Cocktail Piano Techniques: Piano Fills, Arranging, Chord Voicings

Having fun with chord changes to a familiar song we both can relate to (Over The Rainbow), we take a journey down the road  of piano creativity as we take a close look at how to incorporate great piano sounds, including chord voicings,  improvisation, fills, and more… this is a fun, informal session that I just know you will view as a treasure. We take a lead sheet (which you are provided) to a song composed with similar chord changes to this famous standard and interpret them in a way that will change your piano playing forever! I really take into consideration the questions and input I receive via email when offering this content, so thank you for your contributions! You can enjoy the videos while following along with the lead sheet for easy reference. Of course, you can simply choose to watch and learn, as there is lots for anyone to benefit from, even if you don’t read music at all!

As you may already suspect, if you can feel super confident with mastering your way through one great standard song, you’ve mastered a lot, especially when that song is chock full of the most popular chords and progressions you’ll find in most of your other songs as well. So we’ve taken the chords to an all-time favorite and made them available to you here along with an opportunity to peek over a pro’s shoulder so you can start cramming that “toolbox” of yours. Most of all, though, you’re going to have a lot of fun with the discoveries you are about to make. I only wish I could see the sparkle in your eye as you reap one “aha!” moment after another : ) Remember, a major benefit to this is that you can pause the video at anytime… study any given chord structure that I am playing…have it there as long as you like… and move on when you’re ready. Surely, within just a few short moments of any playing segment, you can extract some value. Learn more here

Piano Improvisation Techniques For Beginners

When it comes to learning our language, we initially started with “bits and pieces” – like small words, then larger ones – and eventually put them together to created longer, more complex, and often more effective statements in the form of phrases and sentences. Actually, it was a rather natural process in that we began with what felt natural to us and our further developments manifested in a rather natural way as well.
For our purpose here, it is rather important to recall that, at whatever stage of development we were at any point in time, we were perfectly okay with ourselves with that. We enjoyed our level of competency with our language and were fully accepting of it – even in our earliest stages.

For the beginning improviser, development can work in much the same way. This is good news, especially when you understand that even your earliest stages of growth can be quite satisfying and you can enjoy a fully accepting your particular level of competency. The more you can appreciate and accept the results you are realizing, the more successful you are likely to be when it comes to taking things to further levels.

Starting with simple musical ideas – or “motifs” – and implementing them can lead to longer, more complex improvisational phrases. It may be surprising just how quickly those more interesting lines can actually manifest once you take on the attitude of simply being playful with those little ideas you are learning as you watch and listen to your results from a perspective of acceptance.

I created a very easy-to-understand piano improvisation video session which puts this process in motion. The vehicle I used for this particular video is the blues scale. However, we reduce this scale to “bits and pieces” while observing how effective these little ideas really can be on their own. The “magic” begins when we start to “string” these ideas together to create longer interesting improvisational lines… and the possibilities are unlimited!

Exposure to this piano improvisation video and implementing its easy strategies will equip you with the potential to play hundreds of your own improve “licks”… and you just may surprise yourself before long!

How To Have Exceptional Fun At Those Keys Whatever Your Playing Level

Whether you consider yourself a beginner at those keys, advanced, or somewhere in between, there are always things you can have fun with to lose yourself in the moment and have tons of fun, WHILE INCREASING YOUR CONFIDENCE, TOO!Have fun at those keys!

Some things to have fun with:

* Open up those musical ears by taking a simple chord progression and playing it in different keys

* If you’re playing voicings, master it in a number of keys, too

* Develop the habit of looking at an obstacle you are faced with as an opportunity worth smiling about

* Learn to recognize melodic intervals so you can duplicate them on those keys whenever you like

* Learn different ways of playing those chords you may have never considered

* Learn to be musical even playing the simplest idea

* Adopt an attitude that you can do no wrong

* Learn to spice up a chord progression with the concept of chord substitution

* Use songs that you know as a resource of confidence for newer songs you are learning

* Appreciate concepts that seem to be “over your head” at the moment and welcome them rather than avoid them

* Adopt the perspective that each and every minute at that piano or keyboard of yours is an exciting opportunity for self exploration

We’re actually just touching the surface here when it comes to the benefits to be gained by continuous exposure to one of my newest video sessions, Piano Creativity “On Steroids”

My enthusiasm was “on steroids” during this entire session because ideas just kept coming to me as I continued to recall those questions I’ve been receiving via email on a regular basis. Truly, your messages to me inspire me. Thank You for all of them : )

Remember,

Always…

ALWAYS…

PLAY WITH PASSION!

Musically,

Dave

www.PianoAmore.net
www.ProProach.com

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Piano Creativity “On Steroids” – Voicings, Improvisation, Fills, & More!

Thanks so much to those of you with questions  regarding my latest video session, Piano Creativity “On Steroids”

To clarify, a reason why this video will benefit beginners as well as more advanced players is that the content of this session actually consists of a nice “mix” of piano playing ideas that will be helpful to all levels. I did this purposefully with the intention of providing a tool for beginners to become inspired by as well as one those with experience could use to take their own level up a notch or two (or ten!). So, yes,some of the material we cover will be ideas that you can aspire to taking advantage of, so this is one you can grow with. Also,
it’s not meant as a replacement for anything you are doing; rather, an enhancement :) It serves as a great supplement, especially if you could use some encouragement in creative areas such as easy ways to come up with piano fills, improvising, and right hand chord playing.

More advanced players will take advantage of the various voicings being used and more. We also get into aspects of playing piano by ear, easy ways to come up with an improvisation for a favorite melody, and more.

This session was an “unpredictable one” in that it was my intention to create an informal “off the cuff” scenario similar to the type of experiences that led to much of my creative development. So, as the session progressed, I was inspired by your emails I’ve received over the months as well as my passion for helping people to overcome obstacles, including the very thinking that gets in the way of playing creatively.

This is not a video that you need to view from beginning to end each and every time. Actually, I suggest that you do this the first time and you’ll soon realize that, depending on what your focus is on at any given time, different segments will mean more to you at various points in your development.

It is my belief that whether you’ve never played piano or before or you’re a pro player open to new ideas, there’s content here you will benefit from. Exposure to this session over and over again is sure to lead to multiple rewards as well.

Consider following the suggestions included in the formula provided on the promo page and you’ll be on your way to discovering your potential for musical creativity like you never did before : o )

Please have fun with this one. I sure did!

Remember,

Always…

ALWAYS…

PLAY WITH PASSION!

Musically,

Dave
www.PianoAmore.net
www.ProProach.com

Piano Playing Creativity:
You Have What It Takes

From Piano Fills To Improvisation To Walking Bass, It’s All Here…

How To Predict The Next Chord In A Song And More…

Some people find this interesting:

A competent classical pianist who has been trained for decades to the degree of being able to pull off a performance of “Grade 6″ compositions (or higher) in an amazing fashion can have an excruciating time trying to play a beautiful rendition of a standard song like “Misty” or “Skylark” or “Till There Was You,” etc… even with the simple melody propped up on that piano stand….

Yet, another individual who had no clue how to read the piano staff up until about a few months ago can do so with amazing confidence.

What’s that “secret element” that distinguishes the two?

Well, it’s no “secret,” per se… though, to the classical playing maestro with no background in personal creativity at those keys, it can certainly seem like that.

Did you know that allowing yourself a few weeks of exposure to learning how to play simple melodies and a few chords (and how to play them tastefully) can put you in a position of being able to pull off playing arrangements of such standards to the point of spinning the head of pro classical player who has even perhaps  endured 6 years of college study in the area of performing traditionally? If you have the desire to have fun, it’s possible.

It’s not magic. It’s a matter of what turn in the road one chooses to take. (If you’re a classical player who can relate to this, by the way, your potential is certainly there to expand your scope, of course, if you haven’t yet done so, but maybe you have!)

At different times, I am prompted by people who only have a little experience reading and simply want to be able to play a simple standard song and make it sound good for a “fast track formula” for being able get themselves from “point A” to “point B”…

Here’s one that works:

1) Learn the melody… learn it well…

2) Hook yourself up with my two programs entitled: How To Play Standard Songs With Confidence #1 and How To Play Standard Songs With Confidence #2

From that point, things get easier…

We’re talking about getting you to FEEL CONFIDENT with setting yourself up with a basic platform to work from. The first program gets you to look at things in perspective and making that melody flow… The second provides you with the kind of left hand techniques necessary to put that melody “on steroids”…

Beyond this, is there more you can do? You bet there is. And there are lots of programs available here to help you take things to many different levels, but that is certainly a profound start to getting the ball rolling. (1-2-3 Cocktail Piano #1 and 1-2-3 Cocktail Piano #2 are a good way to continue)

Let’s face it, when we hook on to a program, we want it to lead us in a direction… we don’t want it to “handcuff” us into doing something we don’t want to. It’s about having FUN… and having that fun IMMEDIATELY… the entire learning process should be nothing short of that.

By the way, if the concept of “being creative” is intimidating for you, we can cure that beginning TODAY… that’s what my special video session Pro Piano Creativity: The Nitty Gritty is about. No, you don’t need to be a pro for that one! You can be at any level and elevate yourself to a different point with that one, whether you’re wanting to open yourself up to playing a walking bass and never tried, playing fills, being able to predict what chord comes next in a song, or you’re simply wanting to explore your piano creativity potential in general (I predicted that some people would like this one but the feedback I’ve received on it has spun my head… my personal thanks to all of you)

(Just a note: People who want to excel in the area of specific strategies, like playing a “walking bass” with confidence, and who have taken advantage of my online coaching KNOW that things can happen – and they can happen fast!)

The key is: Start with something. Take an action that you never have. Don’t wait. Whatever level you are at, make today the day that marks a new beginning for yourself.

( All the above and more is available in our store … ALL AVAILABLE VIA INSTANT ONLINE ACCESS!)

And, of course, remember,

Always…

ALWAYS…

PLAY WITH PASSION!

Musically,

Dave
www.PianoAmore.net
www.ProProach.com

An Easy Approach To Piano Improvisation

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.

Remember,

Always…

Always…

PLAY WITH PASSION!

Musically,
Dave
www.PianoAmore.net
www.ProProach.com

 

Create Your Very Own
Piano Fills & Improvised Lines
The Easy Way

Creating Your Own Super Sounding
Piano Fills & Improvisational Lines
Is Now Within Your Grasp!

(Even If You Don’t Like To Be Weighed Down With Theory)Theory is not something you need to be conjested with!
Improvisation has always had me intrigued from a very young age. Listening to recordings by all that jazz greats not only served as inspiration but, if I wasn’t careful, doing so also left me in a position of feeling a little helpless? Why? Because it seemed so mysterious to me that I was absolutely convinced, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that anyone who could improvise with a certain level of competence had some kind of innate ability he or she was born with that was unreachable by most. I’m not exaggerating one iota when I tell you that, to me, it seemed like a magical experience.

The first individual I got to know on a personal level who had this special flair was my private sax teacher when I was in my junior high school years. This guy would be playing lines that positively blew me away… and it was all done in such a tasteful fashion. I mean, I had been playing piano for a number of years already and I felt that, if I had been playing that long, I should be able to be doing that and, because I “couldn’t” then it just had to be out of my reach. But then I soon realized there was simply certain things I didn’t know.

As I began to develop a bit in this area of improvisation, I was exposed to all that theory. Now, don’t get me wrong… it has it’s place! And I do encourage one to explore all the territory he or she can with enthusiasm.

But something else surfaced…

I might put it in the form of a question that crossed my mind, though I don’t know if these exact words were how I would have thought of putting it back then, but it went something like this:

“For someone to be able to play such creative lines (without having it spelled out) ever so naturally, how in the world could theory be at the root of it all?” Truthfully, we learn to speak relatively fluently at a pretty young age before we even know how to put any words together. So, surely, there has to be some kind of natural ability we all have in this area of improvising music as well.

Ever since, my devotion to helping others (including myself) has included much time and thought in this area of how one can develop the competency and confidence to express himself or herself in a creative fashion in the most natural way possible. Throughout the years, I’ve gone through many stages of this. Let’s face it, as a coach, I’m just as much the learner as any student of mine (continued below…)

Animation keyboard included
The actual video session will include the keyboard animation for easier learning
(Video is approximately 26 minutes in duration)

This special session, I believe, serves as evidence of this devotion of mine. I truly feel that, if one takes on a playful attitude with this approach presented here and keeps an open mind, the results that can be achieved are likely to be rather astounding.

You might say that we’ll only be considering a basic concept and allowing it to flourish. If you’re feeling pretty okay with playing some 7th chords, you’re already 85% there. You’re going to have fun with this. A main reason is that you’ll actually realize results that will not only be pleasant to your own ears but those in the same room with you will likely be turning their heads toward you in a “double-take” fashion before long.

We’re not getting into chord/scale relationships or anything of the kind. This is material that you can start using right away. Whether you want to simply embellish those melodies of yours in a pro-like fashion or you are interesting in creating more elongated improvisational lines, this session can serve you well if you will simply allow it to. One of the greatest things about this whole thing is that, in my opinion, your enthusiasm for creating your very own fills and improvised lines(rather than learning in a “paint-by-number” fashion) is about to be “juiced” and rejuvenated. While it all happens, you won’t feel rule-bound. What we have here is an easy guideline that serves as a bit of a “safety net” for you so things always seem to gravitate toward success.

Please consider joining me at those keys as we get you to start adding more life to those favorite tunes of yours and have you believing your your own personal inner musical genius in a fashion that you may never have up to now…

Click on the button below to enjoy instant access:


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