From the day of my first piano lesson at the age of seven, chords have been a huge part of my vocabulary. Beginning then, the habit of learning chords along with their different positions and applying them in the context of songs was ingrained. Pretty much all of my piano playing experience has revolved around learning chords and voicings inside and out and improvising with them in the context of favorite tunes.
I consider myself lucky. I have never had a piano teacher who didn’t have a knowledge of piano chords and how to improvise to some degree. Most individuals who become involved with piano lessons get the traditional classical training and often don’t get to explore chord theory construction and improvisational techniques and strategies until their later years of development if they ever get that opportunity at all. It was different for me.
Throughout those early years, as I made the acquaintance of classmates and other friends, it became apparent to me that most people who were taking private piano lessons were getting classical training, and often exclusively that. To me, this seemed a little strange. In reality, it was my situation that was more unusual.
Playng piano with a “chord” mind set was what I had been exposed to regularly. I did learn to read music as well, which led to a balanced overall education. When other kids were playing Bach’s Minuet In G, I was playing Erroll Garner’s Misty, while using my knowledge of chords to my advantage, thus playing the song differently each and every time. Others seemed to be impressed by this. As for me, it’s the only way I knew. I am thankful for the fact that musical creativity was nurtured during those years.
“Piano chord tehnology” became somewhat a way of life during such an early part of my development and I suppose I have that to thank for my somewhat unique approach with helping others in this of “chord piano.” Another thing I am amply grateful for is that all of my piano teachers promoted the art of improvisation and every one of them was encouraging and inspiring. So, in addition to being exposed to a nice menu of piano styling techniques and strategies, the positive attitude of my teachers, along with each of their unique inspirational characteristics, had an absolutely outstanding influence on me. Sharing all of this with you gives me great joy.
I’ve enjoyed playing a number of styles and, that said, I must admit that there is nothing quite like being able to sit my myself in the corner of a restaurant or hotel lobby and play to my heart’s content in a fashion that complements the ambience. This musical scenario lends itself to much freedom. It’s just me being me, and it feels right. This art of cocktail piano is my specialty. It is a passion of mine. It’s also a passion of mine to share my knowledge and experience with people like you. If I can get you to have a few “aha!” moments and believing in yourself like you never have before, I will consider my purpose fulfilled : )
PLAY WITH PASSION!