Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

the Forums & Piano World

Trying Something New with Search
Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
Let Your Piano Sing
Let Your Piano Sing
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Piano Buyer Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyers Guide
Who's Online
67 registered (bennevis, Bambers, alwatson, barbaram, 16 invisible), 1504 Guests and 10 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#2261114 - 04/13/14 04:16 PM How to flavor chords on piano?
Visalia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/14
Posts: 97
I'm a guitar player who wants to get good a piano too. But unlike guitar, since there's two hands involved, I'm not good enough to improvise with new melody while doing the bass and chords at the same time. Also... in songs, when a chord is held for a measure, I don't really know what to do with it(when I play the song), apart from just alternating between the bass and chord, which sounds boring. What's the best way to find out how to flavour it?

I've tried watching piano synthesia of songs, but that makes things seems more complicated as I can't identify, what seem to be random notes that sound good, as being part of certain key elements.

For now... I want to continue to learn piano without having to learn how to read music. So does anyone know of any good online videos(as opposed to PDFs since I can't read) of exercises to help me get used to doing certain techniques without thinking.... so that I will be able improvise from there onwards??

Thank you

Edited by Visalia (04/13/14 04:20 PM)

Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#2261239 - 04/13/14 08:48 PM Re: How to flavor chords on piano? [Re: Visalia]
hreichgott Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 2882
Loc: western MA, USA
A good exercise for pop piano by ear is to find recordings of songs you like with prominent piano parts that aren't too complicated and listen to them very carefully. Some that my students have recently learned are "Someone Like You" by Adele, "The Gambler" by fun., and "Fall for You" by Secondhand Serenade. Depending on how precise your ear is, you may or may not be able to copy every note, but you'll be able to get a feel for what the chords are and how the pianist varies the pattern. Once you understand how other pianists do things it will be a good bridge to making your own arrangements.
Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

Working on:
Ravel, Trio
Beethoven, Diabelli Variations
Oliver! (whole show)
24 Italian Songs & Arias (all)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music

#2262978 - 04/17/14 09:08 AM Re: How to flavor chords on piano? [Re: Visalia]
mdb2303 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 24
Loc: Birmingham - UK
Here are some ideas:

break the chord up
change the octave
add a rhythm
omit some of the notes

Tim Richards Exploring Jazz piano would be a good starting point.

#2263052 - 04/17/14 12:19 PM Re: How to flavor chords on piano? [Re: Visalia]
JamesPlaysPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 125
Hi Visalia,

It might help if you could give a little more info about the style of music you're playing, since the left-hand approach can vary with different styles.

Example: you mentioned bass and chords. If you're thinking of stride-type playing, there are a couple of things that can break up the usual bass-chord back-and-forth motion. However, if you're looking for something like light, pop-piano, there are a few patterns that are commonly used. Then there are boogie-woogie pattern etc., all the way up to the alberti bass used in some classical pieces.

I'm looking at maybe creating some more materials that address LH motion, but right now the closest thing I have to what you might be looking for (something that gives you something to do with the left hand, but that doesn't require reading music) is this:


It actually involves both hands, but if you listen to the very last example at the bottom, you'll hear how the technique can be "adjusted" to facilitate improvising in the right hand. The article contains notated examples, but you don't have to be able to read them. Instead, you can check out the audio files and written explanations about the notes.

Good luck!

Free book, yadda-yadda- go here.
Facebook groups: Jazz Piano Chat Blues Piano Chat Pop Piano Chat

#2263126 - 04/17/14 03:44 PM Re: How to flavor chords on piano? [Re: Visalia]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3711
Loc: Virginia, USA
gotta go practice

#2263144 - 04/17/14 04:36 PM Re: How to flavor chords on piano? [Re: Visalia]
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3462
Loc: Western Canada
I use sus chords a lot to color/flavour chords.

Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher

#2263745 - 04/18/14 07:27 PM Re: How to flavor chords on piano? [Re: JamesPlaysPiano]
Visalia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/14
Posts: 97
Originally Posted By: JamesPlaysPiano

It might help if you could give a little more info about the style of music you're playing, since the left-hand approach can vary with different styles.

Thanks James,

I guess these would be a good examples of styles that I'd like to try play... if you've got the time to check them out? I guess you might even consider them to be quite different though


I had a brief look at that. It seemed pretty straight forward though. It doesn't seem to give the context of the key or chord it is from(not that I don't know anyway)



Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!
Some New Piano World STATS

Posting Pictures on the Forums
Forums Rules & Help
on Piano World

Piano Classified Ads
Piano Lamps
Piano Lamp by cocoweb - free shipping
New in Piano World's online store PianoSupplies.com, beautiful piano lamps from cocoweb. Free shipping! (continental U.S.).
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Pianoteq
Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World) our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.

Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
New Topics - Multiple Forums
How to improve aurals?
by mylynn
10/24/16 06:23 AM
X chords
by fatar760
10/24/16 04:09 AM
German piano industry and ??
by Norbert
10/23/16 08:57 PM
Mastering the piano series
by dat77
10/23/16 07:25 PM
Got a keyboard and Alfred's All in One and skimmed the FAQ..
by greensam
10/23/16 06:19 PM
Sheet Music Plus
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Forum Stats
85,337 Registered Members
44 Forums
175,934 Topics
2,565,310 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |

copyright 1997 - 2016 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission