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When you speak with people, you usually are ‘improvising’. You have an idea of what you’re going to say beforehand, but not exactly.

The words and phrases you use also have been formulated beforehand, you’re not usually coming up with new words as you speak. But the combination, order, inflection, tone, etc may be unique to you.

For example, the phrase, “How are you doing?” is said in the same way with the same words by many many people. What comes after that could be very different in various conversations though.

With improvisation, you put together ideas and vocabulary. You can use phrases that other musicians have used before. You may change them a bit. Timing, tone, dynamics, etc all can be changed to make things come out in your own voice.

We also start speaking with simple words and phrases. Often times simple messages are easier to communicate and easier to master.

Let me know what some of your questions are about improvisation.

And I’ll post some solos here too. From myself and members of Saxophone Tribe.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Gil June 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Hi Neal, first I want to say thanks for the explanation of down beat vs upbeat, and Note and Rhythm Notation
I appreciate the way u simplify, it’s good to hear it again, very helpful. As far as Improvise how do you first start and what were your first steps in doing it. I’ve heard you can take a scale and run up and down interchanging notes, can that be consider Improvise. Or do you memorize parts of scales and put them together and make musical ideas
up with the notes??


Neal June 5, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Hey Gil,
Glad that was helpful.

For improvisation, here are a few ideas. Will expand some more on it. https://saxophonetribe.com/getting-started-improvising/


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