‘Play what you feel.’ ‘Don’t just wreck out scales. Listen to the notes in your head.’ ‘Follow your heart.’ These are perhaps some of the most common advices related to improvisation.
However for this post I’m not writing on improving improvisation and all that but something else.
Overplaying, is still one of my biggest weaknesses in improvisation (however I say overplaying is much more exciting than underplaying!). I wondered, am I not playing what’s in my head? Am I just blabbering scales without ‘following my heart’?
The answer I got is, no. Indeed, I’m playing the moment. My head has tons of notes waiting to be played. My heart is (virtually) pounding so fast it needs more notes. I’m following my instinct. I need to get all that notes out there. AND HERE I GO SHREDDING.
Now you might be thinking, ‘Oh yeah so you gonna say how you played less then everything turned for the better.’ I wanted to but since most people knew that so let’s take a different twist.
I have so many notes in my head I can’t play them all! This is not so much mental but physical limitation. My hands just can’t reach those notes in my head! However this actually makes me a little happy (sadist!) because this is telling me that I have raw ideas (although they could be bad). It’s just a matter of practicing more to be able to shape these raw ideas into killer audible lines. I used to not have these notes in my head back then. Well, now I have more notes to mess with!
What made me think of all these things? I was recording a guitar cover of Jpop sensation Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s ‘Mondai Girl’ and the song has an interlude section that I thought would be awesome for a solo. It has some really cool chord changes and I actually had a hard time soloing over it. I tried playing less but it didn’t work so I had to go to the more side. I took quite many takes as my hands just couldn’t reach the notes in my head. I got it down at last anyway so here it is: