Composition in real time, during performance

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46
votes
17answers
2k views

Ways to get out of a scalar rut?

I'm a well versed and experienced guitarist. I have a decent sense for rhythm and melody, but I have a VERY hard time with soloing. I know you've heard it all before.. I'm one of those guys that got ...
23
votes
6answers
1k views

How to start playing by ear/improvising?

Up till now I've been playing music from the sheet, and eventually I've grown frustrated how after 3 years of playing I can't even play Jingle Bells if I'm asked to without figuring it out from a ...
18
votes
6answers
19k views

How to know what notes/chords go together while improvising?

This is 3 questions in one, so it might take a slightly involved answer, or some good links. I'm a very good classical pianist, but I skipped theory entirely in my early days and learned to play well ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

How to escape the C Major trap when improvising on the piano

I play/practice the piano for some decades and when improvising (Jazz, Romantic, and sometimes even Baroque), I observe a certain magnetism of the C Major key. I'm able to play scales, arpeggios, ...
16
votes
4answers
472 views

Where can I get started with my improvisation?

I have been playing the alto saxophone for a while now. I have also improvised from time to time and have some theoretical and practical background on the instrument, harmony, scales, etc. I have ...
14
votes
4answers
644 views

Mental approach to improvisation

Improvisation for guitar is a fairly well-covered topic, with good resources to be found within multiple contexts (Web, traditional literature, etc). However, most of what I've read is basically ...
14
votes
10answers
692 views

How do you avoid falling into the same patterns every time you improvise?

I think every player that tries to improvise gets to a point where he starts playing things out of memory without focusing too much on the ideas in his head. It happens to me all the time. I just hate ...
12
votes
6answers
481 views

My ear is not very well trained - what can I look for as easy hints when trying to identify a ii-V-I progression in blues music?

I'm looking to learn how to better analyze music I am listening to, and I'm having problems identifying ii-V-I progressions, especially when they're the basis for improvisation. What are some hints or ...
11
votes
4answers
451 views

What to play instead of chords with an informal group?

I typically play guitar with an informal group and we mostly play traditional and old-timey songs. When I am not soloing I usually just play the chord progression of the song. Recently however I ...
11
votes
5answers
513 views

Why do jamming musicians “trade fours” (rather than any other number)?

I've run across the idea of "trading fours" when playing in (and listening to) jazz groups; i.e. where two or more musicians take it in turns to play four bar licks or solos. I understand that it can ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Breaking out of pentatonic scales for guitar riffs

I've been playing guitar for about 9 years now. From a young age, my teachers focused a lot on pentatonic scales. So that's what I'm defaulting to when improvising, soloing, writing stuff, etc. ...
10
votes
4answers
507 views

Theory of improvisation

I am looking for improvisation theory ressources. I mainly focus on free jazz and improvised music but I am also interested in dance, drama and pictural improvisation. I want to know if a ...
9
votes
3answers
312 views

How to develop soloing vocabulary

Background: My first guitar teacher used to show me small licks or note patterns that had that special quality of arousing interest during a solo improvisation. They were essentially "tools" in my ...
9
votes
6answers
236 views

How to close the gap between ideas and capabilities when improvising?

I'm a drumset player. I just finished a B.A. in Percussion Performance, marched 4 years of DCI drum & bugle corps, and am now working on a degree in jazz studies. As I've begun to play more and ...
8
votes
3answers
604 views

Incorporating modes in solos

I have been playing and improvising quite happily for many years on a few different instruments but can't seem to get my head around incorporating modes into my day-to-day playing. I am from a blues ...
8
votes
5answers
4k views

What is a good guitar solo to learn in the minor scale?

I am starting to play and improvise in the minor scale, and I would like to learn some guitar solos that are good examples of this scale so that I see how other people use it. What are some famous ...
8
votes
2answers
327 views

Finding the “Starting point” when creating a composition or score

This is a fairly simple one, and hopefully not too wide-open to be permitted here: what approaches are available when sitting at a fresh screen or sheet of paper, or at your instrument, to create the ...
7
votes
5answers
422 views

Comfortable notes in a key

I've been playing guitar for some time, and often when i do improvisation exercises, I hit notes which sound too tense to finish a run/lick/riff on. Kind of like having a sentence which no full stop. ...
6
votes
6answers
375 views

Guitar solo techniques

I have been playing guitar for a while now and I've decided (after playing with a guy I know and seeing how expressive his solos are) that I need to improve my improvisation. My improvisations are ...
6
votes
1answer
44 views

How much of classical Arabic maqam music is improvised?

I am listening to a piece of music sung in maqam bayat (or bayati). It's Psalm 126, which is 7 verses long, but the piece takes about 10 minutes and sounds very improvisatory. This is similar to ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

What is a good solo to learn in the Dorian mode?

I understand that Dorian is a commonly used mode in rock. I am starting to play / improvise in the mode and would like to learn some guitar solos that are good examples of this scale so that I see how ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What is a good solo to learn in the major scale?

I am starting to play / improvise in the major scale and would like to learn some guitar solos that are good examples of this scale so that I see how other people use it. What are some famous solos in ...
5
votes
2answers
205 views

Basic bass patterns for improvisation on piano

I'm playing the piano a little bit and totally just for fun without any big ambitions. I often improvise, playing some pattern for the left hand which will stay the same (well, the chords obviously ...
4
votes
6answers
411 views

Improvisation on Piano

I've been playing the piano for around 7 years now. I took some lessons when I first started, but other than that I haven't had any lessons. In other words I'm pretty much self-taught. I have a good ...
4
votes
1answer
644 views

How much baroque music was derived from improvisation?

I've heard that much music we think of as "baroque" was actually improvised, and only later set in stone. Is this true? I'm currently playing baroque-style continuo/bass lines in a duo that riffs ...
4
votes
1answer
551 views

Joik - traditional Sami songs from northern Sweden and Finland

I have some questions about the traditional Sami singing, Joiken, which is practiced in the northern parts of Sweden, Finland and Norway. I learned that you don't joik about something, but you joik ...
4
votes
5answers
887 views

Developing a good practice routine for piano improvisation with a band

I have been playing the piano for 2 years now and I can play some of my favorite pieces through sheet music and a lot of time. I have also been singing in a band for quite some years and want to ...
4
votes
1answer
155 views

Moving away from basic improvisation - electric guitar

I'm not sure where to go and what to do when it comes to improvising. I know a fair amount of scales and guitar techniques and yet my improvisations all sound very...'pentatonic'. That is a very ...
4
votes
1answer
429 views

How can I improve my fingering on the saxophone in the high notes and overtones?

I have a couple of months working on my improvisation and I'm having some issues with fast passages on the saxophone's higher notes and overtones (starting from D with the left hand palm). I'm ...
4
votes
2answers
577 views

Software for practicing the reading of jazz chord changes?

There are now a lot of good programs out for sight-reading, simple chord progression recognition, and for jazz, even some backing track creators. But is there a program that generates chord changes ...
3
votes
6answers
3k views

How to learn piano improvisation

I am a self-taught piano player, played for about five years with shorter and longer breaks. I've never had any formal education, don't know chords or music theory. What should I do to learn piano ...
3
votes
2answers
485 views

Steve Gaines and Ed King… Love their playing, have a hard time emulating it…

Another question that's been puzzling me for a while. I love Steve Gaines playing but I find it impossible to improvise in his style, especially the style he plays in I Know A Little. I also love ...
3
votes
2answers
343 views

what are the “reference” books about improvisation and specifically guitar?

I would like to explore the world of improvisation, but I am a little lost. I know the basics about theory, I have notion of intervals, scales and chords, but I am willing to develop myself with ear ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Bass-guitar online exercises for not-beginner

I'm an intermediate bass guitarist, and I want to improve my left arm fingers work, and improvisation during bass solo. I think I should learn not only by simply remember some tabs by famous bass ...
3
votes
4answers
395 views

How to keep ANY progress and have fun again

Actually I'm not even sure where to start. I play (mostly acoustic) guitar for about 4 year now and at the beginning (lets say 2 first years of playing) I was really inspired but now I kinda lost it. ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Approach to learning arpeggios for chord-tone soloing

I am looking to improve in soloing and improvisation. I have learned the CAGED patterns in diatonic scale and their corresponding pentatonic patterns. I have stuck with them for years, but I've ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

“Breaking through the wall” with guitar speed and accuracy

I'm really struggling with improving my hand speed in both hands while keeping the accuracy, anyone got anything that really worked for them that they would recommend?
2
votes
2answers
132 views

Tips for starting with improvisation on guitar, with a focus on metal?

I want to improvise! Make solos and stuff! and maybe it will help my transcribing too yea? I know there are various other questions about this but i wanted to ask my own. I know it can sort of be a ...
1
vote
4answers
451 views

Improvisation on Major and relative minor scales

I'm aware that A Minor is the relative key to C Major but how does this change the methods for improvising? Would you use the Pentatonic as you would with C Major or are there other scales which can ...
1
vote
2answers
158 views

How to follow the lyric to strum in guitar [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I play (and sing) a chord pattern song? I am wondering how do I follow the lyric and strumming at the same time when I looking at the chords on the top of the ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

Correct terminology for this genre and type of performance [closed]

I'm trying to find a venue that has a DJ/musician that makes the music live. For example ...
0
votes
4answers
120 views

Is there any kind of jam helper application? [closed]

Is there was an application which facilitates jamming in some way. I saw a few back tracks generators which allow you to select chords and measures to play them and I wonder if there is something ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Improvisers notable for their alternate stylistic approaches [closed]

Who are the most known improvisers for being successful in playing in many different ways? I'm interested in performances where improviser would be not immediately recognizable for his otherwise well ...
0
votes
1answer
122 views

Methods for improvisation practice (beginner)

Suppose we start with an idea, a three note motive. We want to practice improvisation skills by playing this motive over the form. That is, all phrases must be constructed with specific relation of ...