Last week I introduced the pattern that we'll be using for improvisation this week. It's not improvisation in the way you may think--we'll always use the same rhythm. But, have you ever thought about how accents can really change how something sounds? Let's try it out.
Focus: Improvisation, Rhythm
1. Don't expect to feel comfortable doing this right away. You'll see in the video that I have a few little hiccups and even completely change speeds right at the beginning, when I'm not sure where to place the next accent. Just keep trying and you'll gradually feel comfortable.
2. Improvisation can also be a form of experimentation. If you play something you like, write it down to use it later!
The best way to start this drill is to repeat the kuchi shoga a few times before beginning, at the tempo you feel most comfortable. When you begin to play the pattern, add accents randomly throughout the pattern. Try not to play many accents in a row, but also try not to let a full pattern pass you by without changing something from the time before.
I recorded myself improvising a couple of times. Check it out and then give it a try! Keep in mind that my video is just an example: yours should be completely different.
I'm in Seattle, teaching workshops with some friends from Japan. I'm not sure what my schedule will look like next Friday, but I'll do my best to be back with you then!