For an optimum video experience BSharpTricks recommends using the Google Chrome browser.
What is the difference between the Basic and Premium memberships?
The Premium membership subscription gives you full access to all of BSharpTricks.com lessons. With a Premium membership you can take a lesson anytime of day or night at your own pace from your home or on any computer on the Internet. The subscription fee is $20 per month or $199 for a full year's subscription.
The Basic membership is free and gives you access to a limited number of free lessons. It is designed to let you "try out" several lessons at your own pace.
How do I sign up for Premium membership?
Go to the Register tab in the navigation menu and select Premier Membership. You will be given the choice to sign up for a monthly subscription (auto-renewing each month) or a full year's access subscription.
What payment methods do you accept?
We accept Master Card, Visa, American Express, and Discover.
What if I don't want to pay online?
Our payment gateway if fully secure and your transaction is protected. However, if you wish you may contact customer support at firstname.lastname@example.org or 210-865-1779 for other options.
How does monthly credit card billing work?
Premium memberships are billed monthly. Recurring account billing happens each month on the date that you originally signed up.
How do I cancel my subscription?
Premium memberships that are billed monthly can be cancelled anytime. Upon clicking Cancel your account will immediately revert to a Basic account without regard for any subscription days remaining in the month. You will have continued access until the following recurring account billing date after which you will no longer have Premium access. To cancel please contact customer support at email@example.com.Return to Top
Video Player Questions:
The high quality video seems to stutter during playback what can I do?
BST recommends the Google Chrome brower for an optomized and fast video experience.
After trying the Chrome browers and still experiencing video issues it may be that you do not have a fast enough internet connection to facilitate high quality playback. Our player is powered by Vimeo and should automatically adjust to your internet connection speed. In some remote cases it my be necessary to purchase our data disc DVD's and play the videos locally on your computer.Return to Top
Account Access Questions:
I forgot my user name and/or password what can I do?
Please email customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org for a password reset.Return to Top
I have not received a welcome email or email response from customer service - should I have?
When you sign up and when you send an email to customer support you should get an immediate auto response. Please check your spam or trash folder. Please add communications from BsharpTricks.com to your address book so that communications will not get routed to your spam/trash folder.
The lead instructor's jokes are so lame! What can I do about this?
We agree with you, unfortunately all of the video editing in the world couldn't remove all the lame jokes and the weird sense of humor of our lead instructor. You'll have to bear with the jokes, but please try not to laugh it only encourages him.Return to Top
Piano Lessons Questions:
What style of piano instruction is this?
There are essentially three ways to learn to play piano:
- A Classical method where sight reading and traditional sheet music is emphasized.
- A Jazz Improvisational method where lead sheets, chord approaches, and improvisations are emphasized.
- By ear, where a person can play without anything in front of them because they have lea rned to recognize patterns in music.
The lessons at BSharpTricks.com are a Jazz improvisational approach with an eye towards the student grasping the concepts to also be able to play by ear. While a classical method has some value, in church-type and most performance style settings, a Jazz improvisational approach is more beneficial and rewarding. (It's also much more fun!) With a few exceptions, worship-style choruses and songs are used to illustrate the musical principles being taught.
What is the origin of this particular series?
The videos reflect the teaching style of the lead instructor, Jeremiah Sibley, and are largely lessons that were developed over years of teaching piano in private lessons and from the many music conferences sessions that he has directed. They are a reflection of how he was taught by his own personal piano teachers, his love for jazz piano, and the strange but effective way his brain thinks about music.
What is the difference between The Series at BSharpTricks.com and the Advanced Lessons?
The Series is a sequential, step-by-step series of lessons just as if you were taking personal, one-on-one piano lessons from Jeremiah Sibley and it begins assuming you know nothing musically. Typically, even if a somewhat advanced student comes to Jeremiah, he would quickly cover most of this material in The Series to ensure that nothing was missed.
Most of the Advanced Lessons assume that a person has a basic grasp of common chords and a basic playing ability. The main difference is that the Advanced Lessons do not build upon one another but stand alone in teaching a unique musical concept.
What are Snacks?
Snacks are generally shorter in length as far as time required to teach and/or time required to learn. They may also be something that doesn't fit neatly into a larger topic elsewhere. If you only have a few minutes to learn something or just want to learn something new at random, take a snack!
What is the difference between a lesson and a segment?
Generally speaking, at BSharpTricks.com a lesson contains an overall concept to be learned and segments are videos that work together to present the lesson. A lesson is usually made up of several video segments that work together to present the full concept. After viewing segment one of a lesson, click "segment two" located immediately under the video window to advance to the next segment. Unless otherwise noted, all segments of a lesson should be viewed and completed before moving on to the next lesson.
Where should I begin?
If you are new to piano lessons or only have an abbreviated experience in musical instruction, you should begin at the beginning of The Series and work your way through the concepts presented there. Even if you have taken piano lessons before for quite some time and yet consider yourself a beginner, it might be a good idea to begin at the beginning and at least skim the first lessons because it could be that a reason that you are struggling to advance musically is an incomplete foundation theoretically. If you are an advanced piano player, you still might want to view the first lessons just for the great sense of humor exhibited by the lead instructor!
If you are an intermediate to advanced or more experienced piano player, use the following questions to determine your starting point:
Are you able to make, form, explain, and use major, minor, diminished, and augmented triads? If not, you should begin at Lesson Seven of The Series to at least fill in the blanks of your knowledge.
Are you able to play, form, and explain "Two" chords, Suspensions, and Sixth chords? If not, then you should begin with Lesson Thirteen of The Series.
Do you know the difference between a major 7th and a dominant 7th chord? Do you know when you should play one and not the other? If not, you should begin with Lesson Seventeen of The Series.
Do you understand the difference between a Half-Diminished 7th chord and a Fully-Diminished 7th chord? If not, you should begin with Lesson Nineteen of The Series.
Do you understand and already know how to use 9th, Flat 9th, 11th, 13th, and 13th Flat 9th, chords? If not, you should begin with Lesson Twenty-One of The Series.
Generally speaking, if you have a basic understanding of 13th chords and can play slow songs fairly competently, you should move forward to Advanced Studies and choose something that interests you.
How often are new lessons added?
New lessons are shot and added to the site very frequently, so you should continually check back for new material. Especially check the Advanced Studies and Snacks for new lessons.
I'm having difficulty understanding or playing the material of a particular lesson, what should I do?
First ensure that you have completed the prerequisite material for the lesson that you are viewing. The later lessons of The Series and the Advanced Studies assume that you have a good grasp of key theoretical concepts, musical vocabulary, and at least a somewhat working knowledge of 13th chords.
Secondly, watch the video again! This is the beauty of BSharpTricks.com – you can repeat the lessons as often as you would like. Be sure that you understood the principles of the previous segments of a lesson and review them again if necessary.
Thirdly, try posting a note on the Forum part of the site outlining your difficulty and you can interact with instructors and other students to help you move forward musically in this area.
Fourthly, be sure that you are not just watching videos but are actually learning the concepts, drills, and activities that are being assigned. A strength of BSharpTricks.com is that you can move at your own pace, but a weakness is that someone might choose to move forward too quickly. There are no shortcuts to playing piano or any other musical instrument competently and it will take hours at the piano actually working on being able to do what you are seeing presented effortlessly on the video.
Fifthly, keep persevering! If playing the piano competently were easy, then everybody would be able to do it. The truth is that there is no easy way out and some principles and skills often take hours and hours of practice to learn and perform. While BSharpTricks.com provides you the material and instruction that you need to move forward musically and organizes it so that the next step is waiting, to fully grasp and implement the concepts presented here will take years. There have been many people who don't play the piano today that wish that they would have taken lessons or not stopped, but there is nobody who can play the piano competently today who regrets the effort that they expended to get to such a place musically – stick with it, the results will be worth the sacrifice!
What do I need to begin?
A relatively recent-model computer with a high-speed Internet connection, a premium membership at BSharpTricks.com, and a willingness to learn are absolute necessities. A sense of humor – while not required – certainly helps.
You will also need something to practice on: either a piano, keyboard with piano sound, or access to such an instrument. For a guitar or organ lesson, you would need the appropriate instrument to practice the material. For beginning's sakes, the practice instrument need not be expensive but any keyboard used should have full-size, standard keys. A general rule is that the more keys the better and some weight to the keys is beneficial although not absolutely necessary. You really need a sustain pedal for your keyboard in order to establish correct habits that will enable you to excel in a performance-style setting. A keyboard really needs a stand to rest it upon and often some sort of amplifier so that it can be heard. Headphones are a great option, also and can really go a long way in improving your relationship with family members who are sick of hearing the same trick or song over and over again!
Should I sit or stand up to play keyboards?
It really doesn't matter, albeit the greatest piano players in the world all have one trait in common: they sit down to play the piano. Some people prefer to stand up and adjust their keyboard stand accordingly – just ensure that the keys are not too high or too low so that you can maintain proper posture.Return to Top
Lead Instructor Questions:
Who is the lead instructor?
Robert Jeremiah Sibley is the lead instructor at BSharpTricks.com. He currently resides in south Texas and was born September 7, 1976. He has been married to DeAnna since one wonderful Saturday in October of 1997. He is the proud father of two beautiful girls. He thanks you in advance for all of the gifts that you will send him now that you know his birthday.
What is Jeremiah Sibley's musical background?
Jeremiah began taking piano lessons at the age of twelve from Michelle Swindoll, now Michelle Penton. He attended Bible College at Jackson College of Ministries under the tutelage of DeDie Cooley. He was Music Minister at FUPC of San Antonio, pastor Tim Wallace, for four and a half years. Since 2000, Jeremiah has served as senior pastor to Medina Valley Christian Worship where he is also heavily involved in the church music program. He has taught private piano lessons to students of various ages weekly since 1997 and enjoys teaching music. Influences to his personal piano style can be heard in the early piano albums of Harry Connick Jr and the discography of the late Gene Harris. He is currently a very avid fan of Hiromi Uehara's piano work.
What is Jeremiah Sibley's religious background?
Jeremiah has been an active part of Pentecostal churches and Pentecostal-style worship services all of his life. His mother served as the music minister of the local church for most of his childhood. Jeremiah is an ordained minister of the United Pentecostal Church International. The church he pastors currently performs a wide variety in styles of worship music, ranging from reworked traditional hymns to guitar-driven modern praise and worship. A little Black Gospel and Contemporary always seems to find its way into the sets and every once in a while a Southern Gospel, country-style song will come out.Return to Top