Improvisation Piano Lesson
If you have ever listened to jazz music, chances are good that you heard the piano player improvise. Improvisation is playing music that you make up in the moment, without having any written sheet music for the notes that you play. You choose which notes to play, and the rhythm to play them in. Even though many times, improvised music is based on a theme (a short, important section) of the music, or on the melody itself, the improvised music that is created is completely original and made up as it is being played. You may have seen a musician improvising and realized he or she is not using any sheet music to play. Maybe you wondered how the musician knew which notes would sound the way they wanted them to. The answer is that a musician that can improvise must first know enough about the theory of music to understand how the notes interact, and which combinations and sequences of notes sound pleasing to our ears.
The first thing that a performer that is improvising must know is what key the music is in. This will help the musician decide what notes should be played, and whether they should be sharp, flat, or natural. Musicians that know how to improvise well can switch quickly and easily between different key signatures, so that they can adapt quickly when the key of a piece of music changes, and keep up with the accompaniment (the music that is playing in the background). You can try some simple improvisation if you sit at the piano and play some spontaneous notes, without looking at any sheet music. As you experiment with the keys of the piano, you will begin to make some decisions about what notes sound pleasant together and which combinations should be avoided.
If you enjoy the idea of improvising a solo (common in jazz music), you may want to consider taking some improvisation piano lessons. A teacher can walk you through the process of learning to improvise, starting with some basic concepts that you can begin to see success with, and gradually moving to more difficult musical ideas. As you build your skill in the area of improvisation, your improvised music will start to improve, and you will be able to play even more complex melodies and improvised accompaniment as you gain skill. To find a piano teacher to give you lessons on improvisation, look into the jazz program at your local college or university music program, or find a local high school jazz band, and speak with the director. If the director cannot provide your piano lessons, they can probably at least point you in the right direction. Learning improvisation does not have to be intimidating. Just like any other kind of piano music, with some dedicated time set aside for practicing and improving your skill, you will see steady progress and eventually be able to improvise on the piano.
Improvisation is not just a great skill to have when playing jazz music. If you are able to make up music as you go along that fits the situation, you can play easily with other musicians without much rehearsal. This is a great skill to use when playing piano for a local church, or sitting around the piano for a holiday get together with family. As you practice your improvisation, try turning on the radio and playing along to some of the songs that you are familiar with. This will help you to be able to pick out the notes of the melody line and give you practice improvising along with the music.
It has been said of improvising, “There are no wrong notes, just better choices.” You will learn that some notes in a particular key should be avoided at certain times to keep the music from sounding harsh to our ears, but these notes can still be passed by quickly to add an effect to the music. The more improvising that you do, the better at it you will become. Find ways to improvise with other live musicians, and improvise in front of an audience as often as possible. Most importantly, keep practicing so that you can continue to improve. Remember that the more you can learn about music theory, the better your improvisational skills will be as you learn the reason behind choosing certain notes at certain times. Your improvisation piano lessons teacher can help you choose a theory book that will help you meet your goals of learning how to improvise on the piano. Before you know it, you will be having a great time improvising music on the piano