Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by adisu, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. adisu

    adisu I admit it, I'm a "user"

    Apr 8, 2005
    Hello everyone.
    How should i improvise???

    when i iprovise on a one chord groove it's easy because i just follow the scale and it's mods together with the feel i want to give my solo and it's very easy.
    But how should i improvise when it comes to complex chord progression...should i follow the chords and move with the scales respectively to the chords or should i find the main scale for each part of the song and improvise on the specific scale (and it's mods of course).

    How does all the jazz players (who play songs with many coplex chords progression) improvise??

    Thanks in advance

  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

  3. adisu

    adisu I admit it, I'm a "user"

    Apr 8, 2005
    thanks mate i'm gonna' read it now
  4. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Not technique related. Moved to General Instruction.
  5. Rav


    Dec 29, 2004
    Aurora, IL
    For a fast and dirty way to start improvising just follow the rules of stepwise connection. You can move from chord to chord as long as you only go up or down by 1 or 2 half steps between them.

    Just outline a chord then step to another chord by going up or down 1-2 half steps then outline that chord then move on. You can jam endlessly like this to get a basis for improv.

    If you play in a progresive pattern moving from low to high over 2-3 measures then back down over 2-3 measures it will come out as an improv bass walk.

    When you get confortable with it you can add passing tones to make it fill out better.

  6. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    +1!!!!!Even the best in the jazz education field would debate this question. I would say that serious work needs to be put in here, many of the best players would simplify and tell you to "play what sounds good!!"
  7. Perfect-Tommy


    Mar 28, 2004
    The best way in my opinion is the jazz player mentality. Learn all the rules so you can break them later on. Just become a good play with a solid foundation in the basics. Play lots of 12 bar blues. Play songs so many times that you could play them backwards, then start adding your own crap.

    I think one of the most important things in improv music, be it jazz, blues or jam band, is that you have to know and trust your fellow players. Hoenstly, if you're playing improv alone, you're noodling. Play improv with a group and you're comunicating.

    It's helpful to know the little quirks and such that make up all the players. Does the drummer have tale tell signs that he's getting ready to do a stop. Does the guitar player's solo usually peak and then go into the next part of the form. Do you have little tricks and go to riffs? Let the band learn them. Learn to play your instrument so well that you can mimic a lick that the guitarist plays. Do call and answer with them, or another solo voice instrument.

    There are so many things to learn and do! The fact that you're asking "how should I improvise" brings me to question if you're ready to do so yet. Each artist and musician has their own approach to improvising. Find your voice and your style, the rest will follow. Like many great musicians have said over the years, learn as much as you can and then forget it. You will recall it when you need it most without thinking about it.
  8. ireidt


    Mar 6, 2005
    I play in a band that we make up all the songs on stage for a while now, a show in atlanta ( I live in florida ) and we are playing the florida state folk festival, though we are not a folk band ( um, ok, I dont know why we are either )

    Anyway, here is my 2 cents.

    +1 to Perfect-Tommy. It really all mental. I learned theory and everything, but when I play with my band, I throw out all the rules and try to play something that not only will the crowed enjoy, but somethign the guitar soloist can have some fun ( the guitar soloist is insane, a lot of synth and looping ).

    But Pay attention to the other players in the band. When we are playing live, and our vocalist starts singing, he gives a hint to the soloist to stop soon, and I start playing on the higher strings so the low bass wont drown out the vocals, but once he stops, I am back on the A and E string.

    Another item I would like to add, if you don't haev a good drummer ( one of our drummers got arrested one was on drugs, the one we havw now adds beats to the song ) Try to focus on the beat of the song, for everyone will be listening to you fro the beat, not the drummer.

  9. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    See you over at Mike Dimin's thread :)