Develop Your Creativity with Music Improvisation

Improvisation can be defined as an extemporaneous performance presented without preparation or prior planning. Music improvisation is largely spontaneous, as the musician participates in a session without playing a memorized or prepared part, and without using written music. The musician may use scales, riffs, arpeggios and licks in new ways or in different sections of the music. An improvised piece of music is never the same twice.

When a musician is totally familiar with his instrument and his chosen style of music, improvisation is a skill that can open up exciting possibilities, bringing the musician great joy as he nurtures his creativity. The very nature of music is discovered by a musician who masters the art of improvisation and this often leads to song writing and formal composition.

Apart from the pure enjoyment of improvising, a performer who perfects this skill will feel more confident during a performance, as this ability can be used to cover memory lapses and mistakes in such a way that the audience will never notice. Knowing that he has the ability to cover mistakes, in turn makes the musician less likely to make a mistake in the first place.

The art of improvisation really comes to the fore in a recording session. The musicians will have the basic idea of what they want to achieve, but nothing is rigidly adhered to. As they progress, the producer and the musicians themselves, may decide that something doesn’t sound quite right and change it, or something really works well and they want to move in that direction. A recording session can really bring out the creativity of all involved and improvisation plays an extensive role in achieving the end product.

Jazz musicians are generally masters at improvising and sometimes take this to the extreme, where nothing is decided in advance. One or more musicians will start and the other musicians will listen and join in as they feel comfortable to do so. Very often in this situation, not even the rhythm, key or duration of the song has been decided when they start, but the musicians are so comfortable with improvising and understanding their role in contributing to the overall sound, that it works wonderfully. Musicians and audiences alike enjoy the experience of an improvised jazz session.

Improvisation is an art that some musicians are reluctant to explore, possibly because of fear of failure or lack of confidence in their musical skills. But clearly there is a lot of fun to be had while learning this skill, and anyone trying their hand at it is in for a rewarding experience.