The Secret Ingredient To Creating Great Piano Voicings
Piano voicings can be the difference between sounding “okay” and sounding “pro.” Sure, voicings are just a part of the whole picture. However, the pianist who has somewhat of a handle on playing voicings will certainly stand above the crowd of players who don’t.
By the way, people are usually talking about the same thing when referring to voicings, piano voicings, chord voicings, piano chord voicings, jazz piano voicings, or jazz piano chord voicings.
I had been playing piano for years before I even knew what a voicing was. I had never heard the word used prior to my saxophone teacher explaining them to me for the very first time. Yes, my eyes were actually exposed to and my mind was opened to the concept of jazz piano voicings during a saxophone lesson.
To the pianist who aspires to become more and more competent with playing voicings, I would like to offer a little input. Naturally, the more colors a painter has on his or her pallete, the more choices that artist has when it comes to creating a beautiful painting. Likewise, the piano stylist who has a good number of piano chord voicings ready “on command” has more choices when it comes to playing in a more creative, harmonic fashion.
That said, it’s about more than just having a huge vocabulary of voicings. It’s how these voicings are used in the context of music that makes them effective. But what is a player to do when a certain musical situation arises in which no previous learned voicing seems to work?
Well, if you guessed that creating one that will work was the solution, you’re spot on! Consider that, as a jazz player or piano stylist, creativity is a chief part of the game. Along with that, doesn’t it make sense to want to learn how to be creative even when it comes to playing voicings? You bet it does!
A player can learn one voicing and get a whole lot more out of that voicing than what initially meets the eye. With this in mind, I decided to actually create a program that was designed to help a pianist to nurture this kind of creativity. But there’s a “catch”…
What’s the “catch?”
The “catch” is that you have to be willing to understand something. I’ll do my best to explain it…
We live in a communication age. Everyone wants to “see the video” for instant answers or an instant experience. There’s nothing wrong with that. But when it comes to enhancing your own personal creativity, it’s about more than watching someone do something and copy what that person is doing. Now, there is value in that, as I would be the first to admit. After all, I created ProProach with that in mind. But, remember, creativity isn’t about exclusively copying. It’s far from that.
That’s why I created Pro Piano Chord Bytes. I wanted to create a program that would help a person learn to think and see for himself or herself at that piano keyboard. A typical lesson in the program consists of a picture diagram of how to play a particular piano voicing immediately (so even the earliest beginner can experience some great chord sounds). Along with that is one to three measures of a well known standard song in which that voicing can be used in context. After that, I provide additional commentary and suggestions.
You see, now, in a day and age when everyone wants to “see the video,” most don’t want to take the time to read suggestions. In this case, you’d be missing something. To put it briefly, the person who uses that program and follows along with the suggestions will transform in a more creative player within a very short amount of time.
So, it’s really the self initiative that we are talking about here. You want to be able to take the initiative to explore on your own as you realize more and more of your own personal potential. The secret we’re referring to is that actual doing of what we are talking about here. Most simply don’t want to. When it comes to being a more creative pianist harmonically, Pro Piano Chord Bytes will help you to nurture that potential creativity within you.