musical improvisation

Musical Improvisation – 3 Tips For Creating Remarkable Music In No Time

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Today’s post is by guest blogger, David Milsont. We found each other through Twitter where you can follow him to find out what else he’s up to these days.

musical improvisationFor any avid musician, improving your improvisation skills remains extremely crucial. A true improviser is one who can create exceptional musical compositions at once without struggling with the technicalities of music making. On top of that, you can always explore new ways of improving your musical improv. The best part is that you soon find success in it.

If you lack that hunger of improving your music improvisation skills, I must say that music “is not your cup of tea, bro”. However, if you are someone who is looking for ways when it comes to boosting your musical improv, you must join improv programs or workshops in music academies like NYJA, which offer excellent guidance to ardent musicians.

A Snapshot Of Musical Improvisation

Musical improvisation is nothing but a highly inventive and imaginative activity wherein a musician quickly creates extraordinary musical compositions in combination with great performance and coordination with rest of the musicians. Basically, it’s about creating fresh musical compositions with the assistance of musical instruments and/or voices. There is no doubt that it’s a very demanding and creative process, but the matter of fact is that it’s a part of being a musician.

There are two types of musicians, first, who are always ready to take on the challenges of music making, and second who always find new ways of ignoring them. Musicians who are ready to face challenges end up reaping the fruits of success, however, those who just want to come into the limelight without any hard work fail in every step they take in the world of music.

Improvisation remains an integral part of different types of music such as jazz, blues, and jazz fusion. Here, instrumental musicians mostly try to improvise melody lines and solos. Other improvisational styles create the entire piece without a preconceived song or structure. These can range from basic “form” agreements (e.g., spontaneously creating a song) to free improvisation, which can have no form at all.

Here Are 3 Tips For Boosting Your Improv

Imitation Is The First Step In Enhancing Your Improv

If you are really looking forward to revamping your improv, you cannot underestimate the power of imitation in music making. However, the brutal reality of music industry is that newbies ignore the importance of imitation. The truth is that beginners are typically forced to focus on theory and scales, due to which they cannot concentrate on imitation.

There is absolutely no doubt that you must have sufficient knowledge of music theory but when it comes to becoming a great musician there are a lot of other things to which you must devote your time like the imitation. Simply memorizing scales and chords is not enough if you seriously want to go a long way.

As far as imitation is concerned you can imitate anything that you like provided the fact that it is associated with music which someone has performed. You either listen to a musical composition composed by a great musician, transcribe a solo, or learn lines by ear. All these things will definitely foster your improvisation skills.

Assimilation Is Also Very Crucial

The second step in enhancing your improv is assimilation. That means whatever you have learned or memorized you need to understand it fully in terms of how it actually happens. For example, if you have transcribed a solo, you must focus on its technicalities and try to understand the logic behind each step. Assimilation is all about gaining a comprehensive understanding of music making, wherein you need to practice music like anything. You need to devote huge time to this activity if you really want to compose an original musical composition. Being able to do this spontaneously is even trickier, so be prepared to practice this craft.

The Last Step Is Innovation

Innovation is nothing but the use of all those skills, techniques and knowledge in your musical composition that you have learned through imitation and assimilation. In other words, whatever you have learned from imitation and assimilation regarding music making you should be using that knowledge in an innovative way to create a new musical improvisation. It’s like putting together everything in a very innovative way which ends up creating a fresh piece of music.

There is a famous saying that “Practice makes perfect” and it greatly applies to learning music making skills. Improvisation is actually a result of hours of dedication and hard work that go in your practice room.


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3 comments

  1. Very interesting article, Stan. I just shared it on my nephew’s timeline on FB, as he is also a musician.

    I totally like the tip about imitation, because, for example, even singing with karaoke backgrounds can help people improve their singing ability. If you can manage to imitate a great singer using a karaoke tune, I think you can then move on to singing really well your own songs.

    I really hope my nephew visits you one day, to learn from you.

    Cheers,

    Ivette

    1. Very kind of you and good to hear from you, Ivette! It’s a guest post, so I can’t take any credit for this one. I do think these tips are a reasonable starting point and appreciate David’s contribution.
      Yes! I do hope to meet your nephew one day AND to see you again.

      1. Ooops! Sorry for the confusion! I didn’t notice the “fine print” at the beginning.

        Great article, anyway. 🙂

        And thanks for offering to visit and meet again. I am sure we will, sooner or later.

        Happy weekend,

        Ivette

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