Musical Improvisation - Faster And Slower

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The easiest thing to do when you do some improvisation is to vary the tempo. It is probably the worst thing you can do.

If the group you are playing with agrees, before hand, that you'll change the tempo at a certain point in a song, great. But don't go off like a stallion in its first race when it's your turn. Don't. Don't. Don't!

Now, that's not to say that there is anything sacred about the tempo of a song. In jazz it seems to be a given that a slow song (ballad) will be played at a fast pace by someone; or a fast piece will be slowed to ballad tempo. Nothing wrong with that.

Remember that, in most cases, changing the tempo of a piece while you're playing will serve to confuse you, your band mates and the audience. Do your best to develop an internal sense of tempo. You do this by practicing with a metronome. Sorry, no shortcuts.

Next: Put it all Together.

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