Piano Improvisation: The Key Moment

question markHmmm… I’m sitting at the piano, and about to improvise some music, but what do I play? How to start?

The blank page

The empty slate

Tabula rasa

Call it what you will, it’s real. But is it the whole story?

Yes, the blank page is there, and with it the pressure I put on myself to fill it with something great. But focusing on this alone will actually block the creative process, the flow of ideas.

Instead of worrying about how good the music will be, what happens if I give myself a little smile and just sit there for a moment. Who knows? Maybe, just maybe, somewhere in my subconscious there’s a little musical gesture. A wisp of a melody, or a hint of rhythmic movement, perhaps, floating around. Trying to get out and be expressed. Can I be calm, yet focused enough to listen for it?

This is the key moment.

Now I can start.

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