Letters of Life

The Difficulties of Improvisation (II)

More on this difficult subject.
It is SO much more easier to write about than to do. So I will do what I can do best at this moment: Write, and play later. Eons later. Centuries later.

First, one has to master the piece. Note for note, looping offending bars until everything is smooth. Smooth as a baby’s bum.
Second, one has to play articulately, with all the requisite expression and nuances. And then some.
(It rhymes.)
Third, the groove and the chord progressions must be solid, unwavering.
Fourth, play around with the melody by faking it a little.

After getting past all that, which equates to hours of heavy practice under the eye of the sphinx (or so it seems), one can then devote the self to:
1. Sticking closely to the notes of the chord (avoiding accidentals),
2. Trying out variations to hear what sounds elegant and
3. Crafting it out.

What I’m discovering I have mentioned words here which I ordinarily love, love, love to death: Nuances, articulate, faking it, elegant, and crafting. I bandy these words around when I talk about the subject of writing with a gleam in my eye and a thrill in the voice. But mention them in the context of musical improvisation and my thoughts become heavy as a lead balloon, and the thrill is replaced by a frog in the throat.

My salad days Ironically, I started music lessons earlier than when I started writing seriously as a pastime. Maybe it was how I learned piano skills compared to the quality of books that I fattened myself on: Mediocre methods vs gifted and imaginative authors. More likely, this duck just doesn’t have what it takes to fly (see previous post).

I would like to believe things are different now. I have help that is gifted and imaginative, and I can be pigheaded sometimes.
I just need a house that would keep itself spic and span.

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1 Response »

  1. I like the video… it reminds me the mister bark guy that plays the piano in briefs! lol

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