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Solo Piano Intros


Joe P

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Folks,

 

I will be playing cocktail piano at my in-laws' Christmas Eve party and will be doing some standards like Misty, Unforgettable etc. with mediocre skill.

 

My old teacher gave me a few intros way back when like ii-V-I, or I-vi-ii-V-I. These are okay but I could use a few more.

 

So, got any tips for intros?

 

Regards,

Joe

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Tip 1: Weave the intro around a recognizable fragment of the melody. For example, if it's "Misty," you could weave an intro around iterations (maybe modulated or starting on different scale steps) of the descending 5-3-7 phrase that figures prominently in the melody.

 

Tip 2: When lost for a better idea, make something up out of the last eight or sixteen bars of the tune.

 

Larry.

 

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Last 4 - 8 of the tune is pretty standard for me. For a singalong, I'll play the melody of the last 4 - 8 as the intro, and then switch to chords and bass for the singing part.
I'm just saying', everyone that confuses correlation with causation eventually ends up dead.
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The last 8 bars works fine, although I don't do it that often. The turnarounds Carlo gave are standard and will work well. The absolute simplest is just to vamp briefly on the 5th (a sus chord, whatever, or II V) in or out of tempo, play a few lines to set the mood, and just go into the song from there. Depends on the song and how you want to set it up.
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Thanks to all! I'll try them tonight at practice. Great thing about this Forum for me is to not be afraid to ask a simple question like that and get straight forward answers from top notch pros. :thu: Thanks guys. You too Wastrel! :)

 

Regards,

Joe

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I don't know if I'm too late with this, but a great one (albeit it does not stand being overused) is the Ladybird turnaround:

 

Imaj7 - bIIImaj7 - bVImaj7 - bIImaj7

i.e.

Cmaj7 - Ebmaj7 - Abmaj7 - Dbmaj7.

 

A great-sounding classic.

 

 

Yes Niller, I love the flat II-I. I use it at the end of White Christmas in C playing an arpeggiated 10th on the Db. Very rich tone.

 

Regards,

Joe

 

 

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:thu: Thanks guys. You too Wastrel! :)

 

Regards,

Joe

 

I'm not just sure how to take that :rolleyes:

 

Wastrel,

 

I was just bustin' yer chops. No offense intended, I hope none taken!

:)

Regards,

Joe

 

None taken. The way it was worded just reminded me of the old line: "Ladies and Gentlemen... Oh - and you too, Bubba!"

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

-Mark Twain

 

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Depends on the situation. For a brief introduction, I usually use some type of formulaic turnaround. Sometimes using the bridge works well. "Monk's Mood" is a tune where I'll often make an introduction out of the bridge. For something extended, I either do what Ilaw said and improvise something based off a particular motive from the tune or I just make up something that may be completely unrelated, although usually the former.
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