IFR blog > Practice tips > Unlocking your creativity > Be yourself and discover your own music

Be yourself and discover your own music!

The whole reason we are drawn to improvising is because it offers the promise of complete creative freedom. Finally we can express OUR music, and say what WE want to say. So isn't it ironic that the first thing we do with this freedom is to look for licks and formulas just so we can sound exactly like everybody else?

You don't need to copy anyone else's licks in order to make music. All human beings have the natural ability to imagine and create beautiful music. And improvisation gives you the chance to discover this part of yourself.

From the moment people begin to improvise, they immediately begin to unconsciously employ all the very same techniques that are studied in composition courses. They use meter, tonality and dynamics in very intentional ways. Their music has a coherent mood. They use repetition and variation to create form and poetry in their music. And there is always some kind of thematic development that gives the listener the feeling of going on a musical journey.

Even children do all of these things automatically. We are so highly trained by the music of our culture that we simply don’t know any other way of making music. And we do it all unconsciously, without having the slightest idea what any of these things are called.

The fact is that by the time we pick up our first instrument each one of us is already a very highly trained musician. Your real music education is not contained in whatever theory you might have studied in a classroom. It is in the music itself, the music that you have been listening to and enjoying all your life. Theory and formulas can’t even come close to summarizing all of the subtle details you have picked up just from listening.

In IFR, we believe that the musicians who follow their own imagination are the ones who change the world. And we want to help you discover your musical voice and to share it with the world. Life is too short to waste time imitating others. Be yourself and discover your own music!