How to play improvisations for beginners
by Acousphere Toshi


Hi! I am Acousphere Toshi.
You must think ad-lib is so difficult that you cannot play.
But if you once get how to start it, you can easily try to do it.
Here you will know the way to start improvisations, so let's try!


How to study improvisations
You may think improvisations is "to play anything you like freely".
In other words, it is "to play the melody in your mind, as you want".
If you are a vocalist, you will do improvisations by singing.
I know, of course, you are guitarists, so you will do it by playing your guitars.
For me "singing" and "playing the guitar" is the same because both can show what you want to express.
So now we will study singing first, make your images clear and next study how to play with your guitars.


Let's try!
Here we will try in the situation of "key of C major".

(1) Play the "C major" chord. (See the chord form in the right.)

(2) Sing "Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do" with the chord.
If you cannot get the notes, click the word "Cメジャースケール(sorry, it's Japanese)" below and listen to the sound.


(3) Let's transfer your image of the notes to the guitar.
See the right picture and the notes.
You can play "Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do" by the guitar like this.
Play every notes one by one.

(notes) If you are a beginner, use your first finger only and play them.
If you are accustomed to use every fingers, play them with keeping "In-position".


(4) Play the C major chord and "Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do" alternately and choose one note you like.
Play the note with simple rhythms, and you know this is the basic of improvisations!
When you do this, I recommend you singing along.
It helps you to memorize the image faster and stronger.
And also it is nice to make some melody lines with some notes.

(notes) If you have a guitarist friend, do it with him (or her).
One person plays the chord, and another plays improvisations.
It is nice to experiment it and have the same experience together.
And, of course, it is so fun!!
If you do it by yourself, record the chord part on your MD or a computer, and then try improvisations.

This is the first step of improvisations!
How was the experiences of improvisations?
It is so fun to play the notes you like with rhythms, especially with accompaniments!
It is the basic of improvisations, and it is most important to have this feeling.
Do not forget it, and make you progress in improvisations with trying many songs and phrases!
Good Luck!!


Written by Toshi Shimizu from Acousphere
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http://www.acousphere.net