Skip to main content

You Are the Artist

Play along with your favorite songs by your favorite artists, on your favorite Yamaha keyboards.

What do you get when the world’s largest manufacturer of musical instruments (that’s Yamaha!) and the world’s largest distributor of sheet music team up to create something fun and unique?

The answer is You Are The Artist, a collaboration between Yamaha and Hal Leonard that will get you playing along to your favorite songs by your favorite artists, on your favorite Yamaha digital keyboards.

What makes You Are The Artist unique is that in addition to print music by popular and iconic artists such as Adele, The Beatles, Coldplay, Elton John and more, the equivalent MIDI files can be purchased right along with printable sheet music — two files designed to be used with one another. While it’s fulfilling to learn how to play your favorite songs, playing along with a backing band takes it to a whole new level.

Every MIDI file in the You Are The Artist collection has been created to take advantage of some of the very best sounds in your keyboard — the Yamaha XG voices. These voices are incredibly realistic, and are showcased in the arrangements. And because these song files are in MIDI file format — not audio file format — you have total control over the music. You can change the speed, mute and solo various tracks – even use the learning features on your instrument to help you master the songs.

To get started, simply visit the You Are The Artist page in the Yamaha Downloadables website. After selecting a song title, you’ll notice that you have three options: You can purchase just the backing track, just the sheet music or both bundled together.

You Are The Artist MIDI files are designed for Yamaha digital pianos such as Clavinova, DGX and YPG models, as well as Disklavier Mark IV and E3 models. Be sure to check the “How to Download and Install You Are the Artist Songs” page to determine if it is compatible.

The sheet music you purchase can be viewed and printed as a downloadable PDF file or through the interactive sheet music viewer.

To get the MIDI file with the backing tracks out of your computer and into your keyboard, you’ll need a USB thumb drive. (As a rule of “thumb,” it’s best to use a drive no larger than eight gigs since smaller drives tend to be more compatible with keyboards.) Insert it into your computer, then drag the MIDI file from your download location (which may be your desktop, or a “Downloads” folder) to the thumb drive. Next, eject the drive from your computer and place it in the “to device” port on your keyboard. (The location of this port will vary from instrument to instrument.) The process of loading a MIDI file will vary as well, but generally, SONG MODE is a good place to start. (Refer to your keyboard’s documentation for detailed instructions.)

Once your selected MIDI file is loaded in your keyboard, you have a number of options in addition to basic song playback. You can slow the tempo down, which makes it easier to learn more complex musical passages. You can mute certain backing tracks if you’d rather play the instrumentation yourself. You can even select which part you’d like to practice — the left hand part or the right hand part.

But by far one of the coolest features in many Yamaha keyboards — something that works incredibly well with YATA song files — is the ability to put a song in what we call “guide” (or “waiting”) mode. In conjunction with the Score Display, this will pause the music until you play the correct note or notes, so you’re never rushing to catch up. If you have a CVP or CSP Clavinova, you can even take advantage of its Follow Lights (or Stream Lights) feature, which illuminates a light above every key, showing you which keys to play next.

Another big advantage is that MIDI files take up very little space, which means that you can store literally hundreds of MIDI songs on a single USB thumb drive. So go crazy, load up on You Are The Artist songs and get started playing the songs that you love!

Keep reading