How much imporov. do you use in your playing?

Drums>Space

New member
Im a self taught drummer, and a great deal of the music i listen to is based around improv. (Grateful dead, Miles davis). The band i play with uses very little formal structure, we've known each other long enough to know how to react to what. Im just wondering what some other people's thoughts are. Clearly it's all personal preference, but alternative insight is always a good thing.
 

vargasdrumbeast

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Most of the time I use lots and lots of improve in just mainly jazz, and latin music. If I started improving while I was playing with my metal/proggresive band it would be a nightmare :(
 

RogersDrummer

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I play Jazz/Fusion/Funk. Most of my playing is based around improv. Expecially when i play a solo. I think its more fun to play what you feel at that very moment, then try and worry about somthing that you contructed before.

In my opnion, thats one of the key points in jazz music. There is alot of structure of course, but at the same time, everyone plays what they feel at that point in time. The oposite of course, would be classical music, where everyone plays the exact same notes everytime they play a particular composition. Classical music is nice to listen to, but i would hate to play it.
 

vargasdrumbeast

New member
RogersDrummer":1rc4gof5 said:
I play Jazz/Fusion/Funk. Most of my playing is based around improv. Expecially when i play a solo. I think its more fun to play what you feel at that very moment, then try and worry about somthing that you contructed before.

In my opnion, thats one of the key points in jazz music. There is alot of structure of course, but at the same time, everyone plays what they feel at that point in time. The oposite of course, would be classical music, where everyone plays the exact same notes everytime they play a particular composition. Classical music is nice to listen to, but i would hate to play it.
Im in a Youth Symphony where I live, and I feel the exact opposite, its fun to play (no improving of course) but listening to most classical music is boring for me, theres only a small selection of classical music that I like to listen to
 

Flatliner

New member
I got mixed opinions on it, my classical mind wants zero improv., care should be taken in the construction of music and when you have finished with something it should be complete.

However I also consider an inability to improv. to be a serious sign of an inexperianced player.

Thus I run in circle always twirling in my mind whether improv. is cool or the devil. In my solo's I find I take a road map approach where I start at A go to B and eventually end up at C. what gets me from A-B-C is always a fun puzzle.

My favorite part of jamming is that I can feed off the energy I'm getting.

Thus in conclusion I have no opinion and will probably never figure out my position on the subject.
 

m

New member
I'm not a huge fan of playing the exact same drum part over and over, so every time I play there is an element of improv. Though songs have to have a basic arrangement and integrity there always seems to be enough room to keep it fresh by reinterpreting things without changing the direction or feel too much.

I love improvising, but I think in most forms of music it's best tempered and balanced by structure and puposeful arrangement. Like just about any musical tool, it's best used in moderation.
 

pooJken

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When we play a song the first couple of times i improvise with my playing. looking for the way to wuit the song. my fills I "compose" into the song
 

Robot Jones Drums

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I play in more "hardcore" bands that can be also implied as being "screamo" or "grindcore" don't ask me though, I don't make up all these silly sub-genres. I can improv a lot before things get out of hand. I try to stick to recordings and final pieces as much as possible, but it really doesn't matter when I throw an extra couple counts of double bass into a good part, because if I can and the corwd hears it, they like it.

The only bad thing that has happened to me was when I was first learning fills a long long time ago. I just started to do something, didn't count and ended up doing snare hits on 1 & 3 which would be fine, had the song called for that. Haha
 

Gaddabout

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You really have to measure the gig. Most my calls are for wedding bands, cover bands, etc. I know the music going in, and I don't dare deviate too much. For example, if we're playing Mellencamp's "Jack and Diane," I'm going to play those Aronoff licks the exact way they were played on the record. The audience is expecting that. On the other hand, if we're playing a Prince tune, I'm more likely to throw in some things while maintaining the basic sound and structure of the song. I think that kind of music -- with experienced musicians -- lends itself to "give the drummer some." When you watch Prince live, you see John Blackwell take the same approach.

Obviously, if I'm playing a jazz casual, I'm going to have some liberties. But I still have some similar limitations. There only so many ways you can personalize the intro to Manteca. You know the intro is in 3/4 (or is it superimposed? ... I've never really broken it down), transitions to a 4/4 mambo, then you have the swing section. I don't get reinterpret standards like that to something radically different, but I am given a great deal of room for improvisation inside of that structure.

So I'm thinking there's an element of improv on every gig I do, but it's not improv in the sense that I have total freedom over what I play. In fact, I have very little freedom, but that's OK. I appreciate the structures and it makes my job much easier. Understanding those structures goes a long way to being a pro, IMO. No musician, not even in a jazz context, wants to play with someone who always blowing or shredding.
 

Shalaq

New member
I play in a blues/rock band right now and I like to have some space to improvise. Right now we try to stick to one arrangement, but usually there are some parts, solos brakes etc that can take forever- that's when we don't tell each other "hey, play your solo for 16 measures and we're off to the chorus". I also like to improvise with fils- try to keep the same flow every time, but changing some little stuff- an accent here, accent there. Always trying not to screw the fill of course.
 

Johnny Cat

New member
I like a fair bit of improv. I like to maintain some structure, but also leave things a bit more flexible so as not to stifle inspiration if it comes along. It also keep me sharp and thinking on my toes. I liike that added bit of excitement. It can take your playing to another level sometimes.
 

Zim

New member
Thats one of the cool things about Improv on songs. If your good and been up on top of your playing you can usually fall out of the structure and do some cool shit. Just make sure you KNOW those tunes backward and forward. It helps when your bass player and yourself have that special rapport too. I currently play in a R/B, funk type thing and I stick to the structures BUT I do improv on some of those older tunes to jack em' up a bit as our singer has told us that sticking to the old recordings notes and tempo can drag and sound uninspiring. Play what the song calls for but keep it tight too!!

cheers
 

Lepricoin

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I dont count on using improve when i play out, but i do randomly find myself at a show doing something that i didnt originally plan on doing...
 

Dailey

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It depends on type of music and even the song. It's nice to leave songs open for some improv, or it'll sound the same every time. Fans who know your songs will appreciate hearing your music in a different context than they're used to. I love the Dead and I think without the hour long improvs, they wouldn't be nearly as easy to listen to
 

EKoolaidsDrummer

New member
I just love how so-called "JAZZ CHOPS" are being used by drummers in EVERY MUSICAL CATEGORY nowadays......


Improv is great, well depending on who you've got on stage with you. I love it, but the moment has to be there, improv just kind of "happens", you never plan it, or you'd be contradicting its very meaning.......
 

nathanplaydrum

New member
The groups I jam with are into a lot of acid jazz and funk so I normly have a lot of room to inprov.. Funk I stick to what the beats suppost to sound like but I add my own little touches here and there
 

CrimsonSteel138

New member
I play in a Power/Thrash/ Prog. Metal band. I use a lot of improvisation in my playing, but usually only in the fills and stuff. I keep most of the beats the same in the songs, but I mix up the fills. Some of them I try and keep the same though.
 

DaveDWdrums

New member
When I was in bands back in the day we would always have a set structure of how the song will be played. I always added my own impromptu flavor to fills and breaks when playing live.
 
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