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My Journey with My Violin Since May 1716.
A probably unusual way to learn improvising via baroque play-alongs.
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Demoiselle
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December 21, 2016 - 11:48 am
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Maybe that's it. My parents moved a lot and my father was school principal here and there.

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MACJR
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Demoiselle said

Greensleeves ....

You're right, there's also a religious text version, but these secular lyrics are the the original ones.

Actually, they played Greensleeves without lyrics, at that church I went to, so I have no idea what version of Greensleeves they played. It sounded traditional though. It was just for atmosphere as people were coming in for Sunday's services, while people were still meeting and greeting.

Yesterday, I did practice playing a version of Greensleeves I found online a few months ago. I am now at a playing level where I can finally finger those notes, but it will take several more practice sessions to fine tune my playing of that tune.

MACJR

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Demoiselle
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Basically it's a very old pop song about a heartbroken individual. I started just improvising and later also played the subject. I would have loved to play the subject in my concert, but it got pretty long already and I can't do Greensleeves without singing. One of my first rules is: improvisation goes first, if I sing something anyway, I rarely repeat the subject instrumentally. Especially if a piece is slow and relatively long.

All the progress I've achieved comes from improvisation, which speeds things up in my development. I'm thinking about passing that on and someday share it in my community. Possibly for people who didn't do well with classical teachers. I believe there is a type of student who needs an alternative way.

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MACJR
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I am still very new at playing the violin again, but I have started, in small bits, to improvise here and there. Usually, after I have messed up the piece I was trying to play correctly.  😉

Sometimes, I keep messing up in the same spot, because it feels wrong to me. It should have been this other way. Then I go back and try to do it as it was meant to be done.

I do plan to work more on improvisation later though, once I get better at the basics.

MACJR

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Demoiselle
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Do you play guitar or a keyboard instrument? Or maybe banjo, ukulele, accordion etc.? You need to get a feeling for chords. I met players of wind instruments on jam sessions who never did that. Session organizers always want to get rid of these guests because they constantly play false notes without realizing it. If you feel like improvising, you should work on chords. Greensleeves is definitely not suited for beginners--the chords aren't extremely tricky, but nonetheless not easy: You definitely need to hear the transition from D minor (tonic) to A major (dominant) on all  three notes of  the triad. From D minor to A major and back to D minor--each time you must be able to hear right away what changes. Which is no rocket science--anybody can learn that by doing. The best way is at the keyboard. Back to Greensleeves, it is a bit long for improvisation beginners. There are two parts and the chords of the second part differ from the first part. Not easy to not be off-key there.

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Demoiselle
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MACJR said
I am still very new at playing the violin again, but I have started, in small bits, to improvise here and there. Usually, after I have messed up the piece I was trying to play correctly.  😉
Sometimes, I keep messing up in the same spot, because it feels wrong to me. It should have been this other way. Then I go back and try to do it as it was meant to be done.
I do plan to work more on improvisation later though, once I get better at the basics.
MACJR  

I started on violin with improvising: 

The advantage of it is, I'm not focusing on trying to recall a certain melody and I never have to hurry to hit a note punctually. The subject of a melody forces you to hit a note at a certain point of time and you easily feel pushed by  time. Whenever I feel rushed, I can go over to a long note. Or maybe my fingerboard hand feels exhausted, so I stop fast phrasing and do longer notes. So I can always play at my limit--neither being under-challenged, nor over-challenged. Today I basically do the same thing, except that my speed is much higher and I find the right notes sooner.

I definitely see a big advantage in training on phrasing faster, as soon as you have the basics and feel somewhat safe and secure. Hesitating and waiting too long will probably hinder progress. Although, after speeding up, you have to go back to slow phrasing from time to time, in order to not develop a sloppy, jittery technique. You just watch and listen your playing and make decisions what's  the right measure. Maybe it's time to pressure yourself by raising speed? That time certainly comes and one shouldn't hesitate it then and risk something.

I started speed pressuring in early August: Starting slow, then trying medium, then pressuring with fast which makes medium easier. After a couple days I pressured with very fast, which made fast easier and medium very easy. That's how I got from playing slow tunes only to being able to play faster tunes. Make yourself feel the pain in fast pieces and then being able to relax in those which are not so very fast. That's the strategy.

If you can improvise fast, you can finally play any standard melody without practicing it. You just play what you've heard before out of the moment.

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MACJR
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Demoiselle said
Do you play guitar or a keyboard instrument? Or maybe banjo, ukulele, accordion etc.?

No. But that is a no as in not yet.

I do plan on buying a guitar within the next year. I am also thinking about getting a keyboard, but I am not sure when I can budget that in. I already have a long list of items I plan to buy over the next several months, including that acoustic guitar that I have already picked out. I want a viola and an electric violin before I buy the guitar, then I will think about a keyboard.

My budget is very limited, but I can get a few nice things now and again. It just takes time, planning, and research.

MACJR

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I also meant to add, I am already at the point where I am speeding up my playing at times. And yes, speeding things up does help make playing slower easier. It is because you have to gain more control when playing faster. Learning that control when playing faster does help maintain control when playing slower too.

I am still less than four months into playing again. I still need more control, and to refine my skills, but I know I am getting better, fast. I think I impressed someone last night. She had heard me play, over the phone once, early on, when I was just getting to be able to play Mary Had A Little Lamb (which was my very first violin tune as a child, and again as an adult). I was only so so at it then.

Now, I can play a fair number of tunes, and although not always perfectly, they, or at least some, are starting to sound pretty good. At the time I was playing yesterday, I did not know if she was listening. She is taking chemotherapy treatments, and it drains the energy out of her so much that she drifts into sleep often. The other end of the phone just goes quiet. Still, I played on as if she could hear, and would say a few things now and again when I would take short breaks. Turns out she heard at least some of my playing, and she agrees, I have come a long way fast.  🙂

MACJR

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BillyG
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December 22, 2016 - 4:16 pm
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Ha !

I've played fiddle over the 'phone-line as well !  ( Usually "Happy Birthday" with some variations - or - come New Year maybe Auld Lang Syne and a couple of other Scottish airs to the one or two friends I still have left - I've lost a lot of friends since I started playing fiddle.... hmmmmm ???? )

Hope your friend is doing well, my best wishes !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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@Demoiselle - I figure that the reason you could improvise right from the beginning is that you have extensive experience in music.

For me, I only had about a year and a half of training when I was 11-12. After that, music was lost to me until I bought my violin last September. I had to start over, from the very beginning level then. I did not even know how to read sheet music in September, although I had already started researching it in August. The reason it took several practice sessions to finally be able to play Mary Had A Little Lamb again is because I had to learn how to read the notes and translate them into fingering the strings. I did not have the skills to try an improvise much of anything then.

Now, I can read sheet music. The notes, anyway. There are some details about reading sheet music that I still need to study about in more detail. I know the basic, other things, I still need to find out just what that means. My focus has been on bowing, fingering, and note reading until now. I need to start working more on timing and learn more of the details of reading sheet music now though, for playing the tunes as they are written. At least my fingers are cooperating more now, at getting to the right string and the right note.

I do want to be able to improvise, but that is not my main goal right now.

@BillyG - I have only inflicted my violin playing on one person, so far.  😉

Maybe it is not such a nice thing to do to someone so sick? Or maybe it helps, just a little bit, to get her mind off other things for just that little while.

It is still too soon to say if she will make it through this latest battle with cancer. All I can do is try my best to encourage her to not give up... and talk to her even when she cannot find the strength to do more than just listen.

MACJR

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MACJR said
I also meant to add, I am already at the point where I am speeding up my playing at times. And yes, speeding things up does help make playing slower easier. It is because you have to gain more control when playing faster. Learning that control when playing faster does help maintain control when playing slower too.

I am still less than four months into playing again. I still need more control, and to refine my skills, but I know I am getting better, fast. I think I impressed someone last night. She had heard me play, over the phone once, early on, when I was just getting to be able to play Mary Had A Little Lamb (which was my very first violin tune as a child, and again as an adult). I was only so so at it then.

Now, I can play a fair number of tunes, and although not always perfectly, they, or at least some, are starting to sound pretty good. At the time I was playing yesterday, I did not know if she was listening. She is taking chemotherapy treatments, and it drains the energy out of her so much that she drifts into sleep often. The other end of the phone just goes quiet. Still, I played on as if she could hear, and would say a few things now and again when I would take short breaks. Turns out she heard at least some of my playing, and she agrees, I have come a long way fast.  🙂

MACJR  

I see, you're a positive thinker and you are very realistic concerning your goals. This makes me very optimistic and I think this is also the reason of your fast progress. So many people are blocked by negative thinking since they bought into general negative narratives full of negative clichés.

I guess, buying a guitar is a good thing for you, because it sounds like that's what you would like. It empowers you to make sound recordings of short and simple chord patterns and improvise over them. And you learn to understand the harmony behind melodies by starting with simple pieces and slowly progress. I can assure you, there are very simple examples for an easy start and there's vast material of medium standard to slowly develop.

Which is a big chance to completely understand music and not just being dependent on notes written by others.

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MACJR said
@Demoiselle - I figure that the reason you could improvise right from the beginning is that you have extensive experience in music.

For me, I only had about a year and a half of training when I was 11-12. After that, music was lost to me until I bought my violin last September. I had to start over, from the very beginning level then. I did not even know how to read sheet music in September, although I had already started researching it in August. The reason it took several practice sessions to finally be able to play Mary Had A Little Lamb again is because I had to learn how to read the notes and translate them into fingering the strings. I did not have the skills to try an improvise much of anything then.

Now, I can read sheet music. The notes, anyway. There are some details about reading sheet music that I still need to study about in more detail. I know the basic, other things, I still need to find out just what that means. My focus has been on bowing, fingering, and note reading until now. I need to start working more on timing and learn more of the details of reading sheet music now though, for playing the tunes as they are written. At least my fingers are cooperating more now, at getting to the right string and the right note.

I do want to be able to improvise, but that is not my main goal right now.

Well, in case you rmust now, it's all in the beginning of this thread--first post on page one. It's really an awful lot, so yes you're right. At some point of my history I made money with swing music. Trombone, later trumpet and I always dabbled on the piano. I'm coming from difficult jazz harmonics, which made it possible to build my new world of improvised baroque music. I know exactly where I'm going and I'm able to define my goals precisely.

I urgently had to work on timing as well when I was young, for I was not at all gifted in this matter. That's why I experimented a lot with percussion and drumming on all kinds of objects--especially South American and Caribbean styles, which helped me a lot. Today I love to use two hand drums like baroque kettledrums, which is very-very funny. Funny is the following video, I made last summer, where my two violin voices are really terrible, after just playing violin for a couple weeks. (The recorder is trilling and the violins should too, but I just couldn't at that time.) But this makes this music even funnier and I find it very amusing today:

Well, percussion is something very fascinating and I love it. I also was a tap dancer in those years when I performed. But I don't like tapping anymore. People want me to tap, but they have to know, they have to pay me REALLY well then..... LOL

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MACJR said
I do plan on buying a guitar within the next year. I am also thinking about getting a keyboard, but I am not sure when I can budget that in. I already have a long list of items I plan to buy over the next several months, including that acoustic guitar that I have already picked out. I want a viola and an electric violin before I buy the guitar, then I will think about a keyboard.
My budget is very limited, but I can get a few nice things now and again. It just takes time, planning, and research.
MACJR  

Wait, you want a viola before you feel safe on violin? Isn't that messing up your violin routine while you're trying to gain sense of space, especially on the fingerboard? Learning various instruments over many years is okay, but I think you should give your violin at least 2 years to grow together with her. Starting on too many instruments at one time is not a good idea.

I was just thinking about guitar and keyboard again and came to these conclusions: I would not start both of them, but either decide for guitar or keyboard. Guitar has a thorny downside: You have to press the strings down way harder than on violin and many people complain it would hurt. That's why guitar players grow lots of horny skin on their fingers, so it doesn't hurt anymore. At age 17 an aunt gave me a guitar banjo as present, but I soon gave that up. It was a stupid idea and wiser to focus on piano and trombone.

I'm really afraid, if you start keyboard and guitar at the same time, you will remain in the lowest stage of dabbling. Maybe I was wrong before, assuming guitar would be great for you. On a keyboard you see everything clearly before your eyes, you hit chords with the left hand, while the right hand playfully figures out what scales belong to what chords. This is something anybody can handle pretty soon, guitar contains a technical barrier which is not to underestimate, while trying to manage the violin.

If violin is your main instrument, a cheap keyboard could be your theoretical tool to understand music. And the cheapest keyboards really do for something like that. I wouldn't say that about violins, since my first violin in summer 2015 was really horrible. How about getting a used keyboard? Or how about lending a guitar to see how it is? It's definitely not gonna be easy on guitar.

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Probably the last video upload from my concert sound recording: House of the Rising Sun.

When playing the subject at the beginning there are some issues. Partly this comes from not enough rosin (after House of the Rising Sun was a longer break and I took more rosin, so the second half of the concert was better). On the other hand I have to admit, that I avoid investing much time into practicing subjects, because IMPROVISATION really is the key to fast progress. And this progress includes getting to playing subjects right off the cuff without practising.

Improvisation can be a never-ending etude, fitting your personal needs at any moment. Many people refuse to believe it, but I am really convinced, if you do it right, improvisation is way more effective than classical schooling. Well, at least it can be extremely effective. The point is, I will learn to play melodic subjects just by the way anyhow, the better I improvise. Some improvisers tend to revolve around themselves, by repeating themselves forever, which is not the key to perfection and probably comes from indifference and laziness: At a certain point they feel like they know everything, but actually we should never stop learning.

THAT IS WHY WE CONSTANTLY HAVE TO LISTEN TO MUSIC! IN THE KITCHEN WHILE HAVING BREAKFAST -- IN  THE CAR WHILE DRIVING -- IN THE BASEMENT WHILE CLEARING UP.... SIMPLY EVERYWHERE.

The guitar player of my 1980s swing combo often gave me a lift in his car and he NEVER was sitting in his car without listening to jazz. When we then left his car and went to his apartment he switched on his CD player and there was again jazz. I said it before: music is not just coming from God--musicians need stimulation all the time, they constantly have to tank new ideas. Which is the secret of great musicality. Why do Arabian people play Arabian music and Western people Western music? Because humans play what they've heard before. And the more you listen, the bigger will be the pool for your personal creativity.

Not preaching to a certain person, but rather to everybody. Because many people out there struggle with music and it's making them sad, while music should make us all richer and heal us--heal the world. Because music is the supreme human language in this world. I also think, music is kind of holy. 😉

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MACJR
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I think the biggest problem of getting a viola is having to learn the alto clef while still working to master the treble clef. However, I can read notes fast enough to play now, so it might not be that hard to stretch myself a little more and learn alto clef as well.

As for fingering issues, I will see. The violin is my primary instrument now, but only by default. I think I might like the viola better, but I need to try one before I will know for sure.

As for the guitar verses the keyboard. Your thoughts on that are worth considering. In fact, I am not totally committed to getting a guitar, and when, or if, I do, it will not be right away. Buying a keyboard first, or instead, might indeed be the better plan.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.  🙂

MACJR

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Demoiselle
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MACJR said
I think the biggest problem of getting a viola is having to learn the alto clef while still working to master the treble clef. However, I can read notes fast enough to play now, so it might not be that hard to stretch myself a little more and learn alto clef as well.
As for fingering issues, I will see. The violin is my primary instrument now, but only by default. I think I might like the viola better, but I need to try one before I will know for sure.
As for the guitar verses the keyboard. Your thoughts on that are worth considering. In fact, I am not totally committed to getting a guitar, and when, or if, I do, it will not be right away. Buying a keyboard first, or instead, might indeed be the better plan.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.  🙂
MACJR  

Yes, if you feel like viola might be ideal, you probably shouldn't wait, try it out and make that decision soon.

Other question: What musical style do you prefer? Many people then answer like, "Oh, I like any kind of music, I listen to all of it...." Which is not really making me happy, because I feel like it's a good idea to have a favorite style. Be it folk, jazz, funk, whatever.... When I started at age 15 I was crazy about New Orleans jazz and had no idea that I would perform as swing musician in my late 20s, and that I would be regionally famous as singer and composer of soul melodies during the 90s. And of course I did not assume, that I would later go back to my childhood love Handel and start improvising in his style as well.

In other words: Around age 17 I was a New Orleans jazz fanatic, in my 20s I changed to a swing jazz fanatic, in my 30s I tried to be a soul diva, and in my early 40s I became a fanatic of historical baroque style (which I still am). So I did many-many thing, but not all at one time. I was all the time specializing and I did it for at least 5 years.

Fanatics like that have many-many CDs of they favorite style and hear them over and over again. Because vast musical stimulation is always first before it is possible to be creative.

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@Demoiselle said -

...... Because many people out there struggle with music and it's making them sad, while music should make us all richer and heal us--heal the world. Because music is the supreme human language in this world. I also think, music is kind of holy. 

  Precisely !   I could not agree more.  hats_off

  And @MACJR - I think the piano is a great device to really explore chords, keys and modes.   It is so "visible".   All the 12 notes of our western chromatic scale are right in front of you.   Understand the basics of major or minor keys - you can pick out anything really quickly.  Modes or other "unusual" scales - pentatonic or minor-blues - suddenly fall into place - and you don't have to be a virtuoso on the piano.   I've had arguments - well - let's just say "discussions" - with others regarding this - "knowledge of the piano has nothing to do with playing violin" I am told.   I totally disagree - and on the contrary - I see it as the one instrument that simply, and visually with its white and black keys just "SHOWS" you how scales, chords, majors, minors, modes, "special" keys are formed with just a little bit of time and thought.   You can then carry that knowledge of how"music is shaped" onto the fingering of the violin.   I used to play piano with one finger - well - OK I was better than that - but - it was never my instrument of choice - but it SURE taught me a lot.    These days, if I want a keyboard (not for live playing - I mean for providing a backing track) I'll just use synth voices from the computer or my (very) old CASIO rack-mounted MIDI synth...   bunny_pole_dancer   Yayyy for technology !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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MACJR
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@Demoiselle - The music I like to listen to the most are a bit moody, like The Alan Parsons Project, Pink Floyd and The Moody Blues. What I listen to, mostly, though, is just pop and rock. These I can have playing in the background without distracting me too much. If I am feeling troubled, or moody, or contemplative, then I dig out the deeper stuff. Even some Ray Lynch from time to time. I find his instrumental music soothing.

What I love to play, the music that my soul want to play, is classical. I am not refined enough in my musical knowledge to list genres and classes, but the old stuff, the really old stuff, the stuff that resonates with my soul. I love to play it... but oddly, I do not listen to it all that often. I just like to play it.

@BillyG - I am not sure why I resisted the piano so long. Part of me always did want to learn to play they keys. There are several uncles who play piano, and one is especially good at it. He was the keyboardist in a popular local band for a time, but he never made it big time. Although I was often over at my grandparent's place, where there was a piano, I never did more than play with it, not play it. There was some attempts, by one of the uncles close to my age, to teach me chop sticks and such, but no one took serious interest in teaching me more than that. When we came to visit, we kids  (me and siblings and our two youngest uncles) were all more focused on playing and having fun, not playing instruments.

MACJR

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BillyG said
...........................   And @MACJR - I think the piano is a great device to really explore chords, keys and modes.   It is so "visible".   All the 12 notes of our western chromatic scale are right in front of you.   Understand the basics of major or minor keys - you can pick out anything really quickly.  Modes or other "unusual" scales - pentatonic or minor-blues - suddenly fall into place - and you don't have to be a virtuoso on the piano.   ........

Well explained, I like it very much!! No, you don't have to be a virtuoso at the keys, just listen to my latest videos: I recorded all the playbacks/play-alongs at my home spinet and that's what people heard on my concert in the background. You really hear, how I'm technically very limited, which is the reason why my spinet accompaniments are played in a lute style rather than typical harpsichord style. Those parts which were meant for my baroque dance interludes where indeed composed or arranged by myself and at times is to hear that I really struggled to play my own music at the spinet. Yes, I'm actually a spinet playing composer and arranger at the keys and that's okay.

The art to be happy with just dabbling is to hear on my channel. I think I recorded this exactly on that day, when my spinet came in late July 2015. Can you guys imagine how happy I was? Many springers had to be readjusted and their quills were worn out--in the third octave many were broken and there was no sound at all. Nonetheless I tuned her (I call her Wihelmine) and then made this recording of Greensleeves, avoiding the third octave (means only striking deep and very high keys). There are wonky moments and false notes, but the mood of that day the feeling was right. So I cut the wonkiest parts out and used the rest for my concert on December 4 (I posted it the other day in this thread). What I have here is only the first part of my original audio recording, which was over 7 minutes long. I was happy and I think it is to hear:

BillyG said
...........................   I've had arguments - well - let's just say "discussions" - with others regarding this - "knowledge of the piano has nothing to do with playing violin" I am told.   I totally disagree - and on the contrary - I see it as the one instrument that simply, and visually with its white and black keys just "SHOWS" you how scales, chords, majors, minors, modes, "special" keys are formed with just a little bit of time and thought.   You can then carry that knowledge of how"music is shaped" onto the fingering of the violin.   I used to play piano with one finger - well - OK I was better than that - but - it was never my instrument of choice - but it SURE taught me a lot.   .......

I'm the same, always try to get people behind the keys to get the into the world of harmony. Piano has nothing to do with violin? Ha! Those who want to study violin are required to play piano. On the auditition they have to play violin excelently and piano just--let's say suficiently. But they have to play piano. Because a musician who doesn't know about harmony doesn't know much about music. Music is melody, rhythm, and harmony! And musicians have to train all three. Otherwise they're like automats which play music from punched tapes.

BillyG said
...........................       These days, if I want a keyboard (not for live playing - I mean for providing a backing track) I'll just use synth voices from the computer or my (very) old CASIO rack-mounted MIDI synth...

In the 90s synthesizers fascinated me a lot and I tried every style via midi--even big band, symphony orchestra etc. ... But finally I came to the conclusion, that all this was not natural. From then on I used just piano and strings for soul music, the rest was all synth sounds. Finally I had the D4 drum synthesizer and the Novation bass station. Both were leading in the 90s, so drums and bass line came independently from two extra synth expanders. Today I don't believe in it any longer. I rather play on my spinet.

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Demoiselle
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December 23, 2016 - 5:29 pm
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MACJR said
@Demoiselle - The music I like to listen to the most are a bit moody, like The Alan Parsons Project, Pink Floyd and The Moody Blues. What I listen to, mostly, though, is just pop and rock. These I can have playing in the background without distracting me too much. If I am feeling troubled, or moody, or contemplative, then I dig out the deeper stuff. Even some Ray Lynch from time to time. I find his instrumental music soothing.
What I love to play, the music that my soul want to play, is classical. I am not refined enough in my musical knowledge to list genres and classes, but the old stuff, the really old stuff, the stuff that resonates with my soul. I love to play it... but oddly, I do not listen to it all that often. I just like to play it.

Pop music is no helper for learning improvisation, because hardly anybody improvises in that stuff. I always tended to soul, but even for that you need a jazz base. At times you hear improvised sax, trumpet or trombone solos in commercial soul hits, but happens too rarely. I really liked Whitney Houston, but her stuff couldn't help me as a trombone player. To get impulses for trombone I went out to by jazz CDs with hard bop and instrumental funk. No CDs with singers! They sing almost all the time and that's mostly it. Take a CD of the funk trombonist and you have a CD full of trombone:

 

I wrote my own soul 'hits' in the 90s, sang and added trombone solos. So it was wise to not just listen to Whitney Houston, but also listen to funk stuff like this. But you're not going to to play trombone.

Maybe I can help you to find out what kind of classical music you like? Mostly they start classical music with baroque (like Bach and Handel), the next style (very roughly) would be the Viennese School (Mozart, Hayden), and after that the romantic period (Beethoven etc.)

I belong to the baroque period (mostly before Bach and Handel) and I prefer historically authentic CD productions--that means not played like in general classical music, but rather like it was played about 300 years ago. And here I had to learn the same thing, like in above soul & funk style--that this here cannot help me as a violin player!!! Although it is very awesome:

Why, it's wonderful, but I don't own such a big orchestra and never will! (By the way, they really play on historical instruments and very authentic, so I'm very happy I just found it.) I can listen to this to feel good and that's okay, but mostly I listen to that:

I really love Tanya LaPerrière, who's playing the violin, I have the CD this video refers to and hear it over and over again. Well, this is also baroque style, but just for small band--violin plus rhythm section we would say in jazz. In baroque it's called violin with basso continuo. There's only one violin and it's even the leading instrument. Half a dozen violins at one time, like in above orchestra, aren't helping me.

And this isn't all. How about this Spanish woman?

I'm not buying CDs like Four Seasons, Concerti Grossi, Brandenburg Concertos any longer--I buy violin sonatas like this. They can be heard like improvised music and they influence my style of improvisation all the time.

Or do you rather like that Mozart sonata, which is another period:

Maybe if you hear sonatas for violin and piano all the time, you will start improvising in that style one day.....

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