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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by neal085, Dec 16, 2013.
Keep us posted ... and have fun.
It's important to have some early "wins" when you embark on a long process like learning to improvise. The following video and accompanying material from Eric Bolvin did it for me.
Other things that really helped me were:
-learning guitar - modes, chords, changes - stuff that tends to get neglected when you learn an instrument the plays one note at a time.
- a part time college course where my first combo tutor said "my groups don't perform with charts" and "now this is your solo".
18 months back when I started playing after a 25 year layoff, I'd never done any improv. Now I can sit in on a jam session and have a lot of fun without embarrassing myself. Getting yourself started is the hardest part. That's why the EB video was great for me.
It's a Nike kind of thing - just do it.
I'm visually and tactile oriented way more than aurally. That results in one being a real poor improviser. Used to play with some friends what we called "space duets:" totally free improvisation. It was fun and developed the ability to "mind meld" (very useful in a section or chamber music) and usually ended up in laughter when we found ourselves playing parallel fifths or resolving dissonances in the same direction, leaving the dissonance in place. When playing changes I "see" the notes as I play them, and if I can keep track of time I end up with some "interesting ideas" and not get booed of the stage.
Didn't play much over the holidays, then had the flu, then a terrible head cold, so I just got back in a playing routine the end of last week. This jazz thing.....is going to need a lot more of my time. I had to go back and play a bunch of familiar stuff this morning, just to convince myself that I had, indeed, played a trumpet prior to this week.
At one point, I was giving serious consideration to defenestrating my shiny silver B&S, which I strongly felt was thwarting my efforts.
Did figure out I need to pay a lot closer attention to timing in general.
Thanks for the udpdate!
However, jazz musicians don't use words like "defenestrating". (Just kidding.)
It's not that were snobs. It's just that we get frustrated when we have to look up big words at dictionary.com.
In my college days would go to a local tavern that had live jazz. One of the groups, The Snake River Six, had a clarinetist who would quote jazz standards like crazy in his solos. It was a delight to listen to, kind of a fun version of "Name That Tune." I'd much rather hear someone quoting that way than regurgitating licks.
My jazz improv in it's current state has the potential to make you regurgitate any number of things, including breakfast.
Dr.Mark isn't going to like that.
If you're playing bebop, would that be fast food?
Sorry Mr. Neal... I am sure you are a great player, but when you "fed" me that line, I just couldn't resist.