Easy Piano Improvisation: Learn to Express Yourself!

Posted by Nick Niesen on October 26th, 2010

Have you ever wanted to just sit down at the piano and play what you feel? Without worrying if it's good enough or if you have enough "talent?" You can when you learn how to play piano using the amazing open position piano chord!

This chord structure allows the complete beginner to create modern sounds at the piano FASTER THAN ANY OTHER METHOD! After teaching piano for 14 years, I can safely say that I've never seen students progress as fast as they do when working with this chord position. Let's examine how one can improvise right away using the open position chord.

First, you must learn how to use it. The easiest way to do this is to simply learn the chords in the Key of C Major. We take the entire 6-note chord and move it up step by step. First we play C Major 7, then D minor 7, E minor 7, F Major 7, G 7, and A minor 7 and finally, B half-diminished. We play the chords first as solid chords (all tones together) then we break them up. For an excellent example of this, see the author's free piano lesson "Reflections in Water" available below.

Once we've got this very large chord structure down in our hands, we can then use it to create music with. Improvisation simply means spontaneous expression - learning how to create in the moment. Improvising does not have to be hard! Once you get the chords down, you're left with the melody creation aspect and this is easy to because all you use are the notes from the C Major scale.

We use our chords much the same way a painter uses a palette of colors. We create using chords and the element of time. In the example lesson "Reflections in Water," the chords you play are in a given order. All you have to do now is play them in that order and improvise your own melody!

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Nick Niesen

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Nick Niesen
Joined: April 29th, 2015
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