Tag Archives: improvisation

Dis-Orientation

Greetings,

I have been working on a severe weak spot in my playing over the last few months. I have had the most difficulty with a certain improvisational concept: arpeggios.

Arpeggios are really just ‘Broken’ chords. Arpeggios are what we do when we are first learning chords. We form the chord, then play each string individually to know whether or not it is ringing clear.

I am working on playing all arpeggios everywhere as they appear in a song. While improvising, a musician usually plays a mixture of scale-like lines and arpeggiated lines. I have spent most of my time until now playing the scalar type of lines.

To improve in the least amount of time possible, I am working through a song improvising with only arpeggios. This is similar to what I ask many of my students to do when facing a playing issue; focus only on what you are not doing well and leave the good playing alone until the not-so-great stuff is a lot better.

The only example I can imagine at the moment to give you an idea of what my problem feels like is this: imagine that all of your strings are reversed. Instead of your strings being 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, & 1, imagine that their order is now 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6.

Go ahead and play a few ‘Chords’ this way. Try playing a song this way and discover some new sounds.

If you do not play an instrument, spend a day using the hand opposite of that which you would normally use.

Leave a comment to let us know your thoughts and feelings during this experiment.

-Justin

http://guitarlessonslynchburg.com/

Advertisements

Eureka Moments

Greetings,

I had a eureka moment recently regarding my study of improvisation. I discovered that I spend entirely too much time making myself technically capable of playing certain concepts, but nowhere near enough time playing these concepts musically.

I have always heard that we should strive to play musically when learning new concepts; I just took it to mean that we would be musical eventually. Well, I was wrong to think that this would happen naturally. I now realize that I must make a conscious effort to be musical very early in my study of a new concept.

What has happened in your lessons that really ‘Flicks the Switch’ in your mind and makes something easier that you ever thought possible?

-Justin

http://guitarlessonslynchburg.com/