Benifits of Lamenting by Barbara Benincasa – Book Review
Of course, we don’t want to talk about the book itself, but rather we’d like to look at some of the many benefits of Lamenting Song. First of all, you may notice the title. I’m not sure if it was intended or not, but the entire book is about the process of song writing. You’ll learn quite a bit about various tips and techniques that help you make your music really sing out. There’s quite a bit here that might interest you as a songwriter.
The book starts with an introspective look at the process of song creation. Songwriting is art after all, so this is just like any other creative endeavor. The author then walks us through the different aspects of songwriting. Things like pacing, key, melody, tempo, structure, etc.
Next in the book are several exercises to help you get your melody on the right track. These are fun and easy to do. There are literally thousands of ways to tweak your song depending on the situation. It also has several bonus chapters that are worth looking into. The bonus chapters include: How to Play Chords, The Writing Process, & Lamenting.
There are also quite a few tools and samples throughout the book. All of them are incredibly helpful and even a few of them are priceless. For example, there is a “swing method” that will show you how to play over a chord progression in one key using only one note. There’s also a bonus video that walks you through each step and explains the theory behind them. There are just too many excellent tools here to list them all, but if you would like more information please visit the site listed below.
The book ends with three short pieces that are incredibly engaging. Each one focuses on one chord, uses a technique, or contains a line from the song. I really liked these. They give great practice methods as well as explaining some theory behind them. Benfits of Lamenting is definitely worth the money.
One of my favorite things about this book is that Benifits of Lamenting Song focuses on playing the piano as a melodic instrument. Many books only focus on one technique such as legato, which seems to me to be a bit sterile. As someone who grew up studying piano with my grandmother I can say that I have developed my own melodic sense and technique. So, I’m very excited to learn how to do this on the piano.
On the flip side, though I think the book is a bit slow. Part one is nine lessons long. Each lesson builds upon the last one with no introduction or conclusion. I wish that the author would have gone into more detail in each lesson and have a section where all the lessons are summed up with a summary at the end. By the end of each lesson there would have been a summary to act as a guide for the student so they know where they’re at with their learning.
This review is based on the book “Benifits of Lamenting”. I haven’t had a chance to try any of Benifits techniques but from the reviews I’ve read on the site it seems like a very good book. If you’re looking to improve your piano playing and want to master Lamenting, I highly recommend this book. It will help to introduce you to Lamenting songs, techniques, and theory. So if you’re looking for a great beginner’s piano book to start you off in the right direction, this one is for you!