Joy of Improv - getting started (part two)

Posted by: jawhitti

Joy of Improv - getting started (part two) - 01/15/13 10:43 PM

Okay I am embarrassed to be asking this but how are you guys approaching the tunes. I'm looking at the very first lesson, which has two tunes. Is the point to learn the pieces as-written? To experiment with different LH voices or to improvise melodies in the RH? Transpose to other keys?

Sorry to be thick-headed, I'm just trying to decide what will constitute "mastery" of a lesson and time to move on to the next one.

Incidentally playing the JazzHanon starting with 1 on every scale degree made it a heck of lot easier than what I was doing. (Except for F# in the key of E. That one's kind of tough).
Posted by: davefrank

Re: Joy of Improv - getting started (part two) - 01/16/13 03:21 AM

you want to learn the tunes like a classical piece (hands separatly then together as written), then play it two hands, then scat along as you play, then play with LH as you scat the RH without playing it. This process is designed to have you internalize the lines, intervals, chromatics, etc. to develop a good ear/hand connection for future improv.

If you feel inspired to improv a bit, go ahead, but it's not neccesary. You can move on to the next one when you can comfortably keep the tune moving along streadily at met 70-80
= 1/4 note or so. Or you can move to the next tune when your partner starts screaming and starts hitting you upside the head with a frying pan..

DF
Posted by: jawhitti

Re: Joy of Improv - getting started (part two) - 01/16/13 07:35 AM

Thank you, Dave. Even the very first little blues tune is fairly "sophisticated" sounding blues. Looking forward to it.
Posted by: RonL

Re: Joy of Improv - getting started (part two) - 01/16/13 10:03 AM

Nice to meet a guy who is looking forward to being hit on the side of the head w a frying pan. It changed the way I play piano. And the way I look at life. And walk.

One thing mentioned in the fast track section that I find very helpful is to mark phrases on the tunes that I like and play that phrase through all the keys. For whatever tune I am working on I transpose that phrase to the key of the bar of the tune I want to stick it in and get comfortable with it. Then I play a chorus on my work tune and when that section comes up I insert that phrase.

Good luck and don't forget to duck that frying pan.
Posted by: jawhitti

Re: Joy of Improv - getting started (part two) - 01/16/13 11:17 AM

Originally Posted By: RonL
Good luck and don't forget to duck that frying pan.


I've been married for nearly twenty years so I've gotten used to the pain. It's subsided to a dull throb most of the time.

I am starting to do what you suggest with cool phrases to try to work them into my playing. It's a surprising amount of work to get from "hey this is a cool little lick" to internalizing enough to bust it out later in an ah-hoc manner.

The biggest thing I hate about my own playing is that I tend to to play voicings that are too closed and root position-ish, especially under pressure. I like playing boogie / rock more than bop jazz so I can sometimes get away with it but that's the number one habit I am trying to break.
Posted by: davefrank

Re: Joy of Improv - getting started (part two) - 01/16/13 11:24 AM

be ruthless about this goal of yours.