This week I want to start talking about improvising. To me, the essential characteristic of good improvising is that it comes from a playful nonjudgmental place. For the most part the greatest solos aren't the ones with the craziest licks; the greatest solos are the ones that draw the listener into the present moment. As a soloist, how do you do that? You cultivate the ability to be present and you cultivate a sense of play. You let mistakes (or just unexpected notes) roll off of you like water off of a duck's back and you move forward and keep playing. In improv comedy there's a saying called "yes, and…" The basic idea is that you completely accept whatever just happened ("yes") and you add to it, keeping it moving forward ("and"). Improvising music is the same. What often happens with improvising musicians, particularly ones who aren't very experienced, is that they constantly judge themselves and in their judgement they become paralyzed. This week I'm giving you a very simple exercise that can help you become more comfortable with jumping into the unknown. If you get comfortable with the unknown it becomes much easier to be present - and that makes everything better!
Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Is It Too Late Now?
Loop 0:31 Fundamentals of Improvisation
Loop 5:55 Example of Improvisation Exercise
Loop 9:17 Practice Loop For Improvisation With Chris Playing Rhythm
Loop 11:07 Closing Thoughts