Before making a beat, you should choose your scale and key. This is crucial for allowing easy improvisation, as well as knowing which notes work good in your key selected! Choosing before hand is like night and day!
Just as of late, I started to mic up my piano with a mixer which has effects on it!
I love the way a piano sounds by itself, especially with those big powerful chords, but to keep creativity and inspiration high, I thought adding in these effects like reverb and delay would really help add that something special to my piano practice.