Notes From This Lesson (Can Also Be Found In Course Textbook)
- You do not need to have any prior knowledge of improvisation techniques or music theory in order to take this course. Learning how to improvise can seem like a big and daunting task. However, it doesn’t have to be, as long as you take it step by step and slowly build up your knowledge base. These lessons are designed to take you very gradually through the process of learning how to improvise. You will learn the foundational elements of music theory, creating melody, choosing notes, and playing in different styles.
- You do need to have some familiarity with your instrument already. This course begins with the assumption that you already know how to hold your violin, how to hold you bow, and how to control the sound coming out of your instrument. You should be able to play in tune, and have a small repertoire of songs you know.
- You should know the names of the notes on your violin. This is quite important, because I will constantly be referring to notes by their letter names, such as “A, C sharp, E flat, etc.” If you don’t already know this, don’t fear. I have attached a fingering chart to the video lesson, and on the next page of this textbook.
- Have your violin with you at all times during the lessons. Don’t just watch the video lessons and then practice afterwards. Have your violin with you while you learn, so you can pause the video and try out new ideas.
- There will be a textbook. (You are reading it right now!). Some lessons will be video lessons, and some will be written lessons. This is because some things are easier to learn through video, and some are easier to learn through diagrams and the written word.
- There will be listening days every six days. One of the most important when learning to improvise is actually just listening to other people improvising. That’s why every sixth day, we’ll take a day to relax and simply listen. This is kind of a “rest day” to not overwhelm your brain with information, but it’s also extremely beneficial to your improvising learning! I’ll provide some listening suggestions, but I also really recommend that you go and seek out good violinists in the genres you're interested in.
- Reviews/tests. We’re going to mixing in more bookish theory lessons with more hands on improvisation lessons. I want to make sure you don’t get bogged down in too many details, so before moving on to any big new concepts, we’ll take a day together to review all the concepts, and then another day to do just a very informal, relaxed quiz. Of course, the quiz isn’t graded, you’re not going to get a score or anything which will affect your process. It’s actually just a review tool for you, so you can identify where the gaps in your understanding are.