I can do variations of my first section but when i go about developing: or i play the new section, but then i don't remember most of the first one; or keep repeting mentaling the first one while trying to make the new section, but my rhythm goes very slow and choppy.

I play the hand whistle, know how to play the diatonic scale but most of the time i go atonalic.

1 Answer 1


One common problem

The most common reason I've encountered for this kind of problem is that the music being created is too complex to remember.

When improvising, there are so many details to keep track of that our memory easily gets overwhelmed when we want to return to an earlier part of the music or create a new one.

A good exercise

The remedy is to practice very simple phrases that are remembered with little to no effort. This might mean only one or two notes, if that's what it takes. And the simplicity applies both to the notes and the rhythms. But by using these easily remembered musical materials, one can practice the act of memory while improvising.

  • Improvise an easily remembered musical gesture.
  • Improvise a second easily remembered musical gesture.
  • Replay the first gesture.
  • Add a third.
  • Replay the first and second.
  • Etc.

Another good exercise

Another improvisation/memory exercise I like is to:

  1. Create a brief melody.
  2. Replay the melody, then extend it with something new.
  3. Replay only the new part, then extend that with something new.
  4. Replay only the most recent new part, then extend it with something new.
  5. Etc.

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