Steps to overcome this dragon
By Vidas Pinkevicius
Are you terrified of looking at the eyes of the dragon of improvisation? Do you feel like he'll kill you with his terrible gaze if you if you face him?
Remember, he can be defeated only by placing a mirror in front of him.
Here are the steps that helped me in this process:
1. Sit down on the organ bench
2. Don't criticize yourself
3. Don't praise yourself
4. Don't compare yourself to others
5. Start anywhere
6. Keep it interesting
7. Change to something new WHILE it's still interesting
8. Make use of 5 note, 6 note, 7 note, and 8 note modes
9. Explore different rhythms, tempos, dynamic levels, registrations, ranges of the organ
10. Watch how various themes emerge from your improvisations
11. Make use of repetition and variation techniques
12. Be mindful of the story arch
13. Think of it like a musical thriller
14. Don't stop for 60 minutes
Print those steps out and put them wherever you play.
Your're done! I know you will feel terrified, your will feel like you're risking everything but know that the fear is not real.
Remember, the only fear worth clinging to is going out with your songs still inside you.
That's how I overcame it last Saturday in improvisation storytelling recital "the Legend About the Basilisk". Enjoy the video!
PS Let me know, if you want to chat about a storytelling improvisation recital for your organisation.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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