Reply To: Teaching Improvisation

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Great ideas. I especially like post #6744: lighten the cognitive load, use one note and two note rhythmic improvisation, and call-and-response. Here is another idea – if the chart you are playing has a solo section that is too hard for your soloists, change the solo section! Maybe just use a ii-V vamp, or repeat the ‘A’ section but never go to the bridge (Killer Joe is easy to improvise on if you don’t have to play the bridge). You could even take a very fast chart and in the solo section, switch to a half-time groove. The important thing is to create a musical opportunity where your young improvisers will be successful and become confident rather than set them up for sure failure.