Every musician wants to reach the point where he/she is not only playing correctly, but playing with inspired creativity. But how do we bridge the gap between just playing the chart and truly playing creative keyboard?
Often when we hear artists play creatively, it’s not that they are performing with spectacular technique or profound musical understanding. It’s just that they’re doing a few simple things well.
In my newest video, I use the song “Great Are You Lord” from All Sons and Daughters to show you some simple techniques that lead to creative expression.
These techniques will make it easy for you to approach this song and many others in a creatively inspired way. You won’t have to feel stuck playing the same ways any longer!
Strong foundation in the basics
First, we learn to play the song’s basics with precision.
We need to master the different chord inversions to get around the progression with ease. In the video, I demonstrate some inversions that create a smooth progression.
And we need to create a solid rhythmic foundation. Long sustained chords in the 6/8 meter work well here.
Creative keyboard approach to the chords
Once we have the basics, we can make some creative alterations to the chords, but creativity works best when you really understand the boundaries. When you’re playing with others, your chord alterations need to work with other instruments. What sounds good on your own might not work with other parts.
In the video, I talk about alterations that you are free to play regardless of other parts.
Going beyond chords
Creative keyboard expression really begins when you are free to go beyond the chords. I approach this in two ways.
The first is what I call playing melodically. This means using understanding the sound of different scale notes to play melodies in between chords. You can start with using just the 1st, 3rd, and 7th notes of the song’s scale, played in simple rhythms.
The other way to go beyond chords is to use more interesting sounds. When I play this song, I like to use an arpeggiated synth sound as a layer on top of my piano sound. The arpeggiator effect repeats the notes I play in a rhythmic pattern, adding texture and movement.
Don’t remain stuck
No one wants remain stuck playing the same way at the same level, and I don’t want you to have to keep searching all over YouTube for keyboard videos. I have some help for you!
To really build a strong foundation for playing piano chords well, check out Fluent Piano Chords.
If you feel you are ready to branch out beyond chords and start adding melodies to your playing, then perhaps Fluent Piano Melodic is what you need.
And you can learn the easiest way to add great sounds – all from a Mac computer – with the Mainstage Keyboard Course.
These courses are designed to empower your creativity, where you are not just playing a piano part, copying someone else, but expressing your own artistry!