How do you learn to improvise on the organ? Do you try to follow the rules, harmony, and counterpoint? Or maybe you just simply start playing and listening what's happening?
At least at the beginning improvisation is like learning to swim - simply jump into shallow water and start working with your hands and feet. And you begin to see that you little by little start to swim.
When we improvise, at first we can also think similarly - choose a safe playing mode when nobody is listening and start fooling around with a few sounds, listen to what kind of mood they create, and tell a musical story.
Of course, sometime in the future we will need also the skills in music theory, harmony, counterpoint, and many other areas, but first we have to start playing.
Play and fail. Then play some more.
This is how we get rid of the fear of improvisation.
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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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Don't have an organ at home?
Download paper manuals and pedals, print them out, cut the white spaces, tape the sheets together and you'll be ready to practice anywhere where is a desk and floor. Make sure you have a higher chair.