Monday, December 08, 2008

Play Piano Like George Winston!

George Winston is the poster boy for New Age piano. There's no denying this. And why not? The man practically put New Age piano on the map with his CD December. So poignant, so sad and filled with joy is this music, that it resonated with millions across the world.

Many years ago, I read an article where George describes what he does on the piano. He said something like; "I get my left hand down. It's like the band and has the bass and chords. Then the right hand is free to do its thing."

Now, George Winston didn't invent this technique, but he put it to good use in creating unique atmospheres for piano. In Lesson Forty: "Flashflood," I illustrate what George does best, namely, get a very nice background going with the left hand while the right improvises a melody. Using only 2 chords, we can create a aural canvas upon which we "paint" our melodic portraits.

The trick is to get the left hand down well enough so you can freely improvise with the right. Now, the hard part of this is being able to "freely" improvise. This requires much practice and it is a very good idea to take it slowly and build up to a freer right hand

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