Beginning piano improvisors are often plagued with the question, “What do I play?” “Where do I place my hands?” “How can I begin?”
If a beginning improvisor (even with no experience) is willing to invest some time having fun with a few simple ideas and make the most of those ideas, he or she can realize quite the transformation in terms of the results experience and confidence gained. The Blues is an excellent vehicle in more ways than one. My latest video session 5 Blues Piano Licks You Just Gotta Know acknowledges how to get some pretty interesting right hand improvisational lines happening relatively quickly. We deal with five basic hand positions which instantly set you up to play “jazz licks” that you can refer to again and again whenever you are looking to spice up your playing, whether having fun with the Blues itself or you are looking to enhance your favorite standard tunes with fills or even longer interesting lines.
5 Licks? Far from it, really… we are dealing with 5 positions that are conducive to your having access to unlimited access to an unlimited supply of licks. You’ll be coming up with your own before you know it. One significant advantage you have with this approach is that any confusion as to where to position your hands is alleviated, the result being you get to place more of a focus what you do once those hand positions are assumed. However, you’ll be taking things much further since, when you start to combine these positions by playing them subsequent to one another, the improvisational lines you will come up will be nothing short of amazing as you make it a point of having more and more fun investing time exploring the possibilities.
Once you are feeling confident with playing and having fun with these licks as demonstrated, you are highly encouraged to transpose these ideas to different keys. The benefits that will be gained by doing so cannot be explained in words. However, it goes without saying that you’ll be equipping yourself to handle so many more musical situation. In addition, playing these licks in other keys will force you to experience other hand/finger positions, which results in technical benefits, too.
Again, it should be noted that these licks are not specifically geared toward playing the Blues. The individual who views the Blues Scale as a reference of notes only associated with playing the Blues is indeed missing out on something huge. In addition, the Mixolydian Scale is another we take a look at. Whatever your favorite standard songs are, you will find a place to use much of what you learn, especially when you take it upon yourself to experiment with those other keys. Get a handle on these five basic positions and you’ll see for yourself how doing so is conducive to musical growth and a new perspective on piano styling in general. What’s more is the more you familiarize yourself with these ideas, you will experience the process of making associations between the positions and what you are hearing. If improving your capacity to play piano by ear (especially as it relates to improvising) is a goal, you’re likely to realize some benefits in this area : )
As for those who enjoy playing the Blues, you’re likely to find here a tool that will help you to enjoy your experience more, as these five positions will lead you to creating many fresh licks of your own, especially when you combine them, playing them subsequent to each other, mixing it up and seeing and hearing where things go. Even a beginner will use these positions as “stepping stones” toward creating more mature musical ideas. As with so many of the learning tools available at Piano Amore, the lesson goes beyond what you see here at face value, all determined by the individual’s curiosity and motivation.
PLAY WITH PASSION!