(Jazz) improvisation workshops

Many people would like to improvise, but don't know where to start. There are of course many workshops teaching improvisation, but the level or tempo often is to high for beginners. For these and other reasons, Ray developed a series of workshops himself, intended for people seeking a first introduction to improvisation. Special emphasis is placed on experimenting and results are usually quick, (especially in the first course). Playing together, experimenting and learning from each other are key to this development. The courses are primarily intended for musicians of all levels, but some reading skills and ability on the instrument are mandatory. The series is build in a way that each level progresses from the previous. Players of all instruments can participate as long as a rhythm-section can be formed. The members of the rhythm-section will of course participate in the improvisation as well. Because of the structure of the workshops, the series is very well suited for (music-)schools and organisations wanting to offer improvisation to their members.


On the first level, common applicable concepts are treated, mostly by playing and experimenting. Home study for this level is minimal, practical experience is more important here. The second level works with the melody of songs as the basis for improvisation. Memorizing the various melodies at home (one at a time!) is a requisite here. Level III is meant as an introduction in improvising using the chords of a song, where somewhat more intense study at home is required. The workshops use themes from jazz and specially composed pieces, but the skills learned kan of course be used in every style of music. All the concepts are also clearly demonstrated by listening to the recordings of some great jazz soloists. The goal is to conclude every workshop with a public presentation, where all studied songs are played, of course with a lot of improv!

Playing together

Jazz improvisation is all about a group effort: the solo exists in the context of the entire band. Therefore, a lot of emphasis is placed on the musical communication of the soloist with the other band members. Communicating your musical direction, controlling dynamics, etc. are all extensively practiced. All of these elements have made these workshops into a succesful series, especially useful for musicians outside jazz, like classically trained musicians or musicians from wind orchestras. Contact Creatid Music Services for more information.

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