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Melodic vs harmonic improvising

Pete Thomas

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Refusing to imitate is nonsense? That's just bizarre.

The notion of freedom that you are alluding to has awful echoes of amateur players (and artists) who refuse to imitate lest it corrupt the purity of their own expression.

Refusing to imitate is not freedom though :)

I'm not sure that every free player is aiming for melody anyway,

Absolutely not.

I have fond memories of a gig with Derek Bailey. He had this piece worked out so it wasn’t entirely free. The instructions were “start quiet and end loud.”

But just before going on stage he totally threw everyone by changing it to “start loud and end quietly.”
 

Nick Wyver

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Refusing to imitate is not freedom though :)
Umm... I'll have to think about that one.
I don't think I've ever 'refused' to imitate it's just that I've never tried. However, after listening to sax players (and others) for nearly 60 years it would be impossible for me to fail to pick up something albeit unconsciously.
I have fond memories of a gig with Derek Bailey.
Ooh! I'm impressed. Not exactly R&B is it?
 

Jimmymack

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Umm... I'll have to think about that one.
I don't think I've ever 'refused' to imitate it's just that I've never tried. However, after listening to sax players (and others) for nearly 60 years it would be impossible for me to fail to pick up something albeit .

Ooh! I'm impressed. Not exactly R&B is it?
Imitate was the wrong word it’s just easier than writing, listening to, learning from and taking what you need from other players.
 

jbtsax

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This is my personal preference with one extra condition. I prefer the solo to not only be variations on the melody but also be emotionally consistent. If the song is a sad song, for example, I prefer a solo that is sad.
Quite a few of my improvised solos have come out sounding "sad" regardless of the style of the tune. :)
 

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