Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Why I Don't Use Inversions

A student recently asked me; "Hey Edward, why aren't you using any inversions for your chord playing?"

It's not that I don't use them or like them, it's just that they don't make for easy piano playing for the beginner. Now I have nothing against inversions and find them to be a rich way of making music, but, I think beginners learning the New Age piano style should learn one chord structure first. My preference is the open position chord. Once mastered, students can easily create inversions from the left-hand. You just add the third in and proceed to inversion heaven.

But since you want inversions... you got em!!!! Next lesson I promise:)


  1. Now...explain to me the logic behind your claims that "sitting behind a piano and keyboard learning the classics is ridiculous." Seriously, I'd like to know. You would expect MORE from a "pianist/composer/webmaster."

    What you're doing is showing the world, or what little group you have reading this, that you're strictly a product of yourself. "New-age" music is set on the grounds of WHICH famous classical composer? Thats right kids... Claude Debussy. Now, Mr. Debussy was from the Romantic period... with such virtuosos as Chopin, Liszt, and Schubert.

    When we pianists sit behind a piano and play "ridiculous" classical pieces, we express ourselves through todays keyword: INTERPRETATION.

    Its not about technicality when you're talking about expression of emotions. Its amazing how you try to approach an ENTIRE genre of pianists called "new-age composers" and put down the music of your piano fathers.

    Sit down, read a book, learn some Chopin and then tell us what you think about "playing whats already been created."

    You do realize that this applies to ALL musical genres, correct? Swing, Jazz, Rock, Rap, are all from music prior to their time...

    ...its a sad sad thing...

    [sigh.] I can't explain all the errors you made by posting this:

    (I-Newswire) - How would you like to spend 4 years in a University learning how to play other peoples music? If you think this is ridiculous, you're right! Because that's what thousands of piano music students do each day.

    They sit in front of their piano or keyboard with sheet music of a dead composer in front of them. Then they are told to "play it right." Have you ever heard of such nonsense? Imagine a budding writer forced to copy another novelists work? In essence, this is what classical piano students do. They copy.

    Although many think this is a creative act, it is not. It is a re-creative one. It's purpose? To give people who are told how to listen to music a chance to hear what is considered "good" music. Only in classical music is there such pomposity. And it exists because a very few people wish to hear the classics.

    Let me tell you something. I love classical music. But I don't spend my time trying to recreate what has already been created. No. Instead, I want to connect with my own source and allow the music that is inside me to come out. I want to be creative too! And my philosophy is that anyone can be "a composer."

    All it takes is the desire to create - to want to hear ones authentic self expressed through music. Difficult? Not at all! It's as easy as putting fingers to keys and playing. Hard to believe but true. You see, music students have been cheated from the get go by an academic snobbism that destroys the spirit and the will to create.

    The suggestion is that the best music has already been created so why bother. The answer is crucial to our own well being. We bother because it makes us feel good. That is all that is required and that is all that is needed to make music.


    Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music's online piano lessons. He has been helping students learn how to play piano in the New Age style for over 14 years and works with students in private, in groups, and now over the internet. Stop by now at http://www.quiescencemusic.com/piano_lessons.html for a FREE piano lesson!

  2. Dear Angry Pianist:

    I don't think playing classical piano pieces is ridiculous. I think calling this a creative act is. Playing what another composer has written is a recreative act, not a creative one. While the interpretation can be artistic, the music coming out has already been done.

    As an example of this, imagine an artist who spends his or her time recreating a Monet or Picasso. This is ridiculous right? Yet in the music world, we have students essentially copying composers like Beethoven or Chopin.