Tips for improvisation

Just hammerers

Re: Tips for improvisation

Postby Sharon Gartley » Tue May 18, 2010 11:30 pm

My teacher is also very humble and modest.

Thank you Mark & Chuck! I am printing all this out and working though it and expect brilliance to strike at any moment! :lol: Not really, but someday...

~s

hmmm...wonder if my teacher could show me how to do some of the rudiments. I always forget to ask him about that.
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Re: Tips for improvisation

Postby AllAmericanFE » Wed May 19, 2010 4:37 am

I'm not sure if this has been mentioned but the pentatonic scale works wonders for improvising on the fly. Theoretically as long as you are in rhythm you can hit any note randomly in the pentatonic scale at any time and it will sound good. This is a VERY good scale to learn if you are jamming and have no idea what the melody or chords are. I have used it many times and so far it hasn't failed :lol:

The notes in the pentatonic scale are the first, second, third, fifth, sixth, and octave. In D this would be D, E, F#, A, B, D. When we have time to get together Sharon I can show you how I use it in the tune Mairi's Wedding. I might even make a youtube video about it if I can find time.

Hopefully this makes sense. I really should not try to explain things at 4:30 in the morning :lol:
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Re: Tips for improvisation

Postby Sharon Gartley » Wed May 19, 2010 9:47 am

So, in putting together a practice routine that incorporates ideas presented here as well as other exercises that help build improvisational skills, what would you all suggest? What does this routine look like, say for a one-hour daily practice session?

Thanks!
Sharon
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Re: Tips for improvisation

Postby Dan Landrum » Wed May 19, 2010 10:47 am

Sharon,

There are many possibilities. Try doing something like this:

Let's assume we're in 4/4 and the key of C for simplicity. On successive quarter notes, play the notes of a C chord, 1-(C) 3-(E) 5-(G) 1-(C). Now staying in the same key, do the same thing starting from the D. Remember you are still in the key of C so your notes are 1-(D) 2-(F natural) 3-(A) and then back to the D again. Now move to the E and repeat the process. Do this all the way up and down the scale. Yes, your hammers will have to cross in odd ways. This is good for you.

It all sounds simple but is harder than you may think. It will, however get easier. When it does, start to vary the exercise:

Play it with a swing feel.
Reverse the pattern.
Start in the middle of the pattern.
Keep one stick on the root of the pattern as a drone and play the pattern with the other hand (while still moving up and down the scale).

There are thousands of variations. In general, I'd say if it is too easy then you probably need to add a variable that makes it tougher. Practice what it is you're NOT good at.

Sooner or later you'll have an Ah Ha! moment and something which was difficult will become easy and you'll have a new improvisational tool. At this point you can play a song and then play you're new improv skill instead of the melody on a pass or two.
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Re: Tips for improvisation

Postby Guy George » Wed May 19, 2010 7:41 pm

I could use an "Ah Ha" moment ...........
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Re: Tips for improvisation

Postby Sharon Gartley » Fri May 28, 2010 3:29 pm

First, Dan your new avatar is hilarious! Pez Landrum, lol

2nd, I have printed out all of the suggestions and ideas shared in this thread and have been working on things. Also, I had a lesson this morning and we discussed this and my desire to have a practice routine that more specifically helps me develop the needed skills. I am so grateful to have a teacher who understands what I want to be able to do and can figure out ways to help me get there! I never know for sure if he wants to claim me so I don't normally mention him by name :lol: , but just want to publicly give kudos and thank Mark Wade for all his help, and long-suffering. :) I intend to work hard at this. If any of you have any additional tips for ways to learn, ways to practice the necessary skills, please share!

Sharon
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Re: Tips for improvisation

Postby Sharon Gartley » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:05 pm

I just sat down at my hd and messed around with Southwind for a while and was quite impressed. Lol. If I could just get me out of the way more often, maybe I could get somewhere with this more quickly! Back to it!

~ s
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Re: Tips for improvisation

Postby cboody » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:41 am

Love to hear what you are doing at Evart....
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Re: Tips for improvisation

Postby Sharon Gartley » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:56 am

I won't be at Evart. Are you going to do the workshop you talked about earlier in the thread?
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Re: Tips for improvisation

Postby Lakme » Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:01 pm

Great Discussion - thanks for starting it!

OK Dan Landrum, I'll bite (because I respect your info always) -- what are 'parallel intervals of intervals'?
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Re: Tips for improvisation

Postby cboody » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:46 pm

@Sharon

I did the workshop at Midland a couple of years ago. I could probably dig up the handouts for you if you contact me off list
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Re: Tips for improvisation

Postby kattywompus » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:27 am

Yesssireee, chord progressions!! :D
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