Bass: Improvisation Resource Pack Preview

New musicality video:

Who are your favorite improvisers? Why is it that we can listen to their recorded solos over and over? Why do aspiring soloists and scholars transcribe and memorize every detail? What gives these spontaneous creations the same long-lasting meaning and greatness that we might ascribe to a Beethoven symphony?

Then, we look at our own improvisations.

Maybe we’ve learned some good licks or riffs. Or figured out which scale patterns work best over that chord progression. It was fun at first, but after a while it all seems shapeless, mechanical. Is there something wrong with us?

Were we condemned to be born as mere mortals, never to enjoy the crucial spark of inspiration and talent exuded in the eternal musical expressions of our improvising hero-gods?

The good news: now that we know that all the hours of practicing licks, riffs, and scales are not enough, there really is another step to take to make your improvs sing.

Just as we shape our verbal communication with words, phrases, sentences, questions, answers – and larger structures such as paragraphs, stories, topics – we can shape our musical expressions with phrasing and form.

Phrases are short sections of melody with a beginning, middle, and end. While meaningful in and of themselves, they’re too short to make a whole piece of music. They need to join together with other phrases in larger sections and forms to make that happen. As improvisers, an understanding of phrasing and form gives us to shape our solos into whole musical works – much like a composer or a songwriter.

In this month’s Instrument Packs Musical U’s Resident Pros for guitar, piano, and bass introduce the concepts of phrasing and form – with videos, PDFs, and MP3s that lay out structured sequences of exercises to help you mold and shape your improv into the satisfying, whole musical expression that you crave.

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Bass: Improvisation Resource Pack Preview