The Piano Chord Voicing Secret
Let’s face it. The art of playing great piano chord voicings never gets tiring. Learning one voicing after another and combining them over progressions in your own unique way is what keeps the game interesting.
How do we learn them? Well, as you know, watching other players, whenever the opportunities arise, is highly valuable. In addition, learning programs (like ProProach) can certainly accelerate the process.
However, there’s one approach that really makes the difference. Yet, it’s so often overlooked by many developing players. Why? Well, one could say the reason is because it’s so easy to overlook.
Let me try to explain…
We live in the communication age in which the tendency is usually to look for the quickest way of obtaining information. Videos have quickly become a primary means of getting some information. Again, it’s quick, it’s efficient… the next best thing to being there, right? That’s a reason video instruction has taken off by leaps an bounds.
However, along with this, there’s a special “secret” that people tend to miss out on…
Consider some of the great pianists that you’ve admired. You know, the ones you listen to and just have to learn something from. Those chord voicings of Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, and others, for example. It’s great to have the opportunity to see giants like these in videos as we can actually see what they’re doing. The same applies to watching videos of instructors who have something to offer. That said, how many of us actually consider that so many of these people did not have the technology available to them to get to the point of harmonic creativity they enjoyed? Outside of recordings and those rare moments of being one-on-one with a fellow player, what did they rely on?
Yes, they used their own thought processes, experimentation, intuition, and creativity. This leads to “mined gold” that simply cannot be had by only copying others. So, as with any convenience, there is another side. We use transportation to get somewhere quickly. At the same time, we miss the scenery. Likewise, we watch videos and copy what we see. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course! It’s a good thing. However, what is missed if this is the approach we primarily use? Well, we miss out on utilizing the same tools of thinking, experimenting, being intuitive, and creating that was responsible for so many players becoming great at what they do!
So, doesn’t it make sense to combine our experiences with seeing and copying what others are doing with taking the self initiative of actually using our own insights and creativity? I think so. Sure, it’s easier to watch a video and copy what you see being played. But again, as with any shortcut, something of value gets lost. That’s the reason I decided to do something about it. Yes, I took great pleasure in creating ProProach, which does indeed include videos along with textual explanations and graphics. Along with that, I wanted aspiring players to have a tool that would lead to their getting in touch with their own personal potential when it comes to creating not only great sounding chord voicings but original ones, too. I really felt there was a need for such a tool.
This led to my creation of Pro Piano Chord Bytes. Personally, although this program was originally intended to stand on its own, I can’t help but feel that it serves as a perfect compliment to the ProProach experience. I know that others have felt the same way and have used the two in conjunction with each other.
Pro Piano Chord Bytes consists of no videos. Rather, it consists of looking at piano chord voicings in a simple and practical way. You see, we look at a measure of a well known song and provide one tasteful way to voicing that chord and melody. This is done with a simple graphic (which can be used even if one doesn’t read music). It is also accompanied seeing the notes of the voicing on the staff. However, that’s just the beginning. Below these illustrations is additional commentary which is designed to have one thinking in creative ways. For example, if I was sitting at the piano next to you, perhaps I would show you the voicing illustrated. Following that, I would have share comments with the intent of getting you to think for yourself so that you could come up with alternatives. You see, it is this special something that really leads to originality. So, you read a little, contemplate, apply the suggestions, and you eventually enjoy a more original, creative experience… a more creative you!
The program consists of 24 lessons intended to be used on a weekly basis. They are made available all at once for the purpose of convenience. However, focusing on one lesson and finding opportunities to apply it in several musical contexts throughout the course of a week (or at least a few days) before proceeding to the next lesson will be conducive to rewards that are unexplainable here.
Whether you choose to take advantage of Pro Piano Chord Bytes on its own or decide to compliment it with your involvement with ProProach, I truly hope you enjoy your time with it as much as I enjoyed putting it together.
PLAY WITH PASSION!