Connect with us

Latest

Building a Solid Improvisational Concept Part 1 by Igor Saavedra

Published

on

I’ve noticed through my career that when musicians talk about improvisation and soloing, most of the energy of the conversation is driven by topics like scales, technique, chords, licks, chops, etc,.

The reality in my opinion is that there are so many aspects within the improvisational context that are far more important than the ones I just mentioned above, aspects that have to do mostly with poetical, lyrical, philosophical, esthetical and psychological concepts.

In my opinion improvising is composing in real time…

When you compose, you either have some idea or feeling that inspired you in the first place, and you need to represent it with music, or, you just have some notes in your head that you are starting to like as you proceed.

In both cases you’ll start hitting some notes on your instrument, making some adjustments through the process, and then you’ll write or record them to make sure you don’t forget your composition. But the point is you have the opportunity to analyze, erase something you didn’t like, and then rewrite it, or just stop, go to the fridge, grab a sandwich, feel better, and then continue.

As I said before, when you improvise you are indeed composing, but the challenge remains that you are doing it in real time, so you can’t erase the note you just played if you didn’t like it. You just have to let it go and just care about the next note you are going to play.

Here is when the philosophical aspect gets involved within the improvisational context. I would say that this is somehow a “Quantum Physics” aspect, and I’m risking that you’ll start thinking I’m completely crazy and won’t read my articles anymore!!

Within the context of soloing, what is wrong and what is right is up to you to decide. Believe it or not, you have the power to change the past by taking care of the future…how?

First of all, never forget this humble advice from this fellow South American friend.

“The only note that matters is the following one, not the one you just played”.

When I say the word “note”, I’m not only referring to the pitch, I’m also referring to the rhythmical aspect and all the nuances involved on the exposition of that note; like dynamics, expressive resources, sound textures, etc. With that following note you will have the power to make the previous one look like a beauty queen, or a witch. So, as you can see, you indeed have the power to travel back in time…that’s the Quantum Physics part.

When you improvise, one the first things you have to learn is to love any note you have played like it was a son or a daughter. It doesn’t really matter how “good” or “bad” it sounded. If it sounded “good”, send that note more “brothers” so it won’t feel alone, the better the brothers the better the “family”. On the other hand, if it sounded “bad”, send that notes even more supportive “brothers” to help it and make it look great. But once you are improvising, never regret about a note you already played. Just love it, and support it all the way, you won’t believe how the following note can change everybody’s perception, including yours!

Play confident, don’t play “safe”. Take risks! A safe improvisation has no soul, no purpose to itself!

Probably the most important improvisational ability you are going to have to develop through the years is the ability to walk as close to the abyss as you can, and deal with the “mistakes” in such an elegant and beautiful manner it doesn’t effect your statement. You can choose walking on a plain and safe valley, but if you like that better, I’d suggest to dedicate your musical life to sitting safely in your own home or studio and composing great musical pieces instead, which is also an amazing thing to do.

Next month on the following part of this series I’ll be addressing the poetical, lyrical, esthetical, and psychological concepts that will help you to build a solid improvisational concept.

See you soon!

Latest

This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

Published

on

TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @meridian_guitars @mgbassguitars @utreraguitars @adamovicbasses @marleaux_bassguitars @str_guitars @foderaguitars @mauriziouberbasses @officialspector @normstockton

View More Bass Gear News

Continue Reading

Latest

This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

Published

on

TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @zonguitars @shukerbassguitars @bite.guitars @adamovicbasses @mayonesguitars @bassbros.uk @capursoguitars @overwaterbasses @saitiasguitars @ramabass.ok

View More Bass Gear News

Continue Reading

Gear News

New Gear: Elrick Bass Guitars Headless Series

Published

on

New Gear: Elrick Bass Guitars Headless Series

New from Elrick Bass Guitars, Headless Series added to Custom Lineup…

Elrick Bass Guitars is excited to announce the addition of a headless option on hand-carved series bass guitars. Initially previewed on the 2023 Gold Series SLC MkII bass of prolific solo bass practitioner and educator Steve Lawson, a headless bass option is now available to all. According the Elrick, “The excitement surrounding Steve’s MkII SLC bass at 2024 NAMM confirmed that the time is right to add a headless option to our extensive range of custom options.” To date, Elrick instruments have only been offered with traditional headstock construction but, in response to market demand, custom features will now include a headless option in 4-, 5- and 6-string models.

Headless bass guitars share these features with the traditional headstock series:

24 frets + zero fret
exotic wood top
hand-rubbed oil finish
2-way adjustable truss rod
custom Bartolini pickups
custom Bartolini 3-band preamp
fully shielded control cavity
Hipshot bridge
Dunlop Straploks
Elrick Fundamental strings

The headless option can now be selected when submitting custom order requests via the form on elrick.com, contacting the Elrick Sales Office directly, or working with your favorite Elrick dealer.

Continue Reading

Gear News

Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)

Published

on

Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)

Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)…

Flemish Master Pieter Bruegel the Elder probably had many things in mind when painting his Hunters in the Snow in oil on oak wood in 1565. This masterpiece tells plenty of little stories about winterly pastimes and precarious livelihoods in the Early Modern Age. What Bruegel presumably did not have in mind was that this painting would, several centuries later, become one of the most popular ones in fine arts globally, displayed in a permanent exhibition at Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts) Vienna. The painting’s popularity was lately taken to a different level as it was replicated by hand to design an exclusive BITE bass.

An international art collector and bass player who regularly visits Vienna to immerse himself in the wonderworld of Kunsthistorisches’ Bruegel Hall asked BITE to replicate the painting on a bass body. BITE Guitars, an Austrian premium manufacturer exporting most of their basses to the US, has become renowned for colorful artwork basses, offering a range of manual and digital techniques. The firm’s art director Peter, a trained scenic painter of Oscar and Palme d’Or rank, specializes in photo-realistic reproductions. He also painted the bass for Robbie Williams’ 2023 world tour by faithfully replicating Robbie’s own stage design onto the tour bass.

Peter copied the Bruegel motif onto the bass body in minute detail, little twigs even by one-hair-brush. Positioning the rectangular image section on the body shape proved to be a special challege that he met by repositioning little elements, a bird here, a horse and cart there.

It all came together in a memorable video shooting in front of the original painting in the Museum’s Bruegel Hall: venerable fine arts, premium handicraft and groovy jazz tunes.

View video at the museum: www.youtube.com/shorts/2evdqfR6gUE

What’s the conclusion of BITE’s client, our Vienna, art and bass lover? “It’s a magical bass! When I touch the strings, I feel warm inside.”

Specs highlights:
Bass model: BITE Evening Star, the proprietary BITE premium model with inward curved horns
Pickups: 2 x BITE 1000 millivolt passive split-coils (PP)
Neck: roasted maple neck and roasted flamed maple fretboard

Price tag incl. insured door-to-door express shipping:
New York: 4726 USD
London: 3645 GBP
Berlin: 4965 EUR

Full specs available at bite.guitars/old-master-bass/

Bruegel Hall at Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna: 
khm.at/en/visit/collections/picture-gallery/the-best-of-bruegel-only-in-vienna/

Continue Reading

Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

Published

on

Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

Bassist Ciara Moser…

Ciara and I sat down for this interview a few months after the launch of her debut album, “Blind. So what?”

Blind since birth, she is a powerhouse of talent; she is not only a professional bassist, but also composes music, and is a producer and educator. I am just blown away by her talent and perseverance.

Join me as we hear about Ciara’s musical journey, the details of her album, how she gets her sound, and her plans for the future.

Visit online:

www.ciara-moser.com 
IG @ moserciara
FB @ ciara.moser

Photos by Manuela Haeussler

Continue Reading

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Facebook

Trending