Analyising Stylistic Elements of Improvisation

Analysing Stylistic Elements of Improvisation in Different Genres

Improvisation is the skill of being able to play or sing, usually over accompanying music, in a way that isn’t planned or made up on the spot. You can find examples of improvisation in many different genres of music; more popular genres for improvisation are funk and jazz because of the amount of variety you can find in the structure that supports the improvisation. However, you will also find improvisation in rap, metal, folk, rock music and many more, there are no limits.
The first song that I’m going to analyse is called Evasion by David Meshow, he composed the song himself by coming up with a backing track with drums, bass and rhythm guitar but the lead guitar has improvised solos. It is of the Rock genre, we can tell this because of the instruments being used and the choice of effects on the guitars, which is heavy distortion throughout. The backing structure of the song mainly focuses on a chord progression of Gm, E Flat, B Flat and Cmin; some parts change as the song progresses mostly with the rhythm of the chord progression rather than what chords are actually being used. Evasion is in a 4/4 time signature which makes it a lot easier to improvise in this style of music, you will of course find varied time signatures in the rock genre but 4/4 is more popular. The lead guitar throughout the song is improvised and the main theme he uses to improvise on is a pentatonic scale on G minor that fits the chord progression, the way he makes it sound more impressive is by using the pentatonic scale all over the neck of the guitar instead of playing in just one area. David also makes use of bends, hammer-on’s and changing the technique in his right hand, ranging from alternating picking and down strumming, or what most rock guitarists would call ‘chugging’. Being able to improvise over an almost 4 minute accompanying track is rather impressive when one considers he doesn’t stray from the pentatonic...