Can you improvise on Canon in D?
Good morning. Today I would like to discuss how to get started improvising on Canon in D.
The last few videos we’ve talked about the chord progressions in Canon in D. Let me just review that for you quickly. We actually transposed it from the key of D to the key of C, just so it would be easy to visualize. I’ll call out the chords. There’s the one chord, the five chord, the six chord, the three chord, the four chord, the one chord, the four chord and the five chord. That’s an eight bar chord progression. Each chord gets the same amount of time.
In the key of D, or course it would be one, five, six, three, four, one, four, five, and then back to one, of course. If you’re in the key of E flat it would be one, five, six, three, four, one, four, five, and so on.
We’re doing in the key of C just so it will make it a little easier to visualize. Last time I pointed out that you can create a counter melody by just going down the scale. The melody basically goes like that. In the left hand we can make a counter melody that goes like this. In other words, the left hand is just exactly a tenth below the right hand. It’s easier to visualize that way. We have this.
Of course we don’t have to do that, we can stick with the route in the left hand and we could just go like that. It certainly has a different feel. Either is fine, it just depends on what you want to do.
Now, to start improvising, I’m … Improvising, of course means to make up as you go along, to create a melody, okay? It’s not so mysterious. Every melody that any song writer has written was improvised by that composer. In other words, he made that up, didn’t he? Whatever the tune was, whether it was (singing) Take me out to the ball game, or Moon River, whatever it is, somebody made that up, that tune. You’re doing the same thing when you improvise.
What I’m going to advocate that you do to start out is simply this, play it in thirds … woops … And like so. Okay? Basic are easy. Okay? So we played it, played that in thirds, just improvising on the melody a little bit. Now I’m going to take it a step further and change the right hand melody just a little bit. Let’s say we’re ending up the first time through.
What was I doing there? I was playing a note with my little finger that’s in the cord, and then I was breaking up the cord. See, just breaking up the chord as in the left hand. That’s, of course, what I’m doing in the left hand. I’m playing an arpeggio in the left hand, in other words breaking up the chord in the left hand. You see, you can do it in a variety of ways, but you break up those chords.
If you’re a beginner than you can do something like this. In other words, just break up those chords. Now, the more advanced you are the more creative you can be in both hands, okay? The sky’s the limit, and the genre’s the limit, too. If you want to play that in a new agey kind of way you could do that. Lots and lots of different ways to begin to improvise on Canon in D.
That’s it for today. We may have more to say about it tomorrow, but we’ll see. That’s it for today. If you enjoy these little piano tips, come over to playpiano.com and sign up, because you get these free tips most every day. Thanks. Bye-bye for now.