[Dixielandjazz] Starting Improv

Larry Walton Entertainment larrys.bands at charter.net
Sun Jun 12 12:07:53 PDT 2011

To Steve, Allan and others who have asked about beginning improv.  I talked about the difficulty of some to tear themselves away from the music.  I had a thought that might help.

Get some manuscript paper and write the note of the melody that falls on the beat  as a whole, quarter or half note.  Do this on each chord change leaving out all the other tones, rhythm and the melody.  

Let them play it a couple of times as written, then have them play it filling in the spaces with other notes, not necessarily the melody.  Then have them keep the same notes and vary the rhythm away from the melody.  All the while being sure that it's melodic.  After a few times take away the music.

It's OK if they memorize what they have done.  Memorization is the first step to improv.

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