What’s So Great About Blog Stats Anyway?

Just for the record, this blog was created as a personal creative outlet based on the premise that I could consider it a success regardless of whether anyone else came on board or not. I mean, seriously, a blog for organists? LDS organists? Those few unsuspecting pianists who just weren’t able to dodge the bullet or give a flat out no to their bishop?

In spite of its lack of mass appeal, I will admit that I look at my blog’s stat page. Often. And why not? Between the Blog Visitor Map (in the footer) and the WordPress Stats (for my eyes only!) I have an amazing array of nerdy tools that tell me more about my blog viewers than I ever thought I needed to know. Don’t worry, it doesn’t tell me personal stuff like how much you weigh, what you had for breakfast or what color underwear you’re wearing…yet! But it does give me a wealth of random and sometimes entertaining information.

For example, just a couple days ago I learned that this blog has now had at least one visitor from all 50 states! (Thank you, Rhode Island, for finally showing up!)

Additionally, my handy dandy WordPress Stats let me know me that some of the search terms that landed viewers at my blog include:

• how to feel salsa on a deeper level
• your heel is what organ?
• points to press on feet
• phone # jack spanish fork
• organ salsa accompaniment

• what all I need to do in planning my funeral

Oops. I guess Google isn’t perfect. Sorry…but thanks for stopping by!

One stat I have found interesting is that the organ technique page Using Your Feet has received over 10 times the number of views as Using Your Hands. Unfortunately, it doesn’t analyze the why’s and wherefore’s of the data, but I can give it a good guess.

I remember my first organ teacher’s attempts to teach me manual technique. “Yeah, yeah, yeah…my hands have been doing this for a long time. It’s my feet that need the help!” Like many pianists at the organ, I saw no difference between an organ keyboard and a piano keyboard. Eight whites. Five blacks. Yeah, we’re short a few keys. But it’s all good.

As I’ve mentioned before, and as you probably realize on some level, the organ and the piano are very different from one another. The piano and the organ could both be considered keyboard instruments. And in a sense that is accurate. The player of either instrument must depress a key to create a sound.

However, if we go a little deeper and understand the way that sound is produced, the instruments would be classified very differently—the organ as a wind instrument (air moving through the pipes) and the piano as percussion (hammer striking a string). Even electronic organs could be considered wind instruments since they are imitating the sound of pipe organs.

So would you expect that someone could play the flute just because they know how to play the drums?

It took some time for me to really believe this, but now I see it so clearly that I’m spending a whole post just to pass on this important little nugget of organ-istic wisdom:

As unnecessary as it may seem, it is absolutely essential for pianists to take the time to learn fundamental organ fingering techniques.  Mastering the pedals is fun and challenging and totally awesome. But if you really want to learn to play the pipe organ—to make the King of Instruments sing—don’t ignore your hands!

. . .

For a brief intro to manual technique and a list of recommended materials go to Using Your Hands.

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