The most important characteristic of “advanced” pianists

Offhand, what would you say is the most important characteristic of “advanced” pianists? You know… the pianists whom we listen to with envy. The ones who we would like to play like. You know… the Keith Jarrett’s, Elton John’s and Otis Spann’s of the world.

What do they do that most pianists don’t?

If you really think about it, the answer isn’t what it may appear to be.

Keith Jarrett plays with incredible technique, but this isn’t it, because there are other pianists with incredible technique whom we don’t enjoy as much. Elton John plays very soulfully, but this isn’t it, because there are other pianists who play very soulfully whom we don’t seek to emulate. And Otis Spann played with a deep blues feeling, but this isn’t it, because there are other pianists who play with a deep blues feeling whom we don’t hold in such high esteem.

So if it isn’t those things, then what is it?

It’s Flow.

The flow of their rhythms. The flow of their imagination. The flow of each musical phrase into the next.

The best thing about valuing Flow is that you can do it, right now. Whatever level you’re at. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional. Anyone can play with more Flow and instantly sound better.

The next time you sit down at the piano try going for more Flow. It’s what all the great pianists do, and we can do it too!

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