Improvisation: Interview with Andrew Joslyn

Well…that was a long hiatus. Here I was blogging away about practice techniques, improvisation, and other musical topics and BAM!

…..I had another kid!!!

stewies banjo song-
'My fat baby loves to ea-eat
My big ol'______  baby loves to eat'

…..AND moved out of the city

It has been an adjustment trading the loud neighbors, bar fights, and occasional unsettling popping noises for a less raucous wooded plot of land full of deer, turkeys, and frogs but I think I’ll make do. Now that my head has stopped spinning for a brief moment, I’m ready to get back to sharing musical thoughts with you all.

Earlier this Spring I had the honor of meeting with a truly great performer, improvisor, and all around good dude. Andrew Joslyn is a talented violinist, songwriter, orchestrator, and composer who quickly rose to fame through his work with Seattle based rapper, Macklemore. I had the pleasure of watching him play with the band AND Madonna at the 2014 Grammy awards and am currently enjoying the work he is doing with David Bazan and The Passenger String Quartet.

Andrew and I talked about many topics that are applicable not only to a bluegrass musician like myself but to a wide array of styles and genres. Finding practice and writing time is challenging for all of us but after hearing how Andrew fits it in along with his extensive touring schedule, I find myself lacking excuses.

Here is a clip on improvisation that I found particularly helpful since he talked about how BAD he sounded when he was first asked to improvise. There is hope for us yet…

Here are some more clips you can peruse if you are interested in hearing about transcription and how his improvisation has evolved over time…

I had another VERY interesting meeting with someone I blogged about previously and will post some of those clips as soon as they are ready. In the meantime, keep practicing, improvising, and of course PERFORMING! I’ll be back with a more substantive education filled blog in the near future.

Sleeplessly yours,



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