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What parts of Theory?

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Reinhardt  
19 Oct 2010 14:27 | Quote
Joined: 22 Sep 2009
South Africa
Karma: 8
Hye there guys,
I just want to improve my ability to improvise better and want to know if you guys can point out specific theory stuff that will help my accomplish that.
Technique, creativity, Feeling, Hearing is another story. . .
JustJeff  
19 Oct 2010 15:09 | Quote
Joined: way back
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 21
All of theory will help your improv... there is no real good place to start.

Maybe start with analysis of what classic composers do in their music that make them sound good :-P
DannyEss  
19 Oct 2010 23:45 | Quote
Joined: 19 Oct 2010
United States
Karma: 1
A good place to start would be to learn some chord progressions in a given key. Then either record or use a loop and try some basic scales (either pentatonics or major/ minor scales depending on your chord progression.) You will start to hear how the scales fit with the chords. You will also hear how some of the chords will add flavor to your scales.
Reinhardt  
20 Oct 2010 08:00 | Quote
Joined: 22 Sep 2009
South Africa
Karma: 8
@DannyEss i have no problem doing that i'm actually refering to improve my improvisation on a advance level.

@Justjeff why classic composers?
DannyEss  
21 Oct 2010 00:31 | Quote
Joined: 19 Oct 2010
United States
Karma: 1
Many great improvisational musicians are jazz based. If you don't know your modes then take the time to do so. This will help you follow the chord progressions. Additionally, if you are working in the context of a jazz perspective you may have multiple keys within an arrangement. Learning scales / arpagios will add alot of flair.

Let me give you a quick example.

Lets say you have the following Chord Progression:

Am7 D9 Am7 Am9

D9 D9 Am7 Am7

Em7 A7 Am7 (Am7 - Em7)

Try playing around with A Dorrian Scales, A Dorrian Pentatonic, and maybe A minor Pentonic. Add some tasteful bends.

You will need to listen to the A7 to Am7 change. The A Dorrian Scale will clash.

I hope this gives you some ideas.
Reinhardt  
21 Oct 2010 03:27 | Quote
Joined: 22 Sep 2009
South Africa
Karma: 8
Thanks alot DannyEss, I will be focusing more on my modes.
macandkanga  
21 Oct 2010 12:44 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
This is taken from an interview with Scott Henderson. If you don't know who Scott Henderson is, he is one of the greatest fusion players out there now. He is really into Blues these days but mostly known for his group Tribal Tech.

Keep in mind that he is a teacher at GIT and is technically trained:

Martin Schmidt: Did you take lessons in the beginning?

Scott Henderson: No, though I had some friends that played better than me, they were always showing me stuff, but I never took formal lessons until much later.

Martin Schmidt: Where did you study music?

Scott Henderson: At the Florida Atlantic University in Florida. Around 1980 I moved to Los Angeles and went to GIT for a year.

Martin Schmidt: Did the time you spent at these schools have a great influence on your playing style?

Scott Henderson: I don�t know if the school is that much responsible for it, or the music I was listening to, or all the stuff friends turned me on to. I never really heard jazz until I was in college. I was pretty old, when I went to college, because I skipped four years of school, because I was out on the road playing with bands. I was around 23 or 24 by then.

Martin Schmidt: Which kind of bands did you play with?

Scott Henderson: Pretty much rock and soul bands. I was in an all-black group for maybe three years, I was the only white kid in the band. We played James Brown, Kool & The Gang, just funk!

Martin Schmidt: No guitar solos?

Scott Henderson: There were some guitar solos, but I was mainly a rhythm player at that time.

Martin Schmidt: What did you learn at the schools you went to?

Scott Henderson: Mainly jazz improvisation and composition, that was what I was majoring in.

Martin Schmidt: Before that you were an ear player?

Scott Henderson: Yeah.

Martin Schmidt: What do you think are the most important things a young player has to learn?

Scott Henderson: I think the learning how to play by ear, developing your ear, is the most important thing. Learning off records is a super important thing, to transcribe good players and learn from that. I would say that�s probably more important than going to school. Going to school is helpful to put what you learned into a vocabulary that�s easily shared with other musicians. There�s benefits to both ways, but if I had to choose one, I would say, learning by ear is more important than learning technically what you�re doing.

Martin Schmidt: Practicing scales and stuff like that?

Scott Henderson: Yeah, that�s great, too but you learn the same thing from records and even if you don�t know what you�re doing technically, you�re still doing it! Most players that play really well, have done quite a bit of study by ear, transcribing solos from solos, learning from their favorite players, without the help of a teacher!

Here's the whole interview: http://www.guitar9.com/interview77.html



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