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Thread: Improvising

  1. #26
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    Blue Zone, California
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    Default Re: Improvising

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    ... I also think starting with a melody and gradually wandering away from it is a solid path.
    I'm going from the opposite direction, I build the chords first for backup support, than find the melody or close-melody within the chords which my left hand is already forming. Coming from deep chord-melodic banjo playing for improv, this seems to be the natural direction for me, and of course my non-standard mandolin tuning helps me with that, although I would think that any tuning that is well known would do the same... So for me the key is knowing the neck, no matter what tuning is involved.

    I suspect though that there is no single way to get into improv, but once you have it you'll never want to stop. It's totally fun and really gets those neural synapses humming. From what I read, once a person is "in the groove" with improv, the brain releases more than normal levels of dopamine, the satisfaction hormone.
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

  2. #27
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Tangent OR

    Default Re: Improvising

    I also find that the ease with which one can follow the chords for a break and still approximate the melody depends a lot on the song. For instance, one of the songs we perform is a cover of The Weight (by The Band). Every time we perform that song (we play it in key of G), I 100% improvise my break, and for the most part it comes out pretty well. On other songs I have to do a more up-front planning and parts of my break have to be more rehearsed.
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