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

 

Playing Your Favorite Songs
By Ear… First Steps

If playing piano by ear is something you aspire to either learn to do or become more competent at, consider two levels of familiarization that you want to get yourself to experience:

1) Learn the 7 diatonic chords in every  key

or, for starters…

2) Learn the 3 most essential of those diatonic chords in every key

A key to learning how to play by earStart with one key, then two, and continue from that point…

There’s no magic to it. Let’s say there is a favorite song you like to listen to and feel inspired to learn that song on the piano…

The one thing you can do to make the process easier is to set your “radar” to recognize where those three essential chords are being played in the tune. These chords are often referred to as the three “primary” chords of a key.

You want to know them. Even if you are brand new at learning and don’t know how to play a chord, you can take a step-by-step approach… yes, learn those chords “one letter at a time” by using a guide such as this one

It should be noted that this guidebook assumes nothing in terms of what you know. It’s one you’ll want to have propped up on your piano or keyboard stand as you follow in steps. Essentially, it’s for beginners or those who have played via reading but are totally new to how a chord is constructed.

Follow the suggestions all the way through and you’ll have a handle on those 3 primary chords, which are the ones you’ll want to be listening for in those favorite songs of yours.

It doesn’t matter if you are wanting to play “Happy Birthday” or “Let It Be” by the Beatles… it’s still those three chords you want a handle on. So many people bypass/ignore this basic step of learning when it comes to playing by ear. If acknowledged, the door is opened for unlocking the mystery to those more complex tunes… but, as the saying goes, one step at a time.

Remember,

Always…

ALWAYS…

PLAY WITH PASSION!

Musically,

Dave
www.PianoAmore.net
www.ProProach.com

New Chord Voicing Charts & “Over The Shoulder” Video Session

Things have been busy here at Piano Amore to say the least! A couple of new creations have been added to our store since the last post here and your interest in both of them has been ever so appreciated.

Both of these additions have been produced via popular request. The first is something completely different than anything found here at Piano Amore up to now. For those of you who are into learning and implementing jazz piano voicings into your favorite standard songs, Chord Voicing Stir Fry is a tool that will provide you with both the satisfaction of enjoying instant results when it comes to making a standard song radiate with color and
equip you with lots of chord voicings which you can incorporate into your own favorite songs. I believe the helpful commentary provided will serve you especially well when it comes to making the most of this one as well as provide you with “food for thought” that will lead to more confidence for you as far as interpreting lead sheets goes! You’ll just have to get this, print out that lead sheet and those chord voicing charts, prop them up on your piano or keyboard stand, and watch the transformation take place!

Newest on the list in our store is an addition to a most popular series here! This one has been long awaited by so many (Thank You for the emails!) and is finally available for your learning enjoyment. Sneak Peeks #2 is over a half hour jam-packed with piano styling insights that you’re sure to want to view and listen to over and over again. If ever you’ve been inspired to transform your playing from “Oreo Cookies” to “Baked Alaska” when it comes to how you approach playing those simple chord progressions, I’m thinking this is one you will want to add to your collection… but don’t let it just sit there. Continuous exposure to this session and implementation of what we demonstrate here will not only having you thinking about how you play through those chord progressions differently but will actually have you playing with more “pizazz,” especially if you’ve ever found yourself in the “rut” of looking for new ways to approach the same old chords and chord progressions that appear over and over again in a song. In addition to the benefits outlined on the promotional page of this one, there are so many “peripheral goodies” you’ll be in touch with that will provide reason for all those playbacks! I had a ball creating this session and you’re sure to be glad you got involved.

Again, Thank You ever so much for your continued support and feedback. It’s your communication to me that provides the “spark” to our site and influences our growing collection of learning tools here at Piano Amore and I look forward to corresponding with you more and more!

Oh, and just a quick note: We’ve added some bundles in our store for you cocktail piano enthusiasts. This provides you with the option of having a good number of tools at your fingertips all at once while enjoying some substantial savings, too! Thank You again : )

21 Days to Piano Styling Transformation

Become A Chord Voicing Pro

A Chord Voicing Strategy That Equals Success

It’s been proven time and time (and time) again that it takes 21 days to form a new habit.

Well, that’s good news if the habit you’re forming is one that brings the results you want, of course.

And since we’re here to get results, I would like  to share something with you that will absolutely transform your piano styling skills in 21 days.

If I was to share this with you, telling you that I know it works (I mean, you can’t fail), would you take me up on it?

Provided your answer is yes, let me share it here. By the way, because it’s so simple, a few will overlook it, convincing themselves that success is supposed to be a whole lot more complex than this…

HOWEVER, the ones who follow through will realize results they can “take to the bank.” In fact, not only will you have developed a habit that is conducive to this special transformation, but what you will have achieved during that 21 days will already have provided you with results you’ll be enjoying indefinitely.

Ready? Here it is:

If you’ve previewed my 24-week program Pro Piano Chord Bytes, you know there’s a complimentary lesson there.

Okay… take that lesson, become acquainted with the chord structure there, which is presented in the key of C (it’s a voicing for Cmaj7 chord)…

Then spend 7 days incorporating that chord structure into two different favorite songs of yours, MAKING SURE that you play the voicing in at TWO other keys (like Fmaj7 and
Bbmaj7)…

When the next lesson arrives, do the same for the next 7 days (choose one of the voicings when more than one is provided, since this does happen at the beginning of the program). Remember, the action of incorporating the voicing in a song or songs is a key factor here (and playing that voicing in at least TWO other keys, which means that we are looking for that chord to be in two different keys as well… ex. Cmaj7, Fmaj7, Gmaj7) …

When Lesson #2 arrives, repeat the procedure for 7 days, going about it in the same fashion…

At that point, you will have formed a habit for sure! However, your confidence will already have escalated since you’ve acquired some great chord sounds for that “piano styling toolbox” of yours…

The even better news is, now that you have a habit that will absolutely transform your playing for the better, you’ll have another 22 lessons to look forward to to nurture that habit!

Special Note: a special feature of this program is the commentary provided BELOW the illustrations! Reading and being receptive to those suggestions will lead you to really understanding what “separates the men from the boys” when it comes to pro piano styling!

You’re in for an experience and a half if you follow through with this… I can’t even describe the confidence you will have attained by doing so…

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Remember,

Always…

ALWAYS…

PLAY WITH PASSION!

Musically,

Dave
www.PianoAmore.net
www.ProProach.com

How To Create Your Own Piano Fills

Piano Fills Made Easy

Free Piano Fills Lesson Plus New Session

It’s understandable that the topic of piano fills is always a hot one. In fact, it’s a reason for the creation of one of my newest video sessions. However, this message pertains to
that 5-step piano fill that is easily accessible in our complimentary lessons area, which may be accessed by filling in the form to the right on this page.

For those who enjoy this topic, I’m wondering how many actually took that lesson to many levels beyond what’s offered there at face value. You see, there are so many variations of that you can apply… and the results can be more than pleasant.

For example, consider skipping a note in the sequence and replacing it one an octave higher, a 7th higher, a 6th higher, etc. Little “interruptions” in the sequence like that can lead one to more and more discoveries! The number of piano fills that you will discover for yourself will be virtually unlimited. Also, a great thing about this whole process is that you will be creating your very own piano fills rather than “inserting” predetermined fills in a robotic fashion. Friend, the benefits of taking this creative approach are nothing short of amazing.

I challenge you to go ahead and experiment with it!

Naturally, when you combine that strategy with that which we demonstrate in the piano fills video session, the results you get? Hmmmm… like compound interest!

Happy Fills!

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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Playing Piano By Ear:
The Core Of It All

An Essential Element To Playing Piano By Ear Revealed

A Secret To Playing Piano By Ear

Playing piano by ear (or playing music by ear, in general) seems to elude many people and, in many cases, a few basic factors are responsible for this if you consider yourself one for whom the art of playing by ear remains beyond reach:

1) At some point, the concept of playing by ear was introduced as a rather “mysterious” ability which is realized only by a select few… more importantly, you bought into that idea

2 The “scientific approach,” which includes the recognition of patterns and relationships, is not explored

3) Sensitivity to the inevitable relationship that exists between these patterns and relationships and physical familiarity with the instrument has not been nurtured, at least enough to the point of realizing satisfactory results

The first obstruction on the list above can be acknowledged and eradicated by a) realizing that past learning is not necessarily equivalent to what is true and b) paying heed to items 2 and 3 to the point of proving to yourself that playing piano by ear is not only possible but more than probable for you, regardless of your current beliefs associated with doing so.

The patterns being referred to in item #2 above can be categorized into two basic areas:

1) playing melodic ideas (whether dealing with actual melodies of tunes or improvisational lines

2) playing harmonic ideas (whether playing chords or chord progressions)

In this post, let’s acknowledge playing melodic ideas using a simple example. Keep in mind that, once you have a handle on the essential elements, what you learn can be taken to many different levels as you take the initiative to have fun with more and more ideas.

Firstly, start from a point of familiarity as a point of reference. You absolutely have many such points of reference that you can use to your advantage. Thus, the ability to play music by ear is already possessed by you, which you will soon see.

Come up with a very short portion of a melody that you have likely heard hundreds of times – an idea that you do not need to give any thought to when it comes to singing, humming, or whistling it. For our example, let’s use the first few notes of the nursery rhyme Mary Had A Little Lamb.

Literally, we are considering the first few notes, specifically three. Sing just this much:

“Ma-ry had”

I am pretty certain that you could go to that piano or keyboard of yours right now, play any one note, and follow up with coming up with the rest of that part of the melody (the remaining two notes). Do this, starting on several different keys on the keyboard. Play “Ma-ry had” starting on an “E”… then play it starting on an “A”… then play it starting on a “C#”… continue until you’ve mastered this segment of that melody beginning on several different notes. Do no proceed further here until you’ve done at least that much. Then come back here.

Okay, ready? Next…

Go to the piano or keyboard once again and play the first few notes of Duke Ellington/Bill Russell’s Don’t Get Around Much Anymore. In this recording, the great Nat King Cole sings those first three notes between :08 and :09 (within about a second) on the video. This is what we are referring to. Play just that much beginning on any key on your piano keyboard (Nat is singing it beginning on a “D”). Then return here…


Do you find this to be somewhat of a challenge? Well, Friend, you already played it several times in our first example above. That’s right! If you were to start the melody on an “E” (as you did with Mary Had A Little Lamb, you would have played E – D – C. The first three notes of Don’t Get Around Much Anymore are exactly the same : ) But, surely, you can realize the difference in value obtained by you between being shown this and your discovering it on your own, yes?

Within just moments, you are able to play the first few notes of this legendary jazz standard in virtually any key that you choose. Grasp this concept. It will make a world of difference for you, leading you to many, many hours of having a ball at those keys playing many melodic ideas by ear.

You can quickly see how the recognition of patterns is absolutely instrumental (pardon the pun) in playing melodic ideas by ear. You may be thinking, “But Dave, you already knew that.” The truth is that I did not at one point. But I simply learned to “set my antennae” for similarities in music, which you have the ability to do also.

You see, each of us has in our brain a set of neuronal circuits that connect the brain stem to the cortex called the reticular activating system (RAS). It’s somewhat shaped like the core of an apple (thus, it has sometimes been referred to as the “apple computer” in your brain). In short, this system allows us to be on the lookout and recognize similarities such as the one we acknowledged above. Another example would be this: if you have ever purchased a new car, you may have discovered that, as you drove along the highway during your first few days of owning that car, there seemed to be more cars of the same color as yours than you ever imagined possible. This was your reticular activating system performing its normal function. Thus, recognizing these kinds of similarities and playing music by ear is your normal function : )

Let’s use our experience today as another example that you can discover for yourself. I am almost willing to bet that the sequence of notes that you played today (beginning on a note, proceeding down a whole step and then proceeding down another whole step) is going to be recognized by you in several other segments of music. Whether you are reading music or simply playing melodies on the piano keyboard, you will be recognizing that sequence. It will “pop out” at you so many times, it will seem almost uncanny. Please allow your RAS to work in your favor and allow this experience to unfold for yourself.

Wow look at all of them now!

Wow, look at all of them now!

Sure, we only took a look at a short three-note sequence but that is how it works in a nutshell and it will continue to work for you in the very same way with other sequences, whether they are short like this one or consist of a longer string of notes.

To the few who may be thinking, “Well, sure, but there are a lot of ideas to recognize before I can start to feel confident with this!” let me respond by asking, ” Do you want to nurture your skills at playing piano by ear? Or do you want someone else to do it for you by showing you how to play everything without your having to expend the effort?” If the latter is true, then playing music by ear is not something you aspire to do. For you, the preference is to have every musical idea spelled out for you. That’s what notation is for. But keep in mind that it greatly would be to your benefit to become engaged in the process of discovery for yourself. Besides, it’s not a job… it’s an adventure! By proceeding in this fashion, you can only grow musically at a pace that will astound you quicker than you can play the next few notes of that jazz standard in any key you want to by ear.

We’ll talk more about this concept of playing piano by ear in upcoming posts, so please stay tuned…

Remember,

Always…

Always…

PLAY WITH PASSION!

Musically,

Dave
www.PianoAmore.net
www.ProProach.com

Piano Improvisation The Natural Way

Thanks to all who have taken advantage of my latest video on piano creativity. This one was rather specialty to me, as it was my incentive to acknowledge the “root” of mental obstructions that can get in the way of one “taking the risks” at the piano keyboard that are necessary in order to “break the handcuffs,” so to speak when it comes to creativity, whether your ambition is to become more competent with improvising, learning new chord
voicings, or incorporating those new chord sounds into your very own playing.

Raising your personal level of confidence is my goal with this one and I was especially
passionate about this session (I think it becomes rather apparent throughout the entire session : ))

The truth that I want you to realize for yourself is this: whatever limitations you place on yourself in terms of being creative are simply illusions. The fact remains that, by this evening, you can be doing things on the piano that you never did before. The “key” is to give yourself that permission. Say “yes” to yourself whenever the question arises, “Can I?”
or “Is it possible for me?”

Remember, CAN’T is simply equated to:

“Currently Am Not Trying”

By the way, I’d like to briefly acknowledge the “Trying” portion of that statement. You see, for many of us, the concept of “trying” anything includes the implication of “pass or fail.” In other words, if you “try” to play an improvised line of the first four bars of Bart Howard’s Fly Me To The Moon, for example, your inner thought process might imply that you either succeed or you don’t. May I ask you, right here and now, to perish that kind of thinking? By the way, this is not simply “positive thinking” on parade here. We are dealing with truth. Let’s say that your improvising skills, according to you, are minimal at best. You go to that piano or keyboard of yours and you know the first few measures of that song but have never improvised over them before. You commit to giving it a go… you place your hands and fingers over the keyboard and play something (anything) with those chord changes in mind. Whala! You produced a result!

Improvise away!

Jazz it up, baby!

So, what about that result? Did you “pass,” realistically? Did you “fail?” The fact is you succeeded at producing a result. What you say to yourself about that result is up to you. But if you automatically impose a judgement on it of some kind (as most do), you create an impasse on further creativity if that judgment is a negative one of any kind. Consider when you were an infant and you were hungry. You hadn’t learned any words yet. But one thing was certain: you were hungry and you wanted food to go into that mouth of yours. So, were you able to communicate that? What did you say? “Whaaaaa!” or something similar is most likely the case. Question: did you impose judgement on how you made that statement? Did you wish you had expressed it a different way? Not a chance. The fact is you expressed yourself at that moment the best way you knew how. What’s interesting is that not only did you accept it but so did those listening… and they responded most affirmatively. In other words, you expressed yourself with a level of confidence that was not even put through any filtration of judgement. As you matured, your means of expressing yourself gradually became refined… all in a very natural way!

Friend, the very same holds true for musical creativity. You simply need to release those old thoughts and beliefs about “good” and “bad” and allow your inner creative musical genius to blossom…

Give yourself permission to release that “ball and chain” and allow yourself a taste of creativity on those keys you may have never experienced before.

You absolutely have what it takes. Please never, ever forget it : ) I mean that from the
heart….

Remember,

Always…

ALWAYS…

PLAY WITH PASSION!

Musically,

Dave
www.PianoAmore.net
www.ProProach.com

Learning Piano: Method or Madness?

madpianistWhen it comes to learning piano, I’m pretty sure it goes without saying that you have lots of options. The truth is you don’t need someone else to teach you how to sit at that piano or keyboard of yours and start making music. Sure, there are basic musical fundamentals and technical aspects of playing on those keys that have been proven to work consistently, have been documented, and have been passed down through centuries in many forms. Virtually any “piano method,” per say that you discover, whether presented in book form, on CD of DVD, or online format will simply be a “spin” of what’s already been known to work to a degree for others.

So what came first… the music or the method? When you consider the likes of Bach’s The Two-Part Inventions and Sinfonias, which was published in 1753, here we have a compilation of material that was meant as a series of exercises and pieces written for the benefit of his son. Where the line is drawn as to that collection being viewed upon as a work or art or a method is subject to one’s interpretation. But one thing is certain: the musicality of this material is genuine.

So, when it comes to your experience, where is the line drawn between what you perceive as “methodical” and musical creativity as it applies to whatever you want to learn, whether it’s Bach, Beethoven, Billy Joel, or YOU? You don’t need permission to create. You don’t need a method to proceed. Does that mean to adopt a method is frowned upon? By no means is that the point here. But what really is key and worth understanding is that there doesn’t need to be a line drawn between learning and creating.

There is no shortage of material available out there when it comes to learning basics. If a step-by-step methodical approach is what you want to gaining some confidence with reading or playing songs by ear, then by all means adopt one. I’m cognizant of the fact that you will have no challenge finding anything of the sort. That’s why it has never been my intention to duplicate what’s been duplicated thousands of times. The material you will find at Piano Amore and in our store has been created (and continues to be) based on the premise that any individual, whatever her level of reading or playing competency, is capable of creating right from the very beginning. Any thought opposed to that is simply that: a thought.

I believe that if you’ve never played a chord on the piano before, then your experience learning your first chord should and can be a musical experience. And why not? A careful look at the first few measures of  Beethoven’s Fur Elise reveals that what we have here, for the most part, is two chords being approached in a creative fashion. Now, for those who enjoy classical music, that piece is one that many beginners aspire to play perhaps more than any other (or it’s at least one of them). It’s great to set a goal like this. That said, what’s wrong with simply taking that A minor triad and E major triad and approaching it in your own way right now? Go to your piano or keyboard and have fun playing those two chords right now and then playing them in an arpeggiated fashion (notes separately) with both hands in a way that comes naturally to you and appreciate the results that you get. Wahala! You’re improvising on piano! Your possibilities are endless so keep at it! As you proceed, the only thing getting in the way of what you hear as being considered something wonderful is your interpretation of it.

In short, the more you give yourself permission to create, the more you will come in touch with the creative musical genius that exists within you… and the more you will come to appreciate music… and the more you will come to enjoy, appreciate, and respect what you, as an individual, are capable of. So, head on over to those keys right now and create your very own masterpiece!