Improvisation! How to make up things on the piano without reading music
Hi and welcome to jazzypiano! This is an evolving piano site that offers something for everyone, from rank beginners to serious professionals to those who just want to learn about music or what it’s like to have a career as a pianist. I am a lifetime professional pianist, stage entertainer, music educator and have traveled worldwide applying my craft. I’ve never had a day job other than in music, which I suppose is a path less traveled. Take a stroll through my site and find something new for yourself.
Improvise at the piano without reading music?
It’s not difficult if someone shows you how. Take a look at the Classical-type Improv page.
My goal is to try to show you easy ways to improvise without you having to study or practice. If you play currently or used to play then you already have dexterity under your fingertips that you can use to explore and get creative at the piano. I would like to show you some easy pathways and concepts so you can sit down anytime and spontaneously make up music at the piano, without having to work or study to make it happen.
White Note Improvisations Here are some examples of short spontaneous improvisations I made up spontaneously on the white notes only. You can make similar creations with some basic orientation. Check out the Classical-type Improv page.
Click on one of the “examples” above an you will see videos where I am spontaneously creating in various styles and rhythms, playing only on the white note. In the “Creative Improvising on the White Notes” video will learn how you can make-up similar improvs yourself based on your own dexterity on the piano.
Can’t play a note? Click on me!
If you’ve never played piano at all and want to learn something easy to play and impress your friends at cocktail parties. Click on the note above.
Major Scale Game (for flat scales)
This game isn’t for beginners. It’s is a good challenge for pianists who know their scales fairly well. It challenges you to play all your flat keys, (Bb,Eb,F,etc) major scales on the piano beginning from the same note for all of them. You play each flat key scale but never start on the first note of the scale. It will give you some new perspectives that will increase awareness of how scales are put together and helps expand your improvising concepts.
Piano bench wisdom.
When you sit for a long time practicing or out playing a gig, does you back wear out? you want to get as comfortable as possible. The piano bench is an uncomfortable chair. Click on the piano bench and I’ll tell a solution I often use.
Piano vs digital keyboards
Beginning around the late 19th century and up until the early 1990’s, night clubs, hotels, and restaurants throughout the world still had real pianos in them. A grand piano was a status symbol. If you had a well dressed man or woman sitting at one playing nicely then you created a sound and image of sophistication. The popularity of digital keyboards was directly responsible for disappearance of piano in public venues but they didn’t invade the scene until the 1990’s. If you’d like to learn more about this and about how digital keyboards took over click on A history of keyboards and improvising on the top bar.