PianoImprovisationSystem.com

Piano Improvisation: A Powerful Practical System

By Frank Caruso and Karl Mollison

 

 

Table of Contents

Chapter 1:  A Piano Improvisation System That Works ..................................................1

1.1  What This Piano Book Will Do for You ............................................................1
1.2  Why You Need a System for Piano Improvisation   .........................................1
1.3  Why Studying Transcribed Piano Solos Isn’t the Answer   ..............................1
1.4  Benefits for Beginners and Advanced Piano Players  .....................................2
1.5  How the Pros Improvise Effortlessly at the Keyboard  .....................................3
1.6  Quickest Way to Become a Piano Improviser..................................................3
1.7  Creating a Great Piano Sound.........................................................................4
1.8  Why This Piano Improvisation System is Superior  .........................................4
1.9  How to Use This Book  ....................................................................................5

Chapter 2:  Basic Blues Piano Improvisation...................................................................7

2.1  Why the Blues is a Great Starting Point for Improvisers..................................7
2.2  Secret Behind the Blues Sound  ......................................................................7
2.3  Music Terms and Notation you Need to Know  ................................................7
2.4  How to Play Piano with a Good Swing Feel ....................................................8
2.5  What the Blues Exercises will Teach You  .......................................................9
2.6  Best Way to Learn the 12 Bar Blues................................................................9
2.7  Left Hand Rhythms Most Useful for Blues Comping .....................................19
2.8  Best Piano Chords for Solo Blues Piano .......................................................19
2.9  Test Your Blues Proficiency............................................................................21


Chapter 3:  Overcoming Problems in Learning to Improvise .........................................23

3.1  Most Common Difficulty..................................................................................23
3.2  Fear of Key Signatures with Lots of Sharps or Flats  .....................................23
3.3  Tricks for Figuring Out Rhythms.....................................................................23
3.4  Eliminate Time-keeping Problems..................................................................24
3.5  Prevent Finger Fatigue and Develop More Speed.........................................24
3.6  True Value of Self-criticism.............................................................................25


Chapter 4:  Chord Progressions and Their Underlying Scales
......................................27

4.1  Why Music Theory for Improvisation is Simple ..............................................27
4.2  Understanding the Link Between Chords and Scales  ...................................27
4.3  Finding Scales on the Keyboard  ...................................................................28
4.4  Why All Chords are Defined by Scale Intervals .............................................29
4.5  Determining Whether a Chord is in Major or Minor Mode  .............................29
4.6  Simple Building Blocks of Major and Minor Chords .......................................30
4.7  Major 7th, Dominant 7th and Minor 7th Chords .............................................31
4.8  Half Diminished Chords .................................................................................32
4.9  Diminished Chords.........................................................................................32
4.10  Slash Chords and Their Uses ......................................................................33
4.11  Major and Minor Chords Can Belong to the Same Scale.............................34
4.12  Advantage of Using Simple Scale Interval Terminology...............................36
4.13  How to Determine the Scale Interval Notes in Any Key ...............................37
4.14  Easiest Way to Learn the Key Signatures  ...................................................37
4.15  Best Way to Learn Chord Progressions and their Scales ............................38
4.16  Making the Circle of Fourths User Friendly  .................................................39
4.17  How to Tell What Key You are In  .................................................................39
4.18  Identifying Chord Progressions Using the Circle of Fourths ........................40
4.19  Best Way to Memorize the Circle of Fourths ...............................................43
4.20  Best Way to Learn the Chord Progressions in all 12 Keys ..........................43


Chapter 5:  Powerful Piano Chord Voicings
  ..................................................................53

5.1  Simple Two-hand Open Voicing that Works for Any Chord............................53
5.2  Arpeggiating Chords to Aid Improvisation......................................................54
5.3  Simple Open Voicings on the Bass Clef.........................................................58
5.4  How to Incorporate the Melody with Open Chord Voicings............................59
5.5  Quickest Way to Memorize the Full Chord Open Voicings ............................60
5.6  Altering the Full Chord Open Voicings for Variety ..........................................61
5.7  Simple Comp Chord Voicings.........................................................................62
5.8  Simple Comp Chord Voicings on the Bass Clef .............................................64


Chapter 6:  Improvising with Scales and Chord Tones
..................................................67

6.1  Knowing What Scale to Use for Improvisation  ..............................................67
6.2  Step-by-step Example of Scale Analysis .......................................................69
6.3  Muscle Memory for Chord Progressions........................................................71
6.4  Enrich the Sound of Tunes Played from a Fake Book ...................................72
6.5  Improvising in C Major....................................................................................74
6.6  Improvising in Eb Major..................................................................................76
6.7  Improvising in Ab major..................................................................................78
6.8  Improvising in G major ...................................................................................80
6.9  Transposing Pieces to an Easier Key ............................................................82
6.10  Improvising in F major  .................................................................................84
6.11  Improvising in Db major................................................................................86
6.12  Most Common Scales in Non-classical Music .............................................88
6.13  Improvising in Bb major................................................................................90
6.14  Improvising in D major..................................................................................92
6.15  Another Step-by-step Example of Scale Analysis  .......................................94
6.16  Improvising in Gb major ...............................................................................98
6.17  Example of a Complete Improvisation  .......................................................100
6.18  Improvising in F# major ..............................................................................102
6.19  Improvising in B major ................................................................................104
6.20  Improvising in E major ................................................................................106
6.21  Improvising in A major ................................................................................108


Chapter 7:  Keyboard Fingering Secrets for Fluid Improvising
.....................................111

7.1  Top Improvising Techniques to Master..........................................................111
7.2  Benefits of Proper Hovering..........................................................................112
7.3  Secrets for Correct Fingering of Improvisations............................................119
7.4  Fingering Ascending and Descending Scale Patterns..................................121
7.5  Using Parallel Fingerings Among the Black Keys ........................................122
7.6  Simple Rules for Starting Scale Patterns with the Right Finger....................124
7.7  Improvising over Altered Chords, Diminished Chords, or Slash Chords......125
7.8  Playing and Improvising in Minor Keys.........................................................125
7.9  Enhancing Tunes by Altering the Harmony...................................................125
7.10  Put it All Together and Check Your Progress..............................................126


Appendix
.......................................................................................................................137

Circle of Fourths...................................................................................................137
Major Scale Fingerings........................................................................................137
Full Chord Open Voicing Inversions ....................................................................137
Full Chord Open Voicing Inversions on Bass Clef...............................................137

                                                                                       
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