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 Re: Improvisation
Author: Dextepayne 
Date:   2012-10-25 11:00


I remember the first time I heard Ivo - "What is he DOING? Is that a clarinet?"

Yes, playing a taksim requires knowledge of the scale/ maqam. Not "chord changes" as in american or even klez music. Very important is the correct ornamentation, different from Greek, to Turkish, to Bulgarian, Macedonian.

Best thing to do is copy. Find a taksim you love , and copy it. Of course, at home, it's the challenging parts that we work on the most. Take it one segment at a time, slowly. Speed up gradually and then begin to stitch the segments together. If there are parts beyond your technique, keep practicing! You will come up with simplified versions of the tough parts, and that's how your style is born. And don't neglect the "easy" passages, they are often harder. Genius has a lot to teach in simplicity.

Then do the same with another recording, and another. Dont stop listening and learning! Ill go back to something I learned long ago and listen again - "That's how it goes? Wow! Why didn't I hear that before!"

Practice maqamat just like we do scales- you only need a handful to start. Start with Hijaz and Necris, modes of the same scale, and make up patterns to get them in your fingers. Goof around with it, make up (and quote) phrases that define the scales FOR YOU. This is where you really have to put in some time. Collect phrases that you like - copy at first, then make up your own "in the style." When you hear a phrase you like, learn it and write it down. All great soloists pay homage to the definitive creators who came before.

When you get with your friends, and they ask you to blow, try to make a clear entrance - use an opening statement from a taksim you've learned. Once you have their attention, take a breath, then tell YOUR story, give us your angle! You can play something planned, but somewhere in there just take a chance and see what comes happens! Then, before they get bored, get out! Use an ending you've copied. Or something you made up and want to try out. Start well, end well.

Don't drag out the middle trying to "get it". Being spontaneous in the moment is great, but you have to develop a vocabulary if you want to say something. Showing off technique is the most common solution. Telling a story is more rare.

Have fun! Soloing is a psychological game. Standing up there thinking "I don't belong here" will not cut it. Your creativity will shut down... and you won't belong there! But that kind of thinking is a pattern you can break.

So you figure out how to break it. Prepare a song. Once on stage: limit your solos, both in number and in length. Take one short solo and make it so YOU feel you are saying something. If it doesn't go as well as you hoped... welcome to the club. You WILL succeed and they WILL ask you to do more. Have another song prepared!

Eat well, get enough sleep, and practice. These do wonders for your self-respect, and it's amazing the difference it makes in your having something to say, musically speaking. Sorry to run on, but I hope something in here resonates!

Post Edited (2012-10-25 11:56)

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 Topics Author  Date
 Improvisation  new
Simon 2011-02-10 00:22 
 Re: Improvisation  new
Kalakos 2011-02-11 06:09 
 Re: Improvisation  new
Jon Shurlock 2012-01-05 14:26 
 Re: Improvisation  new
Randall 2012-04-09 17:18 
 Re: Improvisation  new
HaynesMan 2011-08-19 20:06 
 Re: Improvisation  new
Dextepayne 2012-10-25 11:00 
 Re: Improvisation  new
aaron michael 2012-11-10 15:08 
 Re: Improvisation  new
Wes 2012-11-26 04:23 

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