Piano Improvisation from Day One
4.2 (35 ratings)
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Piano Improvisation from Day One

Learn Piano Inventing Melodies and Rhythms with Scales, Chords and Cadences
4.2 (35 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,231 students enrolled
Created by Peter Janzen
Last updated 2/2014
English
Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
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Includes:
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 7 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • You will learn harmonic melodic and rhythmic concepts to put musical expression into your playing
  • You will learn to develop further your own piano playing style.
  • You will learn how to practise compying songs.
  • By the end of the course you will have reached better piano practise techniques.
  • By the end of the course you will have intensified your piano practise motivation.
  • By the end of the course your audience will significantly notice a change of your piano playing.
View Curriculum
Requirements
  • 15 minutes daily practice time
  • A laptop or tablet to put it beside or upon your instrument.
  • A piano (or keyboard), minimum 49 keys, optimum 72 keys to 88 keys
Description

Learn the knowledge base of Piano Improvisation and use scales, intervals and chord progressions for your own personal melodies. Discover the fascinating Phrygian Scale. Learn rhythmic techniques to make your melodies more interesting. And learn the meaning of Authentic, Plagal and Andalusian Cadences. Step by step you will discover your musicality!

There are many people who would like so much simply to sit down at the piano and begin to play, freely, without sheet notes: but they don´t know how to do it. Even those who already play their instrument at a really fair level with written music feel embarrassed when they are asked to play something!

Beginning or intensifying piano / keyboard practice may lead to drastic positive change in a person´s life style. A fifteen minutes daily practice time can be enough to clear our mind and to keep fingers and brain moving. But often we need external stimuli to enhance our motivation and to give us the power to continue playing and to cultivate our joy that will evolve when practicing regularly our instrument.

This Piano Lessons for Beginners course will give you the know-how for improvisation from the very first step on! It will give you the necessary recommendations for a successful learning practice. And it will give you the right material for a motivating onset of the development of your musical expression by improvisation, without sheet-notes.

All concepts will be shown at the instrument, acting on the maxim that there shouldn´t be any theory without practice.

Have a look at the piano lessons for beginners’ course structure, down on the page. Have a closer look to the description of the lectures. You will see that during this Piano Lessons for Beginners course, you will learn concepts and strategies that will open your mind in your piano / keyboard learning even though you already learned piano with your private teacher, even though you assisted to the piano classes of the conservatory of the town center, and even though you already took online lessons.

This course will give you impact you need to free yourself improvising on your instrument in an expressive personal way.

Is this piano course from day one for beginners or for an intermediate audience? I am sure that both will benefit from the lessons I am presenting here. And it will be useful to relisten the lessons in different phases of your learning practice.

Who is the target audience?
  • All persons who need encouragement and motivation to play piano without sheet notes.
  • Persons who want to develop their personal piano style.
  • Persons looking for new ideas to enrich their free piano playing.
  • Adults who learned piano playing during their childhood and want to re-begin.
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 21 Lectures Collapse All 21 Lectures 03:03:45
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Introduction to the course
3 Lectures 14:21
In this lecture you will learn:
- Definition of Improvisation
- Competences Needed for Improvisation
- Improvisation Between Freedom and Constraint
- Storytelling Ability
- Recommendations on Books and Articles
Preview 07:37

In this lecture you will learn:
- What to Learn to Manage Improvisation
- When to Begin with Improvisation
- How to Begin Improvisation
- How to Use this Course
- Recommendation for an Optimal Learning Experience

-
Preview 06:44

With this handout you can calmly review all subjects and illustrations presented in the videos of this section.
Handout - Section I
17 pages
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Discovering Melodies and Rhythms
4 Lectures 21:46
In this lecture you will learn:
- The Tones and the Fingering of the A Natural Minor Scale
- The Most Consonant Intervall Octave
- How to play Triplets
- Triplets with Rests
- Improvise with Triplets
- Accompany in Octaves

You will have associations with the songs:
- Blue Rondo a la Turk (Dave Brubeck)
- Hoochie Coochie Man (Willie Dixon)


Preview 06:39

In this lecture you will learn:
- Archaic Sound of Fifth an Fourth
- Compound Intervals Fifth and Fourth
- Perfect Intervals / Augmented and Diminished Intervals
- Half Tone steps / Whole Tone Steps
- Simple Accompaniment
- Guideline for Memorizing Melodies
- Practice Task

You will have associations with O Fortuna from Carmina Burana (Carl Orff)
Preview 06:14

In this lecture you will learn:
- Characteristics of A Natural Minor
- Characteristics of the Chromatic Scale
- Optimal Fingering for Playing the Chromatic Scale
- Practicing a Chromatic Bass Line
- 1-4-7 Rhythm
- Broken Chords in Six Eight Time
- Variation of 1-4-7 Rhythm
- Rhythmic Analyzation Task
- Rhythm of A Major Sonata Theme (W.A. Mozart)
- Agogic Playing Style
- Improvisation Task

You will have association with the song:
- One Note Samba (Carlos Jobim)


Rhythmic Improvisations
08:53

With this handout you can calmly review all subjects and illustrations presented in the videos of this section.
Handout - Section II
21 pages
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Phrygian Variations
4 Lectures 18:55
In this lecture you will learn:
- Characteristics of Phrygian Scale
- Variations of Motives: Repetitions, Augmentation, Reverse Motion
- Tension and Resolution
- Changing Motives
- Musical Expression and Octavation
- Producing Archaic Sceneries
- Improvising Alternately
- Improvisation Task

You will have association with the song:
Set the Control for the Heart of the Sun (Roger Waters)

Variations of Phrygian Motives
05:23

In this lecture you will learn:
- Characteristics of Spanish Phrygian Scale
- Arabic Sound and Augmented Interval
- Legato and Portato Style
- Explanation of Cadence
- Andalusian Cadence
- Tension and Resolution
- Leading Notes
- Improvisation Task

You will have association with the song:
- Malagueña (Ernesto Lecuona)
The Andalusian Cadence
07:09

In this lecture you will learn:
- What does Storytelling mean
- Composition of singable melody lines
- Playing in Phrases
- Reduction of Complexity
- Improvisation Task
- Playing together with a given accompaniment
Storytelling by Playing Musical Phrases
06:23

With this handout you can calmly review all subjects and illustrations presented in the videos of this section.
Handout - Section III
17 pages
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Harmonic Constructions
3 Lectures 16:57
In this lecture you will learn:
- Characteristics of Major Scales
- Definition of Thirds and Sixths
- Constructing Chords out of Interval Clusters of Thirds
- Major and Minor Triads
- Main Harmonic Functions
- Authentic and Plagal Cadence
- Lydian and Mixolydian Scale
- Improvising With Chords of the Three Main Functions
- Improvising Task

You will have association with the song:
- Cast Your Fate to the Wind (Vince Guaraldi)



Classical Cadences
08:13

In this lecture you will learn:
- Definition of Circle of Fifth
- Dominant, Subdominat, Tonic
- Example of Different Cadences
- Tonic Minor Parallel and its Main Harmonic Functions
- Authentic Cadence on Sixth Grade
- Improvisation Task

You will have association with the song:
- Love Dream No. 3 (Franz Liszt)
Walking Through the Circle of Fifths
08:44

With this handout you can calmly review all subjects and illustrations presented in the videos of this section.
Handout - Section IV
31 pages
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Your Continuous Improvement Programme
3 Lectures 15:21

Use this video for your improvising practice of triplets in A Minor (see the dedicated lecture in Section 2). This video contains only the piano backing part, without voice-overs. So you can practice your improvisations in a free way.


Practice Video: Improvising in Triplets
03:55

Use this video for your improvising practice of Phrygian Motives (see the dedicated lecture in Section 3).
This video contains an introduction with a phrygian melody, some first improvisations and a piano backing part for mutual improvisations. At the end there are 8 bars of accompaniment, so you can practice your improvisations in a free way.
Practice Video: Variations of Phrygian Motives
03:30

In this lecture you may repeat what you had learnt in lecture 6: "Rhythmic Improvisations". Here, the second part of exercises are shown at half video speed, so it will be easier for you to understand the rhythms.

Half Speed Excerpt of Lecture 6 (Rhythmic Improvisations)
07:56
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Epilogue
3 Lectures 04:25
Answering the questions of this lecture you can check your level of applying achieved knowledge in song analysis.
The Video Quiz
04:25

Here you will find the right answers of the Video Quiz (Lecture 15).
Solution of the Video Quiz
1 page

With best wishes.
Dr. Peter Janzen
What´s Next
1 page
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Addendum: Questions Asked
1 Lecture 00:00

Question:

I don't understand in Lecture 5, what is the difference between

    -the perfect fourth and augmented fourth,

    -the perfect fifth and diminished fifth.

About those relationships, could you please explain in the key of C or any other best way to understand them deeply.

Augmented Fourth / Diminished Fifth
4 pages
About the Instructor
Peter Janzen
4.4 Average rating
43 Reviews
1,303 Students
3 Courses
Physicist, Music Pedagogue

Peter Janzen is Doctor in Physics (Univ. of Cologne, Germany) and Music-Pedagogue (Univ. of Siegen Germany).

After years working as university scientist he changed his area of activities and became Physics- and Music-Teacher in Germany and in Spain. He lived eight years in Mexico as principal of a big International School. Later he went to Cairo, Egypt as School Coordinator for the German Schools in Middle East.

The imparting of his knowledge has always been one of his main aims - in physics as well as in music.

The musical philosophy of Dr. Janzen, packed in three sentences, is: "Music forms the essence of life, for everybody – that´s a culture independent reality. But this musical essence of life will emerge and come to real bloom only, when you practice improvisation: Singing, dancing, playing improvised music will really free your mind and will unfold your musicality."

Today many persons in different parts of the world remember how they learned from him, practicing North American Minimal Music, German Folksongs, Indian Ragas, Top Twenty Pop Songs, and many other music styles. They began with him, without having had a previous musical education. Some of them are now successful musicians. Many of them practice music privately.

Now Dr. Janzen is Senior Consultant in Culture and Education and has begun to produce didactical videos about his areas of expertise.