I am 17 years old and have been playing the trumpet for 8 years. I am a very good player, having made district band last year as the 13 of 97 auditioning trumpet players. I am planing on majoring in music education and performance. However, I am having some severe prblems with jazz and improvisation. It seems that no matter what I try I just can't improv. I am even starting to not be able to listen to jazz recordings because I feel guilty that the musicians I am listening to can improvise and I will never be able to. I am getting private lessons for this and my playing but I still don't seem to be understanding it. Does anybody have any advice?
improvisation seems to come naturally to some musicians but the rest of us struggle.
I was a jazz studies major in college and my weak points were sight reading and improvisation, the two things most valued in our jazz program.
For me learning a lot of theory was the key. When I could look at changes and understand each chord's function in the progression I had a much better idea what to do musically.
I was never a hot soloist; when I got good enough at improvisation where I could solo and not embarass myself I felt like it was quite an achievement.
One of the crutches you can use is to memorize some licks in all keys. When you solo pick from your repretoir of licks to fit the changes; when you get more confident you can start to let yourself play beyond the licks you memorized.
Hi, I've been playing the guitar now for a while, and I've been trying to do the same thing (although I'm guessing it would be harder with a trumpet.) I'm no expert, I'm still learning some of the basics.
I have taught myself a scale and then use the notes in the scale to improvise, I start myself off with the start of a scale, and I try to think what note I want to play next in the improvisation and I play that note, it needs quick playing, thinking and a knowledge of either where all the notes are, what notes play together properly, or scales (which is the same thing really)
Again, this is coming from someone who's taught himself and hasn't been playing too long and a guitarist, but that's how I do it!
I don't really think you can be tought to improvise. Just do what's in your head. Or heart, if you like.