To play piano in a new way, you need to change your practice habits. For instance, the type of practicing that enabled you to learn classical piano when you were growing up won’t help you learn jazz, pop, or rock.
I see a lot of people get frustrated in their attempts to learn improvisation without realizing why they’re getting nowhere. They learn transcriptions and then become frustrated that their own improvisations don’t sound as “good.”
They listen to recordings and wonder why they can’t play as “perfectly.” (You’d play perfectly too, if you could go back and fix wrong notes like most artists do nowadays!)
Improvising isn’t about playing faster every day. It isn’t about playing a piece “better” each day either. It’s about learning music as a language and then speaking it every time you sit down at the piano. And, like speaking a language, the “words’ will come out better on some days than others. This isn’t the point, though. It’s about letting the music flow and entering into the process.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to take long; you can adopt a different approach in just one day, if you can make the proper “mind-shift.”
Start today, and you’ll be a happier (and better-sounding) improviser!
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