24 Feb Insights about Jazz Improvisation:
Insights about Jazz playing and improvisation:
After years of playing, hundreds of students, hours of online lessons at my site and a lot of questions from frustrated students around the world who just want to learn how to improvise, I have a few insights that I want to share with you.
I think that the most important conclusion is that the biggest difficult is not how to practice or what to play.
But what is your stand against it and how to be happy with what you have. For that you have to set the right goals for your improvement and be happy with your progress.
A book with thousand pages starts with the first page. The first page starts with the first sentence.
I hear a lot of sentences like “I’m not good enough”, “It’s too hard for me”, “It’s frustrating me”…
If you’ll set yourself reasonable goals and split them into small parts, and only look at your next goal, and be Happy from achieving this goal- it’ll give you the fuel to achieve the next one.
A lot of students set themselves unreasonable goals; get disappointed and their real motivation to practice gets heart.
Playing music comes from Joy. Evan playing sad music comes from Joy. You must be connected to what you play if you want to transfer it to other ears and hurts. Foe me, this connection is kind of joy.
Let’s make Jazz improvisation simple
Jazz is based on songs. Every song is based on:
Melody: usually pretty simple. A lot of the melodies are songs that you can sing. It’ll help you memorize the melody.
Harmony: cycled chord progression of the song.
Form: The structure of the song, one cycle of the song. Usually 12, 16, 24 or 32 bars.
Improvisation is creating alternative melodies to the song.
Improvisation is creating melodies that connect to the harmony.
What you need to know in order to improvise:
1) The notes you can use over every one of the chords.
2) Keep the form- know what chord you play at in every moment.
Setting your goals
Setting the right goals is essential. Your goals must be achievable and accurate. Each goal has to be connected to one of the following list:
1) Playing the song.
2) Knowing the notes you can play over each chord.
3) Keeping the form.