How creative are you each time you play your instrument?
Think about it for a second…are you truly free when you improvise?
As creative improvising musicians, these are questions that we should all ask ourselves from time to time. We all know that hours of repetition, memorization, and imitation are the groundwork for learning improvisation, but there is a catch here. This essential process that we stoically endure each day in the practice room doesn’t naturally lend itself to free, spontaneous thinking.
In fact, it’s quite easy to get boxed into the safe confines of our daily routine; the same tunes, the same language, even the same practice schedule.
In our improvised solos, supposedly our most free and creative moment as musicians, we rely all too often on the “musical crutches” of playing within a group. The drummer will keep the time, the pianist will play the changes, the horn player has the melody, and someone else will keep track of the form, right?
We get away with not using our ears, with not counting or knowing the form of the tune, with “kind of” knowing the changes, and with relying on our good old licks to get us through a solo. Sounds like someone who’s trying to survive a performance instead of someone that’s aiming for creativity.
Rarely do we hold ourselves responsible for each and every aspect of the music. This all too common fact, however, doesn’t mean that we can’t change things.
Here are four exercises to … Read More