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Joined: Jan 2021
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Welcome challengers,

I'm happy to announce the launch of the Improving Improvisers (or Improv²) challenge !

Improv² is a piano improvisation challenge where participants are given some bare and short themes (notes + rythms) to use as basis, and then submit recordings.
As we all start with the same material, it will be very interesting to see how we each develop our ideas around it.
Classical? Jazz? Whatever works for you. Challengers of all levels are welcome!


Where is the theme bank ?
The themes are numbered, and all kept in a single pdf file, here:

Theme Bank

I will update the file as the challenge progresses and more themes are added, the link will stay the same.
We'll start off with 3 themes every 2-3 weeks for you to play around with.


What are the rules ?
1- Indicate the theme number along with your recordings.
2- You can post as many takes/ideas as you want on a theme.
3- Don't be scared, and have fun! We all start from somewhere.

That's it.

Some optional guidelines/ideas :
- Playing the "bare bones" theme at the start of improv recordings is appreciated, it gives the listener's ear something to search for in the following music.
- You're free to transform the theme (introduce alterations, focus on the rhythm rather than notes, play it upside down, etc.)



Can I submit themes for the theme bank ?
Yes, in fact I'd appreciate if you did. My ideas will run short at some point.
Just keep the themes bare (no chords) and short (1 staff line max).
Submit them in this thread or by PM to me.
You can either send a picture of the theme which I'll transcribe, or some lilypond code if you're into that (I won't accept recordings).

The theme bank is written in lilypond, you can find the code here (which I'll also update every now & then)



We are starting with themes 1, 2, and 3.
Let your imagination go wild!


Kawai CA79 (Jan 2021), Casio Privia PX-870 (Jun 2017)
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Fun iniative. Question:
Will there be a new thread for delivering your pieces? And a deadline?

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Originally Posted by Flygbladet
Fun iniative. Question:
Will there be a new thread for delivering your pieces? And a deadline?

Post your submissions in this thread. The way you share the recordings is up to your discretion (YT, soundcloud, drive...).
As for a deadline, I suppose it's best before the next update, so within the next 2-3 weeks. There's not going to be "rejections" of submissions or anything if you post after.
The idea is to keep challengers roughly focused on the same themes at the same time.


Kawai CA79 (Jan 2021), Casio Privia PX-870 (Jun 2017)
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I will give it a try.



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
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After a lot of practice and a lot of recording, here's an improvisation based on the first theme. The theme is two measure in Cm7 so I used the chord progression of Blue Bossa to improvise. It goes like this Cm7 - Fm7 - Dm7b5 G7 Cm7 - Ebm7 Ab7 Db7 - Dm7b5 G7 Cm7 Dm7b5 G7 Cm7 for 16 bars.



[img]
[/img]

Last edited by Serge88; 05/27/21 04:51 PM.


“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
- Robert Schumann

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Meap6 Offline OP
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Awesome take on the theme, thanks for your submission !


Kawai CA79 (Jan 2021), Casio Privia PX-870 (Jun 2017)
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Thanks,

Serge



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
- Robert Schumann

Meap6 #3122672 05/29/21 07:53 AM
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Here's one based on Theme 2:



Just my usual collection of cliches!

Cheers


Simon

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Simon_b #3122682 05/29/21 08:49 AM
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Serge, Simon - great job!


Started playing piano in early 2017. My YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNyp3JmDfITneq2uSgyb-5Q/videos
Meap6 #3122706 05/29/21 11:31 AM
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Wow good improv, Simon.



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
- Robert Schumann

Meap6 #3122709 05/29/21 11:49 AM
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Ok. Got some time now. Finally - will see if I manage to connect the recording and will make a try. Meanwhile: Comments:

Simon Absoletly lovely. It started of easye and later goes full on. I loved your imro easy listening muzak

Serge88 Good recording. Intresting Chordprogression. Especially at 0:28

Meap6 #3122720 05/29/21 12:19 PM
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So here comes my attempt on number 3. I keep making the major 7 chords when improvising, thats my usual "trap" and "tricks" wink

https://soundcloud.com/dani-cohen-1/impro-through-team/s-5r0qws4Laz5

Meap6 #3122729 05/29/21 12:42 PM
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Hi Flygbladet

Very nice playing, really enjoyed that.

Cheers


Simon

Vox Continental 73
Casio PX-S3000
Pearl Midtown Drums








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Originally Posted by Flygbladet
So here comes my attempt on number 3. I keep making the major 7 chords when improvising, thats my usual "trap" and "tricks" wink

https://soundcloud.com/dani-cohen-1/impro-through-team/s-5r0qws4Laz5

Well done !



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
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Improvisation 2, based on the 12 bars blues with a simple left hand pattern. I used Ireal for a drum and bass track.




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Originally Posted by Serge88
Improvisation 2, based on the 12 bars blues with a simple left hand pattern. I used Ireal for a drum and bass track.



Well played Serg, and well done for having the courage to post it!

Just a thought: Do you know the F Blues scale? Might be worth having a little play about with it over the 12 bar progression.

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Could someone link a pdf? Is there a way to read the lilypond files on Android?

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Originally Posted by ranjit
Could someone link a pdf? Is there a way to read the lilypond files on Android?

Here it is.

[Linked Image]



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
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Originally Posted by fatar760
Well played Serg, and well done for having the courage to post it!

Just a thought: Do you know the F Blues scale? Might be worth having a little play about with it over the 12 bar progression.

Thanks, good idea.



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Here's my improvisation over theme 1.

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