Term 1 Session 2 - Turning Theory into Sound

Brief Description: How to re-program your music mind  and concept of music theory into something that actually works. 

Music theory as a practice is great if you want to become a musicologist (the study of the study of music) but not so great as a means to learn how to improvise.  Why?  Because improvisation is all about reaction.  There is no time to think in fact, the more you think, the less creative you will be.  So, hold on...If there is no thinking, how come jazz improvisation sounds so melodic and logical?  The answer is, practice.  Jazz musicians put hours and hours of practice in to allow them the freedom of clarity.  The more practice we do, the more you can rely on intuition and empathy and in turn, the more you can listen and react.  Being a good jazz improviser is not about how much theory you know and understand but rather how much music you have inside of you.  Being able to hear concepts and sounds and to recognise them is far more valuable than understanding the mechanics of tritone substitution.  But, if you can hear and recognise tritone substitution, that is a very valuable skill.  Music theory is important but not as a means to learn how to improvise.  You wouldn't learn another language by starting with the grammar and syntax.  You start by copying sound.  Its the same with jazz.