Category Archives: Improvisation

Composition & Improvisation: Commonly-Used Chord Patterns: C Minor Triad

Successful Composition and Improvisation is not just about melodic invention. An enormous range of music can be created by playing chords in a variety of simple patterns. Here, for your consideration are some commonly-used voicings and rhythms for a C Minor … Continue reading

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Composition & Improvisation: Commonly-Used Chord Patterns: C Major Triad

Successful Composition and Improvisation is not just about melodic invention. An enormous range of music can be created by playing chords in a variety of simple patterns. Here, for your consideration are some commonly-used voicings and rhythms for a C Major … Continue reading

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Composition & Improvisation: Micro-Lessons

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Composition & Improvisation: The Dao

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LEARN MORE… Micro-Lessons

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Composition & Improvisation: Analysis & Synthesis

In true art, the larger subject and the details are inseparable threads in the same fabric…

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Composition & Improvisation: A Case Study: Part 24 of 24: Idea: Add an Ending

A common practice is to add a few extra bars in order to establish a crisp and clear ending.

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Composition & Improvisation: A Case Study: Part 23 of 24: Idea: Add an Introduction

A well-crafted Introduction can create a sense of anticipation, establish a mood, and build musical momentum going into “the top” of the piece.  Here are two simple examples for your consideration…

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Composition & Improvisation: A Case Study: Part 22 of 24: Idea: Rhythmic Motives

Rhythm is an extremely powerful organizing force in music, oftentimes moreso than the pitches. Here are two (of arguably an infinite number of) possibilities for your consideration…

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Composition & Improvisation: A Case Study: Part 21 of 24: Idea: Two-Handed Chord Melody

Here is a two-fisted melody consisting exclusively of chord tones played as alternating pairs in both hands. Notice how much melodic material your can derive from the creative use of only chord tones!

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Composition & Improvisation: A Case Study: Part 20 of 24: Idea: Pickups

There is no rule that says that a song or chorus must begin on the first downbeat. Pickups are a great way to build momentum in anticipation of the upcoming chord changes as well as a way to play “through” … Continue reading

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