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ImprovisationGamesforJazzMusicians

CommonGrounddeterminetheCommonTonesthatconnectthechordstogether
andplayasolousingonlycommontones.
GuidetoneHeroStartonaguidetoneandusingyourear,moveupordownwitheach
newchord.Ifanotesoundsbadstayonit,andaimtoresolveitonthenextchord.
StayorGoStartonanoteandwhenthechordchangesdetermineifyoushouldstay
onthatnoteormoveitupordowneitherahalfsteporwholestep.
PlayRestAlternatebetweenplayingandresting,suchasplayfor2measuresrestfor
2measures,playfor3measuresrestfor1measure,playfor4measuresrestfor4
measures,etc.
Loopsplayonechordoragroupofchordsforacontinuousamountoftime,untilyou
getreallycomfortable.
TimeNoChangesPickatempoandimprovisewithoutthinkingaboutchanges.Ifit
helps,pickakeycenterorscaletouse.Focusontimefeelaboveallelse.
StealfromtheMelodyFindashortpartofthemelodythatyoulikeandimprovising
usingthatasaspringboard.Youcanstealtherhythm,stealthemelodicorder,alterita
littleoralot,transposeit,and/orsequenceit.
FreeImprovplaywhateveryouwantfor10minutesstraight.Graduallyaddminutes.
FunDayforgeteverythingandjustplaywhateveryouwantforatime.Revisitwhyyou
playmusictobeginwith.
GroupPracticeorPracticewithaBuddypracticingcanbemorefunwhenyouhave
someonetoplaywithsoinviteafriendoragroupoffriendsandpracticetogether.
JamSessionstherearejamsessionsallovertown.Learnatuneandgositin.Orset
upyourownjamsessionwithyourfriends.

MotivicImprovisation(CellularImprovisation):
InspiredbythethematicimprovisationofSonnyRollinsandtheearlyatonalcompositionsof
ArnoldSchoenberg,theimproviserusesamotiformusicalcelltoguidethe
improvisation.
Amotive(ormusicalcell)isashortmusicalideawhichcanbedefinedbypitches,intervals
orrhythms.Theycanbeusedtocreatelargermelodiesasthebasisofentireworks.
BeethovensFifthSymphonyisbasedonafournotemotiveanditsaccompanying
rhythm.
Decideonamotivetostartwithandbeginimprovisingwithit.Forexample,apitchmotive
mightbeginasB,C,Abeforeitissubjectedtotranspositionandtransformation.A
specificrhythmcouldbeshort,long,short,short,longwithnoinitialtempoorbeat
designated.Amotivecouldbeasvagueasmoveup,thendownthenup.
Someparameterstoexploreinclude:
Rhythm
Accents
Articulation
Dynamics
Transposition
Transformationofthecell,
o eachrepetitionshouldrelatetothepreviousincarnation
o sizeofinternalintervalscanbechanged
Inversion,cellcanbeplayedupsidedown
Retrograde,cellcanbeplayedbackwards
RetrogradeInversion,cellcanbeplayedbackwardsandupsidedown
Emotionalcontent.

ImproviseEmotions:
Pickaspecificemotionbeforebeginning.
Playmelodiesthatexpressthisemotion.
Listentoothersandattempttointeractwiththeirmelodies(unlesstheemotionpicked
impliesyoushouldnot,ex:frustration)
Someexamplesofemotions:
Anger
Happy
Frustration
Joy
Fear
Variations:
Picktwo(ormore)moodsandafterdevelopingone,transformtheemotiontoanother.
Approximatetimesforeachemotioncanbepredefinedorarrivedatbyconsensuswhile
playing.
Haveeveryonepicktheirownmoodtoexpressandplayersthenattempttointeract
musically.Havethemguesseachothersmoodoncefinished.

ImproviseScenesorPictures:
Insteadofemotionschooseotherbriefdescriptorsforstartingpointsinimprovisation:
Citystreet
Wintersnowfall
Summerevening
Sunsetatabeach
Whalessinging
Catsfighting
Lookingtocausetrouble