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Musical Improvisation

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Musical Improvisation

Post by pianohama on Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:35 pm

Hello Andrew, thank you for a great forum.

I started playing the piano for about five months ago(I am 17 years old atm) and I totally loved it, now that I've played for five months, people actually believes that I've played since I was ten or something. Anyway, my question today is if you got any tips for musical improvisation?

Some guy told me that I should just play in a scale and take basic chords from that scale, but the sound becomes very boring(eventhough I am very inventive with arpegiating and such), it just feels that theres a piece of knowledge that I'm missing to do improvisations.

Do you have any tips for me? Thanks!
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Re: Musical Improvisation

Post by VictorCS on Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:46 am

I watched a video on youtube about Tension and Release, simple chords became wonderfull music.... I dont know the basics, and there aren't a whole lot of videos on youtube about this.

Maybe Andrew have some experience with it, because it greatly increases the quality of improvisations.
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Re: Musical Improvisation

Post by Admin Andrew on Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:00 am

pianohama wrote:Hello Andrew, thank you for a great forum.

I started playing the piano for about five months ago(I am 17 years old atm) and I totally loved it, now that I've played for five months, people actually believes that I've played since I was ten or something. Anyway, my question today is if you got any tips for musical improvisation?

Some guy told me that I should just play in a scale and take basic chords from that scale, but the sound becomes very boring(eventhough I am very inventive with arpegiating and such), it just feels that theres a piece of knowledge that I'm missing to do improvisations.

Do you have any tips for me? Thanks!

Very Happy Hey!

Welcome to the forum!

Alright, I don't have much time here so I can't give you a HUGE answer on improvisation. But Basically, it's best to learn a little bit of music theory and harmony for you to understand what you're doing. Like learning what the tonic and dominate are. How to use basic chords together. then once you udnerstand that, you can use your chord tones and play all around the piano in any inventive way you wish. Sitting at the piano and just "messing around" tryign out new things isn't actually a bad way to improve your improv skills. Try listening to what sounds good, what you like, and how quickly you can come up with new themes. Usually what will make a good song is you take a rhythmic statement, and then build on it, changing keys and moving around the piano. Improv is really tricky though, and takes lots of work, but It's SO enjoyable once you're good with it.

Hope that helps. The direction you should be looking into is taking "Music Harmony"

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Re: Musical Improvisation

Post by Jordan on Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:10 pm

Try to get more fluent with the chromatic scale, which is playing every note on your keyboard ascending and descending. Once you're better with that you'll definitely be able to improvise more fluently. If you're at a conservatory or you're taking lessons, your teacher will eventually give you quick finger exercises with the 60 Hanon exercises.
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Re: Musical Improvisation

Post by pianohama on Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:42 pm

Thanks for all the answers, appreciate it ! =)
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Re: Musical Improvisation

Post by pianohama on Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:42 pm

VictorCS wrote:I watched a video on youtube about Tension and Release, simple chords became wonderfull music.... I dont know the basics, and there aren't a whole lot of videos on youtube about this.

Maybe Andrew have some experience with it, because it greatly increases the quality of improvisations.


Link? Smile
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Re: Musical Improvisation

Post by VictorCS on Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:04 pm

There was a link to the full lesson in the vid I found on YouTube, it explains pretty much what you need to do....
But I dont really understand much of how he finds the chords:

Tension And Release
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Re: Musical Improvisation

Post by pianohama on Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:45 am

Ok, I got some more questions, this time more specific ones, heh!

How do you stick to the main motif when you improvise?

When I improvise it usually end up with something extremely random, nothing that sounds really good at all,the melody is random...

I think it's because I focus to much on my left hand(chords), and let my right hand do way to random stuff... So basically how do I stick to the main motif of the song, do I need to practice the chords more so I can do the progression without thinking about it so I can focus on the melody?

Another problem is, I usually play in the scale of F# Maj, 'cause it feels alot more comfortable playing on black notes, but it kinda makes it all sound way to "chinesy"(anyone else thinks this or is it just me?), are there any tips on how I can improve or should I just play in another scale?

So what should I practise?
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Re: Musical Improvisation

Post by Thomandy on Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:14 pm

I actually like to improvise in B major. But I tend to focus more on the right hand Razz So the chords is often out of key, hehe Razz
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Re: Musical Improvisation

Post by pianohama on Tue May 20, 2008 11:16 pm

Yes B-Major is excellent, I usually do modulations from F# Major to B Major because the scales are so alike. They only differ one key from each other. B Major got an E, in F# Major that E is an F =)
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