You've heard it many times before. Perhaps while you were out shopping or at a friends house.
The beautiful music that has become known as New Age piano was first popularized by pianist/composer George Winston in the early 1980's.
Light and heartfelt, the melodies and chords of this piano style are not difficult to create. It's an attractive way for the beginning AND more advanced piano player to get started in music making! Let's examine how a complete beginner can create a lovely melody using just a few chords.
First, we must learn how to play chords on the piano. Note reading won't do here because we're trying to create something original - something that requires the ability to improvise. Now don't get scared! Improvisation is a lot easier than you think and you can produce beautiful music with just a few chords.
For example, in the lesson "Reflections in Water," we use just 4 chords to create a calm, reflective atmosphere. The trick is how the chords are used! Both hands are called into play as we create a modern sounding open position seventh chord - the kind of chord that is used in much contemporary music created today.
We learn how to play just four chords in this lesson, but four chords are all we need to produce a few minutes of improvised music. Once you have this large chord structure under your fingers, beautiful music is created; not by forcing or willing the creative act, but BY ALLOWING IT TO HAPPEN!
We take our time and play around with this chord structure and marvel at how easy it is to create music with it. It's not difficult. It's not hard. It can be a little scary to jump in and begin improvising but once you taste how wonderful the water is, you'll jump in and have a hard time coming out!
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 http://www.quiescencemusic.com/ now and get a FREE piano lesson!