It is usually an instantaneous musical composition which requires a certain level of expertise. You put in work for what you want, and get results. While playing, a strange man in a green jacket interrupted her and made vivid his intention to join her on the keyboard. The teenage girl was reluctant to let him have his way at first, as she repeatedly told him she was practicing, but the man was adamant. Finally, she conceded and the consecutive turn of events was undoubtedly astonishing.
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Anyone can improvise if they are shown how. This book is the practical system used by a jazz virtuoso, a prodigy who has figured out the technical basis of his natural ability to play and improvise easily.
It was written in response to repeated requests for pointers from classically-oriented piano teachers needing help with students wanting to know how to improvise and "play the changes" by analyzing chord progressions of a tune.
The art of piano improvisation, practiced routinely by jazz players, is applicable to any musical style. Now, finally, there is a practical guide that really shows you how to play keyboard ideas.
All you need to get started is ability to read notes in the treble clef. The book provides a simple system to understand the music theory behind all forms of popular music, and how to unlock its power as a creative tool from the beginning to intermediate level. You will be able to analyze tunes to determine what notes to use for improvisation, and learn beautiful piano chord voicings that work in any situation. Developing the muscle memory for this piano improvisation system will enable you to easily play tunes from the chords of printed sheet music or a fake book and improvise your own melody variations, whether the style is jazz, rock, easy listening, New Age, country, or just the blues.
You will learn secrets for fingering which are the key to developing speed and never running out of fingers when you play piano. Fingerings are given throughout, unlike most books that fail to teach. You will learn powerful piano chord voicings to play in a solo piano style or to accompany other musicians, developing the muscle memory to spontaneously improvise arpeggiated chord tone and scale patterns for piano solos.
Best of all, a simple exercise routine will enable you to improvise in all 12 keys. This applies to musical virtuosos as well as chess masters. Achieving top performance comes from purposeful work that stretches oneself beyond current capabilities.
Many people remember Oscar Peterson as one of the top jazz players of all time. Not many know how he achieved that stature. According to his sister, when Oscar became truly serious about becoming a great artist, he spent years practicing as much as 12 hours a day in striving to become the best. Few of us have that much time to devote to the piano, but the key thing is really not the amount of time, but what should be practiced.
In fact, the more that practice time is limited, the more critical it is to know the best way to develop the technical skills and fluency to become a good improviser. If you are drawn to the idea of improvising at the piano, you have the desire and inner musical ability you need. The best way to develop skill is finding an expert mentor to show you what you need to focus on so your time and effort give maximum results.
You need to know how successful experts do it. Rote learning does not engage the creative part of the brain or help you understand why the music sounds good. When you memorize a piano transcription, you only have muscle memory for those specific notes. The number of lines an actor can memorize and recite does not determine whether he can give a convincing extemporaneous speech. A better comparison would be learning a speech in an unfamiliar foreign language by imitating the sounds.
To improvise spontaneously, you need to know the language of music and its rules, just like you know how to speak. We can teach you just what you need to know. It is intended for beginning and intermediate improvisers of any age.
The simplicity of the system will be especially appreciated by players of other instruments wishing to learn piano. It will also be helpful to professional piano players who are struggling with certain skills, like fingering, improvising in unfamiliar keys, or how to play keyboard solos with greater playing speed. We will teach you the music theory and the basic skills you need, step by step. Beginners always have the advantage of not yet having failed at something because it was never explained properly.
Beginners have no bad habits, no limiting beliefs about what is possible. To learn piano improvisation with our system sight-reading skill is unnecessary beyond the ability to follow a treble clef melody. Many professional piano players are not good sight-readers. Successful piano players know the key to piano improvisation is developing the connection between the brain and hands, so that the creative impulse can exploit a musical vocabulary that has already been learned and stored as muscle memory.
This vocabulary is mainly the scales from which the chords of a tune are derived, and knowing effective chord voicings that sound good. Musically talented people can develop a superb ear for music even if they never play an instrument. But becoming a good piano player can be very frustrating because of the technical demands placed on a beginner. In fact, the more developed your ear has become, the wider the gulf will be between what your brain wants to hear and what it is possible for you to execute at the piano.
A highly trained piano teacher will find that just knowing classical fingerings for the various scales will not teach a piano student how to play the piano creatively. Fortunately, with the proper technique for fingering chord and scale patterns, piano improvisation is actually much simpler than people realize. In the same way that a great painting is a series of purposeful brush strokes, whether you wish to play a jazz solo, a New Age composition, or a variation on a popular song melody or rock tune, a piano improvisation is merely a series of notes drawn from a musical scale that is already predetermined by the chords of the tune.
The virtuosity of Oscar Peterson, a master of technical execution, depended on his use of proper fingering for his ideas. Anyone can play piano with speed using muscle memory of correct keyboard finger positions. The correct piano fingering technique you learn fuses the knowledge of music theory with the corresponding muscle memory for playing notes that fit, so that creativity can happen spontaneously and without hesitation.
They understand music theory and have a command of how to play chords and scales preserved in muscle memory. Not only do their fingers know automatically which keys to strike for any chord, even their recognizable distinctive styles are the result of chord voicings and patterns they have internalized and programmed as muscle memory.
Here is how they do it. As they improvise, players follow and interpret the chord progressions sequences of chords and make a series of musical decisions about how to express themselves within that framework: to start in the upper, middle or lower register of the keyboard, to play a chord or its substitution, to play a harmonized chord change pattern or a scale pattern, to go up the scale or down the scale, and so on.
These decisions are governed by what the musician is hearing and wants to hear next, an impulse that triggers the corresponding muscle memory to execute a phrase. There is simply not time to think about what specific notes to play. It may seem like an overwhelming task to develop such a level of proficiency but the knowledge required can be learned by anyone who is shown how to do it step by step.
The key thing to know when starting out is that in piano improvisation all the setups are simple. What a beautiful thing it is to be able to improvise fluidly, guided by your feelings.
You can do it, too! We start with the blues because it provides the simplest example for learning improvisation. We focus on simple but robust piano chord voicings that are used every day by professional piano players, and present these chords along with their corresponding scales, the musical vocabulary.
We explain the secret to using the right keyboard fingering so that you can move effortlessly up and down the keyboard. This brings the hands and fingers up to speed with the ear. Then, we explain in simple terms how to analyze the chord progressions of a tune according to music theory. This provides the rules of grammar for improvisation. Once you know which scale goes with a given chord progression, playing any notes on that scale will fit.
We have streamlined the learning process to focus on the key essentials and provide exercises designed to keep you on the best path, but you need to work through each step to ensure all these ingredients are in place. Most popular music, whether rock, easy listening, New Age, country, etc. We show you how a jazz performer plays the blues and straight changes. We show you beautiful piano chord voicings with a full rich sound you can use in any situation, whether for solo or group performance.
We show you how to interweave arpeggiated chord change patterns and scale patterns to construct a beautiful improvised melody line. Once you have this foundation it becomes possible to not only understand the musical devices used by the great players and employ them in your own performances, but to unlock your own creative potential.
Your ear will guide you to the sound you seek and your hands will readily translate that desire into action. Or, they offer piano exercises and transcriptions that do not develop sufficient knowledge to apply the underlying musical principles more widely.
Piano exercises are not given in all 12 keys. After a time, the knowledge of theory fades without the physical skills to apply it. Memorized tunes and patterns lose their novelty and ultimately become boring, are little used, and forgotten. Piano courses attempting to be comprehensive provide such detail that the student is overwhelmed with information before the necessary manual skills are in place.
None of the books show how to approach fingering and vary it as needed for fluid improvising. Without this starting point, keyboard technique is very limited. Our piano improvisation system depends on four superior approaches.
First, we provide a logical sequence of study and piano exercises so the system of practical piano chord voicing and keyboard fingering technique in all 12 keys can be learned with great efficiency both at the level of conscious thought and by the hands, the critical combination for execution.
Second, we focus only on key concepts of music theory that relate to popular music and break them down into simple rules, avoiding jargon that impedes learning. Third, we describe the tips and tricks used by the piano pros to quickly analyze unfamiliar tunes and point the way to constructing effective solos, along with the proper fingering technique for rapid execution.
This approach successfully shows you how to apply music theory and gives you a solid foundation for musical creativity. Fourth, our piano improvisation system will help you find your sound by giving you the technical skills to express it with your fingers.
The muscle memory you develop for this will expand and grow automatically as you discover new sounds you like. Unlike most students without our system, you will be truly prepared to move on to advanced concepts of harmony and rhythm and successfully incorporate them in your piano playing.
We recommend that you read everything carefully as you go. Then, reread the words after completing each chapter to be sure you have absorbed the meaning behind the choice of exercises and examples. Going step by step in the sequence we show you will ensure you develop the basic foundation you need to be a good keyboard improviser. When you learn how to play the piano in a way that sounds good, and see how your ear trains your hands to remember it, learning the theory and developing muscle memory is easy.
Remember, it is when you are doing something challenging that growth occurs. Skill building depends on concentrated, focused attention with lots of repetition until execution becomes automatic. You will only need to put in enough practice time to get the foundation we describe into your hands, but there is no way to substitute for this step. To practice you should go slowly, take things bit by bit and repeat the piano exercises over and over until you have mastered the skills involved.
If you work in a slow deliberate way, you will learn better and retain more than if you try to hurry the process. Most students waste their practice time playing tunes they already know. Do that for fun another time, or at the end of a work session. You will learn much more from each practice session by working through something you have to struggle with.
"How You Can Massively Accelerate Your Jazz & Blues Piano Skills Today"
Red Garland and Bud Powell! The more I sat down and studied the more I began to unlock secrets. I was uncovering a clear and simple path to great jazz improvisation. My playing started growing through the roof! Even rock and blues gigs! It was amazing!
Piano improvisation : a powerful practical system
Anyone can improvise if they are shown how. This book is the practical system used by a jazz virtuoso, a prodigy who has figured out the technical basis of his natural ability to play and improvise easily. It was written in response to repeated requests for pointers from classically-oriented piano teachers needing help with students wanting to know how to improvise and "play the changes" by analyzing chord progressions of a tune. The art of piano improvisation, practiced routinely by jazz players, is applicable to any musical style.
23. Jazz Piano Books.pdf
This piano book is for you. It demystifies music theory and how great improvisers never seem to hit wrong notes or run out of ideas for how to play the piano with interesting improvised solos. Are you a piano teacher with students wanting to understand piano chord progressions so they can "play the changes? This piano book is ideal for beginning to intermediate piano students and any other instrumentalists looking for a streamlined improvising technique that really works. It gets you past your fear so you develop muscle memory to have chords and scales at your fingertips.