Introduction To Improvisation
In this series of videos, we look at the basics of improvisation and how to manage harmony and melody.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
In this video, we look at some different ways of coming up with melodic ideas.
Discuss this tutorial here.
timestamp 0:27  One source of musical ideas is to study what other people are playing. It's much better to do this via transcription, since this forces you to listen to what's going on and helps develop your ear and listening skills.
timestamp 0:50  New musical ideas can also be generated by tweaking old ideas.
timestamp 1:32  Mini-riffs are another way to generate new melodic ideas.
timestamp 2:13  Ear-training is one of the most important skills you need to develop, so that you know what will come out of your instrument before you play it.

The goal is to be able to think in terms of musical ideas, not specific notes. Practicing in 12 keys will go a long way to helping you to be able to do this.

timestamp 3:51  Solos must be harmonically strong enough that the listener can hear the chords that you're playing, and at the same time, also be melodically interesting.
timestamp 4:02  Melody and harmony can be practised separately:
  • harmony: focus on capturing the sound of each chord e.g. by only playing chord tones.
  • melody: solo over a single chord for an extended period.
Over time, the two will merge and you will be able to play something that is both harmonically strong and melodically interesting, at the same time.