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Songbook Review: The Naked Piano: Elements
Gary Girouard
Cover image of the songbook The Naked Piano: Elements by Gary Girouard
The Naked Piano: Elements
Gary Girouard
2014 / Gary Girouard
62 pages / 13 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Naked Piano: Elements songbook is the companion sheet music book to Gary Girouard’s 2014 solo piano album by the same name and contains all thirteen pieces from the album. The CD is one of my favorites so far this year, so I was excited to try out the sheet music! Gary Girouard is an exceptional pianist, so this music isn’t as easy as some of the books I’ve reviewed, but the music is so beautiful that a little extra effort on the part of the pianist will provide some very satisfying results. Pianists at an early-advanced level should have no problem with most of the songs. I loved playing through this book a couple of times (so far!) and my only complaint is that it isn’t spiral-bound, so it needs to be propped open until it gets broken in (or the binding breaks - we never know which will happen first!). The notation is roomy and easy to read and the expression and dynamics are well-marked. Suggested pedaling and metronome settings are also included. There are several pieces where chords require a reach of a tenth, but pianists with smaller hands can roll those chords or take a note off so that they aren’t left out of the fun. A couple of pieces have tricky rhythms, but those patterns are generally repeated within the pieces, so once you have the beat, you’ll be fine. I enjoy playing all of the pieces, but my favorites are “Water,” “Love,” “Winter’s Wonder,” and “Enchanted Forest.” This book is available in printed form from Amazon and can be downloaded as a collection or by individual songs from nakedpiano.com. Recommended!

The song titles, the keys they are in, and the number of pages are listed below:

Water - Key of Ab (4 flats) - 5 pages
Love - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 3 1/2 pages
August - Key of D (2 sharps) - 5 pages
Miracles - Key of D - 3 pages
Springtime - Key of D minor (1 flat) - 5 pages
Footprints - Key of E minor (1 sharp)/ B minor (2 sharps) - 5 pages
Time - Key of F minor (4 flats)/ D minor (1 flat) - 5 pages
Winter’s Wonder - Key of F# minor (3 sharps) - 4 pages
Sunshine - Key of F# (6 sharps)/ A (3 sharps)/ E (4 sharps) - 4 pages
Enchanted Forest - Key of G minor (2 flats)/ G (1 sharp)/ 3 1/2 pages
Dreams - Key of A minor - 6 pages
Cosmic Journey - Key of C minor (3 flats) - 7 pages
Awakening - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 5 pages
April 4, 2014