Trombone wrote: ↑
Wed May 16, 2018 8:50 am
Asking for a friend/
I'm primarily an ear player/ I have really strong ears and hear chord changes really reallly well and stuff/ but because i never went through the acdemic chanelles i'm not sure where to start or how to organize the info to make it more digestible. I'd really like ideas on hot to teach what i seem to just know.
again, sking for a friend/
Are you asking for a friend that is wanting to do some teaching or are you asking because you want to help teach your friend?
For someone who learned to improvise primarily by ear, it may be difficult to translate that into a process to help advise someone just getting started with improvisation. If you (or your friend) is serious about learning to teach, it's worth taking some lessons yourself. If not for what you might learn about improvisation, but what you will learn about pedagogy. So-called "natural" players are often not the best communicators of how to play because they often haven't given serious thought on how to lead someone else along a similar path. When faced with a student that has challenges with a particular concept or technique that you haven't had you need to come up with some different ways to break it up into smaller goals.
My personal preference for teaching improvisation is borrowed from Hall Crook's writings on jazz improvisation. In one of his books, "Ready, Aim, Improvise," Crook breaks things up into three broad topics: What to play, When to play, How to play.
What - Includes things like chords, scales, playing outside the changes, guide tones, passing tones, etc.
When - Includes things like phrasing and using silence, also rhythmic topics
How - Includes things like range, dynamics, pacing, intensity
You then find a single, smaller scale topic and focus exclusively on that topic for a while. For example, you can take a week and practice soloing with chord tones. You can come up with exercises that force yourself into a box to gain facility with that topic. For example, you can practice doing chord arpeggios on a tune until you have the changes comfortable. You can practice soloing only using chord tones (no passing tones allowed). You can start every phrase on the 9th of the chord and end every phrase on the 3rd. Make it as easy or as hard as your student needs to be challenged, yet still attain a short term goal. Then move on to another topic. The basic idea is to try to be as musical as possible while under the constraints of the particular exercise. When you remove the exercise and just play you will have better command over that particular topic when and if you feel the urge to play it.
I've used this particular approach in both private lessons and group classes because it's easily customizable to the particular student, with a little thought and creativity.