How To Get Started Improvising On The Piano


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How To Get Started Improvising On The Piano

We all admire the improvising genius of an Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubeck, Herbie Hancock or Andre Previn, but “regular folks” like you and I can improvise too — at a much lower level, to be sure, but still improvising.

The way to start is just like Nike says: “Just do it”. Don’t talk about it – just go improvise. And one way to get started is to take any two chords and start breaking up the notes of those two chords in some sort of pattern. Musicians call it a “motif” – you can call it anything you want. Just pick 4 or five notes out of a chord, or the scale of the chord, and make a repetitive pattern out of it. It won’t sound great at first, but we all have to start somewhere.

Watch as I take two chords and create a very simple improvisation out of those two chords:

(You can also watch this video on my YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xpU3EGs8rU
While you’re there, be sure to subscribe to my channel so you’ll be notified when I create a new video.

Here is an excellent course in improvising starting from the ground up. If you are a newcomer to improvising, I strongly urge you to check out this course: Piano Improvising: How To Make Up Music As You Play!

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One Response to “How To Get Started Improvising On The Piano”

  1. Andreas Says:

    Hi Duane, I appreciate your modesty in this blog. I suppose that you are far better at playing the piano than you say, and I’m very fond of your tutorials. You might want to take a quick look at my own piano project: http://improvisingpiano.blogspot.de/
    Thanks in advance, Andreas!