Saxophone Forum


by tmgaus51
(16 posts)
8 years ago

melodic improvisation

I've always somewhat had this problem, but recently it's been bothering me much more than usual. I am decent at improvisation, and my ear is fairly developed. I am still not even close to having relative pitch, but I can hear most chord changes (well, at least in pop music) and transcribe melodies decently. But, when I am playing over changes, and try to envision an idea before I play, instead of just moving my fingers as I used to do, I find it fairly difficult. My ear seems to be several times worse in the context of an accompaniment. Without a piano playing in the background, I usually don't have too much trouble playing what I want to play, but having music surrounding me seems to choke my ear up. And when I concentrate extremely hard on playing exactly what I hear in my head, I lose focus on other aspects of playing, and often miss the chord changes and get lost in the progression. Does anyone have any tips for this besides practicing over and over with accompaniment (which I intend to do anyway)? Thanks for your help, Dave

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  1. by swingstreet
    (315 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: melodic improvisation

    The post Getting Lost In The Progression provides many points of view on this matter.

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  2. by The Insomniac Saxman
    (141 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: melodic improvisation

    Your best bet is to learn solfege. If you can develop your ear to understand the FUNCTION of the notes, you will be far ahead of the game. Be prepared though, as it takes time. Dr. Thom Mason from USC wrote an excellent text which applies solfege to improvisation entitled "The Art of Hearing." You might want to pick it up. Also, you might want to enroll in a musicianship class at a local community college to brush up on solfege.

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