Music improvisation is a skill that allows musicians to express their creativity in real-time, making it an essential technique for performers in various genres, including jazz, blues, and rock. Whether you are a beginner looking to explore improvisation or an experienced musician aiming to enhance your skills, taking an online course or certification can be a great way to learn and grow. In this article, we will explore the ten best music improvisation courses and certifications available online and discuss the benefits they offer.
1. Berklee College of Music – Jazz Improvisation
Berklee College of Music is renowned for its music programs, and their online course on jazz improvisation lives up to their reputation. Catering to both beginners and intermediate-level musicians, this course covers the fundamentals of jazz theory, rhythm, and melody construction. Through video lessons, assignments, and personalized feedback, students gain valuable insights into improvisation techniques used by professional jazz musicians.
2. Coursera – Introduction to Improvisation
Coursera offers an introductory course on improvisation taught by Gary Burton, a legendary vibraphonist. This course provides a comprehensive overview of improvisation in a variety of musical contexts, including jazz, blues, and classical music. With interactive video lessons, quizzes, and assignments, students develop a solid foundation in improvisation techniques and learn to adapt them to different musical genres.
3. Udemy – Blues Improvisation Crash Course
If you have a particular interest in blues music, Udemy’s Blues Improvisation Crash Course might be the perfect fit for you. This course focuses on the key elements of blues improvisation, such as scales, licks, and phrasing. Through instructional videos, music examples, and play-along tracks, students gain confidence in their ability to improvise blues solos and develop their own unique style.
4. JazzHeaven.com – The Art of Improvisation
JazzHeaven.com offers an in-depth course on improvisation specifically designed for aspiring jazz musicians. Taught by renowned saxophonist Eric Marienthal, this course covers improvisation theories, advanced techniques, and practical exercises. With downloadable lessons, sheet music, and backing tracks, students can practice and refine their improvisation skills at their own pace.
5. MasterClass – Herbie Hancock Teaches Jazz
Wouldn’t it be amazing to learn improvisation directly from a jazz legend? With MasterClass’s “Herbie Hancock Teaches Jazz” course, you can do just that. In this exclusive online course, Grammy-winning musician Herbie Hancock shares his insights on jazz improvisation, harmony, and composition. With a mix of video lessons, demonstrations, and interactive assignments, students gain valuable insights from one of the most influential figures in jazz history.
6. The Jazz Workshop – Improvise Jazz Standards
The Jazz Workshop offers a comprehensive online course on improvising jazz standards. Designed for intermediate and advanced players, this course covers chord progressions, scales, and melodic development. Through guided lessons, ear training exercises, and play-along tracks, students gain the skills and confidence to improvise creatively over a wide range of jazz standards.
7. TrueFire – Guitar Improvisation Survival Guide
For guitar enthusiasts, TrueFire’s Guitar Improvisation Survival Guide provides a wealth of knowledge and practical exercises. Taught by guitarist Frank Vignola, this course covers essential improvisation concepts, including scales, arpeggios, and phrasing. With interactive video lessons, notated exercises, and backing tracks, guitarists of all levels can enhance their improvisation skills and expand their musical vocabulary.
8. JamPlay – Improvisation Techniques for Bass Guitar
Bassists looking to improve their improvisational skills will find JamPlay’s course on Improvisation Techniques for Bass Guitar extremely valuable. This course focuses on techniques specific to bass guitar, such as walking bass lines, chord progressions, and soloing. With comprehensive video lessons, downloadable resources, and jam tracks, bass players can take their improvisation skills to the next level.
9. LearnJazzStandards.com – Jazz Improvisation Foundations
LearnJazzStandards.com offers a complete guide to jazz improvisation through their course on Jazz Improvisation Foundations. This course covers everything from basic theory to advanced improvisation techniques, with a focus on developing a personal improvisational style. Through video lessons, transcriptions, and practice exercises, students gain a deep understanding of jazz improvisation and its application to real-world musical situations.
10. LinkedIn Learning – Music Theory: Improvisation
LinkedIn Learning provides a comprehensive course on improvisation, focusing not only on specific musical genres but also on developing a solid foundation in music theory. This course covers topics such as scales, chords, and melodic development, providing students with the necessary tools to improvise in any musical context. With video tutorials, quizzes, and exercises, this course offers a well-rounded approach to improvisation.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced musician, taking an online course or certification in music improvisation can open up a world of creative possibilities. The ten courses and certifications mentioned in this article offer comprehensive training, expert insights, and interactive learning experiences to help you develop your improvisation skills. So, whether you are interested in jazz, blues, or any other genre, embark on your musical journey and watch your creativity soar as you master the art of improvisation.