Lesson 19

Improvisation with Listen for Bells

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Hello and welcome back. I'm Joseph Hoffman.
Today, I'd love to show you how you can have even more fun with "Listen for Bells"
by doing some improvising. Remember, improvising means
making up your own music in the moment. There are no right or wrong notes.
All that matters is that you like it.

So, here's how it's going to work.
You'll have your right hand in the D major pentascale, and first,
you'll hear the accompaniment begin. When the accompaniment starts, don't play,
|just listen. Here's what you'll hear. As it plays, listen for three clicks, like this.
That's your cue to start playing "Listen for bells," just like we learned it.
Once you've finished playing "Listen for bells," then, there'll be some time
for you to improvise. You'll keep hearing the accompaniment,
but you're going to make up your own melody,
using any of the notes in the D Major pentascale. If you hear a note you don't like,
just step up or down to the next note. As you improvise,
be listening for three clicks again, because those three clicks are the cue,
once again, to wrap up your improvisation and play "Listen for bells" one last time.
I only have three guidelines for your improvisation.
Number one: use the notes of the D major pentascale.
That's the position you will already be in, anyway, for "Listen for bells."
Number two, just play one note at a time.
Number three, listen listen to the sound of each note,
and enjoy how your improvisation flows along with the accompaniment.
And that's it! Remember there are no wrong notes. It's your creation.
If you're not happy with your improvisation, just go back and try it again,
as many times as you need to be happy with it.

Ok, let's give this a try.
Your job, remember, is to put your right hand in the D Major pentascale.
I'll play the accompaniment. You're going to wait. Don't start playing right away.
When you hear three clicks, you play "Listen for bells."
Then, once "Listen for bells" is done, you improvise.
Then, when you hear three clicks again, you play "Listen for bells" one last time,
and then we're done.

Here we go. I'll do the accompaniment. You're in position to "Listen for bells."
Here we go. Ready, set, go:
"Listen for bells in the steeple to ring.
Ding ding ding, ding ding ding, ding ding ding ding.
Now improvise.
One, two, three:
"Listen for bells in the steeple to ring.
Ding ding ding, ding ding ding, ding ding ding ding.

How did it go? The fun thing about improvising is, it's different every time.
No two improvisations are ever exactly the same.
It's a fun and useful skill to develop, so I hope,
in addition to practicing your songs every day,
you'll also practice some improvising every day.
If you'd like to get an mp3 file with this accompaniment for playing and improvising
with "Listen for bells,"  you can download it as part of the complete materials
for unit one from our website.
Thanks for watching, and I'll see you next time.