50 Un-Jazz Improvisations for Unaccompanied Violin

Improvisation for classical musicians
Learning to improvise eludes classical musicians for reasons mostly related to training. The approach below is well-suited for classical musicians and may work for you where others haven't.
The video playlist below contains a series of over 50 (mostly non-tonal) improvisations for unaccompanied violin: “Mezzi Schizzi”, aka “Middle Sketches”.

Part teaching, part practice, and part music for listening, browse all 50+ current episodes in the playlist below.

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 These free improvisations bring to mind pencil drawings, i.e. unaccompanied melodic lines. They’re meant to be direct, vulnerable, and naked.  You can get the sheet music to several of these within Chromatic Universe (in the shop on this website.)

Unlike practicing jazz violin, I hope this playlist will inspire other classical musicians to explore free improvisation because this is a way to develop your original voice without studying harmony. 

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If you are a Teacher, watch the video below to understand my pedagogical approach to teaching non-tonal improvisation for classical musicians, during this presentation from the Colorado Music Educators Association conference:

Free/Structured/Non-Tonal Improvisation allows classical musicians to start create, regardless of their fluency in tunes, forms, styles, or harmony.

It’s like the process whereby a three year-old, when picking up a crayon, begins to naturally develop a signature voice.

It was in this way that I first began improvising in my  teens, unsure what kind of sound I should make, and frustrated with my inability to quickly master blues, rock, jazz, etc…

It’s a unique challenge to improvise unaccompanied on violin. It feels like being out on a ledge. The process builds confidence after time. I imagine it strengthens mental muscles in the same way as walking with 50 lbs on your back strengthens your body.

One thing that is difficult for improvisers early on is knowing how to evaluate their work. If you would like to get feedback from me to help you know where to focus in your practice, connect with me in a private session here

For an immersive experience among other creative players, and a truly unique hang, join us at our live events.





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