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Improvising over the melody

In this video I talk about improvising over the melody and give an example how to approach it by improvising over the song ‘You Don’t Know What Love Is’



a intuitive jazz-improvisation blog.


Welcome to my blog. My name is Thomas Toivonen and I am (among other things) a jazz-guitarist. Or maybe I should say a musician with improvisation as my way of expressing myself.

Since the first day  I picked up the guitar (that I got from my father as a christmas gift) I have been improvising. Well, that wasn’t actually the first time I had a guitar, however that was the first day that I actually started playing the guitar. The christmas eve of 1985 I was a happy kid. (To be honest, the guitar became an important outlet growing up in a dysfunctional and sometimes chaotic and violent family.)

Unfortunately my family wasn’t as happy about it. What was music to me was random noise to them. You could say that I was a misunderstood genius from the start. :-P

Over the years I played in numerous bands and styles. From screaming heavy-metal guitar-solos to reggae-bass-lines, improvisation have always been there as an important part. Personaly I can’t image playing music without improvisation being a part of it. I mean, even if you sing a melody pretty straight and you make some small variations you have made an improvisation. When I was playing bass in a reggae-band I was doing that all the time.

My taste for improvisation lead me to jazz and so I went to a music-school in Stockholm. After a couple of years with rules, rules and more f***ing rules I was pretty burned out. Luckily I came in contact with a different approach; the intuitive approach that took me back to a unschooled way of relating to music but with a new-found focus.

This blog is meant to be a place where I can share my experiences and thoughts with you and hopefully you will find it interesting enough to share your views too.

I have actually written an ebook on this: Intuitive jazz-improvisation which I shamelesly aim to advertise. Yes that’s right folk. Now YOU can get this WONDERFUL and LIFE-ALTERING book that will make YOU into a VIRTUOSO. Ok, so I went a bit overboard there, but seriously check it out.

I will also post some youtube-videos where I will share these experiences too.

For now… yours truly

Thomas Toivonen


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