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Thread: Improv From Scratch

  1. #26
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improv From Scratch

    Improv From Scratch #19 Quarter notes and rests


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  3. #27
    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improv From Scratch

    I know this is a dumb question, but Iím going to ask anyway: how come something that sounds like so much fun, and LOOKS so easy when people do it well IS SO DIFFICULT TO LEARN? I play a LOT, but improv seems to be just on the other side of a very thin door. (I can hear it, but I canít open the damn door!)

  4. #28
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improv From Scratch

    You just have to dive in and do it. Nobody is a good improvisor in the beginning. The best at it have been doing it a long time and have really studied how great players in the past have done it. You are just beginning the journey, so have fun, but keep doing it!!!!!

    And there are no dumb questions. Yours in perfectly legit Mike.

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  6. #29

    Default Re: Improv From Scratch

    Mike, to Pete's great advice I would add that you need to lose your natural desire to sound good when you start improvising. There are lots of play-along recordings that you can practice with in the privacy of your own home. A great part of the success as an improvisor is to do what Pete says -- dive in and do it. It will not sound so great at the start, but as you do it more and more you will begin to develop finger patterns that will give you good sounding notes to begin with.

    And separate from improvising practice, work on your scales in the most common keys that you're likely to want to improvise in. Then work on the pentatonic versions of those scales (notes 1,2,3,5,6,1) because that gives the least conflicting group of notes for improvising for a lot of folk, bluegrass, pop/rock, Great-American-Songbook tunes.

    Another thing to do to help you feel more comfortable making things up is to simply make things up without trying to fit into an accompaniment. Just noodle on your mandolin in a specific key. Remember Sturgeon's Law that 90% of anything is crap -- when you see performers or hear recordings you have to remember that you're only seeing or hearing the 10% that is good, not the 90% that isn't good that got left in the practice room or on the editing room floor at the recording studio.

  7. #30
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improv From Scratch

    If anyone has questions regarding material in the videos, I'm happy to answer them to the best of my ability here. Or I can suggest a plan of action for practicing the material and how to apply it in improv in real time. There is a LOT to learn, but it IS learnable.

    I'll add one more thing, a common jazz teachers saying:

    "Good improv is 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration"

    Holy cow is this true!
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  8. #31
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improv From Scratch

    Improv From Scratch #20 How to Practice New Improv Ideas


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    Pete Martin
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  9. #32
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improv From Scratch

    The next videos in the series will be looking at what to play on minor chords.


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Name:	Improv From Scratch #22 IIm IIIm VIm Scale Practice.pdf 
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  10. #33
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improv From Scratch

    Here is video #24, chord tone scale ideas over a IIm chord.



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  11. #34
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improv From Scratch

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buesseler View Post
    I know this is a dumb question, but Iím going to ask anyway: how come something that sounds like so much fun, and LOOKS so easy when people do it well IS SO DIFFICULT TO LEARN? I play a LOT, but improv seems to be just on the other side of a very thin door. (I can hear it, but I canít open the damn door!)
    Keep going. At the heart of it is another body part - your ears. Take it slow. Listen to what youíre playing. Ignore music theory initially. Maybe just use one scale. Hum slow, easy passages and try and replicate them. Donít berate yourself for 'mistskes'. A flat third over a major chord is a 'mistake' in a sense. Yet sounds fantastic. Take your time. Donít overwhelm yourself snd most importantly have fun.

    Youíll get there. Try, but try easy.
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  12. #35
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improv From Scratch

    PS @pete Martin . The video is great! Thanks!
    JBovier ELS; Epiphone MM-50 VN; Epiphone MM-40L; Gretsch New Yorker G9310; Washburn M1SDLB;

    Fender Nashville Deluxe Telecaster; Squier Modified Vintage Cabronita Telecaster; Gretsch 5420T; Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat: Washburn Banjo B9; Ibanez RB 5string; Ibanez RB 4 string bass

    Pedalboard for ELS: Morley Cry baby Miniwah - Tuner - EHX Soul Food Overdrive - EHX Memory Toy analog Delay
    Fender Blues Jr Tweed; Fender Greta;

  13. #36
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    Default Re: Improv From Scratch

    Quote Originally Posted by JonZ View Post
    This is why I am not enthusiastic about the “copy great solos” approach to learning to improvise—especially for beginners—because it puts the focus on achieving a “correct” result. Likewise, the great majority of school time is spent on generating “correct” results. I think the first order of business for improvisers is to abandon “correct” and replace it with “compelling”. Even a train wreck of a solo, if you really commit to it, can be compelling.
    I don't know enough improvising mandolin players work - but if you listen to popular (with the public) guitarists then noticeably innovative ones, you can often tell which ones learned hundreds of other people's licks and put them together when soloing. They're often the most popular ones, maybe because many people value familiarity over innovation. The guitarists I prefer are people like say Roy Buchanan, who seemed to be able to produce stuff nobody else had much thought of. I'll doubtless get a post telling me exactly who Roy lifted his licks from , but you know what I mean...

    One thing about being apprehensive about messing up, whether improvising, generally performimng or otherwise - smile and act confident, and most non players will never know. The players have all messed up at some time, so they don't mind if you do it.

    Thanks for the links Pete!

  14. #37
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improv From Scratch

    Here is video #25, chord tone scale ideas over a VIm chord.




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