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Help - all my improvisations are the same!


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#1 WannabeJazzMan

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 20:34

I'm working through the G1 jazz piano pieces and I'm probably passable on some, but I'm finding all my improvisations are sounding the same.

I can't seem to keep any character of the pieces and so it ends up like I'm playing two separate pieces rather than one if that makes sense.

For example, Bag's Groove sounds ok during the head but at the solo time I always seem to play something that's completely 'out of the groove' and generic e.g something which could fit over any old progression.

How does everyone approach the improv sections of these pieces? Do you try to stick to the primary groove or do you branch out as far as possible?

Any other ideas for approaching improvisations would be really appreciated too.

Thanks!
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#2 mel2

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 21:21

Have you tried listening to the suggestions at the bottom of the page? I haven't but if stuck for ideas it is something I would do.
Other things might be to consciously shape your improv to travel in the opposite direction to the head (which is a descending pattern in Bags' Groove).
If the head is a single line you could try chords in a similar rhythm until you need to lead back to the beginning.
I imagine it is easy to get stuck in a rut if you've found something that seems to work and uses the correct harmonies but I'm sure you will get more proficient if you listen to other jazz pianists and take some inspiration from a scaled-down version of their styles.
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#3 jazzrob

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 22:10

Hi wannabe,
Have u had a look at any of my links?
My suggestions come from a lot of years teaching and examining and my frustration was exactly what u r saying - everything sounds the same and not reflecting the changes.
Most of my posts are over dom7ths so can apply to bags groove.

Rob
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