We pianists can be solitary creatures at times. After all, sitting down at our piano and practicing a new technique doesn’t require much interaction with our fellow human beings. Instead, it provides us with a (daily) opportunity to spent some “quality” time with ourselves in an incredibly stimulating and rejuvenating way.
Wonderful things begin to happen, however, when we begin to let this invisible wall dissolve, even a little bit.
My student June has been gradually doing this, and the experience just keeps getting better and better, from both the community and musical aspects. June is in the fitness field, and keeps a portable keyboard in her work area so she can get in a few minutes of practice time in-between clients. Recently, one of her clients spotted the keyboard and asked if June would play something for her. Fortunately, June realized that she didn’t have to put any self-imposed pressure on herself to play anything “fancy.” Instead, she improvised some simple music as she’s learned from the Flowing Water lessons in my video course. She played beautifully, and her client loved it!
Each time we play piano for someone else, even (or especially!) very simple improvisational music, it becomes both easier and more joyful. The experience of accomplishment combines with the community support to deepen and enrichen our musical life in ways that become more and more natural over time.
I had many experiences like this when I was developing my piano skills and now I’m glad to say that my whole life is like this. Even the act of writing these words and your experience of receiving them is a shared, two-way experience of community.
I’m sure you’ve had at least a taste of this yourself. I encourage you to nurture the community-sharing nature of music by sharing your passion for piano with your friends, family, and others, either in discussion or by playing some music for them when you have the opportunity. It’s a win-win prospect for everyone involved and you may be surprised by how much support and encouragement you get. Just play some simple improv and have fun. They will too!
As always, enjoy the journey and “let the music flow!”
PS – Thanks for last month’s huge response to my Get Ready To Jam! Volume 1 ebook. A lot of you are right at that place where you’re ready to play fluently at the intermediate level, and the walking bass lines and RH voicings in that ebook struck a wonderful chord with you.
With the same spirit, I’ve published a followup ebook with 2-handed rootless chord voicings for the same 20 jazz standards. By learning the arrangements in Get Ready To Jam! Volume 2, you’ll get professional 2-handed chord voicings under your fingers and develop a natural sense of comping rhythms. Best of all, you can use these exact voicings and arrangements at jam sessions and on gigs.
Here’s where you can get your copy. In the Table of Contents, you’ll find a link to a video to see me play each arrangement.
Get Ready To Jam! Volume 2
PSS – If you currently subscribe to my video course, you already have access to this new ebook, as Jazz Harmony Lesson 18.
Learn the 5 Essential Left Hand Techniques with my free ebook: Left Hand Techniques for Jazz Piano
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