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Old 10-16-2012, 02:22 AM   #21
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@KingOfSuede: That was a fantastic post and really inspired me
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:24 AM   #22
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music doesn't come from scales. scales come from the music.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:17 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fenderbassist12
Ok, let me explain how I would go about an improvisational jam. Something easy would be a simple baseline starting in A Aeolian. I would start by playing a part A where it involves the root note, the octave, the b7 and the b6. The lead guitar can do as it pleases playing in that scale and it will sound fine. While the guitar is soloing, I would go down to the b6 then to the b7, then back to the b6, then to the b7, then repeat and then after the 4th measure instead of going back down to the b6 you walk up to the root note to your original "home base" riff. When I am playing bass during a live improv jam, all I am thinking about is making a new chord progression after the orginal one starts to get old. I'm not just randomly playing notes in the scale.


so what you're saying is, you're writing music in real time.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:29 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by fenderbassist12
Improvisation I don't believe is writing on the fly. When you write music, you have a specific plan. Improvisation is just playing based on the reaction you get from whoever you are playing with, no writing at all.



Quote:
Originally Posted by fenderbassist12
One of my strategies for creating songs is recording jams where no direction is planned. You just play for 10 or so minutes, listen to it, and create a song from the good parts of the jam.


Your contradicting yourself here. This is the same as improvising, writing on the fly. You deny it then you admit to using it as one of your writing styles lol.

I rarely have a direction in mind. I play something I hear something that might go with it. it keeps going from there. usually I find a progression that I like. I hear the words and melody in my head so I start singing. or it will be more of a guitar driven song..Ill hear solo melodies.

sometimes Im not in the mood. I don't hear everything the same just not into it...your just not in the mood at that point.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:07 PM   #25
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I just don't consider improvising "writing."
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:48 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by fenderbassist12
I just don't consider improvising "writing."


i guess it's not writing if you're just throwing shit at a wall and hoping it sticks, but hey, whatever works for you
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:59 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fenderbassist12
I just don't consider improvising "writing."


if i may be so aggressive, i'd suggest you have a lot of things to reconsider. this being one of them. think outside the box a little more -- a small change in the way you do things can bring you a lot of results.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:40 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by ToneMasterDelux
What I used to do was play very much by ear and location syncopation (that is I can easily find the key of the song) then from there use scale and fretboard patterns to connect the notes and play what I want. Now after playing scales for a while my playing feels more linear and does not encompass the majority of the fret board but feels locked within a pattern such as playing in a 1E scale then just moving up to a 2A scale and not playing in between at all.


So here's my guess as to what's going on.

You're playing PHYSICALLY, not musically.

That is to say, your ear is good enough for you to find the key, but not good enough to string out complex musical ideas mentally, so basically you're at the mercy of your fingers.

So why do some days of improvisation seem much better than others? Because it's basically random - you have no control over the process, your fingers and muscle memory does.

The next time you improvise, I'd encourage you to take a very different approach. Don't start playing right away.

Instead, listen. Listen to what everybody else is doing. And then wait until you hear something in your head that "wants" to be played and play that.

Don't play any notes that you don't hear in your head first.

Now, when you first start using this approach, it may be frustrating and slow. This is why I asked about your ear. The better your ear is, the shorter the gap between thinking of an idea and being able to play it - until there becomes, really, no gap at all. You think it and play it, just like when you're talking to someone you think of what you want to say SIMULTANEOUSLY with saying it. (Of course, sometimes we still stop to compose our thoughts, especially when expressing complex ideas. So it will be, also, with music.)

As you get better and better at this, your improvisation only becomes limited by the vividness of your musical imagination. And you'll see that - if you normally jam out to blues-rock stuff, and then spend a day listening to jazz lines and really immersing yourself in them, when you go jam the next day you'll jam differently - you'll be able to hear what you were listening to.

But more importantly, this lets you take control of your improvisation. Sure, you'll still have more creative and less creative days. But you will be able to drive the process.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:45 PM   #29
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^^ That was a great read. One of the best for sometime.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:19 PM   #30
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nice one HSJ
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:26 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AeolianWolf
if i may be so aggressive, i'd suggest you have a lot of things to reconsider. this being one of them. think outside the box a little more -- a small change in the way you do things can bring you a lot of results.



Improvisational writing just seems like an oxymoron to me? I'm not sure what direction you are trying to point me in. We can argue all we want, but it just comes down to what we play on our instruments. I'm pretty satisfied with my playing at the moment, and of course I'd like to improve, but I feel like the only way we could get somewhere in this argument is if we sat down together with our instruments and showed each other how we play.

I guess we just have different styles, however wrong I am. I'm sure you are a great musician, and I have been stubborn due to the fact that I believe I make good music too. I just don't think too technically when I play, I just play what comes to me when I'm jamming with my guitarist and drummer, which I thought improvisation is?
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:55 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fenderbassist12
Ok, let me explain how I would go about an improvisational jam. Something easy would be a simple baseline starting in A Aeolian. I would start by playing a part A where it involves the root note, the octave, the b7 and the b6. The lead guitar can do as it pleases playing in that scale and it will sound fine. While the guitar is soloing, I would go down to the b6 then to the b7, then back to the b6, then to the b7, then repeat and then after the 4th measure instead of going back down to the b6 you walk up to the root note to your original "home base" riff. When I am playing bass during a live improv jam, all I am thinking about is making a new chord progression after the orginal one starts to get old. I'm not just randomly playing notes in the scale.


There are two things I don't like about this. One of which is sort of a guess based on how you're talking about it, and the other is a rather glaring omission.

The first is that it sounds like you're thinking about this intellectually. Now, I'm not totally sure here, but it sounds almost like you're thinking about note names and fret positions. "Now's a good time for the b6. Now's a good time for me to find a new chord." While this is better than just moving around randomly and letting your fingers take control, it's still one level removed from where you want to be - rather than thinking, "Okay, now I'll drop down to the b6 and work my way back up" (recognizing that might happen much quicker than we could articulate it) you want to be thinking "bum, badum dum dum dum DUM" - for lack of better words. It's the difference between thinking in sounds and thinking in note names/scale degrees.

Maybe I'm reading you wrong and it's just coming off this way because you're trying to translate it into text. I can't tell. But it does sound to me like you think about it intellectually rather than musically.

Because the second problem I have with this - and it's a doozy - is that nowhere do you mention paying attention attention to what the guitarist is doing. You say that all you're thinking about is coming up with a new chord progression, rather than thinking about what chord changes are implied by what the guitarist is doing.

Essentially, what you're describing is two people soloing simultaneously while standing next to each other. And that's not the same thing as a group improvisation.

Real group improvisation is really really hard and requires a tremendous amount of dedicated practice. It's also one of the most magical things you can do with a group of musicians.

But the difference is, I think, part of the "writing/improvising" distinction. You're writing if you're trying to think of what might sound cool once it's time for a change. You're improvising if you're reacting dynamically to what the musicians around you are doing. See the difference?
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:26 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fenderbassist12
Improvisational writing just seems like an oxymoron to me? I'm not sure what direction you are trying to point me in. We can argue all we want, but it just comes down to what we play on our instruments. I'm pretty satisfied with my playing at the moment, and of course I'd like to improve, but I feel like the only way we could get somewhere in this argument is if we sat down together with our instruments and showed each other how we play.

I guess we just have different styles, however wrong I am. I'm sure you are a great musician, and I have been stubborn due to the fact that I believe I make good music too. I just don't think too technically when I play, I just play what comes to me when I'm jamming with my guitarist and drummer, which I thought improvisation is?


when you speak in a normal setting, it's not rehearsed. does that mean you don't think before you speak?
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:53 PM   #34
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Thanks, HSJ, I think what happened is after all the scales I started to move away from really feeling the song and moved into making sure my notes fit directly into the scales. Using HSJ's my guitar teachers and Suede king's advice I actually had a really fun non angering jam session last night and finally began to use notes that don't exactly "fit in" to the scale patterns.

As for this whole improvisation debate (I'm sure I'll get bitched at for this) but I don't care how you write music as long as it has actual value to you. Music is an art and if you learn one thing from art it should be that beauty comes from creativity which sometimes comes from breaking the rules.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:58 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by ToneMasterDelux

As for this whole improvisation debate (I'm sure I'll get bitched at for this) but I don't care how you write music as long as it has actual value to you. Music is an art and if you learn one thing from art it should be that beauty comes from creativity which sometimes comes from breaking the rules.


but he doesn't write music, he says
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:08 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hail
but he doesn't write music, he says

Then I guess that's the equivalent of scribbling.

But I digress, this is not my squabble and I need to play guitar, Peace.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:23 PM   #37
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I have this problem except it's purely with improvising through humming and in my head. It's incredibly frustrating, considering my number one goal is to make music that I want to hear.

When I say "purely" I don't mean to say my instrumental improv is better. It's substantially worse.

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Old 10-16-2012, 11:12 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by HotspurJr
There are two things I don't like about this. One of which is sort of a guess based on how you're talking about it, and the other is a rather glaring omission.

The first is that it sounds like you're thinking about this intellectually. Now, I'm not totally sure here, but it sounds almost like you're thinking about note names and fret positions. "Now's a good time for the b6. Now's a good time for me to find a new chord." While this is better than just moving around randomly and letting your fingers take control, it's still one level removed from where you want to be - rather than thinking, "Okay, now I'll drop down to the b6 and work my way back up" (recognizing that might happen much quicker than we could articulate it) you want to be thinking "bum, badum dum dum dum DUM" - for lack of better words. It's the difference between thinking in sounds and thinking in note names/scale degrees.

Maybe I'm reading you wrong and it's just coming off this way because you're trying to translate it into text. I can't tell. But it does sound to me like you think about it intellectually rather than musically.

Because the second problem I have with this - and it's a doozy - is that nowhere do you mention paying attention attention to what the guitarist is doing. You say that all you're thinking about is coming up with a new chord progression, rather than thinking about what chord changes are implied by what the guitarist is doing.

Essentially, what you're describing is two people soloing simultaneously while standing next to each other. And that's not the same thing as a group improvisation.

Real group improvisation is really really hard and requires a tremendous amount of dedicated practice. It's also one of the most magical things you can do with a group of musicians.

But the difference is, I think, part of the "writing/improvising" distinction. You're writing if you're trying to think of what might sound cool once it's time for a change. You're improvising if you're reacting dynamically to what the musicians around you are doing. See the difference?



I can sort of see the difference you are talking about.

Usually my guitarist just plays lead, or will play a riff that I will catch on and make my own part to. Our music is definitely not "two people soloing simultaneously". I focus more on rhythm than I do on notes, and when we play music we sounds real tight and funky. Changing chord progressions just adds that extra umph to the jam you dont get from just feeling the rhythm.

I must have comprehended a different meaning from "writing" than you guys. If by writing you mean making music, without necessarily physically writing it down and tweaking it until it sounds good, then sure I write music. Typically its just us hanging out, we go into the jam room, bust a few ~8 minute grooves. Then take a break and repeat. We will eventually get into a groove that we think sounds really good, so then at the open mic we say lets play 'that' one we played earlier. Then we have a general idea of the motif of the jam and then just play until we feel it come to an end.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:51 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fenderbassist12
Improvisational writing just seems like an oxymoron to me? I'm not sure what direction you are trying to point me in. We can argue all we want, but it just comes down to what we play on our instruments. I'm pretty satisfied with my playing at the moment, and of course I'd like to improve, but I feel like the only way we could get somewhere in this argument is if we sat down together with our instruments and showed each other how we play.

I guess we just have different styles, however wrong I am. I'm sure you are a great musician, and I have been stubborn due to the fact that I believe I make good music too. I just don't think too technically when I play, I just play what comes to me when I'm jamming with my guitarist and drummer, which I thought improvisation is?


I don't think your wrong. but I think you should be more open minded. your music sounds pretty good. You didn't come up with none of that improvising?

It doesn't have to written on paper to be called writing. Most of my music is just recorded.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:42 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by metalmetalhead
It doesn't have to written on paper to be called writing. Most of my music is just recorded.



It comes down to this. Although I've only been in 2 bands, we'd always say we "wrote" x amount of new songs, but none of us ever physically wrote anything down. That wouldn't have been very punk, lol.

Anyway, actually writing something is only important if you want somebody else to play it, or if you think you might forget it later, imho.
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