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Topic: I wish to learn how to improvise? anyone can help?  (Read 3022 times)

Offline piano25darren

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I wish to learn how to improvise? anyone can help?
on: November 11, 2004, 06:18:51 AM
HI everyone here,

i'm new to this forum. I don't really like to play classical piano, but i would love to play pop piano and improvise. Anyone has any good books to recommend?

This book was highly recommended by those on the net: www.playpoppianobyear.com



Seems very promising.. the rest of the other improvisation books or 'Play by ear' books seem very amateur looking.. any other recommendations?

thanks!

Offline Brian Healey

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Re: I wish to learn how to improvise? anyone can help?
Reply #1 on: November 11, 2004, 07:05:53 AM
First of all, I would not recommend learning from a book.

Secondly, I'm confused as to what you want to play exactly. What do you mean by "pop piano"? Does that mean stuff like Billy Joel or Ben Folds? If so, then you have a couple options. The most recommended option (by me) is to listen to your favorite artists and and figure out what they are doing by ear. It should be pretty easy if you have at least basic knowledge of chord theory, since most of what these guys play is triads and occasional 7th chords. If you don't know any chord theory, then maybe take a class or read the first few chapters of "Tonal Harmony" by Koska/Payne. You probably don't even need to know chords. When I was really young I used to figure out tunes by the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, etc. just by listening to them. I really had no knowledge of the actual chords I was playing. The other option would be to just go out and buy the sheet music, since almost all "pop" artists these days put out printed editions of their music. As far as the improvisation goes, I'm pretty sure you can figure out what sounds good to your ear and expand on that. Start simple.

Please, don't learn from a book. You don't develope a connection to the music that way (I don't think).

Offline Brian Healey

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Re: I wish to learn how to improvise? anyone can help?
Reply #2 on: November 11, 2004, 07:16:07 AM
By the way, I checked out the link for that "Play Pop Piano by Ear" thing. I think you could save some money by simply doing as the title says:

Play by Ear!!

You don't need a book to tell you that. Seriously, that "Play Pop Piano by Ear" thing is a bunch of crap. From what I can tell, it doesn't provide you with any information you couldn't get on your own for free. And believe me, if you do it yourself (or with the aid of a teacher), you will really understand the music better, and will play a thousand times better than anyone who learned to play using the "method" that website is trying to sell you.

Offline bernhard

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Re: I wish to learn how to improvise? anyone can help?
Reply #3 on: November 11, 2004, 12:20:15 PM

I agree and disagree with Brian here.

Yes, he is right, you will not learn to play by ear from a book, and yes the best way is to go ahead and play by ear.

However I disagree that you cannot learn from a book.

If you do not have a clue (which seems to be the case), than listening to your favourite pop music and trying to figure out what they are doing is going to get you nowhere fast. In this case, a book can be very helpful in that it will supply you with a map of what is going on. Some books are better suited to this purpose than others. Again I disagree with Brian on Koska/Payne “Tonal harmony”. It is a good map, but not for your purposes. I doubt you will profit much from it.

Here are some books that I believe will address the problem you have and help you a lot:

1.   Cannell & Marx: How to play the piano despite years of lessons. Excellent introduction to chords and how to use them. Most of the examples are from popular music. (Crown and Bridge)

2.   Colin Aston: How to play by ear correctly, how to improvise and compose music (Published by Aston & Beveridge – 39 Church Way, Longdon, Rugeley, Staffordshire, UK). This is an excellent book with a huge amount of progressive exercises – If you do the exercises you will get there!

3. Norman Monath – How to play popular piano in ten easy lessons (Fireside). This book covers the basics: chords, how to play by ear, how to read fake books.

These should get you started. Once you have mastered them, there are two excellent books that will give you more advanced stuff:

1.   Keyboard workshop (Ekay Music)
2.   1000 keyboard ideas (Ekay Music)

These are a collection of articles that appeared over the years in Sheet Music magazine, Keyboard Classics Magazine, and The Piano Stylist, and there are – literally – a thousand tips and ideas on each of them. Most excellent!

For improvisation the best introduction I ever came across is

Laura Campbell – “Sketching at the Keyboard” (Stainer and Bell). This will give you the basics. Once you mastered them you can try her more advanced: “Sketches for improvisation” and “Sketches for further harmony and improvisation”.

Finally a video/DVD that you may find helpful is:

Marilyn Crispell – A pianist’s guide to free improvisation (Homespun video).

I am not familiar with the course you mentioned, but if you do get it, please do come back here and tell us if you thought it was any good.

I hope this helps,

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline FST2

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Re: I wish to learn how to improvise? anyone can help?
Reply #4 on: November 12, 2004, 08:51:11 AM
 
 Surprise, Surprise, this threadstarter is SPAM of the worst kind.

 I would never buy or evaluate any product marketed by these means.

 This appears to be a website just recently set up in Singapore, looking for a little free promotion !

 Great replies, though.

 Here are the details returned for that site :-



 www.playpoppianobyear.com = [ 210.193.6.34 ] 

  Registrant:
  ASIA COMPASS SINGAPORE PTE LTD (ASCWMDFEDD)
     333 Orchard Road 33-09
     SINGAPORE  SINGAPORE 238867
     sg
     Domain Name: PLAYPOPPIANOBYEAR.COM
     Administrative Contact  Technical Contact:
        ASIA COMPASS SINGAPORE PTE LTD  hostmaster@asia-compass.com
        333 Orchard Road 33-09
        SINGAPORE  SINGAPORE 238867
        sg
        65 8352033 fax: 65 8354366
     Record expires on 10-Oct-2005.
     Record created on 10-Oct-2004.
     Database last updated on 12-Nov-2004 02: 59: 56 EST.





 210.193.6.34 = [ ns2.asia-compass.com ] 
  inetnum:      210.193.0.0 - 210.193.63.255
  netname:      QALA-SG
  descr:        QALA Singapore Pte Ltd

 role:         QALA SG NOC ROLE
  address:      10 Science Park Road 03-28
  address:      The Alpha  Singapore Science Park 2
  address:      Singapore 117684
  country:      SG
  phone:        65-6-796-0333
  fax-no:       65-6-796-0330

 trouble:      Spam and security issues - abuse@qala.com.sg


.

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: I wish to learn how to improvise? anyone can help?
Reply #5 on: November 14, 2004, 05:16:04 PM

 Surprise, Surprise, this threadstarter is SPAM of the worst kind.

 I would never buy or evaluate any product marketed by these means.

 This appears to be a website just recently set up in Singapore, looking for a little free promotion !

 Great replies, though.

 Here are the details returned for that site :-



 www.playpoppianobyear.com = [ 210.193.6.34 ] 

  Registrant:
  ASIA COMPASS SINGAPORE PTE LTD (ASCWMDFEDD)
     333 Orchard Road 33-09
     SINGAPORE  SINGAPORE 238867
     sg
     Domain Name: PLAYPOPPIANOBYEAR.COM
     Administrative Contact  Technical Contact:
        ASIA COMPASS SINGAPORE PTE LTD  hostmaster@asia-compass.com
        333 Orchard Road 33-09
        SINGAPORE  SINGAPORE 238867
        sg
        65 8352033 fax: 65 8354366
     Record expires on 10-Oct-2005.
     Record created on 10-Oct-2004.
     Database last updated on 12-Nov-2004 02: 59: 56 EST.





 210.193.6.34 = [ ns2.asia-compass.com ] 
  inetnum:      210.193.0.0 - 210.193.63.255
  netname:      QALA-SG
  descr:        QALA Singapore Pte Ltd

 role:         QALA SG NOC ROLE
  address:      10 Science Park Road 03-28
  address:      The Alpha  Singapore Science Park 2
  address:      Singapore 117684
  country:      SG
  phone:        65-6-796-0333
  fax-no:       65-6-796-0330

 trouble:      Spam and security issues - abuse@qala.com.sg


.

I replied to this thread saying it was "sneaky internet spam" and ended it with a "PUH-LEEASE! ::)"  I guess Nils deleted it. :P  I mean, Puh-Leease!  It was so obvious and posted in four different forums?  Puh-lease! ::)
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