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NuclearSnail's avatar

How do you accompany a singer (or any solo musician for that matter) as a pianist?

Asked by NuclearSnail (164points) April 9th, 2010

How do I go about bulking out my accompaniment beyond just hitting appropriate chords with my right hand, and playing the octave of the root in my left?

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9 Answers

filmfann's avatar

Play the bass line.

wundayatta's avatar

Add rhythmic arpeggios. Play the chords in different forms. Listen to the singer or musician, and emphasize what they are doing. You’re playing together, not in parallel. Pay attention. Listen. Leave space. Create space. Respond. It’s a conversation. Share.

The only reason I am here to tell you this is because there was a musician at my gig tonight who doesn’t know how to share. I refuse to play with him. Well, it’s not so much refusal as acknowledgement of the facts. I can go up and stand there and look pretty and not play (because he takes up all the space), or I can come home and at least do something else.

charliecompany34's avatar

you need simple and complex chords playing with both hands that support the vocal melody or soloist. usually more effective if you are a hearer of music and not a reader.

jazmina88's avatar

weave in and out…..fill in the empty space… a musician

thriftymaid's avatar

Understand that you are the follower, not the leader.

Strauss's avatar

Play in such a way that you support the soloist. Enhance the performer, but don’t outshine. Remember that the soloist is the one to be heard.

NuclearSnail's avatar

Any chance you guys can elaborate more, or be a little more specific please?

wundayatta's avatar

@NuclearSnail That’s very difficult. You have to do it and hear it and feel it, not talk about it.

28lorelei's avatar

Just do something that feels appropriate, like if it’s a faster, cheery piece of certain types I sometimes add staccato, or add slow arpeggios in other situations. It’s really hard to explain, as wundayatta just said.

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