song is really famous and fun to play and is good practice for playing in minor keys. I’ve heard this song in Spanish and my wife said they even used to sing it in the Philippines when she was a child! Enjoy playing and learning!

I WILL CELEBRATE SING UNTO THE LORD (HALLELUJAH) FREE CHORD SHEET HERE

God bless you and your playing!

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Free chord sheet – new fun fast moving song

This song moves around a lot and it’s in the key of Db which has the notes Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db. We study this key more in AP 202 Playing In Other Keys as well as a few other courses. Go to www.apostolicpsom.com to try it for free (fill out the form).

Db = Db F Ab

Gb = Gb Bb Db

Ab = Ab C Eb

Bbm = Bb Db F

Ebm = Eb Gb Bb

Have fun!

I THANK GOD FREE CHORD SHEET HERE

God bless you and your playing!

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How to play 6/8 Timing

If you don’t know what 6/8 timing is, it is basically a way of counting in music.

Think of a song like “Happy Birthday”.  It is in 6/8.  

ONE, two three, FOUR, five, six.

The emphasis is on the ONE and FOUR.

And IN FACT, you are probably only playing your chords on the ONE and FOUR.

​So if you were to play C / F / G / C / in 6/8 timing it wou​​​​ld almost be like counting in TWOs.

A little confusing?  Yes – very much so.  But it’s easier to CATCH and HEAR than to explain with words.

Think “Happy Birthday”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY
               C ​             G                   G              C
Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you,
       C                    F                       [C  /      G]    C
Happy Birthday dear Richard, Happy Birthday to   you.​

So you are basically playing each chord once here​​​​​​​​​.  

But the beat and the drummer are counting like this:

​HAPPY BIRTHDAY

               1-2-3        4-5-6  ​         1-2-3         4-5-6
Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you,
      1-2-3            4-5-6  ​                [1-2       3]    4                 
Happy Birthday dear Richard, Happy Birthday to   you.​
​​​​
Basically, each measure has six eighth notes.  Eighth notes are worth half as much as quarter notes. 

But you basically just count to 6.

So on “You Deserve It” I just have each beat equaling 3 beats.

So B2 = 3 beats on B2 but you really just play it once.  (On the ONE of the ONE-TWO-THREE).

If it said B2 / then you would play B2 twice.  (On the ONE and FOUR of 1-2-3-4-5-6).

Hope this makes sense!

God bless you and your playing!

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Two Free Chord Sheets

These are two of our favorite songs to do at our church. The first is a song in 6/8 timing called “You Deserve It” and the second is a song called “This Place” which is one of my top favorite worship songs.​

Both are written in BEGINNER (only major and minor chords) as well as INTERMEDIATE (7ths and suspended 2 chords). Have fun learning and playing them this week!

Remember to learn something new this week!

God bless you and your playing!

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Have you learned them yet? PLUS – the trick to understanding the language of music.

Have you had a chance these new songs yet?  They are a lot of fun to play.

One thing that is important is to pay attention to the chord progressions.

Learning how to use the Number System is the KEY to learning to play church music.

Here’s how you do this.  Take “He Knows My Name” for example.

It’s in the key of G major which has the notes G A B C D E F# G.

Now connect a number with each of these notes like we learn in AP 101.

So
G=1  (because it’s the first note of the G major scale)
A=2  (because it’s the second note of the G major scale)
B=3
C=4
D=5
E=6
F#=7

Now look at the chord sheet or print it out (best way) and then write the numbers above the chords.

So G becomes 1 and C becomes 2 and Em becomes 6 or 6m (for minor).

This way you can truly begin to understand the patterns that are happening and begin to speak the language of music.

More on this in AP 101.


P.S. If you haven’t seen them yet, here are the chord sheets we sent out for you to practice.

One is “Worthy Is Your Name” and it’s a great worship song.

The second one is “He Knows My Name” and it’s easy and fun to play also. 

Both chord sheets are in Beginner and Intermediate.  Have fun playing them!  Try playing them with the recording!

P.S.S. Did you know that you can now make comments on all of our lessons?

If you have a question for your instructor, want to tell us how you enjoyed your lesson, or just have some ideas on how we could make the lesson better, use the “Comment Below” function at the bottom of each lesson to talk to us!

P.S.S.S. God bless you and your playing!

God bless you and your playing!

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What we did yesterday plus 30% sale


Hope you enjoyed your Memorial Day!  I know we did – family, music, basketball, water guns, and homemade ice cream!

All that to say, we didn’t want to work on Memorial Day and you didn’t either!

In fact, one of the things we did was have a jam session for a little bit.  

If you have always wanted to learn how to play gospel / church music – what’s holding you back?

There is just about nothing more fun and relaxing than hanging out with some friends playing music and singing!

And all you really need is the right system and some practice.  Well we have the right system!

Our lessons don’t just teach you a few songs, they teach you how to understand and speak the language of music.

So we are doing our 30% off sale through the end of the week – although if we get overwhelmed with orders we may close it sooner.

We want as many people as possible learning how to play for the Lord and having fun doing it!

So sign up today!

P.S. God bless you and your playing!

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Learn over 700 songs here

One of the coolest things about being an Apostolic Praise Complete Member is that you have over 700 chord sheets written in Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced at your fingertips.  

We have them in google drive and dropbox and they are formatted in PDF, RTF and TXT so you can import them into programs like OnSong.

Anyways, it’s a beautiful day!  Talk later!

P.S. Running a 10% off sale on everything NOW.

P.S.S. God bless you and your playing!

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Easy Worship Fill C D E F G Copy

One thing that is crucial to playing is learning fills and runs. Here’s a free video with one of my favorite fills.

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P.S.
Thanks for being part of the Apostolic Praise School of Music family.

Here is a coupon code for three free chord sheets.  Just pick any three and use “3free” at checkout to get them for FREE!  Shop for chord sheets here
**FIRST 100 PEOPLE ONLY**

Hi Richard, forgive me writing a testimony in the wrong place but I am so excited about your website! I have spent tons of money on lessons with teachers in person, on the internet, books, DVDs but I have never seen one like this! Your program for teaching church musicians is AWESOME!

I told you before I play in church already.   I thank God for you because it is all making sense to me now! What a great concept! I went back to the 100 series and really learned some things even though I have been playing in church every Sunday that I didn’t know! Thanks also for the wonderful selection of songs that you have too which is very motivating!

You have provided a systematic way to success for musicians! God Bless! I’ve finally found what I needed! Now I know I will be better at church!

– Mary R.God bless!

Which brainwave state are you in?

I’m 35 years old (young) and I remember growing up we didn’t have cellphones, internet, email, Facebook, Twitter (boy maybe I am old).  

There were still distractions but they were things like “playing outside” and “video/computer games” and “girls”. LOL.

So having an active mind and not liking to waste time, I would often play music to pass the time. 

I could sit down at the bass guitar or piano or organ (we had an old Hammond) and play for hours – pretty much uninterrupted. – for hours.

When I was in college and had cellphone, one thing that our teachers told us was that if wanted to study to “PUT OUR PHONES IN A DIFFERENT ROOM”. 

Why?  Because studies have been done and students do not study as well if there phone is in the same room – EVEN IF IT IS TURNED OFF.

Wow!

So what does that mean for you?

Well, there are different levels of learning.  And while I don’t have time to go over all of these, you learn faster and you can learn MORE when you are laser-focused and don’t have distractions.

Learning coach Jim Kwik says” Basically, there are different brainwave states: delta (fast asleep), theta (very creative, imagination is flowing), alpha (relaxed awareness, you want to learn things in this state), beta (most awake and alert).”

So, I want to encourage you to ELIMINATE the distractions today and get laser-focused on learning to play!

Here’s our video to watch from last week!

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P.S.
Thanks for being part of the Apostolic Praise School of Music family.

Here is a coupon code for three free chord sheets.  Just pick any three and use “3free” at checkout to get them for FREE!  Shop for chord sheets here
**FIRST 100 PEOPLE ONLY**

Hi Richard, forgive me writing a testimony in the wrong place but I am so excited about your website! I have spent tons of money on lessons with teachers in person, on the internet, books, DVDs but I have never seen one like this! Your program for teaching church musicians is AWESOME!

I told you before I play in church already.   I thank God for you because it is all making sense to me now! What a great concept! I went back to the 100 series and really learned some things even though I have been playing in church every Sunday that I didn’t know! Thanks also for the wonderful selection of songs that you have too which is very motivating!

You have provided a systematic way to success for musicians! God Bless! I’ve finally found what I needed! Now I know I will be better at church!

– Mary R.God bless!

Easy Worship Fill C D E F G

One thing that is crucial to playing is learning fills and runs. Here’s a free video with one of my favorite fills.

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P.S.
Thanks for being part of the Apostolic Praise School of Music family.

Here is a coupon code for three free chord sheets.  Just pick any three and use “3free” at checkout to get them for FREE!  Shop for chord sheets here
**FIRST 100 PEOPLE ONLY**

Hi Richard, forgive me writing a testimony in the wrong place but I am so excited about your website! I have spent tons of money on lessons with teachers in person, on the internet, books, DVDs but I have never seen one like this! Your program for teaching church musicians is AWESOME!

I told you before I play in church already.   I thank God for you because it is all making sense to me now! What a great concept! I went back to the 100 series and really learned some things even though I have been playing in church every Sunday that I didn’t know! Thanks also for the wonderful selection of songs that you have too which is very motivating!

You have provided a systematic way to success for musicians! God Bless! I’ve finally found what I needed! Now I know I will be better at church!

– Mary R.God bless!

Do you pray before you play?

I remember teaching a lot of students in-person years ago.  I noticed that every student had different levels of learning.  Some would learn more quickly while others would take longer to grasp concepts.

Finally, I started telling my students that they needed to pray and ask God for help with their playing. 

James 1:5 says “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally…and it shall be given him.

I taught my students that if God had put it in their heart to learn how to play music for Him, that they just needed to pray and ask God to help them and then practice.

It wasn’t always my best students that learned to play.  In fact, one of my most talented piano students became a drummer!

But can I tell you, that the ones that really stayed committed to it and kept learning – little bit by little bit and lesson by lesson – they were the ones who really learned to play.

So I want to encourage you that no matter how fast or how slow you may seem to learn, if you will hold on to what God has put in your heart and ask him for WISDOM, He will help you!

MEMBERS LOGIN HERE

Become a MEMBER here

Learn for FREE here

P.S.
Thanks for being part of the Apostolic Praise School of Music family.

Here is a coupon code for three free chord sheets.  Just pick any three and use “3free” at checkout to get them for FREE!  Shop for chord sheets here
**FIRST 100 PEOPLE ONLY**

Hi Richard, forgive me writing a testimony in the wrong place but I am so excited about your website! I have spent tons of money on lessons with teachers in person, on the internet, books, DVDs but I have never seen one like this! Your program for teaching church musicians is AWESOME!

I told you before I play in church already.   I thank God for you because it is all making sense to me now! What a great concept! I went back to the 100 series and really learned some things even though I have been playing in church every Sunday that I didn’t know! Thanks also for the wonderful selection of songs that you have too which is very motivating!

You have provided a systematic way to success for musicians! God Bless! I’ve finally found what I needed! Now I know I will be better at church!

– Mary R.God bless!

What are you up to today?

Hope you are having an amazing day!  

What you do everyday adds up little by little until finally it becomes something huge.

Even if all you have is 15 minutes today, take some time and login to our lessons to learn something new.

Just pick anything!

I do this sometimes because I drive a lot. 

So instead of wasting the time I have in the car, I will turn on a piano or music lesson and use that time to learn something new.

Well, don’t you have to be in front of your instrument?

Yes that would be best, but second best is just visualizing it.

There’s a story of a concert piano player that was held hostage in a foreign country for 4-5 years and when he was freed, he went and played one of his very complicated concert piano pieces flawlessly. 

Everyone was amazed and asked how he did it.  He said he would practice in his head with his eyes closed and imagine that he was playing the piano.

MEMBERS LOGIN HERE

Become a MEMBER here

Learn for FREE here

P.S.
Thanks for being part of the Apostolic Praise School of Music family.

Here is a coupon code for three free chord sheets.  Just pick any three and use “3free” at checkout to get them for FREE!  Shop for chord sheets here
**FIRST 100 PEOPLE ONLY**

Hi Richard, forgive me writing a testimony in the wrong place but I am so excited about your website! I have spent tons of money on lessons with teachers in person, on the internet, books, DVDs but I have never seen one like this! Your program for teaching church musicians is AWESOME!

I told you before I play in church already.   I thank God for you because it is all making sense to me now! What a great concept! I went back to the 100 series and really learned some things even though I have been playing in church every Sunday that I didn’t know! Thanks also for the wonderful selection of songs that you have too which is very motivating!

You have provided a systematic way to success for musicians! God Bless! I’ve finally found what I needed! Now I know I will be better at church!

– Mary R.God bless!

Just another day

It was just another day in the Smith household.

He was homeschooled so after finishing his work around 1pm, he went and did what he did everyday – started practicing the piano.

2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm.  He got up a few times – once to go workout and another to shoot some hoops with his brother.

Dinner was served.  Back to the piano.

OKAY, so that may be a little extreme.  That was me learning to play at one point in my life when I had a LOT of free time.

There was NO social media.  There was NO internet or Facebook or Instagram.

However, other distractions existed in the form of video games and computer games.​​

Those were always a constant distraction and time-waster for me.  Often I would play a game for several hours and then delete – disgusted that I had wasted so much time.​​

​The truth is that what seems like “just another day” to you could be a day that moves you to get 1% better.

And if you get 1% better everyday, then in one year, you will be 365% better.

And if you compound that (I’m not smart enough to do this) than the results are even better!​​​​​​​​​​​​
​​​
Remember it’s PROGRESS not perfection.

It won’t happen OVERNIGHT but if you keep working consistently and learning something NEW every week, then ONE DAY you will look back and be amazed at how far you have come!

If you are not a member/student already, click the button below for FREE lessons (over 50 of them) to get started.

P.S.
Thanks for being part of the Apostolic Praise School of Music family.

Here is a coupon code for three free chord sheets.  Just pick any three and use “3free” at checkout to get them for FREE!  Shop for chord sheets here

**FIRST 100 PEOPLE ONLY**


MEMBERS LOGIN HERE


Become a MEMBER here


Learn for FREE here


At Apostolic Praise we use a systematic, organized approach to teaching music.

You will learn to play
1) by Chord Sheet
2) by ear
3) by Theory

(and eventually)

4) by sight-reading (the least important one for playing church music – so we don’t focus on it until later on in our courses.)

Hi Richard, forgive me writing a testimony in the wrong place but I am so excited about your website! I have spent tons of money on lessons with teachers in person, on the internet, books, DVDs but I have never seen one like this! Your program for teaching church musicians is AWESOME!

I told you before I play in church already.   I thank God for you because it is all making sense to me now! What a great concept! I went back to the 100 series and really learned some things even though I have been playing in church every Sunday that I didn’t know! Thanks also for the wonderful selection of songs that you have too which is very motivating!

You have provided a systematic way to success for musicians! God Bless! I’ve finally found what I needed! Now I know I will be better at church!

– Mary R.God bless!

Progress not Perfection and coupon code for 3 free chord sheets (first 100 people only)

I’ve shared my personal story SO many times – I’m sure you’ve read it before…but I remember when I first started learning to play the piano. It was a lightning storm and I was 6 years old. I had nothing else to do – too dark to read – the only thing there was to do was play the piano…if I knew how (I didn’t).

So I asked my mom to teach me some stuff.

Then I took piano lessons and practiced almost daily for the next 10 years.

Guess what?

I still couldn’t play in church…Not even close.

If you would have asked me, I wouldn’t have known what to play.

Oh I could play a bunch of cool classical stuff (no jazz or gospel stuff though – which is what I really wanted to learn – stuff with a beat and groove).

Yeah I could play a few simple church songs with basic major and minor chords too (yawn).

Then at the age of 16 I took some “by ear” lessons and my mom bought me some books (which were not great to learn from) and somehow over the next few years I began to piece it together.

And within two years I was the main keyboardist at a large church.

Things started clicking.

Now fast forward 15 years.

I can sit down and listen to a song and play it.

I have taught not only thousands of students online but also many, many students in person.

That’s why our system works.

It’s not just something that I thought of on the fly and never tried it out.

This method has been tried and proven in real classes and lessons with REAL people.

In fact, many of my students were children and young people and that’s why we believe it is so easy to learn from…because we break it down in an easy to understand way.

In fact, that’s what many of the students who take our lessons tell us is SO DIFFERENT from any other lessons they have taken.

God has blessed us to be able to be a blessing – all glory goes to him!

So what are you waiting for?

If you are a student already, LOGIN (button below) and keep learning!

TRUST the process.

Remember it’s PROGRESS not perfection.

It won’t happen OVERNIGHT but if you keep working consistently and learning something NEW every week…

If you 1% better every day, in one year you will be 365% better.

If you are not a member/student already, click the button below for FREE lessons (over 50 of them) to get started.

P.S.
Thanks for being part of the Apostolic Praise School of Music family.

Here is a coupon code for three free chord sheets.  Just pick any three and use “3free” at checkout to get them for FREE!  Shop for chord sheets here

**FIRST 100 PEOPLE ONLY**


MEMBERS LOGIN HERE

Become a MEMBER here

Learn for FREE here

At Apostolic Praise we use a systematic, organized approach to teaching music.

You will learn to play
1) by Chord Sheet
2) by ear
3) by Theory

(and eventually)

4) by sight-reading (the least important one for playing church music – so we don’t focus on it until later on in our courses.)

Hi Richard, forgive me writing a testimony in the wrong place but I am so excited about your website! I have spent tons of money on lessons with teachers in person, on the internet, books, DVDs but I have never seen one like this! Your program for teaching church musicians is AWESOME!

I told you before I play in church already.   I thank God for you because it is all making sense to me now! What a great concept! I went back to the 100 series and really learned some things even though I have been playing in church every Sunday that I didn’t know! Thanks also for the wonderful selection of songs that you have too which is very motivating!

You have provided a systematic way to success for musicians! God Bless! I’ve finally found what I needed! Now I know I will be better at church!

– Mary R.

God bless!

It’s a new year and new YOU!

It’s a new year and a new you!

Maybe you have been thinking about learning how to play or maybe you’ve been ​here and there when you have a chance! 

Let me remind you – Rome was NOT built in a day!

All you’ve got to do is learn something new EVERY day (or every day you can).

That doesn’t mean you need to do a new lesson every week.

In fact, it’s better if you set completing 1 lesson per week as a goal!

That way you can work on that lesson that whole week.

So why not go ahead and login here and learn something new?

Current students login here: www.apostolicpsom.com/my-account/​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


​Free students login here: www.apostolicpsom.com/free-lessons/

*over 50 free lessons at the link above*

Become a new member here: www.apostolicpsom.com/membership/

​​Learning how to play music is nothing different from learning anything new.

And it’s mostly just memorization.

We have taught our lessons to kids as young as six years old and as “young” as 70+ years!​​​​

It doesn’t matter how old you are.  It matters if you are willing to put in the practice and the time.

Have you got what it takes?

Have you ever been to a church service where the music was well…joyful but NOT very musical?

I have…and God can still move.  But if you have an ear for music, it can be a little painful!

And it DOESN’T have to be that way.  The Bible says that if any lacks wisdom, let him ask God for it!

Maybe you don’t even seem to have the gift of music inside of you but that’s why we tell our students to pray and ask God to help them!

You’ve got this – with God’s help!

Now go learn something new!​​​​​​


www.apostolicpsom.com

TRY OUR LESSONS FOR FREE HERE.
Instant access to first two lessons of each course! (50+ video lessons).
Plus get a free chord sheet to a new song every week when you signup for our email list!

Not sure where to start?
Start a TEXT conversation at 650-877-2473!

FREE Silent Night Video Tutorial and Chord Sheet

Hey friend!

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with friends and family this year!  

I am so THANKFUL that you are a part of our Apostolic Praise family – whether a free member or current student.

Here is a free tutorial on how to play Silent Night!

Free CHORD SHEET HERE – written in Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced!


Have fun and never stop learning!​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Free students go here: https://www.apostolicpsom.com/free-lessons/

Current students login here: https://apostolicpsom.com/my-account

Sign up here: www.apostolicpsom.com/membership/

TRY OUR LESSONS FOR FREE HERE.
Instant access to first two lessons of each course! (50+ video lessons).
Plus get a free chord sheet to a new song every week when you signup for our email list!

Not sure where to start?
Start a TEXT conversation at 650-877-2473!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey friend!

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family this year!  

I am so THANKFUL that you are a part of our Apostolic Praise family – whether a free member or current student.

Thank you so much for even reading this post and if we can do anything for you, please let us know!

God bless you!

P.S. We are running a 30% sale for the next several days for Thanksgiving / Black Friday / Cyber Monday (what’s next – Terrific Tuesday). 

Shop here


All Products


Have fun and never stop learning!​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Free students go here: https://www.apostolicpsom.com/free-lessons/

Current students login here: https://apostolicpsom.com/my-account

Sign up here: www.apostolicpsom.com/membership/

TRY OUR LESSONS FOR FREE HERE.
Instant access to first two lessons of each course! (50+ video lessons).
Plus get a free chord sheet to a new song every week when you signup for our email list!

Not sure where to start?
Start a TEXT conversation at 650-877-2473!

It’s going to get easier

Hey friend!

I’ve got some awesome news for you.  It’s going to get easier!

What do I mean?

When I first started learning to play, I had to have a chord sheet to learn a song.

Then I learned the Musical Roman Numeral System​​​​​​ (some call it the Nashville Number System nowadays) like we teach in our courses and I learned to play by ear!

However, it would still take me a few hours to learn a song (depending on how complicated it was).

I would find the key, learn the bass part and then figure the chords out (like we teach in AP 203)​.

After awhile, it took just 30 minutes to learn a song and believe it or not, I can listen to a song, make a few notes in Notepad and I learn most songs in 5-10 minutes.

Most songs follow the same pattern and so your ear learns to just recognize those common patterns – just like learning to speak a language.

Music is just a language.

​So while it may be hard right now, just stick with it – it’s going to get easier!

Eventually, those things that are NEW are going to become FAMILIAR and you will continue your journey upwards!

Have fun and never stop learning!​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Free students go here: https://www.apostolicpsom.com/free-lessons/

Current students login here: https://apostolicpsom.com/my-account

Sign up here: www.apostolicpsom.com/membership/

TRY OUR LESSONS FOR FREE HERE.
Instant access to first two lessons of each course! (50+ video lessons).
Plus get a free chord sheet to a new song every week when you signup for our email list!

Not sure where to start?
Start a TEXT conversation at 650-877-2473!

Are you good?!

Hey friend

What does it take to be good?  (And what is “good” anyways?)

Does it take 8 hours a day or can you get by on 30 minutes?  What is beginner and what is advanced?

Someone once said that the 10,000 hour rule is what turns someone into an expert.

Once you have done something for 10,000 hours, you will be a professional in that – whatever it is!

I don’t necessarily agree with that – practice is important but practicing the right things is MORE important.  

I think of it more like the old fable about the rabbit and the turtle that had a race.

The rabbit would run really fast for awhile and then stop to take a nap for a long time.

The turtle just kept slowly making his way to the goal and eventually won the race.

The point of the story is that slow and steady wins the day.

Being consistent in practicing a LITTLE everyday is BETTER than practicing for 8 hours one day and then not practicing for weeks.

If you get 1% better everyday, you will be 365% better by the end of the year!

So take a few minutes today – it can be 10, 15 or 30 and practice!

Do this everyday and have FUN doing it and you will be playing in NO TIME!

By the way – in my opinion, GOOD is defined as being the best that YOU can be.

Free students go here: https://www.apostolicpsom.com/free-lessons/

Current students login here: https://apostolicpsom.com/my-account

Sign up here: www.apostolicpsom.com/membership/

TRY OUR LESSONS FOR FREE HERE.
Instant access to first two lessons of each course! (50+ video lessons).
Plus get a free chord sheet to a new song every week when you signup for our email list!

Not sure where to start?
Start a TEXT conversation at 650-877-2473!

Have you ever done this before?

Hey friend,

Hope you are doing something fun today – cookout, not working, with family, etc.

If you get some free time, don’t WASTE it on social media or goofing off.

Take some time to PLAY (or worship).

So the past few days we had some friends visiting and last night we heard some singing – my daughter and her friend ​​​​​​​​​​were in her room playing and singing “Worthy of It All” and “Throne Room Song” and a few other songs.

(This was after we all sang “Because He Lives” together.)​​

It was so cool to hear them worshipping God​.  They are about 10 years old and even though they may have ups and downs in life, the gift of worship and music is something no one can take from them!

We also have a 20% off sale going on now.  Sign up today and learn – or go to the next level in your playing!

P.S. ​​Do you know how to play hymns?  If not, you should definitely learn!  

For me, I sometimes enjoy sitting down with an older hymnal and just playing older songs.  It’s fun and it’s even more fun to jazz them up!  

Here’s a video I sent my grandmothers (because they love to hear this style).  The song is “I Need Thee, O I Need Thee”.

Also, if you want to learn how to do this AND read sheet music, you should definitely check out our AP 303 course: “How To Play Hymns”.

Have an awesome week!

God bless!

P.S.S.

Current students login here: https://apostolicpsom.com/my-account

Sign up here: www.apostolicpsom.com/membership/


TRY OUR LESSONS FOR FREE HERE.
Instant access to first two lessons of each course! (50+ video lessons).
Plus get a free chord sheet to a new song every week when you signup for our email list!

Not sure where to start?
Start a TEXT conversation at 650-877-2473!

Can you play (jazz up) hymns?

Do you know how to play hymns?  If not, you should definitely learn!  

For me, I sometimes enjoy sitting down with an older hymnal and just playing older songs.  It’s fun and it’s even more fun to jazz them up!  

Here’s a video I sent my grandmothers (because they love to hear this style).  The song is “I Need Thee, O I Need Thee”.

Also, if you want to learn how to do this AND read sheet music, you should definitely check out our AP 303 course: “How To Play Hymns”.

Have an awesome week!

God bless!

P.S

Current students login here: https://apostolicpsom.com/my-account

Sign up here: www.apostolicpsom.com/membership/

P.S.S.

Current students login here: https://apostolicpsom.com/my-account

Sign up here: www.apostolicpsom.com/membership/​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


TRY OUR LESSONS FOR FREE HERE.
Instant access to first two lessons of each course! (50+ video lessons).
Plus get a free chord sheet to a new song every week when you signup for our email list!

Not sure where to start?
Start a TEXT conversation at 650-877-2473!

Do you know how to say NO

One thing I am super thankful for is how my parents raised me.

We did not have social media or email or facebook or instagram or any of that stuff​.  The only screen allowed in our home was a computer LOL.

We still had our distractions (mainly video games) that we wasted a lot of time on but eventually you get bored with those or you beat them.

And you couldn’t just “download” a new game or go to a different website because there was NO web.  There was no downloading.

You had to actually go to the store and buy another one (if the new one had come out).

Of course, for me, I would play a video game for a few hours and then get upset because I had just “wasted” two hours and I would erase the game or break the CD (which was required to play it – LOL).

My point is that I had to say NO to some things in order to not waste my time.

And if you are going to become a successful musician (or really anything in life) you are going to have to learn how to say NO more often.

But only say NO to the wrong stuff and say YES to the right stuff.

For me, right stuff was practicing and learning new stuff on the keyboard, bass, organ, drums or guitar.

I would open a lesson book or turn on an album and practice with it until I could play the whole album.

Wrong stuff was wasting hours playing video games (which I knew would not help me in the future).

30 years from now, no one will care that you got to level 100 on whatever flavor of the day video game everyone is playing now.

No one will care that your character was invincible.

But learning a new skill or spending time with family or friends or the Lord has a lifetime of benefits.

Here’s my challenge for you this week: say NO to something (or things) you are wasting your time on and instead spend that time doing something productive (like logging in to your lessons).

For me, that means I’m not reading the news, scrolling endlessly through social media or reading westerns.​ Lol.

Have an awesome week!

​God bless!

P.S

Current students login here: https://apostolicpsom.com/my-account

Sign up here: www.apostolicpsom.com/membership/​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


P.S.S.​​
​​Here’s my challenge from last week:

I want you to learn something new on your instrument every day.

That means you have to stop practicing the same thing over and over again. 

Now some things you need to keep practicing daily. 

But for beginner to intermediate musicians, what you learn is line upon line.

So as you learn something new, you are actually practicing what you have already learned.

This will continue until you are an intermediate to advanced musician who
1. knows ALL their chords (how do you know when you know all your chords – because there are ZERO chords you don’t know – from 7ths to 9ths to 11ths to 13ths.)

Here are two great courses for learning all your chords.
AP 204 The Secrets to Playing Gospel & Pentecostal Music
AP 701 Gospel Jazz Chords

2. can play by ear (AP 203)
3. knows all their voicings (AP 702 Gospel Jazz Voicings)


4. knows their scales and how to improvise (AP 703 Jazz Improvisation)

5. knows how to play gospel style (fast songs) AP 304 The Secrets to Fast Songs, Gospel Blues Style, Shouting Music, Preacher Chords)

Will you take my challenge?

Reply back “yes” or “no” and let me know!


TRY OUR LESSONS FOR FREE HERE.
Instant access to first two lessons of each course! (50+ video lessons).
Plus get a free chord sheet to a new song every week when you signup for our email list!

Not sure where to start?
Start a TEXT conversation at 650-877-2473!

When I gave up learning to play music

It took me about 10 years to learn how to play in church and my path there was anything but easy.

There were many times I felt like giving up and I often did.

Because that’s how I learn and how a lot of people do too!

Our brains are funny things and they need time to digest what we have learned.

That’s why you can’t sit down and learn to play the piano in one day.

So here’s the trick – ready?!!

Learn something new everyDAY!

In other words, every new day is a chance to start fresh and learn something new because you have slept and your brain is fresh and ready again.

So if you DON’T learn something new one day, you can never get that back.

The good news is that with our system, you can learn in a focused, organized way.

Somebody texted me the other day and said that they were a beginner and wanted to know if learning scales was a good idea.

I told them “No”.

Scales are an almost complete waste of time if you are a beginner.

It’s like telling you to start memorizing spelling words when you haven’t even learned the alphabet.

How can you work on your spelling words when you don’t even know your ABCs?

LOL!

So, if you feel like giving up – go ahead!  But ONLY for the rest of the day and then come back the next day and start again when you are fresh.  Never give completely up!

And two, trust the system.  If you study with us with 3 months and do it consistenly and with a “learn something new everyday” mindset, your playing will never be the same.

We have literally had people playing in church in 3 months.

God bless you and your playing!


Enjoy!


P.S. Have you learned the new chord sheet?
https://www.apostolicpsom.com/great-worship-song-worthy-of-it-all/

P.S.S. You got this.

Current students login here: https://apostolicpsom.com/my-account

Sign up here:

www.apostolicpsom.com/membership/

TRY OUR LESSONS FOR FREE HERE.
Instant access to first two lessons of each course! (50+ video lessons).
Plus get a free chord sheet to a new song every week when you signup for our email list!

Not sure where to start?
Start a TEXT conversation at 650-877-2473!

Great Worship Song (Worthy Of It All)

JUST WANTED TO SHARE TO BLESS!

Click here to download PDF!

Buy the PDF, RTF and TXT (Great for apps like Onsong) here

TRY OUR LESSONS FOR FREE HERE.
Instant access to first two lessons of each course! (50+ video lessons).
Plus get a free chord sheet to a new song every week when you signup for our email list!

Not sure where to start?
Start a TEXT conversation at 650-877-2473!

What to do when you want to quit

My journey to learning to play was kind of long.

It started with a bang (literally) – the lights went off because of an Oklahoma thunderstorm and it was dark enough where we couldn’t even see to read.

I was 6 and got bored and asked my mom to show me how to play the piano (since it was the only thing we could see in the house lit with only candles – no tablets or phones back then – LOL).

Then around the age of 10 I started taking classical piano lessons.

I took some gospel stuff around 12 and learned some chords.

Around 16 I really got into gospel music and finally learned how to play in church around 17-18.

And trust me, there were HUNDREDS of times that I got frustrated and wanted to quit.

And in fact, I did quit.  Almost everyday.  LOL!

So you know, whenever you learn something new, it will usually be hard because it’s new to you.

So I would learn something new and practice, practice, practice it but it wouldn’t quite sound right.

But what I have learned is this: your brain takes about a day or two to fully process things.

So if you will practice something new the FIRST DAY.  Then take a break for a few days or come back the SECOND DAY. and practice it again and then come back again the THIRD DAY and practice it…then you will probably get it the third day!

Then you just repeat this pattern over and over again for new things.

So if you quit, that’s fine – just don’t quit permanently (forever).

Just quit for the day and come back tomorrow.  You’ll probably get it later.

God bless!

Current students login here: https://apostolicpsom.com/my-account

Sign up here:

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All by myself

So I learned to play music in part because we moved to Tampa for a year (and I didn’t know anybody there – except the church folks and we lived like 45 minutes away).

So I was pretty much isolated and was like “what to do?” 

Fortunately, my parents had rented a piano from a local music store so I could practice (they’ve always supported my music habit LOL).  I have awesome parents.

So I just played music like 8 hours a day.

And that’s what you have to do sometimes.  You just have to isolate yourself to learn how to play.  

I mean you don’t HAVE to.  Maybe you have friends or family that want to learn too and you can hang out and play with them.  Or maybe you have a great local teacher.

But for most people, you are going to have to just get alone and PRACTICE and LEARN until you get it.

That might even mean having to go on a fast (or partial fast) from social media and the news (gasp)!  Try it for 52 days – you might like it.  🙂

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My number one tip for all musicians

Sometimes I think about when I was a “beginning” musician and what I wish I could go back and tell myself.

My number one thing I would focus on learning if I had to start from scratch would be CHORDS!

Really?!!

Chords?

Yes you need to learn and master all 33 of the main church chords we use in an ORGANIZED way…ONE at a time!

For example, major chords are just ONE of the 33 chords we use in church music.

If you don’t know your major chords, you can’t play anything.

And you need to learn them in ALL 12 keys AND in all their inversions (more on that in our lessons).

But furthermore, you need to learn HOW and WHERE to use them. 

​​And then you need to learn some SONGS to practice them with.

There are THREE specific places that we usually use major chords.  Do you know what they are?

They are the I, the IV and the V chords (the 1, the 4 and the 5 chords).

Don’t know what that means?  Am I speaking “Roman” to you?  (Lol)

Learn more about the Roman Numeral System here for FREE:
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Have you ever heard this before?

Scales, scales, scales – practice your scales!

Have you ever heard that before?

Well there’s some truth to it but it’s really not a very good things to do for most people.

Why?

Well, let’s look at one of my personal practice sheets for a minute.  These are the scales that I “play” but I don’t just play them.  I play them in different ways (alternating, as chords, staccato versus legato, etc).

Major scale, Mixolydian, Dorian, Aeolian (natural minor), Phyrgian, Locrian, Altered scale (7+5+9), Lydian, Dominant Lydian

Barry’s major scale (#5), Barry’s bebop mixolydian (b7-7-1 i think), Bebop scale with alternating notes

Blues scale, Major Pentatonic, Major pentatonic with b3 and 3

Major pentatonic with b3 and no 3, Minor pentatonic, Alternating minor pentatonic

Barry’s altered bebop Dorian (b7-7-1), Bebop Dorian (1-2-b3-3-4-5-6-b7-1)

Harmonic minor scale (minor with 7 not b7) Bebop harmonic minor scale (b7-7-1)

Melodic minor (major with b3), Bebop melodic minor (#5 added)

Whole tone scale, Half/whole, Whole/half, Chromatic, Gypsy scale (1 b2 3 4 5 b6 b7 1)
The truth is that there are TONS of different types of scales and eventually your want to learn them all and learn to use them. 

But NOT today!

Instead, just focus on the basics.  Learning chords, some songs and going through the system that God helped us create at www.apostolicpsom.com!

Start your journey today or keep learning if you are advanced!

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Advanced scale and improvisation stuff here: https://apostolicpsom.com/product/ap-703-gospel-jazz-improvisation/


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Do you know these 8 tips?

Here are a few quick tips for you!  Maybe you knew these and maybe you didn’t!

There are about 33 chords that we use regularly in church music. 

One of them is the suspended 4.

Now for you more advanced people, you can actually use a suspended 4 on many types of chords.

Suspended 4 just means you replace the 3rd with the 4th.

So in the key of C, the 3rd note of the scale is E and the 4th note is F.

So a C major chord is C E G (1-3-5) and a C suspended 4 chord is C F G (1-4-5)

A few more things, a C7sus4 would be a C7 where you replace the 3 with the 4.

So C7 = Bb C E G
C7sus4 = Bb C F G

(It generally resolves to the C7).
(Remember to play C in the bass or left hand with both of these chords).

That’s the thing with suspended 4 chords – they almost always need to resolve!

Resolve just means they change back to the original chord.

It’s almost like they put on a different outfit for a minute and change into a different type of chord but then they always put their original clothes back on.

Silly example, right?

Also a C9sus4 would be Bb D F G (over a C bass)

Then it would resolve to Bb D E G.

C7b9sus4 would be Bb Db F G and it would resolve to C7b9 which is Bb Db E G.

Or my personal favorite a C13 which is basically a suspended chord.

I like to voice a C13 like this.
Right Hand: D F A C
Left Hand: C G Bb

It’s just one of the coolest sounding chords.

Even minor chords can have a sus4 which would be C F G and then resolve to C Eb G.

Or Cm7sus4 which would be Bb C F G and then resolve to Cm7 which is Bb C Eb G.

Of course the crazy thing with minor chords is that you can actually just add the suspended 4 note to the chord and it sounds good.

Take a Cm7 for example.  Instead of playing it as Bb C Eb G (or Bb Eb G as we teach in our lesson), try playing it as Bb Eb F G (over a C bass of course) for a really sweet sound.

Anyways, have fun this week playing with suspended 4 chords!

We are currently running a 10% off Summer Sale!
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Why don’t you hop on over and join the tens of thousands that have learned to play! with Apostolic Praise School of Music?

God bless you and your playing!

Bro Richard Smith


You can become a member or get up to 50 free lessons here: https://www.apostolicpsom.com/membership/

What to do when you mess up

Have you ever hit a wrong note? 

I mean not just playing by yourself but playing in front of a BIG crowd of other people!

So I was playing this past Sunday morning when I did it.  I hit a wrong note (several in fact).

Now when you hit a wrong note, you have 2 main options.

1) Act like it was on purpose and do it again!  This actually works sometimes!  
*NOTE: this will NOT work if it’s a REALLY bad note.  LOL

Also – Pro Tip: Do NOT change your facial expression!

2) Own it.  In basketball, we say “my bad”.  This can be communicated by a face of pain or by smiling. 

Everyone knows you hit the wrong note.  Just acknowledge it with a smile or grimace. 

Now I’m kind of being a little silly but I’m half shalf-serious

S​​o what did I do?

I grimaced for a second (LOL) and then just moved on.  And I played harder to make up for my mistake and decided that this week I would put in more personal practice time.

I’ve learned that getting caught up in your mistakes and losing your cool is a lot WORSE than just moving on and making up your mind that you are going to make up for that mistake – whether that is through playing better and with more focus and/or practicing more at home.

For example, my kids are part of a Bible Memorization program and they go to tournaments and answer questions.  

We teach them that even if they get a question wrong – the next question is a NEW quiz. 

Forget about the one you missed and MOVE ON.

What would happen in your life if you chose to just MOVE ON instead of focusing on your mistakes and failures?

Somebody needs to preach on that!  LOL!

Anyways, what are you waiting on?

Take your playing to the next level or start from scratch here!

We are currently running a 10% off Summer Sale!
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Why don’t you hop on over and join the tens of thousands that have learned to play! with Apostolic Praise School of Music?

God bless you and your playing!

Bro Richard Smith


You can become a member or get up to 50 free lessons here: https://www.apostolicpsom.com/membership/

One step at a time

There’s an old saying that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.

This just means that it takes TIME to learn things.

There are about 33 main chords ​​​​that we use in church and gospel music.

(FYI, major and minor chords are only 2 of the 33.)​

There are multiple types of 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th, diminished, augmented, half-diminished and ALL kinds of chords!

And believe it or not, we use ALL of these 33 chords very regularly in all styles of church / gospel music.  ​

It doesn’t matter if you play southern gospel, black gospel, pentecostal, contemporary (CCM) or anything in-between.  You need these chords!​​​

(We have a printable PDF quick reference with ALL 33 of them showing both how to make them and where to use them here)​​​​

This may seem overwhelming at first but the key is to study EACH ONE individually.

What we do in our lessons is ​​we teach you how to make a chord, then we explain where to use it and then we teach you a song or two using that chord in the right spots.

Of course, chords are just building blocks​​ or “legos” of playing music.

You still need scales, fills, runs, voicings and all kinds of other fun stuff.​​

The good news?  We teach all of that.

So what are you waiting on?

Take your playing to the next level or start from scratch here!

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Why don’t you hop on over and join the tens of thousands that have learned to play! with Apostolic Praise School of Music?

God bless you and your playing!

Bro Richard Smith


You can become a member or get up to 50 free lessons here: https://www.apostolicpsom.com/membership/

Stop playing around and start playing

I went over to someone’s house the other day and two young people were playing around on the guitar and bass guitar.

Well, they really didn’t seem to be playing. They were just kind of watching people play music online – just an instrumental kind of rocky non-gospel and non-church guitar technique.

As someone that has learned and mastered multiple instruments, here’s what I saw:

Two people wasting their time.

​Why?

Because it wasn’t teaching them anything.  They weren’t trying to copy his technique or playing.

And even if they did try to learn it – it seemed like kind of a useless thing to learn anyways.

What he was playing could probably never be used in a church or gospel setting.

It was just…noise!

In fact, call me old – but it was giving me a headache.  LOL!​

Now I’ve always said – if you really want to PLAY, you need to stop playing around.

Watching people play really fancy techniques, fills and runs and saying “wow – that’s so cool” will never help you to play like that. 

You could watch that video a hundred times but if it is not teaching you anything then you are simply Wasting Your Time.​

​So I sat down and had them turn off the useless Youtube guitar video and then showed them a few things that they could play that were actually useful.

Here is how you learn to play an instrument:

1. Take Lessons and practice
2. Listen to others play and try to copy what they are playing

Anything else is a waste of time.  

If you are an amateur, don’t try to learn the fanciest thing you can learn.

Start simple and build upon that.

How do you build a house?  By making sure the foundation is good first.

Then you can build upon that foundation.

Is building a foundation fun?  No, it’s kind of boring and dirty.​​​​​​​​​​

But you can’t have a solid house without it.

It’s the same with music.  You will never be a strong musician without a solid musical foundation.  

At Apostolic Praise​​​​​​, we teach you how to understand and speak the language of music.

​Our goal is not just to teach you songs (although we will teach you many songs) but to learn how to understand music.​

We mainly teach you to play

1. By Chord Sheet
2. By Theory
3. By Ear

Once you know a few chords, you can play a chord sheet.

​Once you know some theory you can make that chord sheet / song sound BETTER and add better chords, fills and runs in the right spots.

And once you learn how to play by ear, you can do anything.​​​​​​​​​​

Take your playing to the next level or start from scratch here!

We are running a 20% sale for a few more days!
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Why don’t you hop on over and join the tens of thousands that have learned to play! with Apostolic Praise School of Music?

God bless you and your playing!

Bro Richard Smith


You can become a member or get up to 50 free lessons here: https://www.apostolicpsom.com/membership/

This may change your life

One of the most important things you can do whether you are learning a new instrument or you have played for years is to pray and ask God to help you.

That might seem obvious but I wonder how many people do that?

James 1:5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

Prayer makes everything better and will help you learn!  Are you struggling to learn to play?  Ask GOD to help you!

Also, as musicians it is SO important that we have a right spirit and attitude.  

The Bible says in James 1:23-24
“23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

“Heartily” means 
A. In a cordial manner; with warmth and sincerity.
B. Thoroughly; completely.
C. With zest or enthusiasm. 

Fasting and prayer are also incredibly helpful to do this. 
Fasting once or twice a week is important to help us keep the flesh out of the way.

How is this going to make you a better musician?

Well, for one God will help you and give you wisdom in playing music.

For two, having a right spirit and attitude will help you man and working with leadership  and ministry in the church!  God loves cheerfulness!

Hope this helped you today!

Take your playing to the next level or start from scratch here!

And today we are running a 20% sale!
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Why don’t you hop on over and join the tens of thousands that have learned to play! with Apostolic Praise School of Music?

God bless you and your playing!

Bro Richard Smith


You can become a member or get up to 50 free lessons here: https://www.apostolicpsom.com/membership/

Are you like this guy?

When I was a young person, I remember there was another young person a few years older than me who was learning how to play the drums.

And boy was he AWFUL!  I mean his timing was bad and everything.

I was just a kid and wasn’t a musician but I could still clap on beat!  LOL!

And I could tell that his timing was OFF.

Fast forward maybe five years and this SAME GUY played for the church choir, music conferences, and even drum competitions! 

He went from awful to basically professional.  People would compliment him on well he stayed on beat without speeding up or slowing down.

So don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it! 

Maybe your timing is bad.  Maybe your ear is not great.  Maybe you don’t even have good coordination.

But if you are willing to work hard enough (AND pray and ask God for help and wisdom) then one day someday maybe someone will be writing a story about YOU like this.

Take your playing to the next level or start from scratch here!

And today we are running a 20% sale!
https://www.apostolicpsom.com/membership/
Why don’t you hop on over and join the tens of thousands that have learned to play! with Apostolic Praise School of Music?

God bless you and your playing!

Bro Richard Smith


You can become a member or get up to 50 free lessons here: https://www.apostolicpsom.com/membership/

How are your ears?

When I was a kid, I noticed that I could tell when musical notes went up or down.  I was not born with “perfect pitch” where I could just hear a note and tell what it was.  

However, I can now listen to a song a few times and – for the most part – be able to get up and play it. 

How did I go from zero to there?

Well, I did the HARD way.  I started off learning the bass guitar (which I recommend that every keyboardist do). 

I would plug my headphones (which I still use – can’t stand in-ears) and pick out the notes.

Sometimes one song would take me an hour or HOURS.

After about 6 months of doing this, I became fairly proficient on the bass guitar.

However, at the same time, I began to learn the keyboard and really study chord theory and the Number System.

Suddenly some things began to click.  I realized that I could hear the bass line by ear on many songs and from there I could use my theory to figure out the chords!

Fast forward a few years and I took some piano jazz lessons (which are the basis for our AP 701 Gospel Jazz ChordsAP 702 Gospel Jazz Voicings and AP 703 Gospel Jazz Improvisation.

And I went through the exercises that we teach in those courses as well as AP 204 The Secrets to Playing Gospel & Pentecostal Music.

All of a sudden, I could recognize CHORDS.  I could tell if the chord was a dominant 7th, minor 9th, or minor 6add9 or WHATEVER!

And this is what I want you to be able to do!

You see, I firmly believe that I don’t have any more than an average person’s ear.  But I have trained myself to be able to hear better.

Just about anyone can do what I did.  In fact, if you can hear your favorite song come on while you are listening to music and tell which song it is by the first few notes or chords, then you can probably learn to play an instrument by ear!

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So why don’t you hop on over and join the tens of thousands that have learned to play! with Apostolic Praise School of Music?


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Let your gift make room for you

When I was a younger musician, I got the opportunity to help out at a small home missions (startup) church.  We actually attended a larger church in the area on Sundays but we would go there Wednesdays and eventually some Sunday mornings to help out.  

The funny thing was that some of the musicians at my larger church – in all humility LOL – were not as advanced of keyboard players as I was. 

I would have loved to play at the bigger church, but the time was not yet.

Jesus went through a wilderness experience before he came into his ministry and that happens a lot with normal people like you and I as well.

Solomon said in Proverbs 18:16 “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.”

So I was faithful in using my gift and playing at the smaller church and it was actually really good for me because it forced me to play and carry the music by myself.  We sometimes had a drummer but often it was just me on keys!

Well after several years of playing there, the music minister at my home church – the bigger church – asked me to learn a song or two for the choir.  I learned the songs and did well and I eventually became the main keyboardist for the church. 

(The one that was there became busy with work and wasn’t able to play as much).

But the main thing was that I had to keep a humble attitude and right spirit.  I didn’t think I was “too good” to play at a smaller church (and never have).

I just went and helped where there was a need.

And in due season, God blessed me to play at the larger church (where we did more songs and more advanced and fun songs). and eventually to play at conferences.

So if you are in a season where you feel like your gift is not being exercised where you are at, have patience.  Continue to grow and to get better.  Continue to practice.  Do not become upset but keep a right attitude.

Look for opportunities to be used and be humble enough to play at something that may seem like a small opportunity and then do your best!

And as the Word says “in due season, you will reap…IF you faint not.”

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