FORUM

Please have a look at our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

A A A
Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

No permission to create posts
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Improvise challenge
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
Avatar
Barry
Members

Regulars
August 10, 2016 - 5:39 pm
Member Since: June 30, 2011
Forum Posts: 2661
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

We are doing an improvise challenge at the violaman FB group, ye of the skinny strings are welcome to join

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1620372494944474/

There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart

Avatar
BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
Members

Regulars
August 11, 2016 - 7:00 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 1664
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Good man @Barry - we've got 3 submissions so far - you, Rebecca and myself.  (although I think Rebecca's is on a different FB page)

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

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

Avatar
damfino
oHIo, USA
Members

Regulars
August 11, 2016 - 9:39 am
Member Since: July 23, 2015
Forum Posts: 884
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

My teacher had me try improvising when we were going over the Tennessee Waltz. It's something I'd like to work harder on. Will have to give this a try.

~ I'm not torturing cats... I'm learning to play violin! ~

Avatar
Barry
Members

Regulars
August 11, 2016 - 8:10 pm
Member Since: June 30, 2011
Forum Posts: 2661
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

damfino said
My teacher had me try improvising when we were going over the Tennessee Waltz. It's something I'd like to work harder on. Will have to give this a try.  

look forward to it  thumbs-up

There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart

Avatar
BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
Members

Regulars
August 12, 2016 - 2:18 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 1664
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I see "improvisation" on perhaps three different levels - and I'm sure there are more "specific" types - such as freestyle / jazz etc etc (neither of which I use - YET !)

(1) If I'm just practicing scales / arpeggios and generally "noodling around" - I'll break the boredom (and intentionally mix-up the practice) by inventing little musical phrases on-the-go.  Part of THAT improv is to also bring in bowing and rhythm practice. (Maybe not the most rigorous of ways to do it, but it works well for me).  And sometimes I'll end up with perhaps half of a little tune - of course - it won't be being recorded, and I'll never remember it !  The "danger" in doing this - for me - is that it can be too easy to suddenly find myself playing  a motif from some well known piece of music I have in my head - and suddenly I'm launching into Smoke on the Water or Country Roads or.... you name it....  but - I'm pretty strict with myself if/when that accidentally happens.

(2) Improv to an actual piece ( like a "backing" improv to as @damfino says - TW ).  For that sort of thing I would pick out the specific key changes and just "fill-in" a little bit of background/harmony.  And a bit like (1) above - the next time I would do that - it just wouldn't be the same - and that's fine.

(3) Improv to a "generic backing track" - here there IS no actual tune or melody to follow (like @Barry's current project) - in this case the backing track is just a repeated chord sequence Em, C, D, D   I like to approach these "play-alongs" in two different ways -

(3a) if it's a one-time-thing (i.e. never heard it before, and just leaping-in to "do something with it") - this - for me - would be a bit like (2) above where I would try to fit in to the tempo and follow the chord changes and "randomly" harmonise through each bar maybe with the chord tonic, 4th, 5th minor 3rd and so on - anything - so long as the note I play is not discordant.

(3b) If it is a "planned thing" - like Barry's recent project - I'll do a bit more - and listen to the backing track quite a few times through to get a feel in advance for chord sequences (although in this one, we are told in advance), timing and rhythm.  I'll specifically think about the notes belonging to each chord triad, and actively try to bring out an actual melody-line to what is originally just a "backing track".   

So - it's a bit questionable (to me) if (3b) above is true improvisation or not - it's almost kind of half-way between improv and composition of a tune/melody.   In my submission that's the path I took - and - I listened a few times to the backing track, and I "noodled around" with it for - oh - no more than 5 times - and each attempt was different from the others.  Finally - I recorded attempt 6 - and it contained "some ideas I had gathered" from the previous attempts - and - well - yes - I still see that as a form of improv - what I did was effectively "getting close to a regular melody" - but equally - it's never been written down, and if I do another take - I'm now in a "hard place" - do I "develop what I have got in my head" to a fully-finished-polished new piece - or do I just "vamp and noodle along to" the backing track and effectively "start again" - with the evolution of a completely different melody line.

Interesting....

Although started on the ViolaMan FB page, it's open to ANY interpretation - viola, violin, harp, voice, accordion, kazoo ( LOL).  Anyway - since my submission was on the violin I'll drop the link here -  - it IS improvisation, and it's FAR from perfect but you'll maybe get an idea of "where I was going with it".

Oh  -and this is the backing track found by Barry - feature=youtu.be

I hope it (and my ramblings above) provide inspiration - and demonstrate that improv is not all that difficult - and can be as simple as picking out individual notes to the point of almost inventing a melody....   free your spirit and embrace the music !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

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

Avatar
OldOgre
OhiO
Members

Regulars
August 12, 2016 - 9:01 am
Member Since: March 15, 2014
Forum Posts: 203
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hey Mad

that was really great improve. fit nicely to the track.

As always you are crack on.

With violins there is no fretting over the music.

Avatar
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 12, 2016 - 12:26 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Great idea and great exercises. Thanks for posting it here Barry. 🙂

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

Avatar
gwscheer
Pullman,WA, USA
Members

Regulars
August 12, 2016 - 3:42 pm
Member Since: May 12, 2013
Forum Posts: 196
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

"Make every note beautiful", Ivan Galamian

“To play a wrong note is INSIGNIFICANT; To play without PASSION is INEXCUSABLE!” , Ludvig Van Beethovan

"It ain't rocket surgery"

Avatar
BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
Members

Regulars
August 12, 2016 - 4:08 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 1664
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I JUST KNEW you'd be up for this one @gwscheer - heck - that sounds fine !  Yeahhhhhhhhh bring it on man !   I love the sound/FX - sweet !   (slightly hot / overdriven here - it COULD be my side....)  but yeah awesome man !  Thanks for taking part Gary  -  good work mate.... !!!!  dancingdancingdancing

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

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

Avatar
Leana
Members

Regulars
August 13, 2016 - 11:52 am
Member Since: July 6, 2015
Forum Posts: 187
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

I was playing around with some backing tracks on youtube just yesterday.  @BillyG , @gwscheer --  You guys did so well !!  🙂  I think I will try this.  

Avatar
BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
Members

Regulars
August 13, 2016 - 1:37 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 1664
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Go for it @Leana - absolutely !  It's great fun !   Just "invent something" that fits-in - hints - I started thinking about using Emin pentatonic - but - well - it didn't fit overly well (well, not with what I was doing).   Think about the triads that form the chords Eminor, Cmajor and Dmajor - and improvise something "sort of based on that" - 

Em triad notes - E G B
Cmaj triad notes - C E G
Dmaj triad notes - D F# A

Then just "wing it" LOLOL - you'll do great !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

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

Avatar
Uzi
Georgia
Honorary tenured advisor
Members

Regulars
August 13, 2016 - 2:07 pm
Member Since: January 19, 2014
Forum Posts: 891
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

You guys are doing great!  @gwscheer, man you've improved a huge amount since the last time I heard you. Very nice. @Barry, thanks for posting the challenge. 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

Avatar
KindaScratchy
Massachusetts
August 15, 2016 - 9:50 pm
Member Since: March 14, 2012
Forum Posts: 1651
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

I hope that Gary @gwscheer doesn't mind me sharing this, but...I posted a mandolin version in a group on Facebook and Gary added his e-violin version to mine. I think the mix sounds pretty cool, so posting his remix here.

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

Avatar
gwscheer
Pullman,WA, USA
Members

Regulars
August 16, 2016 - 12:19 am
Member Since: May 12, 2013
Forum Posts: 196
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

thats fine;  I was just slower than you at posting it here  gary

"Make every note beautiful", Ivan Galamian

“To play a wrong note is INSIGNIFICANT; To play without PASSION is INEXCUSABLE!” , Ludvig Van Beethovan

"It ain't rocket surgery"

Avatar
BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
Members

Regulars
August 16, 2016 - 1:41 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 1664
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Great stuff @KindaScratchy and @gwscheer - this is so cool - we should do more of this kind of thing.   Really.   clapclapclap

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

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

Avatar
damfino
oHIo, USA
Members

Regulars
August 16, 2016 - 8:58 am
Member Since: July 23, 2015
Forum Posts: 884
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
16sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Great job everyone! ( @BillyG @gwscheer @KindaScratchy )

clapclapclapcheerleaderclapclap

I still need to try this out now that my crazy weekend is over. I'm going to sound HORRIBLE but I will try it... I might even record it tonguefacepalm lol

~ I'm not torturing cats... I'm learning to play violin! ~

Avatar
Demoiselle
Members

Regulars
August 21, 2016 - 3:28 pm
Member Since: June 26, 2016
Forum Posts: 184
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

You are perfectly right, improvisation keeps you awake while making music. Plus, you're creating your very personal style, which I find very essential. In a conventional string orchestra they will probably not like it, because if you sound too much individually, it will likely irritate them. Well, I don't care and will never join an orchestra. Although, if you have a string section with violinists who all sound very personal, the result will be extremely expressive and simply wonderful.

 

BillyG said
I see "improvisation" on perhaps three different levels - and I'm sure there are more "specific" types - such as freestyle / jazz etc etc (neither of which I use - YET !)

(1) If I'm just practicing scales / arpeggios and generally "noodling around" - I'll break the boredom (and intentionally mix-up the practice) by inventing little musical phrases on-the-go.  Part of THAT improv is to also bring in bowing and rhythm practice. (Maybe not the most rigorous of ways to do it, but it works well for me).  And sometimes I'll end up with perhaps half of a little tune - of course - it won't be being recorded, and I'll never remember it !  The "danger" in doing this - for me - is that it can be too easy to suddenly find myself playing  a motif from some well known piece of music I have in my head - and suddenly I'm launching into Smoke on the Water or Country Roads or.... you name it....  but - I'm pretty strict with myself if/when that accidentally happens.

(2) Improv to an actual piece ( like a "backing" improv to as @damfino says - TW ).  For that sort of thing I would pick out the specific key changes and just "fill-in" a little bit of background/harmony.  And a bit like (1) above - the next time I would do that - it just wouldn't be the same - and that's fine.

(3) Improv to a "generic backing track" - here there IS no actual tune or melody to follow (like @Barry's current project) - in this case the backing track is just a repeated chord sequence Em, C, D, D   I like to approach these "play-alongs" in two different ways -

(3a) if it's a one-time-thing (i.e. never heard it before, and just leaping-in to "do something with it") - this - for me - would be a bit like (2) above where I would try to fit in to the tempo and follow the chord changes and "randomly" harmonise through each bar maybe with the chord tonic, 4th, 5th minor 3rd and so on - anything - so long as the note I play is not discordant.

(3b) If it is a "planned thing" - like Barry's recent project - I'll do a bit more - and listen to the backing track quite a few times through to get a feel in advance for chord sequences (although in this one, we are told in advance), timing and rhythm.  I'll specifically think about the notes belonging to each chord triad, and actively try to bring out an actual melody-line to what is originally just a "backing track".   

So - it's a bit questionable (to me) if (3b) above is true improvisation or not - it's almost kind of half-way between improv and composition of a tune/melody.   In my submission that's the path I took - and - I listened a few times to the backing track, and I "noodled around" with it for - oh - no more than 5 times - and each attempt was different from the others.  Finally - I recorded attempt 6 - and it contained "some ideas I had gathered" from the previous attempts - and - well - yes - I still see that as a form of improv - what I did was effectively "getting close to a regular melody" - but equally - it's never been written down, and if I do another take - I'm now in a "hard place" - do I "develop what I have got in my head" to a fully-finished-polished new piece - or do I just "vamp and noodle along to" the backing track and effectively "start again" - with the evolution of a completely different melody line.

Interesting....

Although started on the ViolaMan FB page, it's open to ANY interpretation - viola, violin, harp, voice, accordion, kazoo ( LOL).  Anyway - since my submission was on the violin I'll drop the link here -  - it IS improvisation, and it's FAR from perfect but you'll maybe get an idea of "where I was going with it".

Oh  -and this is the backing track found by Barry - feature=youtu.be

I hope it (and my ramblings above) provide inspiration - and demonstrate that improv is not all that difficult - and can be as simple as picking out individual notes to the point of almost inventing a melody....   free your spirit and embrace the music !  

Your style is not far from my style and the chords you're riding on are the kind I find in baroque music too. I love what you're doing there and know for sure, we could do something together if there wasn't that old Atlantic in the way.

I'm now playing more and more leading themes, but I started with just improvisation, so nothing would be between me and my violin and distract me from getting things technically on the point and the expression directly from my heart. I felt like notes would have distracted me as beginner.

Avatar
coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
Members

Regulars
August 21, 2016 - 7:33 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 3767
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
18sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

It was great to see and hear everyone Play.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

Avatar
coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
Members

Regulars
August 21, 2016 - 7:50 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 3767
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
19sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

I've never tried improv. Thank you Barry for the Challenge.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

Avatar
BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
Members

Regulars
August 22, 2016 - 4:40 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 1664
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
20sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Well done there pink-violin-girl @coolpinkone ! 

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

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

No permission to create posts
Forum Timezone: America/New_York

Most Users Ever Online: 231

Currently Online: discountsale
36 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
2 Guest(s)

Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today None
Upcoming Mad_Wed, Prudence, ButteryStuffs, kit, makinnoise

Top Posters:

coolpinkone: 3767

Mad_Wed: 2849

Barry: 2661

Fiddlestix: 2637

Oliver: 2439

DanielB: 2379

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 1

Members: 3563

Moderators: 0

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 16

Forums: 56

Topics: 6448

Posts: 80413

Newest Members:

bo, EKBanjo, charlieD, Folky fiddler, Morgenes42, stringo

Administrators: Fiddlerman: 11717, KindaScratchy: 1651