Guitar Players, Meet the Piano

Kevin King at NAMM in Nashville

Kevin King at NAMM in Nashville

If you’re a guitar player who wants to learn piano, I’ve got someone you need to meet. Say hello to Kevin King, CEO and founder of Pianokingdom- a company that has created a new way to read piano sheet music using an inventive guitar-tab-like system.
 
Interesting concept, eh? I thought so too- and I asked Kevin a few questions about it!
 
So, tell us what gave you the idea for piano tab music?
 
I came up with the idea for Piano Tabs a couple of years ago when I was playing the keyboard in a band. We were playing "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd and I really wanted to nail that end piano solo. I searched music stores and online for the sheet music, but all I found was "Ad Lib Piano" where the solo was supposed to be. I thought to myself, "There's got to be some sort of 'piano tab' website much like a guitar tab website that has a thousands of songs in guitar tab format."  Being a guitar player as well as a piano player, I had learned how to play the guitar strictly using guitar tabs. I searched the Internet, but couldn't find what I was looking for. I thought, "How does this not exist yet?" So I went to work developing a method of Piano Tablature that's more visual and easier to read than standard notation. After many different trials, I finally came up with something that is so simple to read that even people who know nothing about music are playing the piano in just minutes!
 
Have you tested it with guitar players? What's the response been?
 
Guitar players are the people that get the concept instantly and want to see what it looks like. A common response is, "Piano Tabs? Oh like guitar tabs? That doesn't exist yet?" What's interesting is that most guitar players that I've talked to ONLY read guitar tab and don't read regular notation. The reason for this is that standard music notation can take months, and even years, to master whereas guitar tab takes only a couple of minutes to learn. I didn’t see why people that want to learn piano don't have that same opportunity.  And now they do!
 
What's next for your business?
 
We are currently working with major publishers to get licensing rights for popular music. Ideally I would like to see our website have a database of thousands of songs by thousands of artists available for download. It's a work in progress but we should have some popular songs out in the next couple of months.
 
Until then, we are working with public domain songs.  With the holiday season right around the corner, we have put out a songbook titled 'Piano Tab Holiday Favorites' that contains 15 popular holiday songs like Jingle Bells and Silent Night.  We also have a few classical songs available.
 
We are also working on creating a music theory program using Piano Tab notation. We want to have weekly lessons for our subscribers explaining different aspects of music theory delivered right to their inbox.

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