FAQ for Imagination on the Piano: Improvising Classically with George Ko!
Welcome to the magical world of classical improvisation!
In this month’s Community Challenge, we’ll learn to improvise on the piano and soon you’ll be able to create your own music, live!
Whether it’s when we’re listening to jazz, or watching John Mayer take off on a solo, we have all wanted to improvise as classical musicians. However, even after years of practicing scales, etudes, and difficult concerti, we just can’t seem to make up things on the spot.
In this livestream series, classical improviser and Young Steinway Artist George Ko shows how you can improvise and spontaneously create any song with your background of Bach, Chopin, and understanding of I-V-I cadences.
Some selected tonebase productions to get you started:
- We’re going to learn how to improvise on the piano!
- The goal is to start improvising immediately at the piano with the Classical style
- Every week we’ll have different improvisational challenges. Depending how much you practice will ramp up your results. You know… How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
- TBD: A watch party featuring your improvisations will take part at the end if by popular demand!
- Challenge start: Kick-Off Friday June 10th at 11am PT
- Watch party: TBD
- Join the live stream (or watch previously recorded sessions) and follow along on the improvisational topic of the week.
- Practice the improvising challenge on your own, then go to our Updates thread and post your improv!
- If you are willing and open to share, add a video or audio recording of yourself improvising. This is optional, but we’ll be able to share our progress together! This is a safe space, and we are not here to judge, but to encourage. There’s enough competitions for that.
The Fun Part:
- TBD:At the end of our practice challenge, we will be hosting another Watch Party on tonebase LIVE! This will feature user submissions, community awards, and shoutouts!
- This is planned for July 1st at 11 am PT!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Can I join the challenge if I wasn't there on June 10th?
Yes! Just make sure you watch the first session and complete any workshop challenges before the next challenge.
I have a question, who do I ask?
Feel free to use this thread to ask any questions about this challenge! For a more detailed just DM me either here through the or on Instagram @_georgeko. You can also reach out to our Head of Live & Communinty through [email protected]
Can I do more than one improv per week?
Absolutely! This challenge is to help you become comfortable with improvising and to relinquish the “fear” of making mistakes. It’s about exploring the unknown. To infinity, and beyond!
Note: I posted this question/comment on the other page for this workshop, whereas it seems like it belongs here instead, so I'm pasting it here (in case :
Hi George, thank you for offering this workshop.
do you want us to post some attempts BEFORE watching the live stream or wait until after that?
I've been playing around with these chords & I'm finding it rather challenging, as well as intriguing to try to make them work together. My ear wants to establish a tonal center with at least a dominant and subdominant, but none of these chords serve that function with any other (although you can get close with some alterations and substitutions). I'm sure that's part of the reason you chose them, to open our ears to other possibilities & relationships. are we allowed to use diminished versions of the chords also?
Thanks very much Jenny & Sindre. I played around with these chords a lot before recording this, and this seemed like one of the better ways to get them to work together. I can't wait to hear what George has to say about this choice of chords. I felt stuck in that single mode (mostly a 'Phrygian' kind of mode, utilizing an A harmonic minor scale) despite having a goal of trying to move fluidly in and out of keys they way Bach does in the WTC. I'm learning so much about that from a number of Tonebase lessons, but was unable to put any of it into practice when it came time to sit down and play something! I'm very eager to hear some more postings from our other Tonebase participants!
CK very nicely done! It's different from the workshop, but you are actually moving into the next phase improving! Very nice use of bass motion! As of right now, where we are in the community challenge, you are on the right track! Next week we'll get into more how our favorite dead composers improvise, and how we can use their techniques. You're already halfway there!
I realise it’s probably just me, but I think there seem to be two streams for people to post.
So I’m posting this here as well, I hope that is okay! I really enjoyed George’s talk, gave me some nice ideas, and this was how I use them… Also really enjoyed the other two improvs that I’ve been able to listen to. I do hope there’ll be some more!
Sadly I cannot make the lecture tomorrow, but I will watch the video afterwards.