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Definition Of Improvisation

Shawn Strickland (2570) · [archive]
Style: Jazz · Level: Advanced · Tempo: 120
Pages: 1

im pro vise To compose and perform without preparation. To make or do with whatever is at hand.
Not!! Even though the dictionary is completely right, what toddler rides a bike perfectly on the first time?
To a jazz musician, improvisation maybe be as explained above only because they aren't thinking globally about it. When a musician takes a solo, they, if they want to sound good, they must know the chord changes, what to do over the chord changes, and patterns to do over the chord changes, and play what they hear in their head:

Myths of the above:
  1. Must know the chord changes: If a particular doesn't know the chord changes of a song, how are they going to be able to freely know the chord tones, scales, and otherwise to play over the chords to have a tonal pleasing sound?
  2. What to do over the changes: A jazzized, theororized, and imaginized jazz musician isn't going to be able to perform a completely pulled off solo as great as some Charlie Christian solo on the very first time he tries. You must know what do to do over the chords changes for it to sound audibly stimulating. This includes playing over chord tones, knowing what scales to use, and having an imagination. Hopes and dreams will only get you so far, you must practice what you want to accomplish before you can think that you can dip your feet in.
  3. It's OK to use patterns in your solo, everybody does: Just give a listen to any solo right from your CD collection, and if you sat down and really listened to it, you would notice that they, in some part, use patterns. Just think of the famous diminished pattern that is very common in many solos, especially in Jazz. A good way to increase your pattern vocabulary is checking this out
  4. Play what they hear in their heads: Knowing what all tones sound like and where they are at on your instrument is as useful as a horse to King Arthur. This, I am saying, isn't necessarily Perfect Pitch, but just the ability that you might have to be able to figure out solos or whatever from recordings. That is also a great way to increase the ability to recognize pitches on your instrument.


I thought that I would post this since the repeating problems (We've all had them) of improvising. Improvising- it's more beneficial than most things, but it isn't handed to you in a gift box.