Are Improvs Cheating?

Skip to the bottom

  • @embersofautumn 7 weeks

    So, a question--

    I am a man of little free time, and haven't even gotten past 3 songs in the last 10 years of FAWMing. As a way of getting a few... cheap shot songs in, I was considering doing some improv sessions, since I do tend to like to just play around. I wanted to see what everyone's thoughts were on this topic. Would an improv session be considered a song?

  • @kevinemmrich  7 weeks

    improv away! The main goal is to be creative. You never know, you might end up getting a keeper out of it.

  • @toms 7 weeks

    Tons of people do improvised songs here. πŸ˜€

  • @bootlegger 7 weeks

    yeah not cheating. plenty of old jazz/blues "songs" were just jams/improvs and they still count as songs.

  • @pipewrench67  7 weeks

    No, all's fair in FAWM

  • @dasbinky  7 weeks

    All writing is just really slow improv anyway.

  • @metalfoot  7 weeks

    Totally not cheating.

  • @guatecoop  7 weeks

    I’m actually envious that you are in a position to ask the question!! It is completely out of the question for me to improvise or record something off the cuff. Very cool for you! I have to plan out everything. It’s a problem of mine....

  • @andygetch  7 weeks

    For me, time limitations are powerful in that I am forced to make quick decisions and run with the first idea. Improvs are one way that I sometimes use. My more frequent quick song goto is the skirmish type of mentality where I give myself an hour, make choices quickly, often record the first take and post it. Another approach I have used is to improvise one or more tracks over a metronome. Keeping a notepad (now my phone) is a way I track ideas so when I have that free hour or afternoon I have ready-to-go ideas. Probably close to half of the songs I like well enough to memorize and play out started as a quick write.

  • @ustaknow 7 weeks

    I think I read, saw somewhere, Aretha Franklin, -- to keep this short and not a music history lesson, -- "Sing".

    Then the studio chopped out the song from the ongoing track, tape, -- generally speaking.

    If on looks into this, and a very worthy endeavor imo, -- many "top" artists, "hit record" and then chop out ideas, stuff, song -demos.

  • @ustaknow 7 weeks

    Not wanting one long post (make this a separate thought)... -- I find the less I think "how it should be"?, the more "satisfying" I find this process. Maybe not "good", that's up to listeners for that. But for e.g., for years I could not find anyone to sing with me to record, -- how I heard my songs, always with more than one voice, generally speaking.

    Then, one day, -- just started to do random pot shots of vocal stuff, singing the 3rd not the root of the chordal tone melody... If nothing else, I can point to "that" for "what do you want me to do", as that may occur.

    And, just to say, -- since demos, and the *mix really matters, the demo mixes can get, with/for me, pretty busy, muddy, ugly πŸ˜€ hahhh! I'm not aware of a plug in to manage that and not a PI guy anyway... so that Mix part has a learning curve and not always intuitive.

    -- It's all improv

  • @embersofautumn 7 weeks

    Loving these thoughts everyone!

    "The best songs ever written came from somebody sitting and messing around, and another person says, 'Hey, that sounded pretty good--do it again.'"

  • @gslade 7 weeks

    Literally impossible to cheat at FAWM

  • @aesthetic72  7 weeks

    Basically all of my songs are improvs. It's why my style is all over the map. πŸ˜€

  • @silvermachine  7 weeks

    Yeah everything I do is an improv, I'd say it was the most natural and genuine way to create anything. In fact compared to it, I would say the conventional idea of song writing using standard accepted forms, modes and sequences is more like cheating. The works already been done for you! You songwriting cheats!

  • @toms 7 weeks

    There ought to be a challenge where one has to write without using any improvisation at all. I have no idea what that would look like.

  • @metalfoot  7 weeks

    @gslade The only way to 'cheat' at FAWM would be to drop 14 fully-produced tracks in the first 5 minutes of FAWM but even that might not be cheating, I suppose...

  • @gslade 7 weeks

    @metalfoot -- It's cheating yourself and pointless, yes. What I mean is there's no cheating others, since you're only challenging yourself.

  • @metalfoot  7 weeks

    @gslade 100% agreed.

  • @declan  7 weeks

    I think FAWM is like NANOWRIMO where the aim is to get the first draft of the novel down.

    I can't think of anything more like a first draft than an improvised song.

    Also there are Skirmishes that last an hour, these are integral to FAWM, it's hard to write a song in an hour without an element of improvisation.

  • @gubna 7 weeks

    Last year, I managed to not only improvise lyrics but sang them on the spot as I came up with them!

  • @rickatfulcrum 4 weeks

    At least some of last year's output was improvised on my part. It had to be, because the beds I played on top of were generated by self-generative modular synthesis. Some of this year's output will be too, I think.

    I shudder to think that Keith Jarrett's KΓΆln concert (as an example) might be considered cheating in some quarters.

  • @dragondreams  4 weeks

    Every single one of my guitar melodies are improvs. That's the way I "write" my stuff. Then I have to spend hours learning what it was I played. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  • @chasingandromeda  4 weeks

    "Improvs are cheating." - Miles Davis

  • @lowhum 4 weeks

    Yeah, yeah, we don't rehearse, we just play!

  • @rollasoc  4 weeks

    Fine by me, I'm going to use a generative music program or three for one of mine. just as an experiment.

  • @marvsmooth  4 weeks

    Improvise away, it’s how songs start to get written!

  • @lowhum 4 weeks

    If you know another language you can sing in it to an English speech-to-text recognition software. You will be amazed by the results πŸ˜€

  • @carleybaer  4 weeks

    Last FAWM I wrote a song in honor of Rando Cardrissian, that extra rule they include as a variation in Cards Against Humanity. (For those unfamiliar, the gist is that you draw a random white card to throw in with the rest of the players' white cards) Rando wins a lot. Like, a lot a lot. So much so that I had to immortalize him in song.

    My point is that, while we sit and try to figure out which of our cards is going to be The Winner, Rando gives it literally no thought because he's not a real person, and he still wins. I think it underscores how our self-analysis and constant tweaking, for as much as we think it improves our work, actually detracts from it. For every minute of analysis, I think a fraction of that magnetic spark that draws people in to what you're creating diminishes (music pun!).

    Improvising might lead to some clunkers but the moments of brilliance it yields are gems that you can't find any other way. It is most definitely not cheating.

  • @defaultdave  4 weeks

    As a blues player... WTF else do we do!

    The challenge is for you, if you record it and put it up and feel completely miserable about your horrible attempts and maybe you should just stop now and give up cause god damn no one will ever love you...

    Then you are doing it right

  • @yam655 4 weeks

    My speciality is improvised acapella. I used to do stuff with planning and structure... Even when I try it the other way now, it's just too easy to improvise the whole thing.

    If you want to make the improvs a little more "real," (as opposed to just filler) release them on an album when you're done. If they're album-ready, they're by-definition complete songs.

  • @boyatheart 4 weeks

    Improvisation has been a major part of my songwriting process for years. I recommend it actually.

Leave a Message. Log in to FAWM or sign up first...