Jazz performers may choose the tempo, dynamics, and the ryhtm they feel best fits their own understanding of the music, and also decide how much to ornament the original melody. This may result in an easily recognizable tune or one so altered that its original form is not recognizable. This process is the true essense of jazz, from which the art of jazz improvisation has evolved. This is not to say that idea of improvisation in it self product of jazz. Improvisation can be found in every musical style and culture, but in jazz it is the predominant and driving force.
The ability to read music is of prime importance. This seems to present somewhat of a paradox, because improvisation in its essence requires no reading, either of notes or of chord changes. It only requires that you hear and be able to transfer what you hear to your instrument.
You should also master basic technical facilities before beginning a study of improvisation. All major keys must be memorizedand scales mastered before chords and jazz scales can be fully utilized and understood. The finger technique developed from this extremely important and will prove valuable in the studies to follow.
Basic skills in ear training are also necessary. This is somewhat of an understatement, because the degree of proficiency you rech in developing your ear will be the single most erucial factor in developing the skill of improvising.
At the beginning, it is highly advisable for you to learn to recognize ability to write these out and explore their sounds at the piano will be extremely helpful. Along with these skills there are others, just as basic, that need special attention.
In jazz, no one told Stanley Turrentine that he must sound like Stan Getz or Miles davis that he should sound like Dizzy Gillespie. You may spend many years experimenting, changing equipment, and listening to others before you have a complete concept of what your sound should be. You must be aware now of the need to search out this identity, because it can have a decided effect on your whole approach to improvisation.
Jazz is never perfomed exactly the way it is notated. The rhythm, articulation, and phrasingused in jazz evolve form the individual's interpretation of what isplaced in the page or heard, and these element are used much the same way in improvisation.
It is all but impossible to teach the intuitive use of these nuances, as they change from instrument to instrument and style to style. Again, the key to acquiring these skills is listening to recordings, imitating stylistic traits and incorporating them into your own playing. The importance of listening cannot be stresses too highly aand will be referred to throughout the text.
In music you winno championship without perfection. Success in improvisation will come only to the student who will not settle for less than perfection and who dedicates himself to the time and work involved in achieving it.