Monday, October 31, 2005

Finding Your Own Unique Style

Certain people have influenced my own piano playing. One of them is George Winston - probably one of the best out there.

What I really like about his playing is his ability to create atmospheres from very little means. I mean, the man can take a D minor 7 chord and generate interesting music from it for over 5 minutes straight!

A pretty impressive thing! I listened to his stuff for quite a long time. Not because I wanted to learn it, but because I liked it. Big difference there.

Then, when I began to create my own stuff, his influence was there. Again, not because I consciously wanted it to be but because his sound seeped into me over time. This is the way it is for all music. No musician is an island unto him or herself. Everyone is influenced by others.

Another pianist/composer that has influenced my own playing is John Herberman. He plays for the Solitude's label. His music is very quiet and gentle yet profoundly moving. So, again, because of my love for this music, I incorporated into my own sound. Not because of conscious choice, but because it became a part of me.

The point, is this: Listen to whom you like and when it comes time for you to make your own music, your own unique voice will come through. I promise you. You really can't steal someone else's sound, unless of course you wanted to sound like a copycat. If that is your goal, by all means. However, if your goal is to find a style that is uniquely yours, I suggest this one thing - improvise and keep playing.

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