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Improvising Freely as part of practicing.

Michael Fox

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Published: July 19, 2014 at 8:03 PM [UTC]

Free, unstructured improv may be the most easiest way of music making (just watch what a young child with no lessons will do with a piano), but often well-intentioned teachers causes us to un-learn this natural skill, or not appreciate its value in trusting our own creativity.

I believe the ability to spontaneously create music without thinking about it is an important skill, and should be practiced regularly. In this video, I demonstrate how I go about it.

For more information, I highly recommend improvisational violinist Stephen Nachmanovitch's excellent book Free Play.

From Tom Holzman
Posted on July 21, 2014 at 1:20 AM
I think this is a good suggestion. I do it from time to time. Thanks for proposing it to the others.
Posted on July 23, 2014 at 10:47 AM
I agree that improvisation is extremely important and should be undertaken every day. However, I dispense with the psychco stuff and think about technique, how my left hand is working and bow arm. Improvisation is the ideal time to get all those things right that have crept in during "normal" practise. I use scales and arpeggios as well to enable me to make logical sense of the fingerboard and this includes doing un-traditional fingering.

It can also give me ideas for small tunes and motifs that can be used later in Jazz sessions. I play fragments of concertos and other classical pieces that normally give me concern, so that I'm freely analysing what's happening.

Improvisation can free you up, as you are not commited to a passage that someone else has composed, with all the normal baggage that can go with it.

So along with random practise I find improvisation a great help.

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