Now, I like to consider myself a social creature. I like to interact with people and perhaps that is part of my problem. In all of my piano playing that I have done over the last 20 years, I haven't had the chance to sit down with someone else and make music. My job was to master a piece of music, usually written by someone long dead, well enough to play at a recital or exam. When the technically perfect performance was given, picked apart, and found acceptable, I was then able move on to another piece and start the process all over again. Along the way I learned how to play scales, chords, arpeggios etc. but never learned how to apply them in a more social setting. In contrast, when I started to play guitar, I jammed for the first time probably six months after I started on songs with which I was familiar! I had FUN! I want to be able to jam that way with piano but I'm afraid that I am too engrained with the classical discipline. I NEED HELP or else I may be doomed to conversations like this:
"Hey we should get together this weekend and have a jam"
"Yeah! That sounds like fun!"
"Great! I was thinking maybe I'll play keyboards, and I'll have a bass player and a drummer lined up and you could take lead guitar?"
"Sounds like fun what are we playing?"
"Ooh, well are you familiar with Bach's prelude and fugue in Bflat major? I was also thinking we could do the first movement of his Fifth Brandenburg Concerto."
"Yeah! You know the ones... BWV 866 and BWV 1050!"
"I take it back, it does not sound like fun after all."
Now don't get me wrong, Those Bach pieces are great works of art and are enjoyable to listen to, however you need to be classically trained to play this stuff and even then, the challenge is formidable. Once the task of learning such a piece is complete, there is very little room to play around and add your own flavour to the piece. Especially with Bach, because with Bach, there is only one flavour... the Bach flavour. You can't just improvise your own keyboard solo in a Bach piece, mostly because he is already playing the best notes that could ever go there, but also because he will curse the musical talent right out of you from the grave (or so I've heard). All this doesn't make me want to practice piano much.
So, you can see my conundrum. I want to be able to play music with people (which I think is one of the best things about music) but there are very few people who know how to jam with a keyboard and I don't know where to begin to teach myself. Ooh well. I guess I'll just do the best I can and maybe by playing along with the stereo, improvement in this area will be improved, and this will increase my desire to be awesome at piano and I will practice more.