A Pianist's Guide to Free Improvisation

Marilyn Crispell

Keys to Unlocking Your Creativity

Skill Level 3

80 Minute video download, Includes Music pdf file
  • Code:DLCRIKB21

Sit down at the piano and play whatever comes into your head, making up your own music as you go along. That's free improvisation.

This lesson is designed for players with some facility at the keyboard but with little knowledge of improvisational techniques. Famed pianist Marilyn Crispell shows the scales, intervals and basic chords that will get you started creating musical sounds. Once you find the notes that will start the process of improvisation, she gives you the background information to make it happen. After reviewing essential music theory, Marilyn shows you how scales, triads, intervals, pedal points and tritones can all be used as tools for the creative pianist.

There's plenty of material here for experienced improvisers to study as well, as Marilyn, an important exponent of the Free Jazz movement, gives you the tools to develop themes and unlock your own ideas. She digs into her long experience with the music of Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, Gary Peacock and other jazz improvisers, breaking down the finer points of creating sounds and developing new playing concepts. She teaches several tunes by talented friends and colleagues, exploring ways that you can move beyond the melodies and into the world of free improvisation.

Marilyn and bassist John Menegon explore the process by which they develop their improvisational ideas. They create music on the spot, allowing you to see their musical thoughts as they happen.

Whether you are new to this technique or an accomplished improviser, this lesson will bring new joys to your piano playing and help you unlock the secrets of creating free music on the piano.


"Hearing Marilyn Crispell play solo piano is like monitoring an active volcano. She is one of a very few pianists who rise to the challenge of free jazz." --The New York Times


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