I have always been a strong believer in the idea that you become what you think about. Some call it the law of attraction, others call it 'faith'. Rather than name it, I simply describe it as an Augmented Receptivity of Reality... that which already exists whether or not you want it, like it or need it. Once you set something in your mind, positive or negative in nature, if you repeat this ambition enough times, it becomes a habit.
Habits are what make a person; the subconscious mind is the stockpile of habits. You don't leave your house without your shoes, and if you write with your left hand, you would habitually put the pen in your left hand even if you received it first in your right hand, and vice versa. These are habitual actions which you do not ever imagine being opposite to what they are now; it would be impossible that you go outside without your shoes or write with your opposite hand, unless you forced it. Forcing is not worth the energy, so it does not change. Usually, this non-change is good because your habits represent who you are and there is perhaps no reason to change them... but I recommend that there is indeed a very, very good reason to change, or create a new, habit.
Albert Einstein knew this. He said, "Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions". Do you trust him? I do. What about this quote? "Whether you think you can, or think you can't, both are right". That was Henry Ford... he knew it too.
Rather than have you change your life, I would like you to welcome the possibility that you are able to improvise, and do it well, too. Not only can you improvise, but you can improvise melodically, intelligently, with feeling and of course, Purposefully. By adopting the principle of 'you are, what you think about', I realised that with the change of one word, 'are', to another, 'play', exactly the same results become possible.
Rather than sitting at your piano and trying to improvise, without really knowing what you're doing or why you're doing it, spend a few days reminding yourself, repeating to yourself, that you know exactly how to improvise. There is not one melody in your head that you could ever dream up and hear inside, that you can't play on the piano. Medical and psychological fact (do your research): The subconscious mind does not know the difference between reality and fantasy. Brainwaves, in scientific tests, prove (not give evidence for, but prove) to be the same in both thought and action. Therefore, you can't make up excuses! If you think you can't improvise, you never will.
Only thinking about improvising is not enough. You must become passionate and create an emotional attachment with the ability you have of improvising. How would you feel if you could improvise for 5 minutes over Autumn Leaves or On Green Dolphin Street, without repeating a single improvised melody? That would make you feel great, I'm sure. You would play in complete confidence, without 1 atom of doubt, that you can indeed improvise. You have enough knowledge of chords and a few scales, you know a few blues scales or can learn these things in a matter of hours and days, so it's not far off impossible.
The next time you go to your piano, listen to the improvisational lines in your head, which anybody can create (anybody can hum an improvisation, did you know that? Even without any musical knowledge of any kind). Then play them. Find them, repeat them, play them. The ability is already inside, you just need to make your subconscious believe, absolutely and undeniably, that you can indeed do it... and you will.
Picasso said that he has two versions of every painting: "I dream my painting, and then I paint my dream".
Wow. Is he wrong? Do you not trust or believe him? Was Ford wrong? Maybe Einstein?
Try it. And tell me your results.
Posted by danthecomposer