Friday, January 23, 2009

Everything I Play on Piano Sounds the Same

Many students want to create music that has a certain emotional quality. For example, I once had a student ask me to show her how to play something that sounded happy.

Of course, this student missed the entire point of my teaching - to play where you are emotionally and to not try and come up with something. I tried to explain to her that if she were feeling happy, then the natural outcome of the music would be flavored with this emotion.

As a natural outgrowth of the proceeding statement, there will be times, many times perhaps, when the music that comes out of you sounds the same. Many interpret this as being uncreative, when in fact, you are being true to yourself. When you don't try and come up with material, but instead, let the music come up, you are not forcing or willing the creative act.

Instead, you are allowing yourself to express in the moment - whatever the sound may be.

If someone tells you that everything you play sounds the same, acknowledge it silently as a compliment and know that you are being true to yourself and the integrity of the artistic process! When you are more concerned with enjoying the act of creating then trying to come up with material, you'll be way ahead of the game!

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. Visit now and get a FREE piano lesson!


  1. I really appreciate your point here, as I write lyrics, and when I try to create a certain 'mood', it never works out. The lyrics generally turn into how I feel at the moment.

  2. One way to avoid sounding the same when you play the piano, is to do a lot of listening to different piano styles. I find that whenever I listen to something new, a new piece, a new style, if it excites me, I want to emulate it. Not necessarily copy the piece note for note (although that is a good exercise in itself) but to get a feel for the style. What the bass line is doing, how the melody goes and what chords fit in between. Although I mainly play jazz, I'm sure this would work for any style of music!