Carol of the Bells - Piano Improvising

Posted by Yoke Wong on 9/23/2014 to Christmas Songs

One of the best techniques for learning how to improvise on the piano is to start with a simple left hand pattern and then add more complex right hand improvisation. For this improvisation lesson, you're going to start with a basic G, F, E flat, and D left hand pattern. Try playing those four notes in succession: G, F, E flat, and then D. Most likely you will recognize this familiar pattern. Try experimenting a little more with your left hand pattern before adding the right hand improvisation. There are so many ways that you can mix and match these four notes from playing the descending succession with eighth notes instead of quarter notes to mixing up the notes in a new order, such as E flat, G, F, D.

Now let's move on to the right hand. What can you do with your right hand that will complement the G, F, E flat, and D left hand variations? Are you familiar with the tune Carol of the Bells? The left hand repeats the simple G, F, E flat, D pattern while the right hand plays the melody.

The first eight measures of Carol of the Bells uses notes from a G minor scale in the right hand – G, A, B flat, C, and D. You can also add E flat and F to the mix if you like. Remember that B flat and E flat are the only black notes that you'll be playing with your right hand. The rest of the notes should be white notes. Play this scale a few times to familiarize yourself with the notes. Then play the steady G, F, E flat, D pattern with your left hand while you improvise with your right hand using notes from the G minor scale. Try different rhythms and different combinations of the G minor scale notes to create new variations on the Carol of the Bells tune. Consider experimenting with playing one versus two notes at a time in your right hand or playing faster or slower.

Carol of the Bells is a classical tune, but what you do with the left hand pattern in combination with the right hand improvisation can give it more of a jazz or blues feel. If you don't like what you play, don't be afraid to keep improvising. It can take time and patience to get comfortable with improvising and to develop a style that feels right for you. Over time, the process will become more natural. Stick with it, and before you know it, you'll be itching to start improvising every time you hear a new song.

Related Piano Courses:

Christmas Arrangement

Christmas Songs Arrangement Piano Lessons

Christmas Arrangement Series 2

Christmas Songs Piano Lessons



Paul Rainer
Date: 9/24/2014
I doubt weather, I will be able to do it. I really love to learn and to play the music in piano. But I don't know, weather I will be able to do it.
Date: 9/24/2014
Great video.Am teaching my students about improvising. I know they will like watching and learning this. keep the videos coming.
Date: 9/25/2014
pls piano mother, how do I get piano tutorial for beginners who just started 8months ago
Chirant Derananonth
Date: 9/25/2014
I am not familiar with the tune Carol of the Bell.How can I understand?
Mabel Marilyn
Date: 9/25/2014
Very nice improvisation.I relished it
Date: 9/26/2014
@Gabriel. You can start with Learn to Play Piano & Improvisation in 7 Days course. It covers music theory and exercises on rhythm, scales, chords and chord progressions. After that, you can study our Easy Beginner courses that show you how to play popular songs, hymns, and classical music by applying the theory and techniques. Here is the list of our piano courses.
Date: 9/26/2014
Thank you for the delightful mini lesson. I think the Gong-xi Gong-xi (Happy New Year) song you demonstrated on Youtube will also sound great in this G minor key.
Date: 9/26/2014
I wish you were my teacher! I love your insights!
Magielen Iwamoto
Date: 9/27/2014
Thank you for easy to understand piano lesson.
Tonisha Parra
Date: 10/31/2014
It includes music concept and workouts on beat, machines, notes and note progressions. After that, you can study our Easy Starter programs that show you how to play popular music, hymns, and traditional music by implementing the concept and techniques.
Selma French
Date: 11/9/2014
Tks a lot! I simply loved it! I'll try to play it the way you tought us on the vídeo. Any other Xmas Carols this way??

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