Music Lessons Online

One Chord Improvisation – Piano Lesson Online

It’s not the chord that you play, but what you do with it.

So, chords occur in in Madrigals, in Bach Chorales, in Mozart’s Music and in that of Metallica, from Bach to the Beatles, from Palestrina to the Pogues, from Beethoven to Beyonce, from Grieg to Gershwin. It’s not the chords that discern the style or the interest, it’s the creative use of them. What can you do with one chord? My improvisation lessons frequently start with “what can you do with one note?” because that’s what the incredible composer Petr Eben did in his first lessons with me. Here’s a quick exploration of one chord which is my no means exhaustive:

Budapest (George Ezra)

What’s interesting about this piece? Well, firstly, the introduction and the majority of the first verse are simply an F major chord, with the exception of a brief occurrence of Bb on “you-oo”.

As an improvisation teacher, what could be better than the exploration of one chord? It’s not how many chords you use, but one you can do with each chord that counts.

The Three Chord Trick

The chorus adds a 3rd chord, C Major, to form the “three chord trick”. The song therefore uses the I-IV-V chords in F (F, Bb and C). The order of the chords in the chorus follows that of a typical final phrase in the Blues: V-IV-I. The V-IV in Blues being the opposite way round to that found in classical music where a IV-V progression would be far more common.

Budapest Piano Lesson Online Cover

I enjoyed improvising a piano cover on Budapest, what can you do?

Piano Lessons Online – Library Piano Courses

Check out the NEW PIANO COURSES – perfect for pop/rock pianists. They contain bespoke, creative courses that encourage you to stylise, improvise and ‘make a piece your own’. There are no other courses like them on the web. You can even request courses for pieces/skills/ideas that you would like to develop. Or, why not by a subscription for a birthday or xmas present?

1-1 Piano Lessons Online

If you would like to book some more contemporary style 1-1 piano lessons visit

Current offer: Book 4 get the 1st Free!


Choose your plan

All Courses

£ 19
99 Per Month
  • All Piano Courses
  • All Organ Courses
  • All Singing Courses
  • All Guitar Courses

All Courses + Masterclass

£ 29
99 Per Month
  • All Piano Courses
  • All Organ Courses
  • All Singing Courses
  • All Guitar Courses
  • All Masterclasses