Saxophone Forum

by tutu10
(1 post)
6 years ago

Improvising by playing by ear or by "theory"?

Improvising by playing by ear or by "theory"? I'm honestly curious about the division between how many players would classify themselves as playing by "theory" (you can take this as playing the changes, using riffs, arpeggios, and memorized patterns) Vs. those who listen to the melodic line and play melodic variations by ear. This is obviously very generalized and there is no judgement about which is superior or better, although each of us may wish to think that way! I'm guessing that there's more who follow a "theory" route as that fits the predominant mode of teaching. Melodic playing or playing by ear is difficult to teach. I'd especially like to hear from those who were taught by "theory" and went on to being able to play by ear. Is there a desire to progress or broaden one's style from "theory" playing?

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