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3 Improvisation Impediments and How to Fix Them

Denis DiBlasio stays flexible as a teacher and jazz saxophist by flipping three reasons why people don’t succeed as improvisers. 

In Denis DiBlasio: Jazz Saxophonist, Music Educator and Storyteller, we learned about Denis DiBlasio‘s background as a jazz saxophonist and music educator.

When asked if his experience improvising in jazz impacts his ability to stay flexible as a teacher and performer DiBlasio recalls what jazz pianist Denny Zeitlin said in an interview with Monk Rowe: There are three reasons people don’t succeed as improvisers.

1. They need to be in control.

2. They’re afraid of looking bad and making a mistake.

3. They sabotage their own success out of guilt.

“Flip it and ask, what do I get from jazz and improv?” DiBlasio asks. “It’s probably taught me not to worry about being in control. It’s probably taught me not to worry about failing. And I don’t have any guilt about liking it or being good at it. Those are the gifts from working with jazz.”

Photo by Rob Shanahan for Yamaha Corporation of America

This article originally appeared in the 2019 V3 issue of Yamaha SupportED. To see more back issues, find out about Yamaha resources for music educators, or sign up to be notified when the next issue is available, click here.

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