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Beginner Improvising!

nickh

Senior Member
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471
Locality
Peak District. Uk
Hi folks,

Just want to share something and ask a question...

A few weeks back I reached the page in the John o'neill tenor sax jazz book where you begin to improvise. Other than the first baby steps I'd taken at the Manchester workshop this year I had no experience of it whatsoever. But I want to play jazz so I gave it a shot. It's a very simple exercise really: just a few bars of a melody repeated and you get told which notes you can play. You play along to the cd.

At first I found it very awkward and had trouble with timing but after a few weeks I'm finding it quite a revelation and beginning to thoroughly enjoy myself. I find I can play sections of the tune and then improvise the next sections for as long as I want before picking up the tune again. I realise what I'm doing is pretty simple but It's become my favourite part of my practicing.

So I just want to say to any other beginners out there...Just do it. Even if it sounds awful at first, ride it out. Because I'm having a fine old time

If anyone could give me any pointers/resources on how to progress with improvising from here that would be great.

Nick
 

Jeanette

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Have a look at the impro of the months, plenty to go at there

Jx
 

jbtsax

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Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
Singing along with the accompaniment using a "du" syllable for eighth notes and "dot" for quarter notes or eighth notes before a rest is a good way to practice creating melodic ideas in your mind. The next part is trying to play the phrase you just sang.
 

DavidG

Member
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In the hills just out of Perth, Western Australia
Good one...!
Improvising is a skill I'd like to develop.
Must try to get hold of the O'Neill book.
Cheers,
David
:)
 
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BigMartin

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Manchester, UK
Well done for sticking with it. I didn't really when I got to that point in the book. Wish I had now. Been doing similar things lately.
 

nickh

Senior Member
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471
Locality
Peak District. Uk
Have a look at the impro of the months, plenty to go at there

Jx

Thanks... i'm Probably doing a 'man look' but i can't seem to find this on the forum!

DavidG: I find the O'neill book very enjoyable. and seems to be very well thought out. You play jazz right from the start. I'm just steadily working through it. It doesnt make a big deal of the improvisation bit either. Which i like.

Not thought of singing to practice ideas but i'll give it a go!
 

nickh

Senior Member
Messages
471
Locality
Peak District. Uk
downloaded the July improv. just to try and have a go at something. It's a lovely tune.

From doing a bit of reading around i take it that the best way to start is to look at the chords (theres quite a few on this one!) and using the chord tones from each of them to improvise on.

just wondering if anyone has a good reference for working out the chord tones?
 

saxyman

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Medway Kent
Whereabouts is the impro of the month? I've been looking but can't find it. What section is it under?
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
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Whereabouts is the impro of the month? I've been looking but can't find it. What section is it under?
Improvisation of the Month
Browse them until you find something suiting you.


On the wider subject, a concept that I like to remind is that a child with a pencil can draw something.
That is improvisation.

As saxophone players, our first notes are an efficient pencil in some contexts.
Then we decide to focus on abstract, portrait, landscape... and we work to have more colours, brushes, oils, canvasses...
But the concept is the same.
 

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