So, how do you improvise?


AUGUST, 2019

Photo by Gee

Can you just pick up a guitar and play?

(No? Me neither!)

How to be free to do your own thing

Some people just seem to be able to do things, they seem to have inherent skills or abilities.

This was brought home to me recently while chatting with some musicians who’d provided a soothing backdrop to an evening outdoors at a café.

Delicately plucking at the guitar strings, the two friends improvised, meandering along a musical path that seemed to unfold as they tapped their feet together.

Wordlessly, we all found ourselves captivated.

old house in need of renovation

Broderie Anglaise in Blue

Photo by Gee

So, how do you improvise?

Lately, I’ve been trying my hand at dressmaking, starting with a pattern. There’s no way I’d have known how to create a fitted dress without one.

Observing where the finished garment fits and where it doesn’t, though, and learning how to change it – that’s what’s left me feeling way more confident about the idea of trying some pattern-free projects.

It’s made me feel OK about improvising – albeit with fabric!

“Just being OK with having a go might be the answer. “

Knowing enough

Is it the same with music? If you want to play the guitar freely, to noodle, then do you need to have a starting place? Maybe some scales, riffs or various scores that introduce you to different ways of playing. Maybe some lessons or just hours getting to know your guitar on a one-to-one level.

But how do we know when we have enough?

Just being OK with having a go might be the answer.


Labradorite Treble Clef Necklace

Treble Clef Compass Pendant

Working Compass set into the back

gee backhouse the compass lady
Gee Backhouse
Creator of Wearable Compasses & Meaningful Jewellery

Having a go

What do you wish you could do or play?

At some point you have enough, the foundation of your ability is sufficient for you to have a go at improvising.

Chances are, you’re closer than you realise to having enough!

What do you need to do before you can have a go?