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Improvisation


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What is improvisation? Where does it come from and why is it so tricky? 😁 It's like surfing, I imagine. You can be thrown off at any moment. It's very much about balance. Intuition, also.

 

I suck at improv quite a bit. I was never really focused on it before. Today I decided to try and improve my skills a little bit. 

 

Here's how it went:

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Channeling.

 

When you make a ‘mistake’ make it part of the song, when you ‘mess up’ you might have actually just found a new way of playing. 
 

Training is uncovering the creativity already within, uncovering your natural balancing power.

 

Feel the instrument, feel your body and it as your Body. Giving yourself to the music. 

 
 

I basically only focused on improvisation when playing an instrument, I never really enjoyed playing other peoples songs, but sometimes I do.


 

🤍🧠👀

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@Loop Interesting, thanks. I thought of it as 'channeling' before too. It really feels like that. I love how it's like you're carving a path, in the middle of nowhere, trying to arrive home. It's so satisfying when you land on a tasty note.

 

I was always focused on writing music. Since I can remember. I learned a few songs by my favorite bands too, but that was never really my main focus. It was always about creating something original. I always had everything written down, black on white, note for note. Rarely did I ever improvise a solo over my music. It was always 'predetermined'. And now I'm kinda starting to see the limitation of that. Would love to improve in this area.

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22 hours ago, ivankiss said:

You can be thrown off at any moment. It's very much about balance. Intuition, also.

 

I suck at improv quite a bit. I was never really focused on it before. Today I decided to try and improve my skills a little bit. 

 

Here's how it went:

A ‘you’ can be thrown in at any moment. Ivan is the spontaneous improvisation of infinite you. 

Great chops btw!

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22 hours ago, Phil said:

 Ivan is the spontaneous improvisation of infinite you. 

So, Ivan is a solo 😄 That's very cool.

 

23 hours ago, Phil said:

Great chops btw!

I feel like something's not quite there yet...it could be better. But thanks!

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@ivankiss

 

Indeed it is, on some level it is more enjoyable when you hit a nice juicy note but didn’t expect the sound it made, like a nice surprise. The Gift of the present. 
 

That’s awesome, I never taught myself to write sheet music, but defiantly something I am gonna get into. Right now I am mostly focused on designing sounds that I like with my effects boxes. Then I am gonna be more focused on writing melodies and harmonies. When I improvise I usually focus on song structure, like intro, verse, chorus, outro, etc, re-arranged in different ways to make different feeling structures. I find it really fun because it give me some structure to the improvisation when I am playing alone, but doesn’t concretely place any notes anywhere so you have to come up with the content. 
 

🤍🧠👀

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On 10/18/2022 at 2:55 PM, Loop said:

 

Indeed it is, on some level it is more enjoyable when you hit a nice juicy note but didn’t expect the sound it made, like a nice surprise. The Gift of the present. 

Exactly! So many things happen in music that can be directly linked to "real life". At leas I'm seeing it that way.

 

On 10/18/2022 at 2:55 PM, Loop said:

 

That’s awesome, I never taught myself to write sheet music, but defiantly something I am gonna get into. Right now I am mostly focused on designing sounds that I like with my effects boxes. Then I am gonna be more focused on writing melodies and harmonies. When I improvise I usually focus on song structure, like intro, verse, chorus, outro, etc, re-arranged in different ways to make different feeling structures. I find it really fun because it give me some structure to the improvisation when I am playing alone, but doesn’t concretely place any notes anywhere so you have to come up with the content. 
 

Sounds great. What instrument do you play?

I'm fascinated by sound design and I played around with it in the past, but its far from being my strength. I have some basic mixing and mastering skills, but even that has plenty of room for improvement left. Designing a sound from scratch though is another thing. I had a short little run in electronic music, mainly dnb and dubstep, and I tried to create my own sounds.... It was ok I guess, but far from being at a "pro level". It's a whole new world.

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6 hours ago, ivankiss said:

Exactly! So many things happen in music that can be directly linked to "real life". At leas I'm seeing it that way.


Synchronization Everywhere.

 

Look for who is in synch?

What do you find? 
🤍

 

6 hours ago, ivankiss said:

Sounds great. What instrument do you play?

I'm fascinated by sound design and I played around with it in the past, but its far from being my strength. I have some basic mixing and mastering skills, but even that has plenty of room for improvement left. Designing a sound from scratch though is another thing. I had a short little run in electronic music, mainly dnb and dubstep, and I tried to create my own sounds.... It was ok I guess, but far from being at a "pro level". It's a whole new world.


I used to make a lot of music on the computer with a midi keyboard, mostly additive synthesis which is basically creating a sound completely by scratch by adding individual sine waves/ harmonics at different volumes, frequencies, and times. I don’t know how ‘good’ at it I was, but I had a lot of fun, but I got board of staring at a computer screen and using a mouse. Basically it is a lot easier & more fun to just use a sound from the actual instrument then create it from scratch.

 

Now I mostly play analog synths with keys, sometimes guitar, running through whatever I can get my hands on really lol, I have a few different reverbs, & delays which are my favourite to play with. I also use a sampler to create drums and record loops with. Essentially my work flow is to improvise until I create a loop that I like, record it, and if I am feeling I can layer more on top of it I will, or I’ll save it for another day. 

I have always really loved more downtempo electronic music, songs with big vast slow sounds. But really there isn’t much music I don’t like. 

 

Creating my own sound is playing an instrument to me, turning the dials on an eq is playing part of the instrument, or any other thing you can chain the original sound source with. Basically mixing and playing are the same thing to me most of the time. 
 

 

 

🤍🧠👀

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In jazz we think of it as a language. Just like we are all here using the same english words we are all expressing thoughts and ideas that are novel and framed in different ways. And how did we come to get a grasp on this language in the first place? By imitating people who already speak the language. But once we got good enough with imitating we started building a vocabulary of expressions and ways of speaking that are unique to us. Now it is so deeply integrated that it is effortless. To have this conversation, to write all of this out. That's improvisation. So transcription is very important to build a lexicon in whatever genre you wanna play. Once you get a grasp of how other people play you can start pieceing together phrases of your own. 

 

The idea of expectation and subversion of expectation is also a powerful one I think. 

 

Broadly speaking I guess everything is improvised all the time but that doesn't help us build a vocabulary that's meaningful to us and other people. 

 

Surrender is the final step, to give the control up to Music and be the instrument that you were meant to be. Jazz cats know it intuitively, they call it the zone, the flow. They know that the best improv is effortless and they are not doing it, they are not in control, Music is. But that's not the focus of jazz education(which is 90% focus on improving as improvisers). The reason for that is that it doesn't help at all to surrender when you don't know the language. I can surrender all I want that won't make me able to have a conversation in japanese.

Edited by Anapkinsoakedinrasberryjam
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