Music Break for Summer?


in Composition

Here in the U.S. the school year is over and summer is here again, everyone is in break mode. It's hard to keep wanting to practice or study anything as we get outside and enjoy the sun and fun.

So many distractions keep you away from continuing your studies. I know I prefer to play, well music and other activities, rather than study.

Keeping Music Going in a Fun Way

I try to keep my music playing and learning going by refocusing my efforts into a more fun oriented method. It's actually very simple. I approach my piano with the intent to improvise freely and without restraint.

How does this work? For me it's simple. I begin by choosing a key signature that I want to experiment in. I find the root, play the major chords, play the minor chords, work up the scale with the chords, identify the sharp or flat notes, play with the scale in both hands and then begin to find a few chord progressions.

The Free Far All

Then after that it's a free for all. I stick to the scale notes and various chords. I use all sorts of inversions and let the melody line do what it may. Usually staying within the scale notes. The Chords will expanding into 9th and 13ths.

As I get more confortable I'll move into some chromatic chord trials. Some times up and then down.

The fun part is just in the experimentation. There are only a few boundaries and you push them all the time. Some passages sound marvelous, others not so much, and even others will make you stop dead in your tracks.

Rhythm as Glue

The only constant is rhythm. in the initial phases it's all about getting in the groove. Once there, you begin to audition some changes and chords.

As a side note, I find it absolutely invigorating that you can do all sorts of things with your scale notes, and some outside, but as long as you're keeping rhythm you can experiment wildly and just get away with it.

I have a tendency to work the all the beats, at first, it takes me a while to start exchanging beats between hands. Again that's all related to how well I catch the groove and start to own it.

Enjoy Your Summer Time

So here's your challenge for the next couple of months. Study if you can. But if you're killing time waiting to do something else, give improvisation a try.

It's all about working with what you know and experimenting to see what you get. ENJOY!

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