Solo Piano Lessons: Simple Ballad Techniques

Cocktail Piano Lessons VideosThe majority of solo piano lessons available here consist of both an actual “over-the-shoulder” piano video supplemented with a special animation that highlights the keys actually being played for more clarity…

3 Simple Effective Solo Techniques

When it comes to playing ballads, it really boils down to how you play more than what you actually play. You want to be able to present a ballad tastefully. This does not mean that the content of your piano playing needs to be complex.

I really feel this needs to be made clear to an aspiring stylist who may actually see himself or herself as having a limited repertoire of cocktail piano techniques. This inspired me to create a special video session that actually demonstrates how just a few left hand techniques, when implemented, can really make a ballad shine. It’s served as one of those sessions that has offered encouragement to those who otherwise didn’t feel confident playing ballads.

Focusing on just three strategies offers one the opportunity to invest enough time with each technique to the point of feeling confident with incorporating it in a ballad on command. If you feel that you could use some help with putting a ballad across in a fashion that sounds professional yet doesn’t place an intimidating demand on you, you might consider this one. Here is a short excerpt:


(excerpt from 1-2-3 Cocktail Piano #1 video session)
Actual video is approximately 19 minutes in duration


Playing More Doesn’t = Playing Better

As I mentioned, this solo piano lesson has offered hope an encouragement to many. You see, it’s common for an aspiring stylist to compare himself or herself to professionals who have proven to be competent at a very advanced level. It might seem necessary to have a handle on fancy chords, voicings, piano fills, and improvisation in order to sound “pro.” But this simply isn’t necessarily true. It’s more important to establish a nice foundation from which to work with. This way, you sound like you know what you’re doing (because you do) from even your early developing stages.

If you know a melody and its corresponding chords, you’ll be able to take advantage of this video tutorial. Those chords, by the way, can even be simple triads. If you know some 7th chords, you can apply the concepts here with those. If learning 7th chords is ahead of you, then you’ll have a nice platform from which to build on when it’s time.

A Solo Piano Lesson For That Left Hand

This is a solo piano lesson that puts the spotlight on the left hand, so you won’t have to be concerned with getting fancy with that melody. You won’t need to improvise or add piano fills. When you are ready to do that, well… again, you’ll have a nice, solid foundation. When you’re playing in front of a bunch of people, they not judging you for not adding all that fancy stuff to your playing. But then do know when what they hear sounds good.

Keep in mind that the foundation we are referring to is most important. A piano player who is preoccupied with adding all kinds of fills and embellishments without being solid with the basic tune itself can be equated to adding lots of frosting and colored jimmies on a cake that won’t stand up straight. So, remember: be musical. Play tastefully. Your audience will love you for it.