Let's explore the techniques of playing new age music in this free online piano lesson. Interestingly enough, new age music consists of very little chord variation. Most of the time people play just two chords alternately. Another technique frequently used to get the far out melody or dream-like quality of new age music is to use polytonality. What is a polytone? Polytone means playing more than one chord at a time. It can be any combination of chords.
Play just the C chord (use only C and G) with your left hand. I recommend removing the E from the C chord to get the open sound. And apply the right pedal (to sustain the note). Listen to the left hand sample.
Play the C scale with your right hand, replacing the F note with F#. Hear the distinct note of F#; F# is part of the D chord. By having the left hand play the C chord and right hand play the C scale with F#, we are playing both C and D chords. This is part of the polytone. Listen to the right hand of new age piano music.
Keep the left hand playing C and G and hold for a few measures and then repeat the C and G again. Also, you can press C & G down at the same time. Focus the right hand on playing the C scale with the F# note frequently. It will create a unique dream-like sound. Listen to the new age piano music.
Play two notes of the C scale with your right hand at the same time (for instance: C & E, D & F#, E & G, etc.). Listen to the new age piano music.
Note: This will take some time to master the technique, especially if you're quite new to improvisation. The key is let your hand and heart moves the way it wants to. Don't worry about the sound of the music at the beginning.
There's no right or wrong. Just continue to practice on the C scale until it can move relatively fast. You can repeatedly play a few notes that are pleasant to your ears, playing louder sometimes and softer other times. Pretty soon, it will sound almost like George Winston is playing in your living room. Make sure you press the right pedal so that a sustaining sound can be produced. Have fun!
Check out our award-winning piano course if you are interested in mastering piano improvisational techniques.