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Organizing Your Styles

by Scott Langholff
December 19, 2003

ScottHow to organizes your style files is a challenge everyone must, sooner or later, face, particularly if you have a hard drive. This is my current approach, which works very well for me on my Tyros. I have found that this is a very fast way to go, especially when performing live.

I use ten style categories on the hard drive, which works out well because the style window shows ten "slots" per page. I set mine up as Ballad, Country, Fox, Latin, Misc, Pop, R&B, Rock, Swing (with three subfolders Swing Fast, Swing Medium and Swing Slow) and Waltz. The Misc folder is used for new unique folders like Polka, Christmas, Irish (for St. Pats day), or anything in this nature.

For an example of Scott's organizationl scheme, you can download and try out some of Scott's Gig Disks. You will also find a jukebox there with some examples of Scott's songs. Be sure to also visit Scott's Web Site. Note that for those of you looking for music lessons, Scott provides phone support and uses Skype, a free download that allows Scott to call students by phone for free in the US & Canada. It's also free to talk computer to computer with or without web cam anywhere in the world using. Skype. See Scott's site for details.

I use song title names followed by the style name and what keyboard the style came from. I also notate if there are particular intros/endings, variations, and OTS settings I want to use.
I indicate intros and endings as a, b, c rather than I, II, III. The variations are A, B, C, D and the OTS settings are 1, 2, 3, 4. If I want to use something other than OTS, I use initials like P for piano, U for user voices, P3 for Registration Memory (or Preset) 3 etc. This obviously needs to be abbreviated so all important info is visible in the screen. For example,

Hello Dolly, Foxtrot, PSR-2000 style, into b, variations B, C, D, Piano for solo, and ending c

would look something like:

HelloDlybBCDcP~ Foxtrot2K

Song titles often have to be abbreviated to be able to also see the different settings on the main screen. The style name and an abbreviation for the keyboard the style came from can be hidden unless you press "Name" and want to check to see what you've used already. Naming songs this way in the Music Finder records, you can use the MusicFinderView program by Michael Bedesem to print out your style list and keep track of what styles you have used and check to see if you are using a particular style or intro/ending too much or if you want each style to be different for each song.

Actually, I currently use three sets of these 10 category folders. The first 10 I put a small letter "a" before the category titles like a BALLAD, a COUNTRY, a FOX, etc. This denotes all the tunes I play by ear with no music. So far, I have only put in my best , most used, and most popular tunes the audiences tend to like.

The second page of style categories looks like this: r BALLAD, r COUNTRY, r FOX, etc. This page denotes tunes I use music for. I had to use the "r" so it would go past the last entry on page one and show up on page 2 (P2). While I could have used numbers for this, I find in a live situation the least amount of thinking is the best. So, when I see the "r," I think r=read music.

My third page (P3) is for styles in the 10 categories that are good and ready to be used for a song, either to name it and put it on page one or two, or to just pick a style on the fly and play a song that fits that style. I list these with an "x" before the category name to force these folders to the 3rd page. Such as: x BALLAD, x COUNTRY, etc.

I put all my tunes first into the Music Finder after printing out the correct names and then deleting all those extra songs. So just my tunes go in. Much easier to deal with. When entering a new song in the Music Finder, I first check my printout to see if its listed. If it is, I see if I like it. If so, I use that, but more often than not I pick a different style and speed. As you will find out, a lot of the song suggestions may not fit you. So I use the origianl Music Finder only as a starting point.

I put all my tunes in the Music Finder first with the different styles that fit, then pick the best one and put it on the hard drive. This way at the outside chance the hard drive would hang up, I can still keep going in a live situation.

Then, once I find a style version I like, I transfer it over to the appropriate category folder on the hard drive. Of course, here I can now change and save the OTS and speed, etc. To save all info with the speed and OTS you must press Digital Recording | Style Creator | Assembly | Save | HD1 | (choose Style folder wanted) | Save | OK or you will only save the style with its factory default setting. An unfortunate lesson to learn the hard way.

This is a super fast way to go from tune to tune in a live gig situation as compared to hunting around in the Music Finder. As you press the ending for one song, you can quickly decide what style and/or song you want to play next, press the appropriate button or two, wait till the light goes out for your ending, press the new song title and off you go with absolutely no lost time whatsoever.

I also have a folder on my Tyros named "zStorage". This title forces it to the last page. In it I have all kinds of files and folders like MIDI Songs, Styles, Registrations etc. All very neat (well kind of) and handy.

I have often used numbers to put things in order also. When going though a disk or hard drive folder testing out external styles, I have found it a good idea to put a "0" in front of the style name for ones that sound good and look like I can make use of it. They now all jump to the front of the list. This makes it easier to narrow the list down. Even at a later date, when I'm likely to have forgotten what I had done earlier, I can still zero in on the better songs and those that have yet to be evaluated.

This is all a lot easier to do then these instructions may imply. Believe me, if it weren't easy, I would not have done it this way. I can think of no quicker way to get around in a live setting not knowing what the audience may want to hear until it happens on the spot.

Hope this food for thought is helpful.

Best
Scott

This page updated on October 26, 2013 .