Natural improvisation

I heard a kid singing in the park yesterday. He was about 8 or 9 years and was playing by the swingset. He wasn’t singing any particular song, but was kind of humming in a singsong kind of way, like we sometimes do in the shower. The amazing thing was that he went on for a long time, maybe 15 minutes, and his music stayed interesting the entire time.

He didn’t repeat much, and wasn’t concerned with following any particular type of musical form or structure. One note simply led to another and he let the life of each phrase give birth to the next. And so on and so on, without any judgement or musical critique.

The irony (at least as we teens or adults are concerned) is that although he clearly wasn’t trying to create “great” music, his music was indeed great.

Great, interesting, and full of musicality and spirit.

Here’s the real irony: if that’s all there is to it, then why don’t we all improvise music as well as that 9 year old kid?

Here’s something else I learned from a young person.

Take your left hand playing to a new level with my free ebook: Left Hand Techniques for Jazz Piano
You’ll also get my weekly jazz newsletter with practice tips and inspiration

Leave a Comment

Sign up for Blog Updates