Excerpt From “Concepts for Improvisation” Lecture/Workshop (3rd session)

Thank you again to the faculty and students of DLS-CSB Music Production Department for making this lecture/workshop possible. Thank you also to the great musicians who shared their time and knowledge to the students (Ryan Villamor and Given Bacani).

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Excerpt From “Concepts for Improvisation” Lecture/Workshop (2nd session)

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Thank you again to the faculty and students of DLS-CSB Music Production Department for making this lecture/workshop possible. Thank you also to the students who participated in the workshop part of the session. Here’s a short excerpt from the 2nd of 3 sessions.

Lecture and Workshop: Concepts for Beginning Improvisation (2nd Session)

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For students at De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, Manila, Philippines, I will be conducting the 2nd or 3 sessions of lectures and workshops on concepts for beginning improvisation this Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The 2nd session will deal more on motivic development and the concept of target notes based on a simple guide tone line.

As before, we will begin the session with a short lecture and demonstration. Proceeding right after the lecture is a workshop for students. I strongly encourage those attending to bring their instruments and participate in this workshop.

See you all on Wednesday, March 11.

Excerpt From “Concepts for Improvisation” Lecture/Workshop

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Thank you to the faculty and students of DLS-CSB Music Production Department for making this lecture/workshop possible. Thank you also to the students who participated in the workshop part of the session. Here’s a short excerpt from the 1st of 3 sessions.

Lecture and Workshop: Concepts for Beginning Improvisation

JCM Improv Lecture Poster

For students at De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, Manila, Philippines, I will be conducting a series of monthly lectures and workshops on concepts for beginning improvisation starting this Wednesday, Feb 4, 2015.

The short lectures I prepared are primarily aimed to create interest in the art of improvisation using simple musical concepts such as arpeggios and scales. To students who already have a background in improvisation, these lectures serve as a different perspective to some of the concepts they already know. The prepared musical examples and performances are mostly in the jazz idiom, though the lecture contents can be applied to other styles of music which requires the performer to add improvised lines. The contents in each session is geared towards a melodic approach to improvisation; ideas on how to start a motif, how to develop a motif, creating contour and contrast throughout the whole form,  tension and release ideas, etc.

After the short lectures, a workshop/semi-masterclass session will follow. During the workshop portion of the event, students are encouraged to come up on stage with their instruments and improvise on a simple chord progression. I will then throw in some suggestions that may work as idea-generating tools using simple concepts (ex: arpeggios and scales). Performance and ensemble playing are also taken into consideration in the workshop portion, which is structured as a masterclass session.

 

Blues Etude

I wrote this short piece to prepare my bass students for the upcoming lessons in improvisation, which starts off with lectures regarding the standard 12-bar blues. This etude aims to familiarize the ears and fingers of the student to the dominant 7 sound and tritone interval that is formed between the 3rd and the 7th of the chord.

Recommendations and goals for this etude:

  • begin with a slow, comfortable tempo, and start learning the melodic line in 2 to 4-bar phrases up to measure 14.
  • familiarize yourself with the shape of the tritone interval under your fingers and how they lead into the next chord. (take note of the double-stops)
  • once you can play through the whole first 14 measures in proper tempo, move on to learn the next 12 measures, which includes playing the melodic line an octave higher.
  • initial focus should be on observing solid tempo. If at any point you do not feel relaxed and confident playing the  whole piece, slow the tempo down until you can play through it perfectly in time and without stumbling.

Blues Etude.pdf