CVI1 Lesson 1

Welcome to Lesson 1 in the Improvisation Series.
As introduction we want to share with you the most important skill you should have (or develop): Listening.
We need to know what is going on around us, what does the bass player do, the drummer or pianist…
We will learn to anticipate and respond to that, improvise.
Before you learn to cook you should taste first, learn about the ingredients.
that’s exactly what we will do in this lesson, listen to chords and how one note sounds in them.

1 Introduction

In this introduction to improvising we will discuss the most important skill you will develop in this course:
Learning how to listen.
We will focus on 1 note and play different chords under it, making it clear that this same note has a different function in each chord.
How can we explain this better than in practice?
Hands-On!

Am I playing too fast? Hover over the video and click on "-" to slow it down. (Down in the center).

2

Latin groove, focusing on 1 note, the note G.
We will fit this into 2 chords (Dm7-G7) and practice getting that in the rhythm.
Stick to this one note only so that all of your attention goes to listening to the groove.
I will play 2 bars as example, you can follow with your 2 bars.
You don't have to play what I am playing, use mine as example and experiment with what you come up with.

Download: CVI1 Lesson 1 2/3/4 BT

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3

Let's expand our limitation to 2 notes, G and A. 3rd and 4rth finger on the D-string.
Be sure to be in sync with the rhythm like the previous exercise.
But now listen to what both notes do in the chord.
I will play 2 bars as example again, you can follow with your 2 bars.
Remember you don't have to play what I am playing, use mine as example and experiment with what you come up with.

Download: CVI1 Lesson 1 2/3/4 BT

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4

If all went well we can expand the limitation even a bit more.
Let's do this with 4 notes now, always keeping track of the rhythm.
You can start choosing what notes combine with the chords even a bit more.
Make nice melodies like you would sing it.

Download: CVI1 Lesson 1 2/3/4 BT

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5

Same procedures as in the previous tabs.
But now we will add 2 chords: (Dm7 - G7 - Cmaj7 - A7)
We start with 1 note to "feel"the new 2 chords, listen again how this note fits to these 4 chords.
Then halfway we will add the 2nd note.

Download: CVI1 Lesson 1 5/6 BT

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6

With the same 4 chords we will limit to 4 notes again.
Always keep the main focus to listening to the "band".

Download: CVI1 Lesson 1 5/6 BT

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7 Morning

Here we will focus on playing a beautiful Latin melody "Morning".
Play it straight forward and be very scarce with vibrato.
You will see that I mainly use vibrato at the end of a long note, in classical music it is very common to play vibrato on the entire note.
The form of the song is the regular: A-A-B-A, you can see that in the score.

Download: CVI1 Lesson 1 7/8/9 BT

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8

On the chords of "Morning" we will improvise as we practiced before, (B7-5 - E7 - Am7 - D7)
The phrases will be 4 bars instead of 2, so we can make longer sentences.
Remember the form of the song, A-A-B-A, this will be the same form in the improvisations!

Download: CVI1 Lesson 1 7/8/9 BT

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9

Finally we will add breaks in our improvisation.
If you would sing an improvisation you would need to breath after a sentence.
Let's do the same on violin, play improvisations as if we would be singing it.

Download: CVI1 Lesson 1 7/8/9 BT

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