Piano and Pasta Sauce

When we’re learning piano improv, we have to sometimes let go of how we like to play, at least temporarily, in order to get to the next level.

Let’s say that you are really good at playing certain kinds of rhythms with your left hand while you solo with your right hand. Well, you might benefit by simplifying those LH rhythms while you work on motivic soloing, for example. The old rhythms may be getting in the way, and you need to to clean the overall rhythms up before you can freely improvise new rhythms with your RH.

That’s just one example, and I see this all the time in my piano teaching, and in my own practicing.

It’s like cooking a new kind of pasta sauce. You can’t use all the old ingredients and add many new ones too. But if you go back to a basic tomato sauce, even one new ingredient can
make a big difference.

Try this with your own practicing the next time you want to take your playing up a notch, to a new level.

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