Yes but I just explained the bind I am in, the reasoning for the question. My actual question here is: Is the ability to improvise in the techniques used, or is it gained by playing others works?mmapag wrote:Jason, I understand your limitations as you've expressed them about engaging a teacher. However, what you seem to be asking is for the folks on this forum to act in the role a teacher would by posing lots of questions and hoping to get the answer that will make all the dots connect for you. I just don't see that happening in any effective way. Part of the issue is you don't really know what you don't know so you don't really know what to do next. That is something only a teacher, live or skype, can really address.
Ok I see that making sense, so what would the basic principles be? Because you mention theory and technique and in my mind those are the basic principles.Marshall Dixon wrote:I think the short answer to your question is: both.
The ability to improvise was once highly regarded in the "classical music" world. (I just looked up the first use of the term "classical music"; it was 1836.) Bach, Mozart, Beethoven were renowned at improvisation. It seems that contests were held between popular musicians of the time to demonstrate this skill.
But what all those musicians had was a thorough grounding in the principles of music to the extent of being able to transpose a piece of music to any other key and do it while playing, on the fly. The ground work in theory, and technique, was well established either before, or perhaps in co-ordinaion with the basic principles (as it was expected at some level to be able to improvise).
An interesting aspect of this is that about this time (1800) printed music was becoming more available, and it could be that as the public was able to know what to expect from the musician people were less tolerant of any "wrong notes."
I think it truly is a desirable skill, and to do it in an old manner just has this feeling that I cant describe, the same one I feel when listening to older music as in Romantic back to Antiquity.Marshall Dixon wrote:I was suggesting that, as improvisation was a desirable skill, it would be part of the teaching process somehow. Merely conjecture on my part.
Theory and technique begin with basic principles. The application of those is where you become involved and depending on personal factors, where you end up.
I don't have any formal education in any of this and can't be of much help, but find the question interesting in that you are addressing a distinctly different aspect in the way classical music was presented in earlier times. A highly admired talent at one time that seems to have gone by the wayside.
Yed but you use that in contrast to scale patterns meaning your doing a ton more work because rather than memorizing just on shape your memorizing every interval and have to make sure its in key versus one shape in one key meaning approx. 1 shape 1 pattern versus 12 intervals 12 patterns one for third etc... it is far more useful in chords and arpeggios but useless when it come t =o improvising one or two notes individually in scale otherwise it will make no senseSunnyDee wrote: ↑Mon May 01, 2017 2:15 amThere's a really fine university piano teacher, John Mortensen, on youtube who says that his classical pianists can't improvise. It's not part of their background. He teaches some interesting techniques to them and shares it on youtube. I feel like there are (at least) 2 very different kinds of musicians. Many classical players are what I call instrumentalists, they might compose, but they are the ones I think of almost like athletes, they are so amazing in technique. Others are composers or songwriters, who may or may not be particularly great instrumentalists. I remember some guitar teacher on youtube making an impassioned plea to guitarists to decide early which kind they want to be because both take a lot of time to master and take different kinds of training.
I do see, for myself, that since I've learned the fretboard, my improvisation/composition is far freer and much more melodically interesting, but that makes sense because it was my goal for learning the fretboard. I learned it not as a sight reader would (which I can't do), but by intervals, so that I could start on any note and move any interval staying in key in any key. The knowledge of the fretboard was the last bit of information that I needed to connect what I knew about theory to the fretboard. It still takes practice, but I feel like, in this sense, anyway, it was technique (or information at least) that I needed.
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