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Music improvisation is the spontaneous composition of melody and lyrics, typically without any preparation beforehand. Improvisation takes different forms in different genres and ranges from so-called “free improvisation” to tightly scripted music such as musical theater or the Broadway musical. Many musicians use improvisation in live performances for instrumental solos, or accompaniment—even songs written out beforehand will often have elements of improvised performance because they are usually played with variations from what is written on paper.

Some tips for improvising in music include:

1. Practice Your Scales
A scale is a series of notes used in music, in a particular order. Scales can be used to improvise (play with) melodies. Improvising with scales helps you become familiar with the scale and how it fits into the harmony of the song. You may even discover a hidden melody within the scale that you hadn’t noticed before!

2. Practice Your Modes

You may be able to improvise without using modes, but they are very helpful (and pretty too!). A mode is a series of notes in a scale that is played in the same order as the original scale. A mode is also used to improvise with melodies.

3. Build On The Melody
Sometimes the melody you start with is boring or uninspiring. You can change the melody by improvising on it, creating new notes, or singing different words. This is also called “melody creation”.

4. Give Clarity To Your Rhythm

Sometimes you may play a rhythm that is not especially clear (or perhaps even a little messy). You can fix any problem with the rhythm of your improvising by choosing notes to emphasize and selecting an instrument for each beat.

5. Don’t Judge Yourself In The Moment
It is easy to judge yourself as a musician when you are improvising. It can help to remember that judging yourself is self-defeating and it will not help you improve your skills. Recognizing that your first attempt at improvising may not be successful is important, but don’t criticize yourself too harshly or else you will be less likely to try again.

6. Try Improvising With A Partner
Working with other musicians to improvise is a great way to gain confidence in your abilities as a musician and to improve quickly. Improvising with a partner can also be fun, especially if you do not usually play together. In fact, you may have more fun and make better music by improvising with someone else than just playing by yourself! Working together will also give you useful feedback on how your playing is coming along.