The art of improvising on the piano is something that I have been practicing and perfecting for years now. I like to mix up my routine a bit from time to time, in order to keep my creativity levels at a high level. This can be done by experimenting with different types of genres on piano, as well as different styles of music. Here are some things I try when I am working on a new type of music.
I sometimes will play a melody or a chord progression that has been inspiring me in some way, even if it doesn’t fit into my musical style at the moment. Sometimes the inspiration will come from somewhere else entirely, such as from a novel, poem, movie script, song, or even a TV show. Sometimes I will find my inspiration in a completely different genre of music, one that would not ordinarily even cross my mind at first. When this happens, I simply use that as an excuse to spend a little more time on the piece I am playing, until I can get past that part of the inspiration and play on.
Another thing I have found that helps me when I am feeling inspired to practice a new genre on piano is to think about the music that comes at the end of that genre. This way I can imagine how the music feels to me, in my head, as opposed to what I may be experiencing physically. I find this very helpful, especially when I am trying to visualize something in my mind, and sometimes it is not until I physically experience that emotion in my body that I remember how I imagined it.
Sometimes when I am playing a chord or a melody, I will simply place my hands on the keys and let my inspiration flow through me. It really helps if I know exactly what I am playing before hand, and sometimes it is easier just to play what comes to mind. If I am having difficulty with a particular piece or style of music, sometimes all I have to do is place my hands on some keys, and I can feel a connection with the music that comes at the end of the scale.
Experimenting with genres on the piano can sometimes feel like too much work. You have to be able to change up scales from one to another, sometimes even change chords, if you are truly inspired to do so. When you change up the scales, sometimes you change up what key signature you are playing in. There is a lot to consider when changing up keys or playing in a different key. I would recommend spending a little bit of time experimenting with these techniques until you can comfortably move beyond them on your own.
Experimenting on your own sometimes can be quite rewarding, and once you have learned how to do this, you will probably never go back. The best thing about doing this is that if you mess up, you have nothing to worry about because there is nothing that can be done about it. Most beginners tend to get frustrated very easily, and sometimes they make mistakes that they think are bigger than the actual situation. That is why sometimes the best approach is just to keep going with what you are doing and just try to fix whatever the problem is, instead of trying to make things better.
Mike is a musician and teacher. He teaches various schools and workshops. He also offers online classes.