2: More advanced improvisation

With your harp tuned to F, play the audio:

Listen carefully to the music so you understand the melody, the rhythm, and the structure. Once you are familiar with it, while the audio is playing, try the following ideas:

  • Work out a simple bass line, either single notes or octaves
  • Work out some simple chords
  • Try some arpeggios (going upwards) instead of chords
  • See if you can invent a “counter-melody” – one note per beat of the bar

Some tips:

  1. Whether you are playing along with a recording or with real live musicians, it’s really important to listen first so you understand the music.
  2. Even when you join in, it’s OK to “sit out” (not play) for a repeat of the tune. Silence is good – it lets the music “breathe”.
  3. Invent little patterns and use them during the piece at different pitches
  4. Pick up fragments of the melody and repeat them / invert them
  5. If you do something nice, repeat it!
  6. If you do something which sounds a bit wrong, repeat it anyway! It might spark other ideas.

Other resources:

  • look at the score
  • download the PDF of the score to print out and add your own notes or chords

Next page: Create your own music!