Is the ability to improvise in a classical manner in technique or playing others works

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SunnyDee
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Re: Is the ability to improvise in a classical manner in technique or playing others works

Post by SunnyDee » Mon May 01, 2017 12:01 pm

Jason Hensley wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 9:24 am
SunnyDee wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 2:15 am

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.
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 sense
I think we'd have to define some terms to make it clear what we are comparing here, but I think I understand what you are saying. I do know scale patterns. But, beyond the basic scale formula for an octave, I don't have those patterns in muscle memory the way some guitarists do, because I don't play that way, and I can't, right now, sight read for individual notes, but I can improvise.

You say, "memorizing just on shape your memorizing every interval and have to make sure its in key versus one shape in one key" Knowing the intervals in a scale means if you play those intervals from the root, you're automatically in key. But, as I see it, if you learn one finger shape in one key, then you can only play that one scale in that one key. Which is my point, really.

I look at knowing how to make intervals on the guitar as basic to improvisation of melody. When we are improvising/composing a melody, I believe we are generally thinking in intervals, certainly I am. The same knowledge also lets me create and modify chords on the fly which, I would think, is the same skill required for changing one or two notes in scale. I do this all the time when playing fingerstyle patterns. I think understanding the relationships between notes is key to creating music.

I think of it rather like Legos. I would buy a bunch of different basic bricks (intervals) so I could build anything I want (any scale in any key). Other people would buy sets with special pieces to build one thing, follow the instructions, build that one thing, and keep it like a model.

In short, if any one thing, besides creativity, would be necessary for improvisation, I'd say it's a full understanding of how elements of music fit together, either because you have a well-developed ear and thorough history of analytical listening or a knowledge of theory or both, then you have to know how to build those elements on your particular instrument, but to build something new, I'd certainly think you need to get at the elements.
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Jason Hensley
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Re: Is the ability to improvise in a classical manner in technique or playing others works

Post by Jason Hensley » Mon May 01, 2017 3:20 pm

SunnyDee wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 12:01 pm
Jason Hensley wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 9:24 am
SunnyDee wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 2:15 am

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.
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 sense
I think we'd have to define some terms to make it clear what we are comparing here, but I think I understand what you are saying. I do know scale patterns. But, beyond the basic scale formula for an octave, I don't have those patterns in muscle memory the way some guitarists do, because I don't play that way, and I can't, right now, sight read for individual notes, but I can improvise.

You say, "memorizing just on shape your memorizing every interval and have to make sure its in key versus one shape in one key" Knowing the intervals in a scale means if you play those intervals from the root, you're automatically in key. But, as I see it, if you learn one finger shape in one key, then you can only play that one scale in that one key. Which is my point, really.

I look at knowing how to make intervals on the guitar as basic to improvisation of melody. When we are improvising/composing a melody, I believe we are generally thinking in intervals, certainly I am. The same knowledge also lets me create and modify chords on the fly which, I would think, is the same skill required for changing one or two notes in scale. I do this all the time when playing fingerstyle patterns. I think understanding the relationships between notes is key to creating music.

I think of it rather like Legos. I would buy a bunch of different basic bricks (intervals) so I could build anything I want (any scale in any key). Other people would buy sets with special pieces to build one thing, follow the instructions, build that one thing, and keep it like a model.

In short, if any one thing, besides creativity, would be necessary for improvisation, I'd say it's a full understanding of how elements of music fit together, either because you have a well-developed ear and thorough history of analytical listening or a knowledge of theory or both, then you have to know how to build those elements on your particular instrument, but to build something new, I'd certainly think you need to get at the elements.
Ok I see that but really whats the difference between that and doing it in bigger patterns. I mean regardless its a pattern if you take the major scale for example its built of intervals by simply memorizing the shape of the major scale across the fretboard which is 5 positons and your done vs. every single note whether you call it a note, interval, whatever have you PLUS the formula for a major scale, and then having to adjust that whole entire thing to meet your requirements to play harmonic minor or whatever have seems like a TON more work then 5 patterns.
Barbarism is the natural state of mankind. Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph. - Robert E. Howard.

Jason Hensley
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Re: Is the ability to improvise in a classical manner in technique or playing others works

Post by Jason Hensley » Mon May 01, 2017 3:22 pm

Just to play regularly I mean not even to add touches of creativity which is how I see the real use of intervals. You have to work inside the rules and then break them in order to create something unique and I think that's how they are meant to be used that's just me personally I could be wrong and probably am but that's my two sense.
Barbarism is the natural state of mankind. Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph. - Robert E. Howard.

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RobMacKillop
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Re: Is the ability to improvise in a classical manner in technique or playing others works

Post by RobMacKillop » Mon May 01, 2017 3:38 pm

Guitarists in the 19th century certainly improvised. I also improvise when playing 19th-century music, and also modern music sometimes. I show how I do it on my website: https://rmclassicalguitar.com/19th-century/

I also teach classical guitar, and try to encourage my students to improvise preludes in the key of which the piece they are learning is in. Quality aside, it's not at all hard to do.

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Re: Is the ability to improvise in a classical manner in technique or playing others works

Post by Jason Hensley » Mon May 01, 2017 3:54 pm

RobMacKillop wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 3:38 pm
Guitarists in the 19th century certainly improvised. I also improvise when playing 19th-century music, and also modern music sometimes. I show how I do it on my website: https://rmclassicalguitar.com/19th-century/

I also teach classical guitar, and try to encourage my students to improvise preludes in the key of which the piece they are learning is in. Quality aside, it's not at all hard to do.
I think improvisation is easy, but composing for me at least is a bit different. I can make it more complex and work on more than one voice a bit more. But I think overall it seems to be pretty easy. I mean obviously the more you know the better. The more of anything you can create the better, whether it be chords, arpeggios, etc... I think learning how to apply it and with a consistent rhythm is the hard part.
Barbarism is the natural state of mankind. Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph. - Robert E. Howard.

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RobMacKillop
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Re: Is the ability to improvise in a classical manner in technique or playing others works

Post by RobMacKillop » Mon May 01, 2017 4:21 pm

Oh, I thought you wanted to improvise, especially when you said:

"I want to be able to improvise and I'm not so worried about speed as of yet, but I want to be able to play something that sounds classical with a couple scale runs here and there, and fingerstyle similar to Andantino in C by Carulli..."

Now you say it's easy. You're a fast learner!

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SunnyDee
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Re: Is the ability to improvise in a classical manner in technique or playing others works

Post by SunnyDee » Mon May 01, 2017 4:29 pm

Jason Hensley wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 3:20 pm
Ok I see that but really whats the difference between that and doing it in bigger patterns.
I wouldn't really know the difference because I'm not sure which patterns you are referring to. But if these systems/patterns work to play what you want, that's the goal. I wouldn't think any difference would matter.
RobMacKillop wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 3:38 pm
Guitarists in the 19th century certainly improvised. I also improvise when playing 19th-century music, and also modern music sometimes. I show how I do it on my website: https://rmclassicalguitar.com/19th-century/

I also teach classical guitar, and try to encourage my students to improvise preludes in the key of which the piece they are learning is in. Quality aside, it's not at all hard to do.
Such nice videos for improvising, thank you! You've shared some really rich ideas. Love the pdfs. Great resources. Thanks, again. :)
"Militantly left-handed."

Lefty Acoustics

Martin 00-15M
Taylor 320e Baritone

First guitar was a vintage Russian 7-string classical.

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RobMacKillop
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Re: Is the ability to improvise in a classical manner in technique or playing others works

Post by RobMacKillop » Mon May 01, 2017 6:07 pm

My pleasure.

clivepics
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Re: Is the ability to improvise in a classical manner in technique or playing others works

Post by clivepics » Thu May 11, 2017 11:00 am

I am a "both-and" person and recommend both learning from the main repertoire. I sometimes even find I "accidentally" end up composing a few things when improvising which is a real bonus

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