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How To Improvise When Playing Piano & Keyboard

How To Improvise When Playing Piano & Keyboard

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How To Improvise When Playing Piano & Keyboard

4/5 (9 ratings)
120 pages
1 hour
Mar 25, 2013


You can learn to improvise by substituting 6th, minor, 7th, major 7th, augmented and diminished chords in place of basic chords. Graphics illustrate chords and voicings and all 12 Keys are shown as scales plus 2 chords probably used in a song (IV and V) plus "maybe" chord. Sample songs are included. One is "When You Need Me I'll Be There" and coupon code in book lets you obtain sheet music free.

Mar 25, 2013

About the author

I am first and foremost inquisitive, always wanting to know what goes on globally and locally and wanting to understand WHY! Being a newspaper reporter was the career with which I began. Then, as a pianist and vocalist, I spent a number of years entertaining throughout the U.S. I also owned a talent agency during that time. After those 25 years, my next career was in public education, which was something I never intended to do. Getting "drafted" into teaching and the time I spent as an Academic Coordinator were very interesting and I do so love the students and teachers, administrators, and staff members I met. I'm very proud of our students. After six years, I left teaching and moved near my son and his family. I became a Master Gardener and Master Composter, joined local organizations, and have been able to enjoy more time with my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. I am thrilled that my professional focus now is limited to writing. I will be publishing both fiction and non-fiction works and begin that in new venture in 2012.

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How To Improvise When Playing Piano & Keyboard - Lee Gabor



This book contains a lot of information. If you're extremely right brain-lobe oriented, feel free to skip all the text, print the graphics, and go to the summary chapter with the chords and learn those you want to learn and then just mess around using various chords in the songs you want to play and I suggest you use various voicings of the chords.

If you're comfortable with text and, especially, if you're just beginning, you will learn something in every chapter. And, every tiny bit helps one to become a better pianist.

The three things I hope you learn well in this book are 1) try some different chords and practice them in songs you like using various voicings; 2) enjoy playing the way you want to and don't get discouraged if, at first, you aren't extremely pleased with the sounds you're creating; and 3) take responsibility for yourself and don't allow others to discourage you or hold you back. God gave us many abilities we don't use. This book is to encourage you to try a skill that can bring you great enjoyment.

Obviously, the more you practice, the better you will play. The more you try new chords, the sooner you'll add those to your repertoire.

Although I took a few piano lessons when I was a child, I play primarily by ear. If you would like to see a video of me playing piano and singing (1987) with very little video of my hands at the keyboard, please go here. If you want to see my hands at the piano keyboard playing bits of a few various songs, go here. The videos are from a quarter of a century ago and I think I play better now, lol! At least, I hope so! BTW, the few minutes of hands at piano was copied from the Master tape on which the other songs were recorded. When I scheduled the recording session in Houston, I ordered two video cameras, one stationary and the other roving, so that a lot of tape could be captured of the musicians and me actually playing instruments. Unfortunately, the recording studio didn't follow through and there was only one camera. After recording whole songs during which time the camera was stationary, the videographer grabbed the camera and walked around the studio to videotape outtakes that could be cut into the final recording. The video of my hands at the keyboard is one of those outtakes.

One other thought - in this book I mentioned stride piano style and refer you to a video on YouTube that discusses this. In the video of me playing piano (hands on keyboard), I play Faded Love in a stride manner.

I am very proud to be a member of ASCAP!

Since we will start our lessons using the Key of C major in this book, here is a graphic of the C major scale on a piano or electronic keyboard. If we played past that B and pressed the next note, we will play a C (invisible in the graphic) and that C makes the OCTAVE or 8 notes.

This next graphic adds the numbers we use when talking about the notes in the scale.

Finally, this next graphic adds the numbers, but in the format of Roman numerals, which are more commonly used to describe the notes in the scale.

Later, you'll learn all the black notes and other 11 Keys IF YOU WANT TO, but I really think to GET THE LESSONS I'm offering, you MUST understand C Major Scale to the first Octave: Therefore, if you aren't already familiar with the C major scale, please don't go further into the book until you know the notes by their letter designations, their number designations, and, if possible, their Roman Numeral designations.

What Is Improvisation

First thing I want to mention is that in the chapter titled Rock of Ages, you'll find lead sheet music for the old hymn with melody and very simplified chords noted. These are simple triad (3-note) chords. After that, you'll find a sample of the song with full staff (treble and bass clefs). The song is played in an improvisational manner and using some of the chords you'll learn about in this ebook.

A lead sheet is often used by musicians in place of full sheet music. Lead sheets typically show only the treble clef with melody lines and above that the chords listed. If the song has lyrics, they usually appear below the staff. The melody and chords offer enough information to professional musicians and vocalists, since these people improvise.

I can't emphasize enough that TO LEARN HOW TO IMPROVISE, the best thing you can do is to record yourself playing a song you like and then start messing around with it and recording your improvisation. Not everything will necessarily sound great. That's true for all of us, even for the greatest pianists. The more you work with expressing yourself, the better you'll get. We build what is called muscle memory as we play chords that are more expanded than the simple triad chords. Also, as we play three-note (triad) chords in various voicings, we develop that muscle memory. These voicings are explained a bit later. It is that muscle memory we

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9 ratings / 4 Reviews
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  • (5/5)
    It's the basic, open and easy approach one should have to teach whoever is willing to learn.
    Basic, because it's everything you need to know if you want to play ballads or well-known songs. Or if eventually you want to go deeper.
    Open, because it has an eye on the audience, and the satisfaction it brings to play in public.
    Easy, because the theory is all there, now go practice...

  • (3/5)
    It was ok. I was a little to basic in contents.
  • (4/5)
    the author is very intuitive guide and easy learning...
    with simpe song and then step by step example and summary
  • (5/5)
    Ottima applicazione completa e esaustiva la migliore in commercio consigliata