If you want to become a better improviser, spend some time with melodies. Any melodies, in any style. Focus on 2 or 3 at a time and memorize them, embellish them, play them at different speeds, and with various emotional qualities. gradually embellish them more and more and hear them begin to sound more improvisatory.
By doing this, you’ll be joining a long line of musicians who have followed this tradition, including medieval minstrels, Bach, Lester Young, and Jerry Garcia.
Speaking of Lester Young, let’s check out the master himself, playing one of his favorite melodies. Listen to how much he loves playing this!
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