Improvising is making stuff up, and if you learn to do it from someone else, like me, you’re not really making it up. So let’s look into this together.

It may sometimes seem like those around us have a handle on what’s going on. They, however, like us, are making it up. In every moment we are doing this. Nobody has a time machine. When speaking, we don’t know what we’ll be saying in a few seconds unless we’re on a rehearsed rant.

As we make up our lives, we try to keep it fresh. Communicating with others, we often want to say something relevant to the present moment and maybe uplifting. We want to really strike the core and say something that everyone around us is feeling. We want to understand and relate.

Relatable content exists in the present. Before we act, we breathe our environment in and out and feel what it needs. If it has too much of something, we try to offer something that doesn’t contribute to the excess. We look for space for something new. We express our mood to the room and see how it reacts. If it’s favorable, we might keep it up for a while.

There are at least millions of thoughts any one of us could come up with in this moment that would be appreciated by most people. We can do basically anything if our intentions are essentially good and we are careful. When we’re making up some music, we want the listeners to enjoy the experience. So we play for them.

It’s good to be relaxed. Spontaneity comes easier without stress. When we feel anxious while playing or speaking, we emit like vibrations and create a tense room. If a goal of the music being played is to entertain or enlighten the audience, it’s important that the musicians are relaxed, focused, rested, hydrated and fed.

In this state, we can give ourselves completely over to the music. We are unencumbered and able to express ourselves fully and concisely, limited only by our needs for food and sleep.