One of the ways I keep my sanity is by playing around with some of the songs I play nearly every day. Oftentimes I’ll switch the styles, and play that ballad as an upbeat rock tune (I do this with Imagine). Other times, I’ll play with the lyrics and sing my own verses with the songs. But my favorite thing has always been to switch the mode – specifically, from major to minor.
This is something I’ve been doing since college. I’d be noodling around with a song on piano, and change the key so it was in minor. I started out with kid songs – Twinkle Twinkle and I’m a Little Teapot are both pretty good in minor – then moved on to more popular songs. It’s amazing how much the tone of the songs change. Right now, I’m enjoying Brown Eyed Girl in minor. This whimsical nostalgic song about the days of past youth becomes a mournful tale of lost love just by lowering a few of the tones.
I don’t often do this in sessions – sometimes I will when we’re improvising or just messing around. But, in my practice time, it’s a fun exercise. It doesn’t work quite as well going from minor to major, so I don’t really do that.
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading.