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  #81  
Old 10-23-2009, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: Piano Tips

The most common usage for an augmented or diminished fifth is as part of a 7 chord. (Ex. C+7 = C, E, G#, Bb)
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  #82  
Old 10-23-2009, 02:38 PM
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There is nothing wrong with playing Boogie Woogie, contrary to what Shemp of the Three Stooges may have said. Not only is it fun, it can really strengthen your left hand and arm.
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  #83  
Old 10-23-2009, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Piano Tips

You can get some interesting sounds when accompanying by moving a chord up and down, using the scale notes of the chord change you are playing in. For example, of you are in C for a bar, you could play one of these on each beat - Cmaj7, Dm7, Em7, Fmaj7
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  #84  
Old 10-23-2009, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: Piano Tips

Playing a jazz blues? Need a good, easy voicing for your right hand that will make even a beginner sound hip? Ok, in the key of C, use thumb on Bb, index or middle finger on E, pinky on A. Transpose to whatever key/ chord you need. Sounds too cool. That's a $100 tip and you just got it for free!
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  #85  
Old 10-23-2009, 02:45 PM
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Default Re: Piano Tips

Trumpet player Clark Terry advocates learning improvisation through learning short motives and building from there.
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  #86  
Old 10-23-2009, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: Piano Tips

So many beginning jazz improvisers have decent note choices but very poor rhythm. Sometimes, Clark Terry is known to play an entire blues chorus or more on one single pitch. He'll just play different rhythms with it. That's a great way to experiment with rhythm when soloing and really concentrate on it.
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  #87  
Old 10-23-2009, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: Piano Tips

Pianist and composer Horace Silver puts learning improvisation very simply - learn the scales and chords and apply them to your instrument.
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  #88  
Old 10-23-2009, 02:49 PM
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Default Re: Piano Tips

Pianist and saxophonist Jamey Abersold has the most commercially successful jazz improvisation method to date and even offers some free materials. His play-along CDs can be a lot of fun. They are typically just piano, bass, and drums. Piano is isolated in one channel and bass in the other so that you can turn the piano off to be the accompanist if you like. I've even performed live with his tapes as accompaniment before!
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  #89  
Old 10-23-2009, 02:51 PM
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One place many beginning piano improvisers can improve is in their phrasing. It can be tempting to simply fill the solo chorus with notes. Listen to wind instruments and singers like Ella Fitzgerald who improvise. They have to phrase since they have to breathe!
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  #90  
Old 10-27-2009, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: Piano Tips

If you are needing to transcribe or write some sheet music, most people find that Sibelius is a bit more user-friendly than Finale, although Finale is the publishing industry standard. Both have limited free versions that are good for basic notation, though. Or alternatively, make some staff paper (there are free online staff paper generators) and pick up a pencil!
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  #91  
Old 10-27-2009, 08:18 PM
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You'll hear it time and time again, and for most people it does ring true - spice up your practice time to keep it interesting. Play some to learn, play some for fun. Pull out a piece you've already done just to play. Sightread something just to read it. Improvise or compose!
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  #92  
Old 10-27-2009, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: Piano Tips

It is helpful to many musicians to move some part of their body to keep the beat. The most obvious candidate for a pianist is the left foot or toes.
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  #93  
Old 10-27-2009, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: Piano Tips

Having trouble with the rhythm of a section of music? Try simply clapping it first. Get it drilled into your muscle memory and then you can add the notes. And remember, you can clap the rhythm of only one hand's part (ex. left hand staff) to simplify things when beginning!
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  #94  
Old 10-27-2009, 08:22 PM
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Another way to learn the rhythm faster is to play the rhythm of one hand's part one one pitch. For example, you could play the rhythm of your right hand part with your middle finger of your right hand on middle C, repeating the C over and over.
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  #95  
Old 10-27-2009, 08:23 PM
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Default Re: Piano Tips

Remember tempo markings as you practice and perform. Even if you are practicing at a slow speed, you'll know what you are shooting for.
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  #96  
Old 10-27-2009, 08:25 PM
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Learning Italian expression markings will serve you well. You will run into many of them over and over, such as Adagio, Diminuendo, and Con Forza.
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  #97  
Old 10-27-2009, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Piano Tips

Some pianists and other musicians as well find it useful to use some physical system to keep track of how many times in a row you have played a passage correctly. You could make tally marks on a paper, move index cards from one stack to another, move coins or poker chips across (although these may scratch a piano), or use an abacus. That way, you'll be sure to know when you've reached your goal.
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  #98  
Old 10-27-2009, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Piano Tips

Creating a mood and telling a story are important parts of performing. Many composers will tell you how to accomplish this in varying degrees through their expression marks throughout the piece. For example, they may tell you what volume, speed, articulation, or style to play with.
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  #99  
Old 10-27-2009, 08:30 PM
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In order to gauge if you are really telling the story or painting the picture you want to, you may try something: ask some family or friends listen to you play a piece and have them write down what moods, images, feelings, and/ or thoughts it evokes. This can clue you in on how to direct your playing.
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  #100  
Old 10-28-2009, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Piano Tips

You'll find that as you learn, practice, and explore the world of music that one skill will lead to and strengthen another. Your talents start to have a synergy that works together.
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