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David's Tip of the Day: Improvising - Leave More Space

David Barrett Admin's picture

My most common comment to students when improvising (I state this every day in my lessons) is to leave more space. Main licks and fills can quickly run together into a frantic mess when space is not utilized... like a run-on sentence. You often hear music coaches of non-wind instruments say to pause, as if to take a breath. This provides space between your phrases and enough time for the listener to digest what you just stated. This also tends to fix rhythmic issues. A small amount of space is enough time to register where you are in time with the band or backing track and continue to stay in time, or get back into time if you're out.