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Questions tagged [improvisation]

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

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How do I incorporate chromatic mediants in my playing?

I've been reading about chromatic mediants for the last year, and I like the idea of them and lots of composers I admire use them (Danny Elfman, John Williams, Philip Glass), but I'm not sure how to ...
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4answers
430 views

How to avoid following the rhythm while soloing or improvising melodies?

I'm enjoying improvising melodies over simple chord progressions. I record a simple strumming pattern and bass line with my loop station and just play. However, no matter how creative I find my notes, ...
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2answers
71 views

How to improvise and play chords across the guitar neck?

I want to start playing melodies and chords across the whole neck and escape the prison that is the first 4-5 frets, but I don't know a systematic way of learning how to do that. I thought of learning ...
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0answers
59 views

Melodic minor and the ii chord

I am curious about the following. If you look at the Melodic Minor scale (ascending) it is really just Dorian with a major 7th. In Jazz we do not alter this mode when descending. In classical ...
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1answer
71 views

Can any melody / motif be turned into a good sounding melody? (Theoretical and practical question.) [closed]

I've read and experienced and I noticed that rhythm, rest placing and even very minor (no pun inteded) changes to the melody, for example some flat or sharp can change it drastically. My question is ...
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1answer
136 views

How do video game music composers make so many songs for one game? Are all of them some sort of musical talent / genius?

I love video game soundtracks from to 8-bit ones to the very orchestral pieces but it's not clear to me how they can make so many songs for one game. Even if there are motifs which can help make ...
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1answer
106 views

What chords does Rule of the Octave use?

Rule of the Octave seems to have been fazed out from music. But I find it really interesting as greats such as Bach, Mozart, etc used it to improvise and make music. Also today's musicians that focus ...
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1answer
69 views

Example of Partimento for improvisation?

I was watching this video about improvisation on partimento. In the video in the bottom I see terms such as Parstorella, Clausula ottocento, Scalino 7.1, Phantom Lancia, Queiscenza 1. What are those ...
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2answers
91 views

Bass line or chord progressions as a basis for improvisation?

I was reading how the Baroque period made bass lines as the basis for their improvisation. This is in contrast with today's chord progressions that are the basis of jazz improvisation. I'm wondering ...
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2answers
132 views

Did Bach use the Partimento technique?

I was researching techniques used in classical improvisation. And I keep coming across two terms. One is "Partimento". Which is an Italian method of improvising on a bass line. Another is "The Rule of ...
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4answers
161 views

Jazz improvisation on descending chord progression

The challenge on this topic is Jazz improvisation scales and ideas on the following chord progression: C#maj7 - Cmaj7 - Bmaj7 - Bbmaj7 So 4 chords are descending chromatically within 2 measures and ...
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2answers
98 views

Are weird chord types a byproduct of improvising and sound?

Say we have on one hand the basic chords of triads (major/minor) and sevenths. And then on the other hand we have less common chords like sus4,add9,augmented,diminished,six chords,extended chords, ...
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2answers
152 views

What are the most important chord types? [closed]

I've mainly been practicing triads (major/minor) and sevenths (major/minor/dominant) as I think those are the most important chords. If this is wrong, please let me know. I mainly play pop songs on ...
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5answers
73 views

Practicing including riffs into improv?

I can learn riffs pretty easily, but I have a hard time remembering to work them into my improv. Do you have any good techniques/tips?
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4answers
128 views

In what situations can a seventh be substituted for a triad?

My understanding is that a dominant seventh can be substituted when going from V to I. so V7 to I. But are there any other situations where a seventh chord can be substituted for a triad? I'm mainly ...
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3answers
119 views

How to practice sevenths?

I'm trying to figure out a good way to add sevenths to my practice. One thing I did with triads is I'd take a scale, and then starting from each note in the scale play the arpeggio for the ...
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5answers
134 views

How do I improvise over the V7 chord in minor?

I've been working on a number of traditional jazz tunes in minor keys, and they often resolve V7 > i During the V7 chord when improvising I feel pretty confused as to what notes to use. I end up ...
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1answer
31 views

Asymmetric ease of improvisation during modulation

I've been learning about modes, and one thing I was interested in at first was to change modes while improvising (to get to know them better technically as well as to have a better understanding of ...
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6answers
2k views

What are the secrets of jamming that jazz musicians use? [closed]

There are many ways of playing "Autumn Leaves". How do jazz musicians know what version to play (there are many versions of the chord progressions for this song)? What are their secrets to a ...
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3answers
175 views

In which music should I add my own embellishments?

I know that music from the baroque era was composed with the assumption that performers would add their own embellishments (when viable, not for canons or fugues). I've also heard that Mozart didn't ...
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2answers
47 views

Improvise with delay to a non-metronome played piece

I was wondering, is it possible to play guitar, improvise, with delay to a piece where no musician plays to a metronome. Not the drummer, not anyone else. How can the guitarist know what to set the ...
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1answer
182 views

Why does only jazz emphasize improvisation and theory? [closed]

I like how jazz emphasizes theory and improvisation. But I'm wondering why don't other genres of music do this to? I did see that there's classical improvisation but that's about it, also the ...
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4answers
234 views

I'm stuck in diatonic land. How do I get out?

I've been playing a lot of diatonic everything. So basically just staying in the scale as I improvise with melody/chords. I play alot of songs by ear and I notice when they use accidentals but I don't ...
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4answers
106 views

How do I add a solo section (chord progression) to Real Book lead sheet?

Is there an easy way (for beginners) to add a solo section to a piece of music, like a lead sheet from the Real Book? I am thinking in terms of a chord progression. Would I repeat a progression from ...
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4answers
615 views

How do I find people to jam with in my city?

I've been going to my local music store to jam with people in the synthesizer section and guitar section. Aside from that, what other places/hacks have you found to jam with people in your area?
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6answers
844 views

How to create harmonic dissonance/tension?

If I'm playing in a major scale, would a harmonic dissonance be caused by going to the minor side of the chords (ii, iii, vi) or would it be created from going outside my scale? And if it's going ...
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4answers
226 views

Piano improvisation: are you conscious of everything you’re doing?

For improvisers: do you always have a set of possibilities for what you’re going to do next and make a choice as you’re playing? Do you think for instance “I’m in this scale so those notes will ...
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1answer
124 views

How to add lead guitar part to basic vocal/rhythm guitar song?

If my friend wrote a basic (rock/country ish) song over some guitar chords, any advice on how to add a lead guitar part? I.e. more than playing a pentatonic scale in same key as rhythm? Sorry it's a ...
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6answers
1k views

Piano questions from a former bass player: Is it better to think in note names or think in intervals?

So I was a (mostly Funk/Jazz) bass player for a long time, and as a bass player, I had a strong understanding of music theory. The reason that I had such a strong practical/intuitive understanding of ...
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4answers
192 views

How do You Internalize a Song Progression While Soloing?

Here's my problem. I hear a song and I can immediately hear a solo in my head, even anticipating chord changes. It's beautiful. Everything goes to sh*t when I actually start soloing. The song ...
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1answer
76 views

Term for improvisation (or Melody) based on specific intervals, not notes?

Is there a term for melodic improvisation where only specific intervals are taken into consideration? As an example, Beginning on C, the player then has the option of moving either up or down, (Or ...
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3answers
212 views

How Can I Make my Solos Sound Like an Actual Song?

What's wrong I know the chord shapes in my progression (G C G Am D G), the scale pattern underneath and I know the song I'm playing by heart. And yet - while I start soloing the song is gone. I can't ...
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7answers
1k views

How to practice guitar improvisation?

How to practice improvisation on guitar? How did you learn improvisation? What should I practice, how should I practice? I want to lift my guitar playing to a new level, because I'm little bored of ...
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2answers
220 views

What is Chris Potter playing here?

NB: This is all in Tenor Sax key (Bb), not Concert I've been mulling over the following excerpt of a Chris Potter solo on the tune "Just One Of Those Things," I find it probably the most harmonically ...
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5answers
2k views

Can the I IV V chords harmonize any major scale melody?

Are the primary chords of the major scale (I IV V) enough to make any major scale melody sound good? These chords together seem to encompass all 7 notes of the key. I ask this because as I'm learning ...
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2answers
140 views

Are Guitar Patterns an Absolute Necessity for Improvisation?

Box Patterns I learned to play guitar like everyone else using box patterns. That worked for a bit. The boxes were getting in my way of "true musical improvisation". Usually making it hard to connect ...
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1answer
160 views

Indicating the expectation for improvised rhythmic ornamentation

I'm currently transcribing some baroque guitar music. For some pieces the performer is expected to improvise a rhythmic ornamentation, e.g., for a notated quarter note you are free to play several ...
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1answer
194 views

Harmony/chords in right hand, melody in left hand?

I'm wondering what it's called when the melody sounds lower than the harmony. Is there a special name for it and is this a common technique?
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2answers
141 views

Improvisation from four notes in a hat

I've just watched this cute video of a girl improvising a piano song based on a 4 notes which are taken randomly from a hat. I did a quick search on the internet to see if this is a common concept, ...
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4answers
608 views

Are there “rules” for improvising with the minor pentatonic scale over 12-bar shuffle?

I'm learning Justin Guitar's beginner's course and just reached the blues improvisation lesson. I know the notes in the A minor pentatonic scale. To improvise with someone playing A minor 12-bar blues ...
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2answers
161 views

I have a pretty decent formation on piano and music theory but I find it difficult to perform vocal accompaniments

I have studied classical music for a few years. I have a good understanding of basic harmony and I can play some pieces of acceptable difficulty on the piano (sonatas by Mozart or Beethoven, nocturnes ...
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4answers
1k views

As a trained, advanced classical pianist, what is the best way to learn how to improvise?

I would like to learn to improvise in different styles, including but not limited to jazz. For a classical music pianist with good technique and several years of experience, what is my best place to ...
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3answers
166 views

Improvisation and flow

So I'm playing jazz guitar for a year now. I know all "important" theory like scales, chords and their roles in a tune, etc. I used to practice hearing, like playing the first note and singing the ...
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4answers
283 views

Descending Minor7♭5 Introduction/Motif Questions

Some jazz arrangements that I've heard use a motif(?) where a series of descending minor chords are played, starting on the #iv of the major scale. For example, in the key of D, the progression is as ...
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2answers
800 views

Improvising a Solo with Both Hands

I'm a intermediate piano player aiming to improve my improvised jazz soloing. Normally, I play in a smaller group with a minimal rhythm section (just piano & drums), so I'm the only one playing ...
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2answers
475 views

Confusion about mixing major and minor pentatonic

I'm trying to figure out something I don't know. I'm an elementary guitar player. I know how to improvise, I know chord progressions, the circle of fourths/fifths, intervals, etc. I know I7/IV7/V7, ...
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3answers
1k views

What to Play Over a Dominant 7#11?

I'm currently working on an arrangement of Christmas Time is here that is in the key of E. The first chord played in this arrangement is an Emaj7, followed by a D7#11 which is not diatonic to the ...
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2answers
131 views

Improvising chords when playing blues

Can you tell me what kind of chords should I add that would make my blues playing much more colourful? For example, when playing in the key of G minor, I usually play G min11, A dim7 that adds some ...
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5answers
1k views

How to efficiently jam as a guitarist with a drummer

So I am currently in somewhat of a ¨band¨ with my long time friend. He has recently learned how to drum, although he is almost prodigious for the amount of time he has put into it. My question is, how ...
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1answer
87 views

Guitar player, music theory and ear training enthusiast. I love to learn what other great players play [duplicate]

I am always interested in improving my musical ear. What is the best way to do this? I know this is a pretty vague question. I wish I knew how to be more specific. I would love to hear about your ...