Sunday, June 16, 2019 by Becky Reesor | Uncategorized

Improvising is a great way to develop self-expression at the piano, while also freeing spontaneity and sensitivity for playing composed music. If you are new to this it can feel uncomfortable, but the only way to learn to improvise is to just do it... and often! 

1) Begin with any note.  
2) Listen to the sound you made and ask, "what do I want to hear next?" (i.e. move up/down, close/far).  
3) Make your move!  
4) LISTEN, RESIST the urge to FIX.  
5) Repeat and loop steps 2-4. 

This is teaching you to listen and respond through trial and error --- much like how we learn a new language. You are training your ears, eyes, fingers and inner ear to speak "piano" extemporaneously! Do this every day for a few minutes.. maybe first thing in the morning or last thing at night... and you will soon see yourself feeling more comfortable to just "play" what you feel. 

I started solo improvising (i.e. not within a band) mid-way through my Master of Music degree in classical piano performance. Daily (or most days) pre-practice improv became a ritual... albeit not always satisfying... that made me feel more in tune with myself personally and musically. Ultimately, it has definitely made me a freer and better musician. Here are links to the first and last improvs of my master's degree:


What are your tips for improvising?I'd love to hear from you! :)