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rex@sitar.co.za

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "kellangreen"
I'm just quite frankly awful at sticking to it perfectly when improvising lines and not using tabla.
You can keep taal with your right foot.
Tap to the right on 1,5 and 13.
tap to the left on 9.
If you practise this for a few weeks while practising your pre-composed material it will become second nature and you'll be able to keep taal subconsciously and perfectly with your foot while improvising.

All the other advice on here is great!
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kellangreen

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "cwroyds"
Dont expect to be able to just poop out a bunch of notes and call it improvisation.
There is a difference between true improvisation and just "make-em-ups"
Of course you can just noodle around on the sitar for fun, but it will never be as satisfying as improvisation that is genuine and true.
This is true regardless of instrument or musical genre.
Pretending like you know what you are doing is never as satisfying to play or listen to as actually playing real music.
I completely agree, which is why I'm trying my hardest to learn improvisation the correct way.

You've been very helpful, thank you

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cabernethy

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "kellangreen"
but it will never be as satisfying as improvisation that is genuine and true
I'm not sure that I completely agree with this. I of course agree that there is a great sense of completeness and achievement when one plays a piece that has been memorised note perfect. However, personally, I also get equal satisfaction from moving away from the prescribed (as long as it sounds good) and hitting melodies that are new (to me anyway).

I am in no way saying that I will discover music that has not already handed down, but I believe that there is a much wider space for the two methods to co-exist than you suggest ?
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #19 
Cabernathy, I think you are misunderstanding what I was saying.
I was not talking about playing compositions note for note.
I was talking about Improvisation.
Real Improvisation comes from having a lot of knowledge under your fingers that you draw from to create new improvised melodic lines.
This is true regardless of genre.

A jazz musician has to have a vast vocabulary of scales, arpeggios, and music phrases in order to improvise over complex changes.
Without that base he is just pooping notes into the wind.
It is the same with any instrument, in any genre.

If a sitarist wants to create interesting improvisation he can't do it with no knowledge whatsoever.
You see these guys all over youtube.
They bend a note, play a shaky vibrato note, and might play a part of an exotic sounding scale, but in the end it is bullshit.

There is a difference between improvisation and "make-em-ups"
Maybe you can handle a guy noodling about on a sitar, but for me I need a musician to have a true musicality and obvious foundation of musical knowledge or it is just babble.

My point to the original poster was to learn the taans in various Ragas so that you have those phrases and scales as a base from which to draw when creating improvised lines when playing over any musical form.
For one thing, being good at taans means that you have facility on the instrument.
You develop technique on the sitar that allows you to freely play when improvising.

Just because something is played on a sitar does not make it interesting.
It fools some people, but if you had that same musician play what they were playing on the sitar on a guitar, you would say they suck.
This point is proved my Alberto Marsicano, Chinmoy, and any of those other noodlers on youtube.
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cabernethy

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Reply with quote  #20 
OK, skipping the fundamental points (which I do get)....I think that we are on the same page. At the same time though, I suspect our beliefs around what is 'True' improvisation is further apart. Of course you need vocabulary to be able to communicate, but you don't need to be a poet laureate (in my view) which is one of the beautiful peculiarities of speaking through music.
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #21 
Absolutely.
You certainly don't need to be a master musician before you improvise.
My point is just that you need some musical foundation on which to build your improvisation.
If you just put a sitar in someones hands and say "Go ahead, improvise", you wont get anything worth listening to.
It will just be random notes.

Even something as simple as the Blues requires at least a basic foundation of blues scales, blues phrases, and common turn arounds etc.
Otherwise it aint the blues.

Certainly many musicians get by with a minimum of actual knowledge and are still able to produce cool music.
I guess the proof is in the pudding.
If what you play is interesting then that can be enough.
From my experience, those who just noodle around randomly on the sitar only produce nonsense music.
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cabernethy

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Reply with quote  #22 
Could not agree more, and yes I've seen way, way enough of special fried sitar noodles on youtube

Although sometimes, they are good for a laugh :wink:
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