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Author Topic: Improvisation over chordal sequence  (Read 333 times)

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fc diato

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Improvisation over chordal sequence
« on: March 07, 2017, 01:02:30 PM »

"Spontaneous improvisation over a set chordal sequence only comes after a tune has become absolutely automatic, and perhaps been played many, many times. ...  Then, gradually, you can find all sorts of turns and twiddles, all kinds of ways of bringing out the different aspects of a tune to best advantage."

Starting a new thread as to not hijack 'making progress':

I have found that as I am learning a piece, I improvise naturally.  Once it's automatic, it's hard-wired.  Other than adding an occasional twiddle, for the life of me I can't change anything (unless I hard-wire a variation, and that's not the point.)
So what could I do to work on this?  (This question has been with me since I watched playandteach's 'noodling' with Rue des Pres. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeeNWzkwAHA&feature=youtu.be
Any learning strategies to suggest?
(Keeping in mind someone with limited knowledge of music theory; just leftovers from long-ago music lessons the very thought of which - alas - awakens compulsion to chuck all instruments out the window.... no such allergic associations to exercises though. )
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Melissa Sinclair

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Re: Improvisation over chordal sequence
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 03:38:05 PM »

And so I'm going to immediately, sort of hijack the thread to ask PlayandTeach a question... So, I see a lot of crossrow playing (what is coming up next in my Milleret and Pignol book) and I see in this "noodle" that appears to be put on paper? So is it a noodle if it's not coming off the cuff? (So confused about some of these terminologies... noodle means improv in my head?) I would say you created a variation of the piece by noodling around, but then set it down to paper as a new variation. Which is lovely, by the way. 

My question though - is this mostly made to be mostly push, then mostly pull using cross-row play to keep the bellows from needing to switch so much? It seems so smooth - so many notes and so melodic, without the jerky in and out of the bellows. THAT seems so much easier to play, is it?
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playandteach

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Re: Improvisation over chordal sequence
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2017, 04:30:40 PM »

Firstly, I can improvise better on instruments I really play than I can on the melodeon, because I have a bigger vocabulary. Actually, really the first point should be: there are better people to ask than me...
Secondly, there's a lot in the saying: Composition is frozen improvisation so trying things out helps you not only come up with a stronger piece, but one that lies best on the instrument and your own skill set.
In that noodling video I look at the music because I don't want to have to remember the chord sequence while I'm fiddling around with melodies, but the noodling wasn't in this case written down. I do (as with the variations on another tune Punting?- can't remember even my own tune titles) often explore on the fly then throw out the bad bits, and write down the better bits, just not in the video in question. I'm guessing because I left in the whole exploration is the reason behind the thumbs down.
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Melissa Sinclair

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Re: Improvisation over chordal sequence
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2017, 05:09:48 PM »

In that noodling video I look at the music because I don't want to have to remember the chord sequence while I'm fiddling around with melodies, but the noodling wasn't in this case written down. I do (as with the variations on another tune Punting?- can't remember even my own tune titles) often explore on the fly then throw out the bad bits, and write down the better bits, just not in the video in question.

That is pretty awesome.. I don't think I'll ever be able to do that, but it's great because it gives you a foundation to start with and if you know your instrument well, you know what sequence of notes work well in that chord.

Still doesn't get to what I was asking though ;D Are you picking a sequence of notes while noodling around to limit the bellow change of direction? THAT is the awesome part to me.
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playandteach

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Re: Improvisation over chordal sequence
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2017, 05:32:37 PM »

Not awesome, quite straightforward as the notes are patterns that fit in each direction, so on the pull, I know if I'm using the F or F#. I've now played enough pieces (including my own frozen improvisations) to know some finger patterns for each chord - don't forget that on the outside row push, all the notes will fit with the G chord.
Of course I don't just trust to random notes, but I have to admit that a lot of improvisation (even for very skilled people such as Mike Brecker - sax player) is use of patterns.
THE main skill for successful improvisation is a strong rhythm for the melody (IMHO as they say).
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fc diato

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Re: Improvisation over chordal sequence
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2017, 01:24:45 PM »

So, I guess I can detect an answer to the original question (before the instant friendly hijack  >:E) :  practice of chords and arpeggios to hardwire finger sequences would be one good strategy, it sounds like?
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