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Satchstet
post Sep 2 2011, 11:54 PM
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So I was reading the artilces that Sirjamsalot linked in this thread:

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...c=38959&hl=


I was thinking about what he said about how after practicing excercises to the metronome religiously for a whole year that he was very dissapointed when he put on a backing track and all that came out were the excercises he had been practicing. I myself have experienced the exact same thing. It got me to thinking about composing music vs. improvising music. I have to say that I personally prefer a well done composition over a well done improvisation. It seems like every time I listen to improvisations on youtube......and I mean Improvs done by GREAT improvisors like Guthrie, Tom Quayle, Rick Graham etc......I almost always come away from it going wow that was awesome....but I really didn't hear a whole of melodies that I could sing back. When I listen to a well done compositon that is structured like a vocal tune I can almost always sing back the melodies. I've even noticed my 6 yr. old son will hum back the melodies of Satch tunes etc.

So......what do you guys prefer? Improv or Compositions?
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thefireball
post Sep 3 2011, 12:12 AM
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I'm the same way as you. I prefer comps. I can't really improvise, but I remember common melodies more than just random improvs.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 3 2011, 10:09 AM
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Improvisation is a skill that is being learned throughout the life. Check out my improvising workshop series, currently only part 1 is live, but it will give you an idea on how to use your freshly learned patterns

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Improvising-Workshop-1/

If you have any questions, let us know mate. What you are saying is a common issue, and we all go through that. After a while, when you remember the note positions and develop relative ear, it will be much easier to develop a melody over a harmonic background.


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Kristofer Dahl
post Sep 3 2011, 05:51 PM
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Very cool topic! I would say that improvising is more fun for the musician playing whereas compositions are more fun for the audience!

That's why improvisation bands mostly have musicians in the audience =)

Now when a magical composer also is a master improviser - that's when the fun begins!

The guitar is unfortunately not blessed with too many of those guys - but I definitely think Greg Howe, Allan Holdsworth, SRV are(were) there... who are your favorites?


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Sinisa Cekic
post Sep 3 2011, 10:38 PM
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Interesting topic, really. Good composers are also good improvisers, while the reverse situation isn't the rule. I know a lot of good players who don't have that "composing" line.What I like better? Original composition, in any case !


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Sep 4 2011, 08:15 AM
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Great topic! yeah, I also prefer compositions over improvisations. but I agree that there were some guys like Hendrix or SRV that could make awesome and memorial improvisations. I understand what you mean and I'm with you, I prefer to come back home singing a melody than saying this guys can follow every chord at fast tempo.


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Daniel Realpe
post Sep 7 2011, 06:05 PM
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I think both melt as much as you want them to. In Jazz they almost fully improvise, only reiterating a few melodies or rhythms.

To write a solo for instance you almost HAVE TO start by improvising, but not necessarily.

Myself I enjoy writing a solo, but as I said, it starts with jamming


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Satchstet
post Sep 7 2011, 06:28 PM
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QUOTE (Daniel Realpe @ Sep 7 2011, 05:05 PM) *
I think both melt as much as you want them to. In Jazz they almost fully improvise, only reiterating a few melodies or rhythms.

To write a solo for instance you almost HAVE TO start by improvising, but not necessarily.

Myself I enjoy writing a solo, but as I said, it starts with jamming

I agree Daniel.....when I write a solo it starts with improvising as well. I guess if you learn to improvise then you learn how to navigate the fingerboard well and it makes your composing that much easier and therefore more enjoyable. smile.gif
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 7 2011, 08:54 PM
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Very similar process goes for both improvising and composing. In fact, improvising is the same thing as composing, except it is done in real time.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 8 2011, 09:19 AM
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Improvisation is like telling a story on the spot smile.gif the better you speak the language, the better the story. BUT...you can't write a complex novel on the spot, usually so that's where composition kicks in smile.gif you have more time to elaborate structures both harmonically and melodically. My conclusion is, that you can achieve both, but you have to be able to listen to yourself as often as possible and achieve a certain degree of self critique which would never allow you to stray from the 'tasteful' line smile.gif I mean, if you are not a fast player by nature, don't try to play fast when improvising - always use the things you master to your advantage! Always use your ears as it is the best thing out there wink.gif

I appreciate both good improvisation and composition, but honestly I am much more into composition and orchestration nowadays - a well written song, lives in the mind of your listener for a lifetime, while the improvisation only lasts for an evening ..maybe smile.gif



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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 8 2011, 09:23 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Sep 8 2011, 10:19 AM) *
Improvisation is like telling a story on the spot smile.gif the better you speak the language, the better the story. BUT...you can't write a complex novel on the spot, usually so that's where composition kicks in smile.gif you have more time to elaborate structures both harmonically and melodically. My conclusion is, that you can achieve both, but you have to be able to listen to yourself as often as possible and achieve a certain degree of self critique which would never allow you to stray from the 'tasteful' line smile.gif I mean, if you are not a fast player by nature, don't try to play fast when improvising - always use the things you master to your advantage! Always use your ears as it is the best thing out there wink.gif

I appreciate both good improvisation and composition, but honestly I am much more into composition and orchestration nowadays - a well written song, lives in the mind of your listener for a lifetime, while the improvisation only lasts for an evening ..maybe smile.gif


Most definitely true smile.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Sep 8 2011, 09:35 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Sep 8 2011, 09:19 AM) *
Improvisation is like telling a story on the spot smile.gif the better you speak the language, the better the story. BUT...you can't write a complex novel on the spot, usually so that's where composition kicks in smile.gif


That's one of the best explanations I've ever heard. I try to describe why I prefer song writing alone as opposed to trying to write songs in a jam setting.. it's because when you're on the spot you'll never be able to completely access 100% of your composing potential because you just don't have the time.. so you usually end playing what comes to hand easily. I don't like it when bands write all their material that way. It's great for coming up with ideas that you would never think of but for strictly polishing a composition, I think composing seperately with some thinking and breathing space is superior. Sorry, a bit off topic ! smile.gif

For me personally, playing a well composed solo is far more satisfying than improvising and getting a 50/50 hit and miss approach because I'll just be dissapointed in my playing.. but sometimes when you get a good day and the time is right, it feels amazing to just go for it over a backing track. I do think improvising is necessary and I start writing most of my solos that way but I like to end up with a composed result at the end of it !


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 8 2011, 09:40 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Sep 8 2011, 08:35 AM) *
That's one of the best explanations I've ever heard. I try to describe why I prefer song writing alone as opposed to trying to write songs in a jam setting.. it's because when you're on the spot you'll never be able to completely access 100% of your composing potential because you just don't have the time.. so you usually end playing what comes to hand easily. I don't like it when bands write all their material that way. It's great for coming up with ideas that you would never think of but for strictly polishing a composition, I think composing seperately with some thinking and breathing space is superior. Sorry, a bit off topic ! smile.gif

For me personally, playing a well composed solo is far more satisfying than improvising and getting a 50/50 hit and miss approach because I'll just be dissapointed in my playing.. but sometimes when you get a good day and the time is right, it feels amazing to just go for it over a backing track. I do think improvising is necessary and I start writing most of my solos that way but I like to end up with a composed result at the end of it !


You are very ON THE TOPIC mate! Good insight as always wink.gif about the time dedicated to composition when working with the band smile.gif imaigne that the Aria songs were written and worked on almost continuously for about 2 years smile.gif so, I understand and agree with your point perfectly! I DO NOT want to get out there with a superficial approach. It's either you do it and hammer like a rock or you'd better not do it at all smile.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Sep 8 2011, 09:50 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Sep 8 2011, 09:40 AM) *
It's either you do it and hammer like a rock or you'd better not do it at all smile.gif


Yes !! cool.gif

I get annoyed when I hear that a band has been writing it's upcoming album all together in the jam room because I think things get watered down that way. It's a good place to bounce ideas around but things have to get strict at some point. I think as artists get older and more comfortable I think they can be accused of being complacent. You have to be vicious with yourself - cut away any excess that isn't good enough or get off the stage, because there's some young kid behind you who's hungry and is writing better material ! smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 8 2011, 09:51 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Sep 8 2011, 08:50 AM) *
Yes !! cool.gif

I get annoyed when I hear that a band has been writing it's upcoming album all together in the jam room because I think things get watered down that way. It's a good place to bounce ideas around but things have to get strict at some point. I think as artists get older and more comfortable I think they can be accused of being complacent. You have to be vicious with yourself - cut away any excess that isn't good enough or get off the stage, because there's some young kid behind you who's hungry and is writing better material ! smile.gif


biggrin.gif very true biggrin.gif kids are always fresh and full of energy and imagination - look at Tyler Teeple for instance, I think he is an a very good guitarist and writer at his age , wouldn't you agree?


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Ben Higgins
post Sep 8 2011, 09:55 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Sep 8 2011, 09:51 AM) *
biggrin.gif very true biggrin.gif kids are always fresh and full of energy and imagination - look at Tyler Teeple for instance, I think he is an a very good guitarist and writer at his age , wouldn't you agree?


Definitely so.. in fact, I personally think there's some black magic involved when it comes to his skills ph34r.gif


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JadGh
post Sep 8 2011, 05:08 PM
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Guitar playing has always been a hobby to me for many years now, but a serious hobby; i never made a career out of it unlike many others here on GMC. I am an employee and i'll try to give you my definition of Composing Vs improvising by relating it to the corporate world, insurance sales in particular.

- Cold calling, getting and collecting data and useful information, fixing a meeting, listening to the prospect's requirements.
Going back to office, preparing quotation request sheets, create presentations with slide shows and graphs, pros and cons for each and every product, conducting presentation, closing the sale.

This is a completely COMPOSED sales pitch

- Having a dinner or a drink at a restaurant with friends, where a big director of a huge potential client happens to be with one of your friends, who suddenly asks you: "Who in your opinion would be the best medical insurance provider from my staff"? you have a maximum 5 minutes to IMPROVISE your pitch which will be either a success or a failure, nothing in between!

Compositions are always better for receivers since you have taken all your time in picking the right notes and adding the adequate mood to your tunes to deliver the message you want, which is always pleasant to listeners who most of the times are not musicians. it will take you many compositions and theory learning to reach the comfort zone in your improvising to deliver the right message to the audience in a short period of time.

Enjoy Selling! tongue.gif

Cheers

Jad

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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 8 2011, 05:50 PM
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YES! Good answer biggrin.gif well this most certainly is an interesting perspective and in this matter, good improvisers save the day wink.gif but in order to reach that level you must hone a certain flair and sharp wits! So hail to those who can do that, both in sales and guitarism biggrin.gif

QUOTE (JadGh @ Sep 8 2011, 04:08 PM) *
Guitar playing has always been a hobby to me for many years now, but a serious hobby; i never made a career out of it unlike many others here on GMC. I am an employee and i'll try to give you my definition of Composing Vs improvising by relating it to the corporate world, insurance sales in particular.

- Cold calling, getting and collecting data and useful information, fixing a meeting, listening to the prospect's requirements.
Going back to office, preparing quotation request sheets, create presentations with slide shows and graphs, pros and cons for each and every product, conducting presentation, closing the sale.

This is a completely COMPOSED sales pitch

- Having a dinner or a drink at a restaurant with friends, where a big director of a huge potential client happens to be with one of your friends, who suddenly asks you: "Who in your opinion would be the best medical insurance provider from my staff"? you have a maximum 5 minutes to IMPROVISE your pitch which will be either a success or a failure, nothing in between!

Compositions are always better for receivers since you have taken all your time in picking the right notes and adding the adequate mood to your tunes to deliver the message you want, which is always pleasant to listeners who most of the times are not musicians. it will take you many compositions and theory learning to reach the comfort zone in your improvising to deliver the right message to the audience in a short period of time.

Enjoy Selling! tongue.gif

Cheers

Jad



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Kristofer Dahl
post Sep 21 2011, 03:04 PM
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Interesting discussions here!

It seems most people commenting here believe that an improvisation is a quick/spontaneous composition - and therefore a more thoroughly prepared composition must be better than an improvisation.

Now this is probably is true in alot of cases.

However I believe that people who really practice improvising (in other words the ability of connecting more or less spontaneous phrases with each other) - will eventually get a tool under their belt which cannot be substituted by a written passage.

That is why some extremely skilled composers choose to have improvised sections/elements in their music.

So I guess it goes down to what kind of music you actually prefer... written or improvised?!


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Dinaga
post Sep 21 2011, 03:24 PM
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I prefer composing for more reasons.

The first one is that I'm not really good at improvising, and I find myself disappointed when I notice I'm using the same licks over and over again. But I agree it's definitely a skill that can be learned by practicing.

The second reason why I prefer composing is that I think there's a really strong relationship between a solo and the backing track, so some licks sound MUCH better when the second guitar is playing a particular chord progression or riff, or with a particular drum fill. That's why I find it most difficult to write a good backing for the solo, than the solo itself. With a good backing track, the melody just seems to write itself.

Also, I don't really enjoy improvised solos, even when they are played by the most successful guitarists out there. It just seems soulless or "noodling"... There are some exceptions, of course, but still.

However, improvising has that advantage that you can unexpectedly play something you would probably never compose in the moment, something that doesn't follow a scale or a rhythmic pattern. There's nothing more satisfying than coming up with an awesome lick out of nowhere. But only a lick or two, not the whole solo...

This post has been edited by Dinaga: Sep 21 2011, 03:27 PM


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