Playing blind

Today, a remarkable thing happened. In an inspired session of playing, I think I played some of – if not the best – improvising I ever have.

I started by recording a progression of four chords as a foundation. I added a small embellishment just for a bit more dimension. After that, I just winged it.

I didn’t plan to have them in any particular key. The chords were selected in about a minute – purely based off them sounding like they sat nicely next to one another.

I can imagine readers thinking the lead guitar improvisation had to be in a key, which is true; the twist is I didn’t know what it was.

Not knowing meant I couldn’t rely on the familiar movements my fingers often make when going through scales; movements largely conditioned from hours of playing the pentatonic scale and muscle memory. Because my fingers had to find new steps to take, the music sounded new.

When I hit off notes, things were kept interesting by continuing in those new direction.

I’m really pleased with the fruits this style of playing sprouted, though, I unfortunately wasn’t able to record it all (it continued for about half an hour). I have, however, included at this link the chord progression it all started from. Put it on repeat and try to make something grow out of it.

Most importantly, try not to think about what key it’s in.

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Filed under Guitar, Guitar lessons, Music lessons

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