View Full Version : improvising

05-02-2003, 12:22 PM
So, I was at a really cool pub the other night where they took down names of people and randomly formed them into full bands and told them to go up on stage and play a few songs. I think I did alright, in that I stayed in key and everything, but I'm not used to improvising, so I would sit on a 12-bar blues riff or just generally keep in the box. I suppose this does work for adequate bass playing whenever I need it, but I'd like to be able to do more with my parts.

It doesn't seem liek a logical approach to say... hmm, ok, we're in A, what's sharp and flat? ok, now let me futz with a few things here and maybe I'll come up with something.

Anyway, thanks for any good advice you guys can offer.

05-02-2003, 02:24 PM
Being new and I really can't answer your question other than search the forums for great topics that are discussed for playing outside the box. Also, that sounds like it might be pretty fun to do, just get thrown together to form a band and play. I wouldn't mind trying that with my trumpet, and maybe in a year or two if not sooner, try and play with my geetar.

05-02-2003, 06:13 PM
The context of your improvising is the most important thing.
When you say you were in 'A' what do you mean? A What?
A blues? A Harmonic Minor? A Major?
I guess what I am trying to say, is when you are playing with other people the other people's skills dictate what you can get away with.
So if you are sitting in with blues musicians you need to be in the blues context, or with jazz musician then your options are less limited.
Part of 'jamming' with other musicians is to see what you can get away with and how they will respond to what you are doing.
So when jamming try stuff, see how everyone else responds. If it works keep doing it. If you leave them behind try to come back to them and bring them along on your journey.

There are many ways to improvise, I suggest thinking melodies or singing them to get you away from the same old stuff. The next time you want to improvise listen to what is happening in your mind and try to emulate it instead of just letting your muscle memory dictate your licks. It is tough at first but it gets easier with time and practice. Trust your instinct it is usually right.

Only fall back on known good formulas and theory based ideas when you are between inspired moments.

05-10-2003, 07:51 PM
I just had to say what you just wrote Szulc i find to be very inspiring. You said it all in a few words.


05-10-2003, 08:12 PM
I am glad you dig what I wrote, and am especially glad I didn't urinate in anyones coffee cup. Or that I was not percieved as having done so, as I am so prone to!

05-10-2003, 10:13 PM
Originally posted by szulc
am especially glad I didn't urinate in anyones coffee cup. Or that I was not percieved as having done so, as I am so prone to!


05-10-2003, 10:16 PM
By the way Szulc, i read in some post, youve been writin a book for the last 20 years....lemme know when its ready, or if you feel thee need for some readers before the final draft im more than up for it.