What does musical improvisation on the piano keyboard mean to you? Many people think of it as some kind of avant-garde music or maybe the sounds created by the complex rhythms, scale patterns and chords of modern jazz. But of course, in reality, improvising is making up any kind of music you like spontaneously: it is composing in real time. And it is therefore an incredibly valuable and impressive skill for any keyboard player to possess. It is however quite rare and considered in our culture to be very difficult or impossible for anyone who doesn’t possess special gifts. But this view is a mistake.
A writer creates a novel by improvising the story mentally and then writing the words down. This ability to improvise linguistically is therefore considered normal and necessary for a writer. And in fact, we are all improvising using language all the time, as we engage in conversation together.
…express music on the keys as naturally as speaking
Musical fluency is actually very similar to fluency in language. Once you know the elements of musical vocabulary and the underlying structures that they inhabit in order to make sense, you can express music on the keys as naturally as speaking words, phrases and sentences in your native language. The PlayPianoFluently course enables you to practise using these elements of musical vocabulary to make musical shapes and patterns effortlessly.
Having this kind of spontaneous command of musical language means that you can invent music in a very fresh and inspired way. It means that the music you create is completely intentional and authentic. When we build music using theoretical processes, whether done using the power of our own brains or the quicker route of algorithms in music software, the results inevitably lack the extraordinary spark that we hear in music made by highly creative musicians with real passion.
Improvisation is like going for a walk in nature: you discover beauty,
you never contrive it!
Are you one of these true musicians who finds sterile, formulaic music dull, and who recognises the inexplicable magic that even a simple phrase can possess when it comes from the heart and soul? If so, you will definitely want to be musically fluent so that there is no gap between your musical imagination and the sounds themselves.
Having this rare ability to improvise on the keys spontaneously is a tremendously powerful skill. It means that composing, producing and arranging music is a quick, painless process that is always inspired and natural. With fluent skills in place, improvisation is like going for a walk in nature: you discover beauty, you never contrive it. And this can mean the difference between tired cliché and original expression.