Improvisation is sometimes recognized as a component skill of a well-rounded musician and sometimes described as a skill in and of itself. It requires, above all other things:

  • An intimate knowledge of your instrument or voice
  • Reflexive knowledge of the music accompanying your performance
  • The ability to use scales and other frameworks as the bases for novel musical inventions
  • Feeling

The last thing, by far, is the most important. In order for a musician to make a connection with their audience while they’re improvising, the piece they’re creating has to come from within themselves. If the improvisation is a display of shallow virtuosity, the audience will tire, as it sounds like you’re practicing. If the improvisation is hesitant and timid, the audience will not become engaged.

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