Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Improving your Improvisation Skills

What exactly is improvisation? It's a word that means, "to make up." To create without forethought or plan.

Many students want to improve their ability to improvise but make a big mistake when they think this means learning new techniques. No. The key to improving improvisation skill is to be able to let go of the need to control what comes out of you and let the music itself takeover. This makes all the difference!

Here, we are not making something up or trying to produce something. We are allowing the music to come through us and be born of its own.

This "approach" makes all the difference because it puts an end to trying to come up with material!

Being able to improvise does not mean having a lexicon of techniques to draw upon. It does not mean virtuosity at all. It means being open and receptive to what's coming next.

Your improvisation skill will increase with your ability to relinquish control. A paradox to be sure, but one that I've found to be true again and again. Learn technique of course. Learn chords, yes. But then let it go and play the piano.

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