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chorizo

Improv. - The Ultimate goal?

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chorizo    0

Just throwing this out there...

Would you say the "ultimate goal" (if such a thing exists) in improvisation would be to be able just play the notes you think of (or feel). Do you think this would be possible after enough time and practice so that you wouldn't even need to know about the underlying music, (i.e you would just hit the right notes)???

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si16    10

I'd say the ultimate goal is to be able to reproduce what you're hearing in your head on your chosen instrument. It's definitely possible to achieve, with lots of hard work of course. One listen to George Benson scat-singing along to his guitar playing is proof enough of that. Complete understanding of intervals is probably a good way to start.

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allthumbs    8

With enough practice, yes. It is not that you ignore the underlying music but, that your subconscious processes what you need to know to play within the context of a tune without having to think about it.

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AX7221    0
Would you say the "ultimate goal" (if such a thing exists) in improvisation would be to be able just play the notes you think of (or feel). Do you think this would be possible after enough time and practice so that you wouldn't even need to know about the underlying music, (i.e you would just hit the right notes)???

I think both are true, the major different being time. I think it would take a long time to be able to play by ear, but with the aid of music theory it can be done faster.

However I still think music theory is needed for communication, to learn from other musicians. Like if I can play by ear and I listen to a complex jazz song I probably wouldn't be able to just recreate it, but if I know what the chord progression is, and I understand what sounds that progression entails then I can use that bit of knowledge to recreate it, and to expand on it and expand what I play.

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chorizo    0

hmm interesting. Have checked some clips of George Benson. He certainly has that skill. Amazing!

I can also see now that to recreate and expand on a complex jazz sound for example you would need to use theory to help you.

Thanks for your thoughts!

I often wonder to what extent guitarists (and other musicians) actually do improvise during their live shows and how much is rehersed. It will be a mixture of the two but I'd definitely prefer to watch a show where i feel more improvisation is happening.

Especially were you can see/feel the interaction between musicians in a smaller band and you know you're seeing a one-off show.:)

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st_jo    0

i agree that if you can imagine it, you can recreate it.

if you build it, they will come.

if a mime falls in the forest, does it make a balony sandwhich?

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Kirk Lorange    128

Once you understand how music works, and with lots and lots of concentrated playing and listening, you can know what's going on musically simply by listening. After my 47 years of playing and listening, when I listen to music, part of my brain is going "I ... vi ... II7 ... I ..." etc., as the progression progresses. If you can do that, the rest is limited only by the imagination and inventiveness you can muster up and physical ability. But, yes, absolutely, as impossible as it may seem when starting out, playing what you hear in your head gets easier and easier to do. All notes become numbers; if you can hear the number, and see it on the fretboard, you can play it.

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eddiez152    129

Kirk,

It is very interesting indeed. Although, I never understood the replationship til now, I mean in terms of structure or math. I do know that even when listening to tunes I have never heard before I could anticipate the changes and direction of the tune.

This allowed me to playing something by ear along with the tune quickly, or at least on the keyboards. I wish it could happen as quick on the guitar. But the learning starts here, from the people in the know. I'll get there in time ! Plane Talk was another great invention and tool to learning.

Thanks Kirk !

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felixdcat    0
Kirk,

It is very interesting indeed. Although, I never understood the replationship til now, I mean in terms of structure or math. I do know that even when listening to tunes I have never heard before I could anticipate the changes and direction of the tune.

This allowed me to playing something by ear along with the tune quickly, or at least on the keyboards. I wish it could happen as quick on the guitar. But the learning starts here, from the people in the know. I'll get there in time ! Plane Talk was another great invention and tool to learning.

Thanks Kirk !

It's just impossible to say how much Kirk has done for people which want to learn guitar.

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scotty_b    16

For me, the ultimate goal is to go beyond the notes and express something. Ideally I would like to express the fullness of life - anything and everything - in my playing and improvising.

Eric Clapton once said he hoped to one day play a guitar solo so beautiful that people would cry - I have that as one of my goals too.

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papadog65    0

Many good points in here from all of you. I've tried many times to play by ear; I know the tones I'd "like" to make, but most of the time I hit wrong ones. I'm working on some scale patterns now and hope that I'll be able to know where the chord tones are so I can hit 'em right.

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scotty_b    16
Don't forget that Sinatra-esque track waiting for you in the other thread, scotty_b. It's only 3 minutes long. ;)

Hey Kirk

Haven't forgotten, but was in a car crash last week and having some back problems - not really able to play the guitar freely at the moment. Hopefully a few more quiet days and I will be ready to go!

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belle111    0

the ultimate goal is to play your own version in a way that would sound you.. from it one can pick up your character and what you believe in...making your own statement on how you play your music....you way ..your style ..your sound..

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st_jo    0

Kirk says:

when I listen to music, part of my brain is going "I ... vi ... II7 ... I ..." etc., as the progression progresses

is this because you immediately recognize Key and adapt your numeration from there? aren't adjacent Keys relative in many respects thereby creating confusion....well, i mean, wasn't it such that way when you first began learning?

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Stratrat    0
Kirk says:

is this because you immediately recognize Key and adapt your numeration from there? aren't adjacent Keys relative in many respects thereby creating confusion....well, i mean, wasn't it such that way when you first began learning?

Kirk's way of thinking IS relative. If you can think in terms of "I....vi...II7.....I....etc.", that applies to any key. A "I / vi / ii7" progression in the key of C is "C / Am / Dm7". In the key of F#, it would be "F# / D#m / G#m7". I think what he's hearing and picking that allows him to adapt his numeration are the intervals.

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st_jo    0

my way of thinking is so far relative that i confuse myself knowing that C is the I of C and the ii of B and the iii of A..... and so on. when i think on this too much, my hair starts to bleed.

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AX7221    0

If Kirk was listening to a song that had the chords C, G, Em. If it was played one way it would be clear that the C is the I, the G is the V and the Em is the iii. But it if was played differently it would be clear that the G is the I, and the vi, and the C is the IV. On post number 37 here i put recordings in 2 different keys but the same intervals. That will illustrate something different, but in both you can hear how the C sounds like the I in the first recording but not the second. Same for the G chords.

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Stratrat    0
my way of thinking is so far relative that i confuse myself knowing that C is the I of C and the ii of B and the iii of A..... and so on. when i think on this too much, my hair starts to bleed.

Ah....but if I correctly understand what Kirk's saying, he isn't just "thinking" it that way, he's "hearing" it that way. He's hearing the root, and can then perceive the intervals just by hearing them. He's not consciously thinking "Hmmm, that's C#, which is the iii of A"....he's just hearing a I....iii progression, and would hear it the same way regardless of what key it's in or what the actual notes are. The intervals between notes are the same in any given key, even though the notes themselves are not. You could sing "Happy Birthday To You" in any key and you'd use the same intervals.....someone who thinks along Kirk's lines wouldn't analyze it as "hmmm, that sounds like the key of 'C', so the notes are C, D, C, F, E, etc." - rather, they would hear a "I, ii, I, IV, iii, etc. progression", regardless of key.

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Kirk Lorange    128

That's right, Stratrat. Until someone tells me the key, or I check it with a guitar, I'm just hearing numbers, not chord names. As soon as I do know the key, then I can ascribe names to the numbers.

st_jo,have a look at this lesson: http://www.guitarforbeginners.com/forum/beginners-lessons/2426-music-building/

So, what I'm saying is that I know which rooms the music is moving to and from, I don't know the floor. I can also hear any of the common deviations from the standard layout, like if one of the minor rooms has been 'majorized' or vice versa, or if a quick trip to another floor has taken place. In that case, I can hear how many floors up or down, but not the exact one. I can only know that if I know the name of the floor I start on.

Does that help you visualize what I'm talking about?

While being able to hear like this is very practical from a playing point of view, it can actually become irritating as it makes it difficult to just listen to nice music, to just let it all wash over you the way music is supposed to do.

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st_jo    0

Thanks Kirk. That helps a little. I am very adept at visualizing... especially whirled peas......snort snort.

I have to wait another paycheck before I make my purchase, or win more tomorrow at the poker table.

How does a minor become majorized.... it's a single note difference, i get that -b3- but what is it you are implying.

Any thoughts on atonality and discordant guitar noise?

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Kirk Lorange    128

Not really implying anything, st_jo. Composers don't need to restrict themselves to those 7 chords when writing a tune, they can use any chords they choose. A very common way of breaking away from the 7 related chords is to turn one of the minors into a major, so you still keep the root, but the flavor changes. Another common one is to go from a IV to a iv ... these are things you get to hear after a while. There is no discord or atonality involved as it really becomes a mini key change when you do that, the ear simply adapts.

Example -- play:

D > F#m > G > A ... listen to that. That's I > iii > IV > V in the key of D. Now play:

D > F# > G > A ... listen to that. That's I > III > IV > V in the key of D. You could view that F# (major) as a momentary key change, I guess, but it's still the key of D.

If you listen long and hard enough to music, you can simply hear those Roman numerals, whether they're the proper diatonic versions or the altered versions.

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st_jo    0

thanks Kirk,

i see better what you mean. i suppose i had intuited that idea because i DO hear those mini changes when i listen to some music.

when i mentioned atonality and discordant sounds, i was asking you about your take on those approaches to guitar playing.

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