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Creative at Piano

Creative at Piano

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Published by: Prince Benjamin Amoakwa on May 13, 2011
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04/18/2013

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Lets face it... you’re not one to just sit down at the piano

and have beautiful music come up. No. You’re more like
someone who struggles just to get one original note out.
It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, playing piano can be a
joy. Here are three piano playing tips to help you loosen up
and get into a creative space.

Piano Playing Tip #1: You Know Enough to Begin Now

Don’t wait until you think you’re ready. Begin now and
enjoy the feeling of creating your own music. You know
enough to begin. Don’t think so? What do you really need to
know? A few chords and how to play them - THAT’S’ IT! You
don’t need to spend months or years in school learning the-
ory. Teory is good to know and can come later. For example,
I know how to construct a D minor 9 chord easily but I wish I
knew what to do with it long before I learned how to make it.

a 325 b

Te way to begin is to begin easy. Start by learning a few
chords. Ten use them by improvising. Te way to make
music as you go is to stay in the present. If you even think
of anything but the music making you won’t be able to get as
much enjoyment out of your playing. Te way to stay in the
present is to play. Play like children play - with an open mind
and open heart. Not expecting anything but glad for what
happens - spontaneously. Do you think a child questions
whether she knows enough to begin painting? Of course not.
Yet we as adults place all kinds of limits on ourselves.

Piano Playing Tip #2: You Can Learn to Improvise and
Create Your Own Music

Do you think you need to be in school for years to acquire
improvisational skills? If you do, you’re not alone. Most peo-
ple share this belief. Practice is what will give you the skill
to create spontaneously. More specifcally, practice without
judgment will really get you there fast. You grow in propor-
tion to the amount of time you spend playing the piano. You
learn then come upon times when growth slows down. Tis
does not mean that growth has stopped. It only means you
are changing internally - readying yourself for the next new
spurt.

Piano Playing Tip #3: No One Knows Everything

I wish I really believed this one before I got started play-
ing piano. I really believed that you had to learn a lot to make
music. Te truth of the matter is even when I knew “sophisti-
cated” chords and chord voicing, I still was blocked! When I
started playing simply, using just a few chords, I could easily
improvise and forget myself at the piano. What a diference
in approach! I self-judged myself right into not being able
to play. I say “play” because this is what improvisation is. I
believed that it was more important that I sound good to oth-
ers than feel good about what I was doing at the piano. It was

a 326 b

a crucial error on my part and one that’s taken a long time to
rectify.

Gaining others approval can kill the spirit and destroy
the ability to create because you will never be good enough!
You must please yourself frst - then share the music with
others. To know everything is to know nothing. Tere are
no good musicians or bad musicians. Tere is only you and
the music. Is it good or bad? Who cares! What’s important is
your feeling and not the product that comes out.

ab

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