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Questions tagged [improvisation]

For question about spontaneous composing in real time, typically during performance.

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Improvising if I don't hear anything in my "mind's ear"?

Ever since I recently discovered my total aphantasia, I've been really curious as to whether or not I can achieve musical success. Part of this, at least to me, is creating music. So far I've learned (...
Shatner_78's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
99 views

Can I Learn Ear Training Without the Ability to Audiate?

I asked a question a couple days ago along the lines of "can I become a pro musician if I can't audiate?", which was rightly met with some opposition. I appreciate the responses I got on ...
Shatner_78's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
108 views

How to play over add 11, 9 etc chords

How do u approach improvising. Over extended chords like c 11 chords eg. I ask because I struggle soloing over them on jazz tunes
Areze's user avatar
  • 353
0 votes
2 answers
82 views

Singing improvisation when the band plays low

I tend to go to jams with other musicians and sing (improvise). On such events musicians often play blues/rock on quite low-pitch scales, which is a difficult place for me being a mezzosoprane voice. ...
Sara's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
99 views

Major chords on bass guitar

So I've been playing the bass for about a year and a half, I play most nights and play with friends as often as I can. Until now I have only played songs I can get tab for, and spend time learning it ...
Diego's user avatar
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12 votes
8 answers
2k views

Is all this modal theory for guitarists truly necessary?

A common strategy to learning to improvise is to learn modes. On quite a few different guitar sites (source), I've found a strategy presented that goes like this: Learn all the modes in a parent key....
nuggethead's user avatar
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4 votes
5 answers
328 views

Improvisation and Jamming - the Similarities and Differences

I've been discussing with musos what similarities and differences there are between improvising and jamming. There seems to be a lot of vagueness here. Some say that improvisation is one player making ...
Tim's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
80 views

Why do i keep forgeting the sections while improvising?

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 ...
nailahammer's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
97 views

Help me to understand more interesting improv techniques [duplicate]

Question for all, doesn't have to be specific to jazz. I love to improvise, and I'm definitely not new to it. This is something that I have been doing for many years. I'm in a bit of a rut at the ...
Alfy's user avatar
  • 41
2 votes
0 answers
36 views

specifics on modal playing, or emphasizing an underlying chord

i've been reading a lot about modal playing, perhaps that which is derived from modal Jazz. the sources i've been reading & watching seem split about the notes/scale & which to emphasize. some ...
beadgcf90's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
323 views

What Does Vertical and Horizontal Improvisation Mean?

In a question from around 8 years ago, one answer quoted jazz and rock/blues as using vertical and horizontal improvising, respectively. Never heard those terms. What are they representing?
Tim's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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What does it mean to play "behind" or "in front" of a root scale note [closed]

I've been playing bass for a couple of years now, learning mostly from tabs. Now I've turned to actually trying to learn more than robotically copying bass lines without understanding them. I've ...
Tod Fletcher's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
476 views

How do i solo with both scale and chords? [closed]

I know how to play pentatonic, major and minor scale. The question in solo i have chord progression like: C G Am F. Then i play C major scale, i could play are C major chord in all shapes. But how ...
TomSawyer's user avatar
  • 143
1 vote
3 answers
199 views

Jazz Piano: Progressing to hand independence

I can improvise relatively freely over standards when using a moderate variety of voicings in the left hand. I can improvise basslines reasonably well over right hand voicings. Given I'm a ...
Futilitarian's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
525 views

Why is a soloist using an E major triad over a G major 7 chord?

I've just transcribed the trumpet solo in the following recording: http://www.sierramusicmp3.com/mp3/newmp3s/Heat%20of%20the%20Day,%20The%20(UNT).mp3 At around 5:20 the soloist plays an E major triad ...
Tim2357's user avatar
  • 49
0 votes
1 answer
218 views

How to compose for 5 notes/two octaves

I am playing a ngoni, a 10 string gourd harp. I have been happily playing various traditional African songs, but I want to progress to writing/improvisation. It seems like with the traditional setups (...
Ben's user avatar
  • 63
4 votes
7 answers
2k views

Does practicing set pieces on the piano lead to the ability to improvise or play accompaniment?

I am thinking of somebody whose entire musical training consists of playing from sheet music. He goes though all Bach, Beethoven, etc. and eventually becomes good enough for Carnegie Hall. He is ...
poppycat's user avatar
  • 211
1 vote
2 answers
168 views

How do you play these parts?

I don't know much about music theory but this part seems to require you to improvise or something (1st & 2nd link) , if so how do you learn to improvise something like this, where to start and ...
Tg Vy's user avatar
  • 13
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Playing Am pentatonic scale over A blues chord progression

I had a guitar entrance exam yesterday regarding improvisation. The guy put on a A blues backing track and told me to improvise. As I'm not a blues guy myself, I went and improvised on the A major ...
Sapper's user avatar
  • 115
14 votes
7 answers
3k views

What do you have to do to sound like you're improvising when you're actually reading from sheet music?

There are several reasons I often can't think fast enough to improvise a trumpet solo live over an unfamiliar set of chord changes, things like: if there are upper extensions on the chord (e.g. #9, ...
Brian THOMAS's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
79 views

Composing romantic pieces

I am a fan of the organist Wolfgang Seifen. Recently, he played a piece which fascinated me: An arabesque in the style of German romanticism. (Hear it) Being myself interested in improvisation, I did ...
user7427029's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is Gould playing extra notes in Bach's Toccata in C Minor, and if so, why?

In Glenn Gould's recording of Bach's Toccata in C Minor, it sounds like he modifies the melody in the the right hand to add two extra notes You can hear it here. Is this just a Gould improvisation, ...
Steve Bennett's user avatar
0 votes
5 answers
210 views

To add chords to a song, is playing the chord that carries the melody equivalent to playing the melodic note as note 1, 3 or 5 of the chord?

When I was learning how to play songs on piano by ear, I didn't know how to add chords to a song melody. What I found on videos and on the Web was that you select a chord that carries the melodic ...
Allan Jeong's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
93 views

What applications did distant modulations typically have in the 18th century?

Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, in his treatise on thoroughbass (p. 60 of this edition), gives a neat little table of modulations from C Major into many other keys. Some of these keys, such as B Major, ...
Kim Fierens's user avatar
  • 2,347
6 votes
6 answers
2k views

Is it practical to be able to quickly jump to another octave in another position while still remaining in key, without having to do much thought?

This question is going to seem weird, so I will do my best to describe the problem. Are musicians able to jump to any arbitrary note without giving it much thought and not go out of key? Assume for ...
Water's user avatar
  • 161
6 votes
2 answers
438 views

When realizing a basso continuo, should the realization avoid consecutive fifths and octaves with the written parts?

Many continuo manuals (both historical sources and modern treatises) are careful to point out that a continuo realization should be contrapuntally correct, i.e., one ought to avoid parallel fifths and ...
Kim Fierens's user avatar
  • 2,347
2 votes
3 answers
544 views

What to do with my left hand when jamming with other musicians?

So I'm an intermediate-ish keyboard player who's been playing very irregularly for the past three years, all self taught. I have recently started taking it more seriously and found a group of people I ...
Stratos supports the strike's user avatar
24 votes
5 answers
3k views

What does one need to know to learn to improvise with other musicians?

I came across the following video on YouTube in which two random people play the same piano together and to me it sounds really amazing. It's something that I couldn't do myself if someone started ...
lunisolar's user avatar
  • 423
7 votes
1 answer
143 views

Who was the first to teach jazz improvisation with an approach that matches scales to chords?

I'm reading George Russell's Lydian Chromatic Concept right now, and I'm trying to better understand its place (and his) in the history of jazz theory. Was he the first to posit this improvisational ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.7k
2 votes
3 answers
321 views

How do I learn to improvise outside of the jazz realm?

I'm a classically trained pianist and I've spent a lot of time in the last year or two really learning the blues. I've worked through some of my favorite pieces and it's safe to say I can now rip a 12 ...
eubio's user avatar
  • 355
3 votes
4 answers
256 views

To what extent is music mentally internalized with respect to the original key it was learned in?

This question was prompted by two phenomena I've encountered as a 24yo self-taught jazz musician of 2 years who is committed to playing entirely by ear. A large fraction of people, myself included, ...
Will Snyder's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
294 views

Usage of Melodic Minor instead of Harmonic Minor on Secondary Dominant

Recently I watched this video which discusses secondary dominants and specifically for the case of A II - V - I in the key of C. They play a secondary dominant for the II chord, so they are playing an ...
cuppajoeman's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
390 views

How to play outside over a major 7 chord?

What are some (fusion-like) options to temporarily play outside over a major 7 chord? E.g. if I improvise over Am7 - Fmaj7 in A aeolian, what are some options to escape F lydian or such and sound ...
Marion's user avatar
  • 251
4 votes
3 answers
448 views

How do I learn jazz on piano? [duplicate]

I am very interested in learning piano but more specifically jazz. I really like the way people can just improvise. I know that I would not be easy but I would like to know what the best book or ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 41
7 votes
4 answers
621 views

Improvising with modes and over "advanced" chords

Say I'm playing along to a jam track in C major. From my understanding, this means that C Ionian, D Dorian, E Phrygian etc. would work. My question is: How do I bring out the flavor/characteristic of ...
Kasper Jordt's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
221 views

Is there a miniature handheld/lap acoustic piano? (not electronic) [closed]

So as I understand it a piano works by the keys pulling strings that make hammers ring bells based on how hard you hit them. I would guess that would be quite a sophisticated instrument. I myself have ...
Jack's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes
2 answers
206 views

How to identify notes in a key that sound better while improvising?

I learned all the chords and their inversions. I'm pretty slow with inversions yet but I'm trying as hard as I can! Now I started to improvise with my right hand a little bit (omg this is so fun!). So ...
Jacob's user avatar
  • 365
2 votes
3 answers
526 views

Improvising: can't play what I hear (internally)

When I play jazz/pop, I struggle to get the musical thoughts I "hear" in my head out onto my instrument. I can tell that what I've played isn't what I wanted to play, but I don't know how to ...
abelian's user avatar
  • 699
2 votes
1 answer
207 views

Improvising Chord Progressions

Usually when playing along with jazz standards we check out the changes before we start, the changes define the song. I was wondering if it is possible to not have a predetermined set of changes ...
cuppajoeman's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
342 views

What is the full form of cont. RH solo and its meaning?

Sorry for my naivety, this is my first time posting here. Does cont. stand for contrary motion for the right hand wrt to the left hand?? I'm playing a song and there's this improvisation for an ...
Ishan.J's user avatar
  • 340
5 votes
1 answer
596 views

Modes — C Lydian feels like G Ionian [duplicate]

I've been studying modes recently and since I have a piano, tried to experiment with them by improvising simple tunes. My problem is that as soon as I use something else that Ionian, my perception of ...
Jivan's user avatar
  • 163
2 votes
11 answers
946 views

How do you develop the ability to express yourself via your instrument (e.g. guitar for my case) [duplicate]

I understand this question may be very broad and the answer may be very complex or allusive in nature. I hope I can get a little guidance from true musicians like you. Last night I watched Ralph ...
mofury's user avatar
  • 475
13 votes
5 answers
4k views

How to find scales to improvise with for "How Insensitive" by Jobim

I am pretty new to improvisation. So far I have improvised over a 2 5 1 change using the diatonic 7th chords and the underlying scale tones that fit in with that chord. I am playing on a guitar. As a ...
cuppajoeman's user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
2k views

How to break out of playing scales up and down when improvising

I play piano, and when I am playing a gospel or a blues song, I always improvise with my right hand. I have been practicing major scales and pentatonic scales for a while now, and when I play, i ...
Ricky Bascom's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
268 views

what do IV or a I or a III with a 3 or 5 above it mean?

I am a professional organist who has been self -teaching improvisation from an organ improvisation textbook by Marcel Dupre, titled "Complete Course in Organ Improvisation, volume 1." At ...
Isabella Leonarda's user avatar
3 votes
5 answers
349 views

Songwriting and improvisation HowTos

Are there any actual rules of how to write music? I mean there're guides everywhere in the Internet like "so you have scale, shapes of scale, chord progression over scale - let's go, do whatever ...
randomhuman's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
228 views

How would you finger this arpeggio on guitar?

What would be your approach for right-hand-fingering this arpeggio pattern with classical guitar or fingerstyle technique (no pick)? I've tried out several approaches, being this one the most ...
Juan Luis's user avatar
  • 501
0 votes
7 answers
318 views

Which minor scale/mode do you use to harmonize the chords, when improvising in minor key?

When improvising in minor key (let's say classical harmony, non-modal), I guess the minor melodic scales (asc. and desc.) are used to play, well, the melody (hence the name melodic?). Or is the ...
Basj's user avatar
  • 471
0 votes
3 answers
352 views

Which instrument allows for more natural improvisation of melodies? [closed]

For example, when there is a song playing, it is relatively easy to hum or whistle an improvised melody over it, while on a piano you would have to know which keys to press. A kazoo kinda allows the ...
Emílio Dolgener Cantú's user avatar
7 votes
10 answers
3k views

I can't create even a guitar lick when playing over a backing track

I am a guitar student. I have this problem trying to play over backing track. For example, when playing over a backing track, I will play the 4 notes of a preferred scale on first and second strings, ...
Eliz Ho's user avatar
  • 139

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