But how does Improvisation actually work?
There is improvisation with start- and stop-points, tonal and modal attempts of improvisation, there is improvisation based on scales and arpeggios or Improvisation just "spit out" as a wild and unordered bunch of tickled out notes.
Which way you may ever use as a musician, you should always have in mind this one clear goal: to transmit the expression of what you have to say as a musician to your audience. If there is no message - there is no meaning and improviation will degrade to "just a bunch of wiggled notes" that will also leave behind your audience icecold in the end.
"It don´t mean a thing if it ain´t got that swing" - this golden rule was made up by great the Duke Ellington, and he was absolutely right! Because this is true for all kinds of music - not only for Swing or Jazz.
Wether what kind of musicstyle you play, if your music hasn´t got any message, no contents, no soul - then it is dead and meaningless. It will be unpersonal and - in the end it will be just boaring...
One can be able to play technically and maturely well or even play scales with a technically perfect sharp attack at the incredible speed of 400+ BPMs on any instrument, but if it has no soul it means - nothing!
To copy another musician (e.g. a musical idol) is not forbidden at all, but the more it is one of the most easiest ways to learn music from each other. Almost all great musicians did that as it is one of the most natural ways to learn for human beeings to imitate. So imitation belongs to a very important phase in the developement of every musician.
Nevertheless one day (whenever that is) there should arrive a new phase in the musical developement of every musician in which one should transform all the things that he/she might have learned from the musical forefathers or idols into own new phrases and musical ideas. If not one will stick inside the process of beeing blocked in his own advancement...
Like Jazzlegend Clarke Terry already said in 1954, there are four important steps in the phases of developement of a musician: Imitate, Assimilate, Create, Innovate
(How to Improvise - some thoughts on Improvisation by Bertino Rodmann ©2013)
Read more -> How to improvise (2/3)
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