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Hjalmar Jakobsson 01-03-2010 06:23 AM

Improvising & the mind
I want to know how people think while they're improvising. You see, cause I've read like tons of stuff on how to improvise but I just don't like the way most people think about it. They say that you're suppose to picture every scale in every key all over the neck at once and for me that just seems like impossible.
Lately I've been working on a new way of thinking in which i learn all the notes of the major scales in every key completely and then I just alter them by lowering or sharpening the notes that I'll have to in order to improvise over a certain chord.
For example:
If I'd be playing over a B7b9 chord then I take the B major scale B,C#,D#,E,F#,G#,A# and
what I do with it is that I just lower the 2nd, 3rd, 6th and the 7th note in order to make it become the phrygian scale in the key of B.
So in the end I'll only have to know the major scales and the basic formulas for the more exotic scales which for me seems pretty good as I then get rid of "boxes":D
Also this way of playing is good when you want to learn how to read sheet music as I learn the notes while others learn where to place their fingers.

I have been working a lot on how to make improvising easier by approaching from different perspectives and I must say that I like this way of playing.

People might say that you'll be pretty locked up with one chord while playing maybe jazz but I'd say that as one learns the notes so very well you'll know exactly what to do if you want to play something that goes the same over many chords, eg. II V I progression.

ikosaed 01-03-2010 06:35 AM

Re: Improvising & the mind
I thought this was interesting and thought worthy:

MattyG 01-03-2010 03:54 PM

Re: Improvising & the mind
That's a great approach. It's nothing new, but it works.
If I'm improvising over Jazz changes I've never seen/heard before and I don't have a chance to look at them properly first, my thought process becomes very much centered around the chord shapes in the music rather than the scales. (as you desribed above)

This way, if I am in a panic, (which I usually am in this scenario) I can more or less hit a right note because I find the chords easier to picture in a short space of time.

With this approcah you start to learn which note is the b9 or the #5 etc in the chord which is quite often overlooked when people learn chords

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