Improvisation Soup

Creamy improv soup. Photo by Geoff Peters

I posted a question about applying the 2-5-1 chord progression to the secret blues scale on the musictheory subreddit, and the comments were informative. No, it doesn't work. Yes, you'll go mad if you try.

Still, I yearn to learn improvisation on the keyboard. It's the creator/maker/composer side of my personality that craves it. Playing my own music is a more compelling proposition than playing someone else's song, even a timeless masterpiece like So What. Improvisation is also expressive and may be of value for psychoanalysis, a topic I've been interested in for many years.

There's a humorous quote by Miles Davis in The Making of Kind of Blue: Miles Davis and His Masterpiece. Speaking of Ornette Coleman and his chaotic group improvisations, Miles Davis said "Hell, just listen to the way he writes and how he plays. If you’re talking psychologically, the man is all screwed-up inside."

If you have any interest at all interested in this subject, read the paper Playing off the beat: Applying the jazz paradigm to psychotherapy by David Johnson.

One more thing about improvisation. I signed up for Willie Myette's free 30 Day Playbook and went right to his improvisation lesson. Willie says improvisation is the act of taking things learned over time (i.e. jazz licks, altered chords etc) and putting them together in a way that is new. I guess it's like making soup. You start with a base of broth and add ingredients available to you and that will hopefully taste delicious together.

In my case, I'm still searching for the right cooking pot :/

One more item to cover before concluding my week. My "hands on" keyboard practice has been an unfocused mess this week, and my playing of So What (what I've learned thus far anyway) has gotten sloppier. To remedy this I'm going to practice the song at 40 bpm (it's normally played at 136) until I can play it perfectly four times in a row. Only then will I proceed to the next part (the transcribed solo by Miles).

I've barely practiced the Cm Blues scale this past week either. I'll do so next week.

Meditation Time bookstanding today: 27 minutes Quality of meditation (out of 10): 5

Practice Minutes on the keyboard today (out of 40): 5 minutes (rounding up again) Quality of practice (out of 10): 2