Improvising Easy Introductions

runner-818707_640A good musical introduction creates anticipation for the listener by suggesting the key and style of a tune about to be played.

Ready? Set, Go!

The easiest way to set up a tune is to play a V7 intro chord. This works because it takes advantage of our expectations about functional harmony.

Since most tunes begin with a I chord, a V7 chord played just before leads our ears right into the melody through its natural resolution. Listen to how the C7 in the Birthday Song seems to say, “Here we go.”BirthdayLead

BirthdayLead
Drum Roll Please…drums-755530_640

Stretch the V7 intro chord “Liberace” style with hand-over-hand arpeggios to pump up the audience. Corny and overstated? Yes. Effective? Absolutely. Students love it because it sounds impressive without being difficult.

This example adds drama suggesting, “Ladies and gentleman, the show is about to begin.”

Liberace

The Following Preview…film-596011_640

State the last few measures of a tune before the V7 chord to increase the sense of expectancy.

Like a movie trailer, Example 3 hints at coming attractions with a little teaser of the melody.

LastFewBars

vegetables-1068592_640Mixed Combos

Combine approaches for maximum effect.

This example includes the last few measures of the melody with a V7 intro chord and the “Liberace lick.” Now that’s an introduction!

combo

Next time, we’ll consider how to add stock endings to put the final touches on your lead sheet masterpiece. Until then, enjoy your creative music-making journey.

autographsmall

 

 

 

 

Bradley Sowash

(This article first appeared in Clavier Companion magazine.)

|| ||| || ||| || ||| || ||| || ||| || ||| 

Improve your improv skills.

Join us this summer.

Real-time, Live, Hands-on training.

break

 

1 thought on “Improvising Easy Introductions

Leave a Comment

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

WordPress spam blocked by CleanTalk.
Improve your keyboard creativity in live, interactive online group lessons. Click to learn more.
Hello. Add your message here.