Audiobus: Your virtual music studio.

What is Audiobus?Audiobus is an award-winning music app for iPhone and iPad which lets you use your other music apps together. Chain effects on your favourite synth, run the output of apps or Audio Units into an app like GarageBand or Loopy, or select a different audio interface output for each app. Route MIDI between apps — drive a synth from a MIDI sequencer, or add an arpeggiator to your MIDI keyboard — or sync with your external MIDI gear. And control your entire setup from a MIDI controller.

Download on the App Store

Audiobus is the app that makes the rest of your setup better.

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR KEYBOARD IMPROVISING 100% IN THREE WEEKS

@Janosax and I have been continuing our discussion on playing and improvising was mentioned. Here is the technique Connie Crothers taught me on how to improvise on the piano. Connie's and her teacher Lennie Tristano's, method of teaching jazz improvisation (something many jazz musicians do just to supplement gigs and studio dates to the detriment of many talented players) is indeed a well thought out system of learning to do something that seems to defy understanding by mere words, chord progressions, or played examples. At least for me. The basic requirement is the pushing aside of the judgemental mind (good and bad) but maybe in another discussion.

Lennie's system was based on melody and not harmony. Singing along with the jazz greats was a primary part of this melody based technique. So it is logical that his guidance on improvising was melody based at well. It begins with ingraining the melody in its most accurate note by note construction.

You should, of course, experiment with playing the melody as expressively as possible, change dynamics, accenting notes and even changing the phrasing by adding the first note of the next phrase to the end of the last, for example.

With that in mind, pick a favorite melody. In my time I used jazz standards, which I recommend because they are often more melodically deep compared with today's tunes. Play it straight as much as possible in left and right hands separately. Yes, your left hand! You will find there are two distinct feelings and "voices" in each of your hands. Traditional jazz playing reduces the left hand at its worst to comping a chord accompaniment or the famous "walking bass" so many of us like. Rarely do you hear melodies in the left with comping in the right, or two melodies at once. But even a walking bass line is at heart a melody. Limiting your left hand to the status of solely being an accompanist is perhaps a poor use of musical resources at hand (ouch).

So pick a melody, and play the melody as deeply as possible in each hand. DO NOT IMPROVISE NOTES! Do this for a week as little as fifteen minutes a day. Don't try to improvise during that time. This will ingrain the melody in your head and make you wring the most "improvised" expression from the exact melody notes.

The next week play the melody first with exact melody notes in an improvised way as explained above. Then play the next round with the melody playing in your head like a tape recording. Play any notes you care to. They can even be random, just keep the recording going so your improvisation takes place in real time with the melody (as though you are taking a solo chorus with a band) then play the exact melody notes, then improvise a chorus and so on and so forth. Do this in both hands separately. Try this for another week fifteen minutes a day.

Then the third week record what you are doing.
Do the whole week without listening to what you recorded. Skip a couple of days, have yourself a drink or two, or at least pick a quiet time late at night and listen to what you recorded. The rest is for you to decide. I am reasonably sure that you will see a significant evolution in your playing. For many the change will be quite dramatic. Playing off tunes is great. Playing totally free can be even more satisfying. This melodic immersion will help with your free playing but requires other resources as well. All that for another time. May the melody be with you!

«13

Comments

  • Reminds me of some of the exercises in Ran Blake's book: "Primacy of the Ear".

  • Wow!, @Wrlds2ndBstGeoshredr , this is exactly it! @telefunky, please read and everyone else! Ran Blake was ex postulating this in 1957, about the same time Lennie Tristano was developing his theories. I don't know if it is coincidental or shared or which has precedence but it is a very valuable perspective on learning music. Not with the eye, but the ear. Ran even mentions singing with Billie Holliday records! Singing with the greats via their recordings was a major part of Lennie's system and I did a ton of it! READ THIS ARTICLE! It speKs much more eloquently and erudite lay about the subject then I ever could!

    http://www.pabloziffer.com.ar/imagesartics/PrimacyoftheEar.pdf

  • I somehow missed this thread. Thanks for posting!

    I recently started learning the "Donna Lee" melody on guitar. I memorized the full melody sometime last month and started occasionally practicing it in unison with a particular video. I will use that melody for the method and the much simpler "Maiden Voyage" melody.

  • I hope you will find it helpful @GovernorSilver. It really worked for me.

  • @LinearLineman said:

    The next week play the melody first with exact melody notes in an improvised way as explained above. Then play the next round with the melody playing in your head like a tape recording. Play any notes you care to. They can even be random, just keep the recording going so your improvisation takes place in real time with the melody (as though you are taking a solo chorus with a band) then play the exact melody notes, then improvise a chorus and so on and so forth. Do this in both hands separately. Try this for another week fifteen minutes a day.

    For clarification of this Week 2 routine, if I were in the room with you watching you do this, I would only actually hear your improvisation, not the melody you will be playing in your head, correct?

    Or am I going to hear you alternating between playing the melody straight up and playing an improvisation?

    If I recorded the chord changes first with a looper pedal, or used a sequencer to play the chord changes so I have a harmonic reference for both the straight-up melody and the improvisation, would that be still in the spirit of this practice concept or would it be somehow violating the concept?

    Thanks, I've had some curiosity about the Tristano school, after reading about it in the Lee Konitz book.

  • @LinearLineman said:
    @Janosax and I have been continuing our discussion on playing and improvising was mentioned. Here is the technique Connie Crothers taught me on how to improvise on the piano. Connie's and her teacher Lennie Tristano's, method of teaching jazz improvisation (something many jazz musicians do just to supplement gigs and studio dates to the detriment of many talented players) is indeed a well thought out system of learning to do something that seems to defy understanding by mere words, chord progressions, or played examples. At least for me. The basic requirement is the pushing aside of the judgemental mind (good and bad) but maybe in another discussion.

    Lennie's system was based on melody and not harmony. Singing along with the jazz greats was a primary part of this melody based technique. So it is logical that his guidance on improvising was melody based at well. It begins with ingraining the melody in its most accurate note by note construction.

    You should, of course, experiment with playing the melody as expressively as possible, change dynamics, accenting notes and even changing the phrasing by adding the first note of the next phrase to the end of the last, for example.

    With that in mind, pick a favorite melody. In my time I used jazz standards, which I recommend because they are often more melodically deep compared with today's tunes. Play it straight as much as possible in left and right hands separately. Yes, your left hand! You will find there are two distinct feelings and "voices" in each of your hands. Traditional jazz playing reduces the left hand at its worst to comping a chord accompaniment or the famous "walking bass" so many of us like. Rarely do you hear melodies in the left with comping in the right, or two melodies at once. But even a walking bass line is at heart a melody. Limiting your left hand to the status of solely being an accompanist is perhaps a poor use of musical resources at hand (ouch).

    So pick a melody, and play the melody as deeply as possible in each hand. DO NOT IMPROVISE NOTES! Do this for a week as little as fifteen minutes a day. Don't try to improvise during that time. This will ingrain the melody in your head and make you wring the most "improvised" expression from the exact melody notes.

    The next week play the melody first with exact melody notes in an improvised way as explained above. Then play the next round with the melody playing in your head like a tape recording. Play any notes you care to. They can even be random, just keep the recording going so your improvisation takes place in real time with the melody (as though you are taking a solo chorus with a band) then play the exact melody notes, then improvise a chorus and so on and so forth. Do this in both hands separately. Try this for another week fifteen minutes a day.

    Then the third week record what you are doing.
    Do the whole week without listening to what you recorded. Skip a couple of days, have yourself a drink or two, or at least pick a quiet time late at night and listen to what you recorded. The rest is for you to decide. I am reasonably sure that you will see a significant evolution in your playing. For many the change will be quite dramatic. Playing off tunes is great. Playing totally free can be even more satisfying. This melodic immersion will help with your free playing but requires other resources as well. All that for another time. May the melody be with you!

    If only I could actually play, I’d love to try this (!). Great post, though.

  • @GovernorSilver, you can get a lot out of sticking just to the notes of the melody and messing with dynamics and phrasing. If you were listening to me do this exercise you might or might not recognize the embedded melody (maybe entirely embedded in my inner sequencer). As far as creating a backing track, I would add that later on, but if that is what you are feeling to do, sure. I guess I am thinking that you will be freer at first not being bound by chord changes.

    @audio_DT, just take a very simple melody... even something like a Mary Had a Little Lamb (seriously). As long as the melody has some appeal for you it will work just fine. Part of the difficulty with being a beginning instrumentalist as an adult is that our musical ears are so developed. We have really high expectations. So what we play as beginners can be disappointing by comparison. If you can let that sophisticated knowledgeability go, and focus more on the sound of each note as it happens you can groove big time. Patience is required.

    Also, slow playing is very helpful. The slower the better. When I played scales it could take me up to ten minutes to play a C scale up and down two octaves. And I actually enjoyed it (mostly). Slow playing is underrated and a true path to playing fast,

  • @LinearLineman said:
    @GovernorSilver, you can get a lot out of sticking just to the notes of the melody and messing with dynamics and phrasing. If you were listening to me do this exercise you might or might not recognize the embedded melody (maybe entirely embedded in my inner sequencer). As far as creating a backing track, I would add that later on, but if that is what you are feeling to do, sure. I guess I am thinking that you will be freer at first not being bound by chord changes.

    @audio_DT, just take a very simple melody... even something like a Mary Had a Little Lamb (seriously). As long as the melody has some appeal for you it will work just fine. Part of the difficulty with being a beginning instrumentalist as an adult is that our musical ears are so developed. We have really high expectations. So what we play as beginners can be disappointing by comparison. If you can let that sophisticated knowledgeability go, and focus more on the sound of each note as it happens you can groove big time. Patience is required.

    Also, slow playing is very helpful. The slower the better. When I played scales it could take me up to ten minutes to play a C scale up and down two octaves. And I actually enjoyed it (mostly). Slow playing is underrated and a true path to playing fast,

    Thanks! That clears up a lot for me.

    I should play more slowly, with more intent/mindfulness. One of the ways I've been practicing "Donna Lee" is playing along with this video, in which this bassist starts at 80 bpm and gradually increases the tempo to somewhere above 200 bpm.

    I actually make more mistakes, when playing along, at 80 bpm than I do at 110 bpm. I think it's because I've been habitually practicing the melody closer to the 110 bpm range.

  • @LinearLineman said:
    @GovernorSilver, you can get a lot out of sticking just to the notes of the melody and messing with dynamics and phrasing. If you were listening to me do this exercise you might or might not recognize the embedded melody (maybe entirely embedded in my inner sequencer). As far as creating a backing track, I would add that later on, but if that is what you are feeling to do, sure. I guess I am thinking that you will be freer at first not being bound by chord changes.

    @audio_DT, just take a very simple melody... even something like a Mary Had a Little Lamb (seriously). As long as the melody has some appeal for you it will work just fine. Part of the difficulty with being a beginning instrumentalist as an adult is that our musical ears are so developed. We have really high expectations. So what we play as beginners can be disappointing by comparison. If you can let that sophisticated knowledgeability go, and focus more on the sound of each note as it happens you can groove big time. Patience is required.

    Also, slow playing is very helpful. The slower the better. When I played scales it could take me up to ten minutes to play a C scale up and down two octaves. And I actually enjoyed it (mostly). Slow playing is underrated and a true path to playing fast,

    Thanks for the advice. I usually play chords and things but by bit - record a few notes/chords, then add until I’ve got something I think is decent. It’s obviously not as good as being able to play live, but I get by, kind of. Cheers, though - I’ll give it a go.

  • HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR KEYBOARD IMPROVISING 100% IN THREE WEEKS or your money back.

    This approach probably won’t help you get work with others. But there’s less and less paid work so it can’t hurt. I still enjoy highly structured music with improvised sections that in the best case sound notated. That requires a different approach to play with others and work from complex notations. Zappa improvised his guitar solos but everyone else had structure to support his ability to create. Ruth Underwood in contrast could play fly shit scores and not a moment without sonething to inform her hands on the mallets.

    Improvisation can mean what you want it to mean. But I like musicians that can also read and make an ensemble work.

    I just want to expound that there are rules that you may elect to deprecate but there will always be someone that wants some proof of basic skills of traditional musicianship.

  • @McD, plenty of people who use this approach can do exactly as you wish (Lennie and Connie, lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, Dave Frank and on and on) I can do it, too, if I force myself, tho my skills don’t match the aforementioned. It’s not either or, I just choose to follow a rather meandering stream.

    Anyway, expound away, it does a heart good.

  • I often turn on Xequence, send the midi kybd to it, start recording, then just noodle on a theme or notated melody. The best outcomes for me are usually in substitutions in the harmony, but if I close my eyes and just play, sometimes the melody will change in subtle ways. I really enjoy jazz, but it occasionally gets problematic for my mind when something is called “Scotch and Soda (for example, it’s a great Bill Gard song), and I just can’t hear anything vaguely familiar in the jazz rendering. I have a huge Bill Evans collection that I love for the sound, but not because it makes me hum along to the named tunes.

  • @McD said:
    HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR KEYBOARD IMPROVISING 100% IN THREE WEEKS or your money back.

    This approach probably won’t help you get work with others. But there’s less and less paid work so it can’t hurt. I still enjoy highly structured music with improvised sections that in the best case sound notated. That requires a different approach to play with others and work from complex notations. Zappa improvised his guitar solos but everyone else had structure to support his ability to create. Ruth Underwood in contrast could play fly shit scores and not a moment without sonething to inform her hands on the mallets.

    Improvisation can mean what you want it to mean. But I like musicians that can also read and make an ensemble work.

    I just want to expound that there are rules that you may elect to deprecate but there will always be someone that wants some proof of basic skills of traditional musicianship.

    From what I understand of the Connie Crothers approach as taught in the OP, I don't see why the method would ruin the student's ability to read music or work with an ensemble.

    Or are you saying that improvising musicians - in general - cannot read or work with an ensemble? That is definitely not true of today's jazz musicians, who regularly join ensembles, and include sheet music in their communications.

  • edited September 12

    Each skill requires a significant investment of time and dedication, so it would not be surprising if the highest proponents of one skill have devoted significantly less time to developing the other.

  • edited September 12

    There was a well known jazz keyboardist who loved boxing, but I'm sure he gave up the boxing skill to become the great keyboardist. So he could be used as an example of sacrificing one skill to achieve another.

    OTOH, reading music and improvising music, while being distinct skills, are not_ that_ unrelated, especially when both skills are developed on the same musical instrument. If the musician sight-reads a piece of music for an hour, is an hours worth of skill in improvisation lost? I doubt it. There are plenty of professional musicians who can do both.

  • I think @McD has to elaborate exactly on what he means @GovernorSilver. These days, young jazzers are often exceptionally educated theorists as well.

  • @TheOriginalPaulB said:
    Each skill requires a significant investment of time and dedication, so it would not be surprising if the highest proponents of one skill have devoted significantly less time to developing the other.

    I wouldn't mind betting that for some the 2 skills conflict with each other, the muscle memory, In improv the trigger comes from purely inside the brain, whereas in sight reading it is what's on the page that triggers the muscle memory. It must be very tricky for most to keep them separate I would imagine.

  • @AndyPlankton, I don’t think sight reading per se affects the ability to improvise or vice versa. However, I think it is difficult for a classically trained musician to swing. I have heard the evidence with my own ears. Not impossible, but a real challenge.

  • edited September 12

    @AndyPlankton said:

    @TheOriginalPaulB said:
    Each skill requires a significant investment of time and dedication, so it would not be surprising if the highest proponents of one skill have devoted significantly less time to developing the other.

    I wouldn't mind betting that for some the 2 skills conflict with each other, the muscle memory, In improv the trigger comes from purely inside the brain, whereas in sight reading it is what's on the page that triggers the muscle memory. It must be very tricky for most to keep them separate I would imagine.

    There have been articles published before, which images that show one region of the brain lighting up when the muso is sight-reading, and a different part of the brain lighting up when the muso is improvising. No debate there.

    But again, there are professional musicians who can do both, no problem.

    In the jazz guitar world, Barry Galbraith was a guitarist who could improvise at a professional level, but was also known as the best sight-reader in the studio/session musician scene. Jim Hall - another jazz guitar great - said that when he was presented with particularly difficult to read sheet music, he said "I can't read this $h!t, you need to call Barry". That was in a time that George Russell was quite active as a bandleader and educator - I think Hall was being asked to read the kind of complicated stuff that Russell was known for composing/arranging - not "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". Russell is the author of this notorious book, to give you an idea of the theoretical level he was working at, and is one of the architects of modal jazz, if not the main architect:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lydian_Chromatic_Concept_of_Tonal_Organization

    Galbraith wrote a book that can still be purchased online - the "Play Along with Bach" book - with the intention that the jazz guitar student will read this Bach music as part of technique development.

  • McDMcD
    edited September 12

    Watch this video of Connie explaining her approach to spontaneous improvisation.

    "You're not playing the suggestions and ideas that your brain can give you. ...you're letting the music stream out of your creating mind." - Connie Crothers

    For me this is like musical mystical metaphysics. It's got an inner life that changes it to a personal journey and makes it less of a medium for connecting people. I'm sure many would enjoy the experience but for me it's time that I could be spending building skills to connect with an audience.

    The whole interview has resonances with a religious accolyte questioning the master. Connie defers to her mentor. The end result is music that exists in the moment and intentionally doesn't sound like music you have heard before... if it does? You've lost the moment are are just repeating in someone else voice. It goes a long way towards explaining the @LinearLineman musical output. Personally I like highly structured, repeatable music compositions with improvised personal statements (i.e. solos). I like it when a jazz group plays a standard and maybe provides a new take on a classic form.

    I might use a variant of this method and not use a single melodic line but a short harmonic progression and slowly work through a series of iterations repeating that harmony and creating an arrangement. The opposite of spontaneity. But with enough time invested I could use that work to start a piece based on the lessons and muscle/memory and create an instance of that structure. Listeners would have the underlying harmony as a context for the choices made to create the music. With Lenny's approach you start with a melody and soon it's in your head and the audience is not in there with you.

    When I hear music that moves me I seek to learn how it was made and what work is needed to make something in that vein. It's an incredibly "brain" centric experience and being able to repeatably play music that generates feelings in the audience is the focus.

    For me your time is better served by following a rhythmic-based approach to jazz like this:

    Both options are available to the interested reader.

  • The impression I got from this Lee Konitz book was that Tristano DID place a lot of value on rhythm, unless I misread @McD 's post.

    https://www.press.umich.edu/130264/lee_konitz

    Warne Marsh and Sal Mosca - two other Tristano students - were also known for working hard on solid time and rhythm:
    https://www.johnklopotowski.com/blog/learning-rhythm-by-tapping-with-your-hands-and-feet-as-taught-by-warne-marsh

  • @GovernorSilver said:
    The impression I got from this Lee Konitz book was that Tristano DID place a lot of value on rhythm, unless I misread @McD 's post.

    Lee Konitz followed the jazz rhythm section traditions of his era. He could apply Lenny's ideas in the context of a groove.

    Connie took Tristano's work in a direction that does NOT value rhythm but turns it into a meditation which really isn't a group experience. Lee Konitz could swing and work with rhythm sections and probably even play to a click track for midi input. Connie might consider the metronome and a distraction that makes spontaneity difficult. I see the results in the @Linearlineman's playing. His solo expressions are great because his hands are coordinated with years of effort but his ensembles and MIDI artifacts are harder for me to enjoy... in general. With MIDI this complaints can often be address using quantization and some note editing but the input has to respect the clock. If some genius can follow the player and align notes with a BPM pulse that would help turn these compositions into music that would be easier to manipulate.

    I'm a groove player and rubato ruminations don't work for me... in general. It has to make me want to move, tap, jump or (God forbid) dance.

  • Total rhythmic dedication by Lennie. In fact the drummer was more of a time keeper than an instrumentalist. You can hear it in the drumming of Carol Tristano, Lennie’s daughter. Totally straight ahead. But I don’t think that is what @McD is driving at.

    What he says if fine by me. I like both approaches to listen to. One does not exclude the other. As for my own playing, the structured life just got boring, and, IMO, I am more creative on the mystic journey. Maybe fewer people will dig it, but hell, it’s just a few less than the few who would hear something more traditional from me. When you got almost nothing you got almost nothing to lose.

    But, I do not see how Connie’s (or Lennie’s) exercise in any way is not helpful to the traditionalist. In lots of traditional renditions of classic jazz tunes it may be hard for the inexperienced listener to identify the original melody. Like Parker’s rendering of How High The Moon, Ornithology. So easy to hear the melody cause he is riffing off the chords.

  • @McD, my playing skill, or lack thereof, should not be compared to real masters. To say. Connie didn’t “value” rhythm... well, that just ain’t so. Why would she abandon it? Does not compute.

  • Thank you, @McD for clarifying your thoughts.

    I finished listening to the Connie Crothers video that you posted. What they discuss therein sounds a lot like what Joe Diorio says in his "Creative Jazz Guitar" DVD - he even calls his curriculum "Right Brain Guitarist":

    “The idea in improvising is to free yourself from left-brain thinking. The left side of the brain wants to know exactly what it’s doing through every step of the process, whereas the right brain is purely intuitive. It loves to take chances and be creative. And when that right brain starts to kick in, then you’ll start to come up with things you never thought of before.”

    I'm not great at chord-melody guitar playing - far from it - but I'm used to hearing rubato because it's common in chord-melody guitar. I was born around the dawn of funk and I'm sure my parents danced to one of the funk predecessors like soul jazz, so I get the need for solid time and rhythm, in fact I changed up the chord melody version of "My Funny Valentine" that I learned from a Barry Galbraith book because the version recorded by John Purse went sooo rubato that it was bugging me - I made the rhythm more obvious.

    Around the time I started learning the "Donna Lee" head, I also started working on lessons from the "Things I learned from Barry Harris" Youtube channel. Harris is known for being a stickler about rhythm.

    So I'll report back after working with the lesson that @LinearLineman generously posted. As a child of the funk and disco era, I doubt Connie's stuff is going to chase the rhythm outta me. ;)

  • @LinearLineman said:
    @McD, my playing skill, or lack thereof, should not be compared to real masters. To say. Connie didn’t “value” rhythm... well, that just ain’t so. Why would she abandon it? Does not compute.

    My reaction to her leaching is that she deprecates it in favor of more personal freedom. I think she produces acolytes that favor of an internal journey. It's like Marianne Williamson and politics. There are some powerful values at work but they can drift into alternate realities that I find confusing at best.
    Like addressing hurricanes with wish fulfillment and positive thinking.

    I'm trying not to make my comments insulting but open additional debate about what it means to improvise. Spontaneity in the end is irrelevant to me in contrast to music that connects to me and a like minded audience. A student came to Connie and played with some competency and she frowned because it was derivative. It's the ultimate judgement and a set of rules based upon the elevation of
    "creativity" over execution.

    We will never converge on a single view but the debate (for me) has value. It confirms my sense of what I enjoy and how I'd like to change my music to match those values. It's fundamental to motivation since we can advance in any direction but it's wise to envision a destination rather than just random movement. My thoughts. Somedays I want to spend sometime playing just one Bach Invention well.
    Then I'll have those musical atoms in mind for my creative toolkit.

  • I play guitar. I'm terrible at keys. At 15 minutes a day, I'm going to try this!

  • edited September 12

    @McD, listen to Love Energy with Lenny Popkin and Carol Tristano. Connie could and did do everything. Ultimately she chose her own evolution which sometimes was rhythmic and sometimes free. She wrote her own very structured and complex lines. She played tunes. She played free. She played with rhythmic drummers. She played with spoken word. She ate green eggs and ham.

    She was interested in bringing out the originality of her students. She encouraged singing tunes with the greats as a path to experiencing the feelings and expression involved. She never told anyone, as far as I know, not to play a tune in a traditional jazz format. If her method was not of interest to her pupils they sought help elsewhere. Again, I do not think it is either or, and I don’t think she deprecated... meaning phased out... rhythm , harmony or melody. She covered it all in her packed oeuvre. And, as far as I know, nevercalled herself anything but a fellow traveler on the jazz road.

    You know I love you, but I think some of your comments are uninformed when weighed against her playing skills. Listen to Ontology. At a rapid pace it is impossible to play without extreme accuracy and playing competence. How could she “deprecate” competence and go on to write, play and improvise over such a complex and “thought out” composition? She studied new music at Berkeley and gave it up to study with Lennie.

    To compare Connie to Marianne Williamson does not hold water, either. There is nothing new agey or touchy feely about Connie’s approach. it is totally experience based, accompanied by pertinent exercises for every aspect and rather easily developed if you have a mind to. And it is just as easily applied to standard forms as to the iconoclastic ones. If you don’t like the music, ok, but you can just as easily dislike Lawrence Welk, And he knew his polka inside and out.

    I think Improvisation is part of every modern traditional artist’s work. It is realized in different ways. It’s value is culturally and chronologically defined, however. For centuries the ancient Egyptian artist’s goal was to make a perfect copy of what was before. Times change and change back again.

    @mistercharlie, I think you’ll have fun. Let us know how it goes!

  • @LinearLineman said:
    @McD, listen to Love Energy with Lenny Popkin and Carol Tristano.

    Is there a link or does it require buying the album from new artists?

    it is totally experience based, accompanied by pertinent exercises for every aspect

    That's what I'd like to read about... you've mentioned drilling the 1-2-3-5, 13-5-7, 1-2-4-6, etc scales tones but offer no details or rationale.

    I would prefer instructions that you might give a non-player. Every Connie devotee I've experienced came into her sphere after 10-30 years of frustrated playing from music or the world of commercial music. You wrote broadway musicals and played hundred of gigs before becoming a convert.

    Connie was a Post-Graduate Music Composition student at UC Berkeley before she was enlightened by
    Lennie's approach.

    Her guidance for the beginner is probably more confusing than not.

    If you can't hear the "new age" thinking in that video where she helps reach the "creative" mind by turning off the "thinking" mind then you've drunk the kool-aid and are a true believer.

    I must stand firm with a skeptic's view of anything that expects to change my world without evidence of
    benefits. She points towards music you can "believe" is creative because it represents each individual's true nature. Sometimes it's just boring music and I'm still seeking for the "true path".

  • edited September 12

    I think you can find some Love Energy on Youtube, but it is worth downloading. You would like it, I am sure @McD. Very beautiful. I guess if ancient ideas are new agey, then I guess so. It’s pretty old stuff, I think, just applied to a modern art form.

    I think for a beginner, in vivo, rather than just being talked about, he/she would find it a very pleasant experience as all the exercises are pretty easy. Here’s what I did in the beginning...
    1. Sing with records
    2. Play scales with unusual fingerings (1-2, 1-3, 1-2-3, 4-5, 3-4-5 etc) each hand separate, then together parallel and contrary motion, and slooow with a metronome,
    3. Play those chord charts you referred to thru all twelve keys, minor, dim, 7ths, etc)
    4. Intense melodic exercise as described in this post to standard tunes
    5. Ear training (I couldn’t handle it)
    6. Free playing
    7. Some harmonic analysis

    And that was pretty much it. For twenty years (I probably should be a lot better!). Nothing a beginner couldn’t handle with some patience and fortitude, IMO.

Sign In or Register to comment.