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  1. #1

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    There are few things I found as impressive as an organist who can improvise a coherent tune from scratch. Sometime being given a fragment of melody as a theme or a formal structure he has to stick to. The heydays for classical improvisation are long gone but I find it amazing to try to get in the head of thoses giants of music like Marcel Dupré who could improvise a symphony on a theme someone would wistle to them.

    My abilities on guitar and on improvisations in general are limited (I am a professionnal Bassoonist!). But I tought that posting my discoveries and progress may help motivation and maybe get on board people like me who find extraordinary to collide modern guitar and 18 century improvisational methods.

    As a first post here is a rendering of a partimento (didactic continuo standalone piece) from Fedele Fenaroli. (Book 1 ,1 Gmajor)

    also please forgive my weak written English.

    Here is the part

    Adventures in classical improvisation-img_0155-jpg

    Last edited by Takemitsu; 03-24-2017 at 10:16 AM.
    2014 Sadowsky Jim Hall
    1996 Gibson GRT18

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Figured bass! Thank you for that! That's beautiful and voice led really well. Great reminder of the eloquence of voice leading.
    I really enjoyed that.
    David

  4. #3

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    Is there nothing a Tele can't do?

  5. #4

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    Well done. I used to play archlute and theorbo in Monteverdi operas through to Vivaldi and Bach, so was very familiar with this type of score, at least on those instruments. You have given us a block-chord realisation, but, of course, you might want to actually improvise using arpeggios, passing notes, etc. There is no improvising here - what you are doing is akin to strumming a chord chart. Context is everything, of course, and without knowing what the other instruments and/or voices are doing, it's hard to give a more musical realisation.

    Nice to hear it on a Tele, though!

  6. #5
    Rob, thank for the comment. I do realize there is no improvisation in there. Partimento are of a didactic nature. It's a way to get schematas in you head while learning tons of stuff. I may post a less strict version if you want. My goal is to improvise freely on that idiom over a pre existing form. As an example; improvising a small rondo on the spot. To be able to do so, I am researching how musicians may learn to do that. Partimento or continuo is in the curriculum of almost every musicians who achieved that. This is why I go trough it.

    This said, I am greatly interested in your continuo skills!! I hope you will want to share your experience and hopefully some videos!

    By the way, I use strict 4 part because I found that it was what was asked to newbies. And since I'm one...
    2014 Sadowsky Jim Hall
    1996 Gibson GRT18

  7. #6

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    I left that behind many years ago, but it was a great musical education, for sure. Keep at it.

    I don't have any videos of me from those days (pre internet! - or just about) but I do have videos of me improvising preludes to 19th-century guitar pieces, for instance:



    ...the first 30 seconds are an improv on a chord sequence in my head, just exploring the key a little before the tune starts. There is also an entirely improvised cadenza starting at 2' to 2'18". I enjoyed improvising preludes and cadences. Fernando Sor, although a classical-era composer for the guitar, said he was familiar with figured bass. So, a different period than your video, but there is a connection.

    Lots more on this page 19th Century | rmclassicalguitar including advice and tuition on specifically 19th-century improv. I like to think my time playing continuo helped me a lot. So, I repeat, keep at it!

  8. #7
    Beautiful prelude Rob! I was already aware of your webpage. thank you.

    Here is several version of the same continuo where I attempt (attempt is the key word) to improvise on the same continuo (the part is on the first post). always keeping the same bass line.

    I did post a bunch (dont listen to all of that) just to make everybody sure I am not pre-arranging anything (it is full of mistakes anyway)







    Last edited by Takemitsu; 03-24-2017 at 02:52 PM.
    2014 Sadowsky Jim Hall
    1996 Gibson GRT18

  9. #8

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    Good stuff! I like the third one best. They don't sound baroque at all to me, but quite modern tonal style. That's not in the slightest part a criticism. I like how you can take a baroque-period figured bass line, play it on a tele, and "compose" new pieces. More power to you!

  10. #9
    Thank you Rob!

    here is the final attempt for today. A short improvised prelude in G

    2014 Sadowsky Jim Hall
    1996 Gibson GRT18

  11. #10

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    great exchange gents!...

    tele sure sounds right for the job...as far as electrics go

    rob, (yet again) your video...sensational..what a beautiful tone besides!

    cheers

  12. #11
    here is a ornemented version of Fenaroli book1 number 2 in Gminor. It's a bit rocky. I'll stay on that one longer.

    here is the part
    Fenaroli n.2 :No. 2

    here is my attempt

    Last edited by Takemitsu; 04-10-2017 at 02:59 PM.
    2014 Sadowsky Jim Hall
    1996 Gibson GRT18

  13. #12
    Ok so I am at number 3 in Fedele Fenaroli Book1. Its getting harder since the bass is suddently moving a lot more. I think ill follow Fenaroli and Dupré to get me to a point where I could play decent continuo in an ensemble and improvise on fixed forms (ie improvising a minuet) Those are long term goal and since I dont have too many models I kinda walk in the dark. I am sorry if this is getting video/picture intensive

    Fenaroli no.3 :No. 3

    I attempt a short prelude after the figured bass exercise. Just establish A, go away and come back in few seconds. It's far from what I would like to do but it's a beginning.



    I am working on two set of harmonised scales that I am trying to interalise. The first one is the rule of the octave 9the Fenaroli version. It is worked from the bass up and it is a way to harmonise a scale to express the tonality to the maximum. The second is from Marcel Dupre and its a top down way to see it. Ill post about it later.

    here is a few fingerings and a vid of me playing them with tonic, third and fifth in the soprano. the goal is to keep the soprano moving the least possible. I hope to do this in all tonality smoothly one day.

    Adventures in classical improvisation-roto2-jpgAdventures in classical improvisation-roto1-jpgAdventures in classical improvisation-roto3-jpgAdventures in classical improvisation-roto4-jpgAdventures in classical improvisation-roto5-jpg

    Last edited by Takemitsu; 04-10-2017 at 02:55 PM.
    2014 Sadowsky Jim Hall
    1996 Gibson GRT18

  14. #13
    F. Fenaroli, Book 1, no.4 in A minor

    Working on a solution to get better audio.

    The chart: No. 4



    Last edited by Takemitsu; 04-10-2017 at 03:11 PM.
    2014 Sadowsky Jim Hall
    1996 Gibson GRT18

  15. #14

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    I working on it now quite intensively... as I began to play continuo on arch lute.
    I did it on piano before (but I never tried it on guitar!)

    Now I am doing DeFesch, Geminiani, Klein cello sonatas...
    And with gamba player we are preparing Marin Marais programm.

    Actually when I began I had very little experience and more experienced players gave me some tips that actually allow you to play more or less even without getting too deep into practicign (of course if yu have an ear in this style and if you know theoretical harmony well).
    I even found out that a few continuo players I know who are mostly solo players - do not know much about the continuo but just know enough to pick up a part when needed.
    It's not good to speak seriously but practical condidtions are often priority in concert life - if you have to play continuo tommorow and you never did it before - you will have to find shorter way to learn it)))

    Anyway I want to develope it to a good level...
    I am using Nigel North's book for Continuo on Lute. Very practical and helpful method.
    It can be trasferred to guitar if needed.


    As a general reading I would really recomend T.S. Arnold 'The Art of Acompaniment From a Thorough Bass'

    Though the book is quite old (it is a reprint edition), it is very interesting and has lots of valuable information.


    Results for - Search

    The book would be interesting for anyone actually.. pros, amateurs, beginners or advanced players, just musicians inrested in history of music.
    the 1st volume is dedicated to the history of the Through - bass.. with lots ogf music, quotes and sources.
    The 2nd volume goes for detailed analyze of the figures... adn practical solutions in reference to historical material.

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah View Post
    I working on it now quite intensively... as I began to play continuo on arch lute.
    I did it on piano before (but I never tried it on guitar!)

    Now I am doing DeFesch, Geminiani, Klein cello sonatas...
    And with gamba player we are preparing Marin Marais programm.

    Actually when I began I had very little experience and more experienced players gave me some tips that actually allow you to play more or less even without getting too deep into practicign (of course if yu have an ear in this style and if you know theoretical harmony well).
    I even found out that a few continuo players I know who are mostly solo players - do not know much about the continuo but just know enough to pick up a part when needed.
    It's not good to speak seriously but practical condidtions are often priority in concert life - if you have to play continuo tommorow and you never did it before - you will have to find shorter way to learn it)))

    Anyway I want to develope it to a good level...
    I am using Nigel North's book for Continuo on Lute. Very practical and helpful method.
    It can be trasferred to guitar if needed.


    As a general reading I would really recomend T.S. Arnold 'The Art of Acompaniment From a Thorough Bass'

    Though the book is quite old (it is a reprint edition), it is very interesting and has lots of valuable information.


    Results for - Search

    The book would be interesting for anyone actually.. pros, amateurs, beginners or advanced players, just musicians inrested in history of music.
    the 1st volume is dedicated to the history of the Through - bass.. with lots ogf music, quotes and sources.
    The 2nd volume goes for detailed analyze of the figures... adn practical solutions in reference to historical material.
    The Arnold book is definitely in my future! It is recommended within severeal book I own. Please post your work on archlute if you can. For me continuo is a stepping stone for improvisation especially since there is absolutely no demand for guitar continuo. It would be great to play some Corelli trio sonata with saxophone, telecaster and maybe some moog bass!
    2014 Sadowsky Jim Hall
    1996 Gibson GRT18

  17. #16
    improvising on a fixed form is a lot harder for me than i tought. I tried this week to stick to ABA or AABA forms with underwhelming results. My main problem is to remember correctly the A part after playing B (remember I'm trying tonight prepare anything but the starting key). I am pretty sure it has to do with my habit of thinking from the ground up instead of harmonizing a melody. This is why preluding is much easier for me since you can be ok with smaller motives without interruption of B (see WTC 1) I have to practice to harmonize scales on top a lot more.

    Here is a small arrangement I did of Morgenlied. It is the first song in Bach's Schemellis book.



    Here is Fenaroli No5 in Bmajor part: No. 5



    And here is a first attempt at fixed form impro

    Last edited by Takemitsu; 04-20-2017 at 11:20 AM.
    2014 Sadowsky Jim Hall
    1996 Gibson GRT18

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Takemitsu View Post
    There are few things I found as impressive as an organist who can improvise a coherent tune from scratch. Sometime being given a fragment of melody as a theme or a formal structure he has to stick to. The heydays for classical improvisation are long gone but I find it amazing to try to get in the head of thoses giants of music like Marcel Dupré who could improvise a symphony on a theme someone would wistle to them.

    My abilities on guitar and on improvisations in general are limited (I am a professionnal Bassoonist!). But I tought that posting my discoveries and progress may help motivation and maybe get on board people like me who find extraordinary to collide modern guitar and 18 century improvisational methods.

    As a first post here is a rendering of a partimento (didactic continuo standalone piece) from Fedele Fenaroli. (Book 1 ,1 Gmajor)

    also please forgive my weak written English.

    Here is the part

    Adventures in classical improvisation-img_0155-jpg

    Dude the bassoon is awesome! One of my favorite instruments. It's got that medieval sound.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  19. #18

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    What a beautiful thread!The hearts presents is the driving force of the technical discussion.At least thats my take.Having taken on the role of a husband, father ,mother and psychiatrist to one of the most intelligent and beautyful woman on the planet.Now raising a child of our own and still trying to provide i really do get little time for my previous interests.But i have moments some of which are so fullfilling that its my petrol to keep inspired and going this thread and those involved is such a moment.Why it impacted me this way i dont know but it has thanks!!