Today I want to share a practice idea that I Believe to be
I know that I am not alone in thinking that it is superb
Preparation for the aspiring improvisor to play tunes by ear
Without music in all 12 keys.
In fact I recall the great Eddie Daniels recommending
it at a clinic many years ago.
I wanted to document one such practice session here, to walk the talk
As There is perhaps no better raw material for the musician to
study and practice than famous tried and tested great melodies,
This activity requires you first to pre hear
the melody (which is essential for improvisors)
and then you have to execute the notes in real time,
Which is challenging and great fun
Here I have taken a very simple tune, Amazing grace,
That just uses the notes of the major pentatonic.
The demonstration you are watching is ok, but contains
imperfections, such As tuning discrepancies, and uneven tones,
BUT THAT IS FINE, as it should be, it is work in progress.
I am not willing to succumb to perfection paralysis.
As well, when we improvise the worst thing we can do
is to be scared of playing wrong notes.
I did not go to town with the expression, as I wanted to
present this practice concept In a straight forward way.
I enjoyed just blending the sound of the my instrument
with the backing chords that I previously prepared.
This is a lovely activity to do everyday, to take a different tune,
In what ever musical style that appeals…
Anything you feel like playing is valid, perhaps a pop tune
you heard in the super market, for instance
BTW I arranged the 12 keys in the following order, as I like
the feeling of the piece moving up in minor 3rds.
Of course you can move up a semitone each time if you wish!
I hope someone out there will be encouraged try this exercise out
Please let me know, if you do
Perhaps we can swap tune ideas in the comments!