1st February 2018 David Magyel

Contemporary Piano Practice Plan

“My goal is to play, improvise and create music in a contemporary piano style.”

If this sounds like you, then this article is a must read before you sign up.
– As you might have read on my front page, my focus is on how to create music and express different kinds of emotions with the piano. Mastering contemporary piano style is an excellent tool to do that… as well as blues, or any other style. If you are planning to sign up for a monthly membership, you must be aware of getting lessons in all type of genres. (Contemporary Piano is one of the six styles I am covering on the site.)
– However, if you signed up for 6 months or 1-year membership, The following practice plan will help you focus exclusively on contemporary piano.


I. BEGINNER CONTEMPORARY PIANO LESSONS

Before you would start working on your curriculum, I want you to check out this lesson:

*I don’t expect you to complete it, but it helps to set your mind in the right direction.

Sight Reading
(Core Lessons)

How to make music with the Core Lessons

Challenging Etudes

IV. Create your first composition based on Triads


II. INTERMEDIATE CONTEMPORARY PIANO LESSONS

Our next goal:

Warm up exercises and Sight Reading

Basic Improvisation Exercises

Sight Reading – Low Intermediate Approach
(If the speed of the demonstration feels very slow to you, jump to the high intermediate Approach)

Sight Reading – High intermediate Approach

Compositional Improvisation
Collect your favorite parts from the etudes you have learned so far, and mix them up. You can’t go wrong. All the core lessons are in the key of E minor, so whatever you decide to glue together, will fit, no worries. Feel free to change things around to your taste, also, you might want to add parts, that wasn’t in the curriculum. That is completely fine. I did that too.

Left-Hand Accompaniment

Improvisation

Rhythm

Duet Part

Improvisation (Mindset)

Songs

Checkpoint
Test your skills, and decide if you are ready to move to the next section:


III. LEARN TO ENJOY YOUR NEW PIANO SKILLS

 This section is just about having fun playing the piano.

POP-BLUES

POP


IV. THE WELL-ROUNDED CONTEMPORARY PIANIST

Time to be a beginner again.  We will even revisit some lessons. Since you have good control over the piano, you have to look the core lessons from an entirely different perspective now. Therefore I strongly recommend you to start here:

Keeping that Jazz Beginner Mindset, you will find even the absolute beginner lessons useful to you.

Major Triad Etude

Ear Training

Minor Triads Etude

Arpeggios – Major

Arpeggios – Minor

Composition

Ear Training – Transposition – Composition

VII. Theory – Basics – Workout

When you open a lesson, you will see the video on the top and under that, you will find a practice plan. It helps you to get the best out of the lesson. I expect you to complete everything that written in the description. If you only do what shown in the video, you will not get very far. However, if you follow my advice and work through all the additional exercises, you will be a well-rounded pianist.


If you are not sure where to start or how to approach these lessons, feel free to contact me. In order to give you good advice and guidance, I would need the following information from you.

  • Your name, age, and main motivation.
  • A link where I can see or hear you playing any of my exercises from this list (Unlisted youtube link, mp3 file, etc.) If you are not a member yet, please chose a lesson from my Youtube Channel. Play the entire exercise from the beginning to the end with a steady beat and let me know how long time did it take you to complete the lesson. If the recording is about improvisation, please improvise at least for 1 minute (with a steady beat).
  • How much time do you have for practice?
  • What lessons have you already completed or are still working on?
  • What is your next short-term goal? Is it ok if I tell you that you should change that goal?:) Most of the time you think that your problem will be solved if you learn more about theory, scales, and licks, but then I come and tell you that all you have to do first is to keep the rhythm.

Good luck and keep in touch,
David