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Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
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#1176160 - 04/07/09 03:04 PM Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano!
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
So many students would just love to sit down at the piano and play. Yet these same students think you need years upon years of study to improvise successfully.

But that's where they're wrong! What If I was to show you a simple technique that will have you improvising in no time at all. Would that be something you might be interested in? If you answered yes, listen, because what I'm about to share with you will have you creating a rich full sound at the keyboard.

The technique I'm referring to is called the ostinato pattern.

It's not difficult. All you have to do is get the pattern down in your left hand. Then, you simply "jump in" with the right to improvise your own unique melody. A great example of this is in the video "Images of Yosemite" available below.



The problem students sometimes have is maintaining the pattern in the left hand. The reason for this is usually the same - they are playing too fast! There's no reason to. After all, the goal is for you to create your own music. And music is what we want. To get it, you need to SLOW DOWN at first until the pattern is firmly established. Then you add in your own improvised melody.

The music in the above video contains 2 chords. That's it! Just 2 chords and we have all we need to begin our improvisation.

No need to make it any more complicated than that. In fact, problems arise when students try to make something more than what they're ready for. My advice? Slow down, take your time, and you'll be well on your way to successful improvisation.
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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Piano & Music Accessories
#1176547 - 04/08/09 07:00 AM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: eweiss]
Studio Joe Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 1803
Loc: Decatur, Texas
That sounds a lot like what is called 'minimalistic music'.

I could be used for film sound track, but just for listening, it gets boring because it doesn't go anywhere.
_________________________
Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax

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#1176624 - 04/08/09 11:03 AM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: Studio Joe]
spacedkadet Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 6
Loc: Romania
Makes me think of Yann Tiersen. Practiced a few of his songs at first, because of the simplicity. It's a very "logical" song, uses about the same 10-15 notes for most of the melody and they come in simple patterns. Good for practicing, but that's about it, as jw said, it wont take you anywhere.

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#1176764 - 04/08/09 02:22 PM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: Studio Joe]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: jw7480
That sounds a lot like what is called 'minimalistic music'.

I could be used for film sound track, but just for listening, it gets boring because it doesn't go anywhere.

Is it supposed to go somewhere?
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1176789 - 04/08/09 03:05 PM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: eweiss]
Studio Joe Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 1803
Loc: Decatur, Texas
Originally Posted By: eweiss
Is it supposed to go somewhere?


If you want to keep the listener's interest for 3 or 4 minutes.
_________________________
Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax

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#1176838 - 04/08/09 04:22 PM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: Studio Joe]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Interest is in the ear of the beholder. Some find long Beethoven Sonata's interesting. Others like a music that doesn't seem to go anywhere.

Isn't the world big enough for both?


Edited by eweiss (04/08/09 04:26 PM)
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1176851 - 04/08/09 04:47 PM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: eweiss]
BJones Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1043
Loc: Queens, NY
Originally Posted By: eweiss
Interest is in the ear of the beholder. Some find long Beethoven Sonata's interesting. Others like a music that doesn't seem to go anywhere.

Isn't the world big enough for both?


Music is gravitational by nature. Goal oriented notes that are headed somewhere, eventually. The route they take and the changes they experience are music. That goal itself is not music, but the path to that goal is the music.
As broad minded as some of us are, IMO even we expect a musical force in motion to eventually evolve and move to that goal. The "thermodynamics", the nuts and bolts of music, and degree of familiarty of knowing those theories will make the trips to those goals more interesting and more skillfully and creatively applied.


Edited by BJones (04/08/09 04:49 PM)
_________________________
Some recent improvisations:

Cool School Chopin:

http://www.mediafire.com/?d1yc1mmitew

Improvisations:

http://www.box.net/shared/bjv6yc34oo

http://www.box.net/shared/8lmc3hzikl


Top
#1176878 - 04/08/09 05:13 PM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: BJones]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
"If I Were A Rich Man" from "Fiddler on the Roof", is a two chord song, but you never notice it because it's so captivating with the story and the rhythm of the words, and the chromaticism of the melody, it's liveliness and attribution to both Broadway and the movies, the costuming, the village, holds your attention. It's such an emotive piece.

I must say, Ed, I found the scenery lovely to look at, but the music seemed harsh for such natural beauty.

There are improvisation books on the market, one by Kinney, has the teacher playing an accompaniment, and the black notes provide the beginner amply notes upon which to spontaneously compose something that immediately works. Teacher supervises and together they work on imagination pieces of melodies and rhythms and words if using lyrics. Complete thoughts in composing and improvisation which will grow in length and depth over the years of lessons and thereafter. And, the approach is not imitation it is exploration. From an intro like this, theory is just behind the work, explaining what we did and how we did it.

There are teaching pieces written by music education composers that are simple to play, soothing, the outcome musically sounds at a higher level than the music is written.

Some of what comes to mind are "Psalm" by Denes Agay, and "Etude" by Paul Sheftel. There are also lots of 5 finger position changes in pieces, like "Cracker Jack" by Anne Shannon Demarist and Triaditude" and "Exultation" (Myklas) by Robert D. Vandall, "Flashy Fingers by Margaret Goldston, "Ancient Face of the Sun" by Mary Dolen (KJOS) and "Stars and Wind" by Catherine Rollin. Robert D. Vandall has written so much music! His Prelude (3 books) are excellent and many are written in patterns.

These pieces don't put you to sleep at the wheel they create a great piece but also involvement of thinking and planning skills and anticipation. Progressive learning is the outcome when you use music composed for a purpose by a music education composer.

Use music. Think music. Do music.

Betty Patnude

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#1176880 - 04/08/09 05:14 PM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: BJones]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
You mean most Western based music right? The idea that music has to go somewhere is an idea. Have you ever heard Japanese koto or shakahuachi music?

Very nice stuff without the need to reach some kind of goal. Or isn't it good enough to meet strict standards set by dead composers?
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1177154 - 04/09/09 02:05 AM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: eweiss]
BJones Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1043
Loc: Queens, NY
Originally Posted By: eweiss
You mean most Western based music right? The idea that music has to go somewhere is an idea. Have you ever heard Japanese koto or shakahuachi music?

Very nice stuff without the need to reach some kind of goal. Or isn't it good enough to meet strict standards set by dead composers?


I'm a big believer in letting the dead stay buried. Thousands of brilliant musicians have totally neglected their own creativity and spontaneity by dedicating their lives to faithfully reproducing the music of the long dead and buried instead of exploring the music inside. It's a shame. Take the sheet music away from most classical pianists and they're like a car without a driveshaft.


Edited by BJones (04/09/09 02:06 AM)
_________________________
Some recent improvisations:

Cool School Chopin:

http://www.mediafire.com/?d1yc1mmitew

Improvisations:

http://www.box.net/shared/bjv6yc34oo

http://www.box.net/shared/8lmc3hzikl


Top
#1177276 - 04/09/09 10:08 AM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: BJones]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
The OP is playing these two chords in 3/4 time

D minor
C major


A----
D F G


G----
C E F

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#1177639 - 04/10/09 12:00 AM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: Betty Patnude]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
These pieces don't put you to sleep at the wheel they create a great piece but also involvement of thinking and planning skills and anticipation. Progressive learning is the outcome when you use music composed for a purpose by a music education composer.

Betty, this "piece" is an improvisation exercise where students can "free play" at the piano. A concept you might want to look into in your own teaching.

As far as thinking and planning skills, they are unnecessary. The last thing I want my students doing during improvisation is to think. Hopefully, they will stay in the present and create something new. At least, for that brief time period, they are creators of music and not simply glorified typists who only can recreate what has been written by dead composers of the past.
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1177658 - 04/10/09 12:48 AM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: eweiss]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Really, Ed?

I'm sorry you weren't here this afternoon for the 2nd lesson of my new 6 year old student. She make up a little story about my cat: "Marmaduke, he's orange and white, he sleeps quite a bit and he's likely to snore."

Using that for story line, she played in a 5 Finger C Position RH only and came up with a really cute, rhythmically correct to the syllables in singing style, and played and sang her little composition. Thinking, listening, planning, what to say, and what to play.

Typing, not at all. Straight from her heart.

These dead composers of the past are alive in our hearts - their music lives with us. They are still alive through the masterworks they left behind - without electricity, without modern day comforts, without grocery stores and McDonalds on every corner, and without all the doo-dads we now have available to communicate and teach with. Back when a brain was a wonderful thing to have and to use. When paper and ink were it and you wrote every note from the sweat of your brow by candlelight. Long story short.

I really admire our classical composers - piano or any other instruments and voice - they have longevity - and renown.

Betty Patnude

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#1177660 - 04/10/09 01:00 AM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: Betty Patnude]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Really Betty? I wasn't talking about your 6 year old student.


Edited by eweiss (04/10/09 01:00 AM)
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1177755 - 04/10/09 09:21 AM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: eweiss]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11798
Loc: Canada
Could some of these ideas be explored with an open mind? Music spans many cultures and many traditions. The idea of direction in music and structure would be interesting to explore in its own right. Maybe it merits its own thread (?)

Indian Raga is improvisational in nature. I know only a tiny bit about it. But I do remember that there was a formal structure to the improvisation where only certain choices were correct. This was linked to "classical" archetypes of emotions that were symbolized through microtones. The listeners and musicians know these patterns, and deviations from the patterns will offend the ear. Music happens across a time span. There is some kind of expectation within this time span in Raga, but I know no more about it than what I've set out. Is Raga expected to "go somewhere"?

What about traditional Chinese and African music? (There will be numerous traditions for each country and continent). Do they have formal conventions, and do these conventions impose "going somewhere" or do they have a different focus? (Being what?)

Did the chants of the early Middle Ages go anywhere, or did that structure happen later? (I honestly don't know). Modern music, of course, is all over the place. Part of the movements were attempts to escape and replace tonality and even the definition of what music and a musical instrument might be. 12 tone led to serialism, with its own strict structures - aleatory music "with the throw of a dice" to avoid any sense of direction whatsoever, etc.

What I'm wondering is if the criticism of Ed's idea, that it is not going anywhere, is justified. Does music need to be going anywhere if it is not trying to prepare for traditional Western music?

And ..... to Ed ..... are you going anywhere with this when you present it to your students? I don't think you're trying to be a pseudo-Schoenberg or emulate part of India. Are you liberating them from the paralysis of "needing to do it right" so that later they do start creating music that does go somewhere? I understand that jazz musicians commonly move along the I IV V I pattern. Immediately you are moving away from and back toward the tonic. that gives us a sense of direction. They have "licks" where classical music has "motifs" and such a thing can be developed, played with, and tell a story.

Classical teachers - can Ed's idea not be used in some fashion? He has an ostinato where the LH plays two chords with the same rhythm, so the RH is free to invent anything that may sound good. Does that not bring about some kind of coordination of left and right? Could this help overcome the awkwardness and hesitancy of the older student who is overly concerned about doing everything correctly ---- the careful meticulous typing out of notes so many of you describe ---- by experiencing free flow early on?

Can differences in approaches not be a unifying thing at times? I'm not sure that I would want to play something like the example, because I also like direction. But I can imagine creating exercises like that for exploration.

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#1177824 - 04/10/09 11:58 AM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: keystring]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Can't we all just get along?
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1177825 - 04/10/09 11:59 AM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: eweiss]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11798
Loc: Canada
Paraphrasing me, Ed?

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#1178123 - 04/10/09 07:22 PM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: Studio Joe]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: jw7480
Originally Posted By: eweiss
Is it supposed to go somewhere?


If you want to keep the listener's interest for 3 or 4 minutes.

Are you speaking for ALL listeners or just yourself?
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1178224 - 04/10/09 11:39 PM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: eweiss]
BJones Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1043
Loc: Queens, NY
Originally Posted By: eweiss
The last thing I want my students doing during improvisation is to think.


If you don't want them to think while they play, most accomplished Classical pianists would be your best students! wink
_________________________
Some recent improvisations:

Cool School Chopin:

http://www.mediafire.com/?d1yc1mmitew

Improvisations:

http://www.box.net/shared/bjv6yc34oo

http://www.box.net/shared/8lmc3hzikl


Top
#1178257 - 04/11/09 12:45 AM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: BJones]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
That's funny!
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1178325 - 04/11/09 06:08 AM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: eweiss]
BJones Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1043
Loc: Queens, NY
Originally Posted By: eweiss
That's funny!


The truth usually is! grin
_________________________
Some recent improvisations:

Cool School Chopin:

http://www.mediafire.com/?d1yc1mmitew

Improvisations:

http://www.box.net/shared/bjv6yc34oo

http://www.box.net/shared/8lmc3hzikl


Top
#1178796 - 04/12/09 12:08 AM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: BJones]
Serge88 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/06
Posts: 775
Loc: Canada
You're So Narrow-minded!
_________________________

“Being able to hear recorded music freed up loads of musicians that couldn't necessarily afford to learn to read or write music. With recording, it was emancipation for the people.”
-Keith Richards


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#1179055 - 04/12/09 01:48 PM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: Serge88]
BJones Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1043
Loc: Queens, NY
Originally Posted By: Sergio88
You're So Narrow-minded!



If I were narrow-minded, I'd only be playing written music as written. tired

Years ago, I decided that sacrificing my creativity and music for that type of slavish devotion to the long dead and buried wasn't for me. Alot of jazz musicians more than capable of playing the majority of the clasical repertoire obviously have come to the same conclusion over the past 100 years or more. thumb
_________________________
Some recent improvisations:

Cool School Chopin:

http://www.mediafire.com/?d1yc1mmitew

Improvisations:

http://www.box.net/shared/bjv6yc34oo

http://www.box.net/shared/8lmc3hzikl


Top
#1180467 - 04/14/09 08:27 PM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: BJones]
Serge88 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/06
Posts: 775
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: BJones
Originally Posted By: Sergio88
You're So Narrow-minded!



If I were narrow-minded, I'd only be playing written music as written. tired


Oh well, I probably misunderstood your comment.
_________________________

“Being able to hear recorded music freed up loads of musicians that couldn't necessarily afford to learn to read or write music. With recording, it was emancipation for the people.”
-Keith Richards


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#1181052 - 04/15/09 04:59 PM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: Serge88]
BJones Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1043
Loc: Queens, NY
Originally Posted By: Sergio88
Originally Posted By: BJones
Originally Posted By: Sergio88
You're So Narrow-minded!



If I were narrow-minded, I'd only be playing written music as written. tired


Oh well, I probably misunderstood your comment.





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5T3FXFnoTzE

Baby, do you understand me now
Sometimes I feel a little mad
But don't you know that no one alive
Can always be an angel
When things go wrong I seem to be bad
But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood
Baby, sometimes I'm so carefree
With a joy that's hard to hide
And sometimes it seems that all I have do is worry
Then you're bound to see my other side
But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood
If I seem edgy I want you to know
That I never mean to take it out on you
Life has it's problems and I get my share
And that's one thing I never meant to do
Because I love you
Oh, Oh baby don't you know I'm human
Have thoughts like any other one
Sometimes I find myself long regretting
Some foolish thing some little simple thing I've done
But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood
Yes, I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood
Yes, I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood

grin
_________________________
Some recent improvisations:

Cool School Chopin:

http://www.mediafire.com/?d1yc1mmitew

Improvisations:

http://www.box.net/shared/bjv6yc34oo

http://www.box.net/shared/8lmc3hzikl


Top
#1181217 - 04/15/09 11:31 PM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: BJones]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Eric Burden and the Animals?
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

Top
#1181254 - 04/16/09 12:46 AM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: eweiss]
BJones Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1043
Loc: Queens, NY
Originally Posted By: eweiss
Eric Burden and the Animals?


Bingo! Later, Eric Burdon and War!

Interesting that he used the word "edgy" in the lyrics! That might be the earliest use of the term I've ever heard of.


Edited by BJones (04/16/09 12:47 AM)
_________________________
Some recent improvisations:

Cool School Chopin:

http://www.mediafire.com/?d1yc1mmitew

Improvisations:

http://www.box.net/shared/bjv6yc34oo

http://www.box.net/shared/8lmc3hzikl


Top
#1181321 - 04/16/09 05:57 AM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: BJones]
Surendipity Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 129
Ah.. I love that song. I can hear it now in my head.

Pick 3 notes in the left hand, any notes you can reach at the same time. DO NOT CHANGE THEM!!!!
Pick 3 notes in the right hand. DO NOT CHANGE THEM!!!!

Play all of them together. Mix them up. Do anything to them.
Go crazy..... It'll always sound good.

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#1181323 - 04/16/09 06:18 AM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: Surendipity]
BJones Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1043
Loc: Queens, NY
Originally Posted By: Surendipity
Ah.. I love that song. I can hear it now in my head.

Pick 3 notes in the left hand, any notes you can reach at the same time. DO NOT CHANGE THEM!!!!
Pick 3 notes in the right hand. DO NOT CHANGE THEM!!!!

Play all of them together. Mix them up. Do anything to them.
Go crazy..... It'll always sound good.


A simple exercise demonstrating that as long as the voice leading of those random 6 notes put into play is creatively and carefully controlled in a viably musical way, that is, with sound musical gravitation, suspension moving toward resolution, there is no right and wrong!
_________________________
Some recent improvisations:

Cool School Chopin:

http://www.mediafire.com/?d1yc1mmitew

Improvisations:

http://www.box.net/shared/bjv6yc34oo

http://www.box.net/shared/8lmc3hzikl


Top
#1181456 - 04/16/09 10:07 AM Re: Two Chords Creates a Rich Full Sound on the Piano! [Re: BJones]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
Three chords are nice too.

3/4

||: Ami | Emi | Dmi | Emi :||

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