Author Topic: Improvisation (the next step up)  (Read 2606 times)

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Offline brorat

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #60 on: December 28, 2021, 01:05:31 PM »
Yes Bob and others , but how about taste ? Can an impro' be good if tasteles? How about if an impro ' in itself is excellent but ruins the mood or meaning of the song,personally i prefer improvisations that 'add' to song,not subtract...but many put their own show of skills first and foremost...the song gets lost...but then again if a player has great improvising skills,how DO they highlight this skill if not on a familiar enough song...still i think there is an awful lot of muck that gets excused under the banner of improvisation.
                                                         jh.

                                                               

I think Bob is talking about the effort, not necessarily the outcome!  Of course, we don't want to listen to improv that is tasteless and awful!  However, we all go through the awful, tasteless stage in order to improve.  This forum should (and is!) a safe haven for those of us who want to learn.  We know it's ok to post "awful and tasteless" things!  (I know.  I've done it!)
Bob's post is allowing us to fearlessly jump into improv without worrying about making mistakes.  That doesn't mean we won't make them!  The point is, nothing is made better without first doing it badly!  That's how we learn and improve.
Just MHO.
“Just here to harp on chromatics!”

Offline wolfman

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #61 on: December 28, 2021, 03:33:05 PM »
  "Just MHO"
I'll take that HO brorat.

 Roman

Offline robertpcoble

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #62 on: December 28, 2021, 04:10:17 PM »
My point is to START (overcome the FEAR of sounding like crap) - try something (just about anything simple) and see if YOU like what you hear. If you like it, keep it. Otherwise figure out WHY you didn't like it - and try again. Eventually you'll find something you DO like.

My idea of improvisation is similar to Slim's - composition in real time without preplanning/practicing your 'improvisation' in advance.

At the end of one of our retirement home gigs, the guitarist in our band asked me to play Danny Boy with him providing backup. Why not?!?! Just because we hadn't practiced it together did not mean we couldn't play it. I played the melody without embellishment over the first verse. The second verse: I IMPROVISED all over it. Got lots of kudos for it as well, from my band mates and the audience. Preplanned/practiced? Nope. Just "feel" the melody and the chord changes, and make it up as you go.

Getting past fears is very important if you want to progress as a musician. When I first began playing lead (with my older brother on keyboards), I was TERRIFIED of losing the thread of the melody and then not having any idea how to come back in. As a result, I wanked all over the entire song, never leaving any space for my brother to improvise something on his own. That very first playing session at his church, I was honking away - when he looked up at me and quietly said, "Leave me some space." I yanked the harmonica out of my mouth and nodded for him to take a break. I then worked very hard on LISTENING very closely to the structure of the song AND to my band mates, and figuring out when and where I could drop out and come back in - not necessarily at the beginning or end of a verse.

The most important FIRST step was to get over my FEARS.

The same thing was true of improvising. Face your FEAR and then you will be able to progress.

Quoting Frank Herbert from Dune:

"Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

Crazy Bob



Offline beads

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #63 on: December 28, 2021, 04:23:34 PM »
Confidence overcomes fear. Familiarity with your instrument produces confidence. Practice leads to familiarity. That was my experience.
I cannot improvise well on the chromatic. Simply have not practiced enough hours.... yet.  A number of years ago I was very adept at improvising on the mandolin in a live, unrehearsed, jam. Great fun when you reach that point. It took me years to get there. Some have the talent to get there faster, but I believe most can reach that goal.   
We grow too soon old und too late smart.

Offline robertpcoble

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #64 on: December 28, 2021, 09:20:46 PM »
Jimmy asks:

"Yes Bob and others , but how about taste ? Can an impro' be good if tasteles? How about if an impro ' in itself is excellent but ruins the mood or meaning of the song."

Taste is subjective - and it develops over time with experience. I'd say that tasteless improv (and that includes ruining the mood or meaning of the song) by definition is not good improv - but that's my opinion.

You first have to crawl, then walk, then run. My point is to get over the fear of crawling. Yeah, it looks childish and adults never want to appear childish to their peers. However, there is no way to jump past first steps to Giant Steps. My suggestion is for the fence-sitters, who don't try simply because of fear of appearing less skilled than they are (or think they are) at the moment.

You'll never take a dive off the high board if you're afraid to dip your toes in the water.

Crazy Bob

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #65 on: December 28, 2021, 09:56:04 PM »

See how much of this you can stand.
They’re really expressing themselves.

Offline A.J. Fedor

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #66 on: December 28, 2021, 10:04:51 PM »
About twenty seconds. :P

Offline Danny G

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #67 on: December 28, 2021, 10:05:15 PM »
56 seconds

Offline Lockjaw Larry

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #68 on: December 28, 2021, 11:34:34 PM »
It sounded much better, right after I turned it off. 
Be fair, be square and obey the rules of the pack.

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #69 on: December 28, 2021, 11:55:39 PM »
There’s a blues that starts at about 11:30, try that.

Offline robertpcoble

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #70 on: December 29, 2021, 08:44:14 AM »
That blues sounded much better (to me) than the opening song. I liked the trombone player's solo. Was it improvised? I have no idea.

Crazy Bob

Offline Jimmy Halfnote

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #71 on: December 29, 2021, 01:58:29 PM »
 Here is something to think about ,

  https://youtu.be/3tPu19jF-3M


                                                         jh.

Offline beads

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #72 on: December 29, 2021, 05:22:41 PM »
Here is something to think about ,

  https://youtu.be/3tPu19jF-3M


                                                         jh.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAIZxaToV2A

Talented players, but I think they both knew the piece already.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2021, 05:26:12 PM by beads »
We grow too soon old und too late smart.

Offline Jimmy Halfnote

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #73 on: December 29, 2021, 07:40:46 PM »
 Well how about this .

  https://youtu.be/A99sZ0ngd_U


                                  jh.

Offline zvigrunb

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #74 on: December 30, 2021, 04:25:28 AM »
Well how about this .

  https://youtu.be/A99sZ0ngd_U


                                  jh.
Incredible...
Whooooo YEAH!!!

But isn't that a staged collaboration? :)
"Live long and prosper",
Tzvika

Offline Jimmy Halfnote

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #75 on: December 30, 2021, 08:24:26 AM »
 The meeting was probably arranged in a loose fashion..staged ? More importantly and in context do you think it was rehearsed ?  :)

                                                               jh.

Offline robertpcoble

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #76 on: December 30, 2021, 10:09:02 AM »
Do I think it was rehearsed? Probably not. A pre-arranged meeting - probably. It sounded like a lot of standard boogie-woogie riffs magically woven with original riffs into the tapestry of the overall song. I love that stuff! Thanks for the link!

The style of playing reminds me of Honey Piazza, Rod Piazza's wife and the keyboardist for Rod Piazza and The Mighty Flyers.

Here's a link to the Four Hand Boogie - Honey Piazza and Marcia Ball. Easy on the ears AND the eyes!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yX93iUcAk4

Crazy Bob


Offline Jimmy Halfnote

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #77 on: December 30, 2021, 01:21:25 PM »
 Thoroughly enjoyed your link Bob , good luck.

                                                                     jh.

Offline ejacob4

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #78 on: December 31, 2021, 01:46:54 AM »
If I know how it will sound, I’m not improvising. If I know it will be good, if I have the time to make the judgement and choices that go with it, I’m not improvising. If I’m going to my safe and happy places, I’m not improvising.

If I’m jumping off a cliff and flapping my arms, praying for flight and magic, and playing what comes, as it comes, I’m improvising. All those other things are composition and performance and desire able and admirable, and far more likely successful to play before others.

Still one is more like the tricks of magicians, and the other attempts at wizardry.

Once I spent a nice chunk of change to watch Keith Jarrett live. 2.5 hours of hard, gut, mind, and soul wrenching labor. It was actually painful to watch, and most of it not so special. He’d work at a thing that came, get tricky, then, having failed to find the song in the air, move on as soon as he could find a place to go.

He did not stop. He kept straining, listening, reaching, playing, mostly not getting it. I sat there, in front row seats of the war memorial opera house, silently rooting, praying for whatever god gave him glimpses of what is always all around us, to give him a break.

In 2.5 hours of playing, we had the sublime privilege to hear ten minutes of real magic. The rest was . . . variable. You could see it in his face.

Why tell this? Well, jumping off buildings and flapping your arms in hope of flight tends to go very badly. But once in awhile, just for an immeasurable moment, you get a little air.

Don’t sweat the not great stuff. It is the stuff you have to play through to find the magical stuff.

Best regards,
Ed

Offline robertpcoble

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #79 on: December 31, 2021, 08:22:15 AM »
I know I'm "Crazy" but not crazy enough to try to play 2.5 hours of 'totally improvised in the moment' music. Kudos to Keith Jarret for even attempting it - mega kudos for doing it live in front of an audience!

The best I've ever done is about 4 minutes. I was practicing with my older brother on keyboards, with an upright bass player and a guitarist. We started just 'noodling', tossing in whatever seemed appropriate, sometimes quoting a short riff from some known song, but generally just letting the music flow through us without having a particular destination in mind. Everybody was inspired to play something on the spur of the moment - it felt magical! At the end, the guitarist asked, "What was that song?" I replied, "Make It Up As You Go!" None of us preplanned any of what we played. Serendipitously, we were recording our practice session; I have the song on a CD somewhere.

It don't get any better than that for me!

Crazy Bob
 

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #80 on: December 31, 2021, 09:20:04 AM »
I really like to improv, but it can be unrewarding to the listener. Probably more of a reward for me.
And I have this feeling that it is Divine—some my best improv doesn’t seem to really come from me.

Offline robertpcoble

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #81 on: December 31, 2021, 12:48:42 PM »
My feeling about music and the Divine: I believe that music IS the language of the Divine. That's why it can create such wonderful feelings in mere humans. Ecstasy with no bad side effects!

Crazy Bob

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #82 on: December 31, 2021, 12:58:48 PM »
Taste varies.
I just played this clip for my beloved.
https://youtu.be/SHKRb8me7OU
She was less than enthusiastic.
I liked it, anyway.

Offline zvigrunb

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #83 on: January 01, 2022, 11:06:44 AM »
Taste varies.
I just played this clip for my beloved.
https://youtu.be/SHKRb8me7OU
She was less than enthusiastic.
I liked it, anyway.

I found it very pleasing.
They sound great to me
"Live long and prosper",
Tzvika

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #84 on: January 01, 2022, 11:13:37 AM »
The Bulgarian Gals routinely do a thing where they all hit unison, then half of them shift to a semitone above.
Amazingly, it sounds in tune!

Offline Doug

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #85 on: January 01, 2022, 06:46:37 PM »
Taste varies.
I just played this clip for my beloved.
https://youtu.be/SHKRb8me7OU
She was less than enthusiastic.
I liked it, anyway.
I really enjoyed this too and ended up listening to more on YouTube.
Every noble work is at first impossible. - Thomas Carlyle

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #86 on: January 01, 2022, 07:08:16 PM »
From Wikipedia:
Quote
The distinctive sounds of women's choirs in Bulgarian folk music come from their unique rhythms, harmony and vocal production. Characteristic polyphony, such as the use of close intervals like the major second and the singing of a drone accompaniment underneath the melody, are especially common in songs from the Shope region around the Bulgarian capital Sofia and the Pirin region (Bulgarian Macedonia).

Offline wolfman

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Re: Improvisation (the next step up)
« Reply #87 on: January 01, 2022, 07:31:16 PM »
Check Email Gary.

  Roman