I opened up my improv freedom using lessons from Ron Drotos like Flowing Water . In this weeks lesson my teacher had three good suggestions. 1. I was using motifs - for instance going up 5 or 6 notes, differently for different chords. - Suggestion - never repeat a motif more than 3 times - because then it gets boring. 2. Try improvising on the chords without using your left hand at all. - This really let me think about what I was doing with the right hand, 3. Then improvise with just a single bass not in the left again - Again to keep it simple. What do you think? If you have any thoughts add them to this post on our forum .
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My piano teacher suggested this week that I more or less randomly play chord tones in Cmaj7 with my left hand and other more or less random chord tones with my right hand as an exercise. Being a good teacher, he did not tell me why to do this - I'll find out next week I suppose. I decided it was to help me learn the chord better - and to encourage me to use more chord tones and fewer passing notes in my improvisation. I also went one step further, and did this a while in Cmaj7, and then switched to the other chords in a piece I was was working on. I can see that this is a better way to "learn" the notes in the chords, than just playing the chords, or even inversions of the chords. Playing the chord tones, out of sequence, brings them home better. In a coincidence, (I think), the weekly email I get from his recorded, on-line lessons, suggested much the same thing in this video from his free you-tube lessons: https://youtu.be/uxyX7hgBkjI which is also about using more chord
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