Most anyone can sit down at the piano, learn the open position chord, and begin creating music.
The idea that you can create a complete piano improvisation in five minutes seems undoable to most. After all, aren't you supposed to have years and years of theory and experience under your belt? Not if you follow this step-by-step video.
Reflections in Water is a piano improvisation I created to show students how easy it is to use something called the open position chord to create music with. In fact, it's so easy all you really have to do is finger the chord and music comes out. How is this possible?
It all has to do with the way the chord is structured. Both hands are used right away to create a very open sound. This open sound is then used along with the notes from the C Major scale to create music.
We finger a few chords from the Key of C and we're off exploring a whole new world of sound.
The amazing thing about all of this is that most anyone can sit down at the piano, learn the open position chord, and begin creating music. It really is that easy. The only hard part at first is getting used to the wide chord structure. It really stretches the hands but once you get used to it, the rest is all downhill.
In the piano lesson video "Reflections in Water," I begin by showing you how to play the chord up the C Major scale. I play the chord with each note being played separately. This is called broken chord technique and even this can sound musical.
After students get this chord structure down in their hands, the next part is showing them how to let go and allow the music itself to lead them. This is usually the hardest part for most students to get because they think they must force the music into being. But all that's really necessary is an attitude of exploration and play and the music begins to flow.
We play only four chords in this lesson. The left hand is locked but the right hand can be free to improvise notes from the C Major scale.
All in all, if you really want to let go and have a great time at the piano, learn how to play the open position piano chord.
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.