Many of the best music pieces ever written have been produced through improvisation. Musicians should master the technical aspects of their craft first, in many cases, before they can create improvised pieces that are interesting to listen to and appreciate. However, achieving a certain degree of fluency with almost any instrument requires a certain degree of improvisation. Musicians should have a feel for what is going on when they make music, and improvisation is a manifestation of a high level of fluency with any instrument.
What is Improvisation?
According to Wikipedia – “Improvisation is the practice of acting, dancing, singing, playing musical instruments, talking, creating artworks, problem solving, or reacting in the moment and in response to the stimulus of one’s immediate environment and inner feelings.”
Piano players who are experienced enough should try their hands at piano improvisation. Some degree of improvising is an important part of nearly every practice session for players who have achieved enough fluency to avoid simply thumbing away at the piano. Improvisation allows you to become more familiar with the instrument at every level, from the way the notes sound to the experience of producing the right notes without the aid of sheet music.
There are many extremely talented piano students who can play songs with the help of sheet music, and play everything at a high degree of technical quality, but would not be able to play even a simple melody by recognition.
Being able to hear a simple melody and play it by ear can bring you to a new level of proficiency with your instrument, which is often very hard to achieve simply through playing music according to sheet music. Many of the best and most talented pianists have experimented with improvisation on the piano. Certainly, anyone who wishes to transition to writing music as well as interpreting music should try to perfect their basic improvisation skills as much as possible.
Improvisation also helps you get the essential feel for music. Some music is electrifying, while other types of music simply feel like long strings of notes. There is a reason why, and it can be deconstructed, to a certain extent.
Some songs are transcendent despite using only a few notes, and mix up their rhythms in the process. Others jump around the scale throughout the song, creating exciting melodies. Pianists who do piano improvisation can experiment with different piano hooks and see what goes into composing a tune, and evaluating how it sounds.
They can gain a newfound understanding of music in a way that would be hard to achieve by simply reciting it, the way one does when simply reading music. Reading music is exceedingly important to anyone learning the craft, but any musical education can be greatly enhanced by experimenting with different performance and practicing styles.
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Piano improvisation can even improve the experience of simply playing and reading piano music. People can develop better memories for music and musical notes by doing more improvisation, especially compared to relying on recorded sheet music notes. They can also recognize notes more easily and quickly in the heat of the moment, which can improve their timing as players. Improvisation is important as both an educational and overall performance tool and it will help you learn to play the piano without sheet music.