Have you ever found yourself humming or singing one of your favorite songs and added in your own special touch to it as you did that? That’s improvising!
A lot of improvisation is required for those who play by ear or with a group or band. Pianists who are used to reading notes only and not inputting their own ideas into the music they are playing sometimes find it difficult to let go of the comfort of sheet music and wing it as we do when improvising.
It’s not really that hard to “make the plunge” and we’re going to look at several things that you can do to help that process happen easier and without stressing out about it.
There are a few concepts that you need to be fairly comfortable with before starting to improvise. They are:
When we are dealing with improvising a melody, there are three specific things to remember that a melody can do:
Phrasing is another important aspect of improvising.
The easiest way to put all of this together is to start with a very simple melody in a key signature that you are totally comfortable with. Create a melody that uses mostly steps and single chords in the left hand for each measure. Think about phrasing the notes and measures together so that they make sense and flow together.
Remember…it may not sound “good” or the way you want it to when you first start and it may feel uncomfortable. As you continue to work on this a bit each day, you will find that it gets easier and easier.
Use the video below to help you understand these concepts at your keyboard and have fun! Improvising is such a wonderful way to continue growing in your piano playing and to connect with other musicians.
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