The Secret To Fresh Sounding ImprovisationsThe Secret To Fresh Sounding Improvisations

I once had a student ask me how to improvise for more than a minute or two. He had some trouble keeping the music going for longer periods of time.

I told him that the problem wasn't with knowing enough material. He already knew how to play a few chords. It was his attitude - that the trying to come up with something was what was blocking the creative flow. This can be hard to understand. After all, aren't we supposed to "come up" with something? Isn't that what invention is all about? In a word - no.

Being present is the key to allowing the music to unfold. Blocks happen because we are not present to the moment. The minute you start thinking of anything else (actually, the minute you start thinking) is when the critical voice comes in. Improvisation is spontaneous creation within limits. Successful improvisations don't happen out of thin air.

Certain decisions are made AT THE BEGINNING. For example, I may find myself playing a D minor chord. This may happen completely at random with no prior decision being made. I can, in fact, gravitate towards a particular sound. However, as I am playing this chord, I look down at the keyboard and it occurs to me that this is a D minor chord. I know that if I start with this chord I could play an improvisation in the mode of D dorian. I have all the chords of this mode to use.

Now the game is an improvisation in the key of D dorian. I could stray and go into different tonalities, but I have made a preliminary decision that the improvisation will be in D dorian. This frees me up by allowing me to focus on just a few chords. Now, I can play for as long as I like.

There is no secret to keeping an improvisation going. Keeping it sounding fresh is another thing. I could play for hours if I wanted to using just the chords in the D dorian mode, but, I think I would want to stop playing when I became bored.

The secret to fresh improvisations is always to let the music tell you where it wants to go. You need to step out of the way and allow the music to happen.

by Edward Weiss
References and Bibliography

Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music's online piano lessons. He has been helping students learn how to play piano in the New Age style for over 14 years and works with students in private, in groups, and now over the internet. Stop by now at http://www.quiescencemusic.com/piano_lessons.html for a FREE piano lesson!

Rated:NR/0 Votes
5 Views
Add To My Article Reading List
Add To My Article Reading List
Print Article
Print
More Article By Edward Weiss
More Article by Edward Weiss
Share
More Articles From Music
More Articles From Music
Related Articles and Readings
How Many Chords Are There Anyway By: Duane Shinn
Since chords (the main component of harmony) are one of the three most vital elements of music ? the others being melody and rhythm ? it would be useful to know how many chords there are. And it doesn't matter whether you play piano or guitar or some other instrument ...
Learning to Play the Piano with Chords Part 2 By: Kemi Quinn
Do you want to learn how to play chords on the piano? Can you already read sheet music or basic notes on the treble and or bass clef?Do you look at the notes on a piece of sheet music and are unable to name the chords?Or do you look ...
Basic Guitar Chords How to Easily Master the Guitar Chords You Must Know By: Peter Bussey
One of the first challenges faced by the advancing guitar player is learning a core group of basic guitar chords. Why is it so important to learn these basic chords? Chords form the backbone of most rock and pop songs, and provide the harmonic accompaniment to the melody and ...
Learning To Play Piano Chords By: Ian G Williamson
If you are playing several notes at the same time, then you are playing piano chords. Simply put, when multiple notes are played together, piano chords are achieved. The chords then come together to form a melody. Every song that you hear has a melody and it is through each ...
How to Play Chords Like a Rock Star By: Keith Douglas
How fast is your switching between chords when working the frets Your ability to change chords with speed, and total confidence, is the basis to learning how to play the guitar, as well as creating and being able to play music with this ...
The information provided in this article and/or the comments is the sole responsibility of their respective authors and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of ezinepost.com. ezinepost.com  does not endorse any article and/or comments published by our web users unless otherwise noted. 

Member Panel

login to submit articles and more

StatisticsEZINEPOST.COM

  • » Active Categories: 419
  • » Active Articles:252096
  • » Active Authors:32163
  • » Active Members: 35787
  • » Statistics Updated:
    - Sat Aug 11th, 2018 01:04PM EST