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Anyone Can Improvise!

Improvising Using Your Current Piece (8)

This article provides a further example of how to improvise inspired by the form and musical features found in your current piece, using Chopin’s Mazurka Op.17 No.4 as the given example. A quick analysis of the Mazurka reveals the following form, or structure: ...


Anyone Can Improvise!

Improvising Using Your Current Piece (7)

We're now going to look at how to improvising in Rondo (ABACA) form inspired by the title and musical features found in your current piece. Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dance No. 6 is the given example - here is the beginning: Notice,...


Anyone Can Improvise!

Twelve Bar Blues (2)

There is another scale, besides the pentatonics, which developed alongside the Twelve-bar Blues, and sounds wonderful to improvise with: the Blues scale. Here is the C Blues scale: Comparing it to the major scale, you can see that the “blue” notes are the flattened 3rd (Eb), raised...


Anyone Can Improvise!

Twelve Bar Blues (1)

This video gives you a practical demonstration of ideas for improvising with the Twelve Bar Blues. The ideas are further explained and described in text and manuscript in the document below. Below that, under Further reading and resources, you can click on "printable scores" to print off the templates from...


Anyone Can Improvise!

Improvising With Secondary Chords (3)

Here is a home-made chord progression which uses chord iii. First, play it in block chords, as written: Now try it in ascending broken chords like this, completing the whole progression: I iii ii IV Then in descending chords like this: ...


Anyone Can Improvise!

Improvising Using Your Current Piece (4)

The given examples are from Christian Petzold’s Minuet in G (formerly thought to be by J.S.Bach) and June Armstrong’s Sea Anemone. Here is the first half of Christian Petzold’s Minuet in G: First, as usual, work out your key. Then work...


Anyone Can Improvise!

Improvising Using Your Current Piece (3)

Improvising with Chords I, IV and V(7), in broken chord progressions, inspired by your current piece Here is the Menuett for Nannerl, believed to be by Leopold Mozart (Nannerl and Wolfgang Amadeus’s father): First, work out the key, and play the...


Anyone Can Improvise!

Improvising Using Your Current Piece (1)

Improvising over an Open 5th Chord, inspired by your current piece Open 5th chords provide a wonderful accompaniment for improvisation because they can accompany almost any improvisation without making that improvisation sound “wrong”. A good way to begin improvising is to draw inspiration from...


Anyone Can Improvise!

Improvising Using Your Current Piece (2)

Improvising with Chords I and V7, inspired by your current piece Here is A Little Dance: The Key First, as usual, make sure you know the key by looking at the key signature, and the last bass note. - A Little...


Anyone Can Improvise!

Improvising Using Your Current Piece (6)

This next article shows you how to improvise in Ternary (ABA) form using the title and imagery from your current piece as inspiration. Debussy’s The Snow is Dancing is the given example - here is the beginning: Notice that it is...


Anyone Can Improvise!

Improvising With Secondary Chords (4)

Chord VII is an interesting chord. Built on the 7th note of the scale, it’s a diminished chord in a major key (in C major: BDF). And in a minor key, it can be either diminished or major (in A minor, G#BD, or GBD). The Circle of Fifths progression is...


Anyone Can Improvise!

Improvising Using Your Current Piece (5)

The given examples are from Tchaikovsky’s Old French Song (sometimes called “Romance”), and Burgmüller’s La Chevaleresque. Here is the opening section of Tchaikovsky’s Old French Song: First, as usual, work out the key and the three primary chords, I, IV and...


Anyone Can Improvise!

Beginning to Improvise FREE

Feel the beat – and just play the black notes! Here is a four phrase (eight-bar) template to help structure your first improvisation. Your left hand will just be playing open 5th chords on F# and C#, and your right hand will only be...


Anyone Can Improvise!

Understanding Chords, Grand Arpeggios and How to Harmonise FREE

This article provides a more in-depth explanation of the material in the video. However, after watching the video you might light to jump ahead to try some of the examples yourself. If so, then please click here to view the worksheets...


Anyone Can Improvise!

Improvising With Secondary Chords (2)

The next chord progression arose directly from the 1950s progression, and has just one different chord: chord ii replaces chord IV. It is known as the Doo-wop progression. Play it with the root position chords shown below, noticing the different sound: Now try it in this lively,...


Anyone Can Improvise!

Improvising With Secondary Chords (1)

This video gives you a practical demonstration of ideas for improvising with Secondary Chords. The ideas are further explained and described in text and manuscript in the document below. Below that, under Further reading and resources, you can click on "printable scores" to print off the templates from the document,...