The Improvisor Improvises an Improvisation, :)

Learn to play salsa montuno by solo piano, with video, transcription and analysis

“Life is a lot like jazz… it’s best when you improvise”
,George Gershwin

The solo piano video shown here is posted by a guy who calls himself the improvisor, and he sure knows how to improvise.

Here’s his solo piano salsa version of On Green Dolphin Street


And here’s my transcription of the first few minutes of this video.


It would be interesting to see how the improvisor orchestrated a whole salsa version of this jazz standard with just a piano.

The typical piano guaje in a salsa montuno would look something like this


In the video, we can see the first few bars of the left hand is a repeating pattern of this


Notice how the rhythmic placements of the notes closely imitates the salsa piano guaje shown earlier?

In the later part of the transcription, we observe the right hand took over this rhythmic role.


The left hand now imitates the basic bass pattern of a salsa montuno, which would look something like this


Two thumbs up for the improvisor on his playing in this video!!

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  • theimprovisor

    Reply Reply February 4, 2008

    Well, I am flattered. Perfect analysis. Thanks for your interest in my humble improvisation. 😉

    Alessandro (theimprovisor).

  • Mariano

    Reply Reply August 26, 2010

    Try to write things in 2/2 (in cut time). It is the standard meter for salsa and caribbean music. It is a lot easy to read that way.

  • Martin

    Reply Reply June 23, 2011

    Hi, thats an amazing piece of improvisation! You gotta be playing for a long long time, right? i am just a beginner, just learning a little bit of latin piano. Thanks 🙂

    • KCLau

      Reply Reply July 6, 2011

      Thanks for stoping by. Hope to see you more often.

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