Top 55 Improvising Quotes

In this post, you will find great Improvising Quotes from famous people, such as Shelley Berman, Raftaar, John Cale, Rich Sommer, Mike Leigh. You can learn and implement many lessons from these quotes.

While you're improvising, you may come up with somethin

While you‘re improvising, you may come up with something which will break him up. As soon as that smile comes out, you know that, hey, we’re having fun.
Shelley Berman
I am my own parent when it comes to rapping and do impromptu stuff. Being a rapper, you have to be good at improvising, like you give me a word and I have to rhyme it quickly and then make sense out of the rhyme.
Even if you’re improvising, the fact that beforehand you know certain things will work helps you make those improvisations successful. It really helps to have a certain amount of knowledge about musical structure.
John Cale
The 12 years that I was improvising are why I got the number of commercials I got when I was in New York and why I got ‘The Devil Wears Prada,’ and it’s why I even got in the door for ‘Mad Men.’
You will find hardly any improvising on camera anywhere in my films. It’s very structured, but it’s all worked out from elaborate improvisations over a long period, as you know.
I was always playing the Hammond Organ back to front even during the days of the Nice, going back to 1968. Really what I was doing there, was choosing notes at random and trying to make some sense of them, improvising back to front.
I stopped being interested in improvisation, and I continue to not be that interested in it. Comedians can do it on a different level because they have a goal, but if you’re improvising something that’s dramatic, there’s not that much to be good at.
When I do the roles, when I’m in the room and auditioning, I’ll ask the director if they’re cool with me adding stuff, or just improvising while we’re doing it. And I would say, like, 90 percent of the time, they say, ‘Absolutely.’
Ben Schwartz
I don’t mind doing scripted material. It’s actually kind of a relief, because improvising is a little bit like screenwriting on your feet.
I think that if you’re improvising on TV, it’s a great way to help the dialogue between actors and writers.
I love improvising.
I think I’m much more of a guitar-songwriter than a singer. I start with chords and then test out melodies rather than improvising over it.
It was a shock to my system leaving ‘The West Wing‘ and going to ‘Psych.’ I remember being like, ‘What are you doing?’ when James Roday first started improvising. Steve and the writing staff write it that way. They leave gaps.
Every day, you have to make three hours of music, just randomly improvising, and that’s a great way to weed stuff out.
Caroline Shaw
I don’t have a fear factor. Well, not much of one. And I’m willing to risk quite a lot – as a comedian, you’re always risking a lot. You’re risking failure, especially if you’re improvising and going on TV shows trying to make comedy out of thin air. That is quite a risky business.
All improv turns into anger. All comedy improv basically turns into anger, because that’s all people know how to do when they’re improvising. If you notice shows that are improvising are generally people yelling at each other.
The trouble with the jokes is that once they’re written, I know how they’re supposed to work, and all I can do is not hit them. I’m more comfortable improvising. If I have just two or three ideas and I know how the character feels, what the character wants, everything in between is like trapeze work.
No, improvising is wonderful. But, the thing is that you cannot improvise unless you know exactly what you’re doing.
Improvising with Mark McKinney, my childhood guru, is a dream.
The concept of clearing one’s mind before performing a task so that it is consumed by nothing but that task, yet is open at the same time to anything that might happen – that concept can be applied to playing guitar, and it’s enormously helpful for improvising.
Yeah, improvising only really works 100% when you’re with somebody.
For me to call myself a musician, it’s necessary to play live, and it rewards so much – not just in the pay cheque sense but what it does for my playing. I feel it through a tour – I feel it at the end of a tour – all that I’ve gathered, and especially now that I am improvising so much.
At Second City and improvising at iO, you’re creating a character in an instant. All of a sudden, you’re creating this history and this past for your character, and you’re discovering it while you’re doing it, and that’s part of the fun of it.
I think I compose as a listener: improvising and listening back excites me because I get to ideas that never would have occurred. Then I bring in the computers and samplers… and I begin to loop and process and change them.
I know there are some actors who are just brilliant at improvising and brilliant at just being in the moment and doing it there and then. I’m not one of those actors.
In improvising, you’ve got your scale; you’ve got the notes that are going to sound good with other notes, the intervals that are going to sound good. But you’ve also got all the chromatic possibilities, the possibilities of sounding dissident, of being unexpected.
But one of the things I learned from improvising is that all of life is an improvisation, whether you like it or not. Some of the greatest scientific discoveries of the 20th century came out of people dropping things.
I love being onstage. I love the relationship with the audience. I love the letting go, the sense of discovery, the improvising.
When we improvise freely – that is, without a structure – it tends to sound more like 20th century classical music, more like a classical ensemble improvising, as opposed to a free-jazz group, where you’re more used to hearing saxophones honking.
John Abercrombie
I did a smaller gig with an acoustic guitar and a drum machine. In one song, something wrong happened with the drum machine. I tried to cover up the mistake by playing faster and improvising a new song but it became crazy, and I had to admit it was all a mess.
Violante Placido
When I worked with Robin Williams, now there is improv! He is just as funny as you think he is. We did at least five or six takes of every scene, improvising every scene differently. He was a riot.
Stephen Root
Jazz music should be inclusive. Smooth jazz to me rules

Jazz music should be inclusive. Smooth jazz to me rules out a certain kind of drama and a certain tension that I think all music needs. Especially jazz music, since improvising is one of the cornerstones of what jazz is. And when you smooth it out, you take all the drama out of it.
I was improvising before I was reading music. I was just trying to play things on the clarinet by ear. I think my ear is one of my greatest assets.
Pete Fountain
My younger brother and I have been writing together, mainly for fun, for years, but we’ve been improvising together since we were kids. Literally.
A lot of people love the idea of improvising but are terrified of it, so I tried to make a book that was not a chef‘s book about improvising but a real home cook‘s book with a real home cook’s pantry, supermarket ingredients, that sort of thing.
I’ve never been good at improvising.
Terry Jones
We’re improvising a lot of this, which amazes people.
Tom Bergeron
Improvising is wonderful. But, the thing is that you cannot improvise unless you know exactly what you’re doing. That’s a kind of paradoxical thing about improvising.
I think it’s very important to live in the present. One of the great things that improvising teaches you is the magic of the moment that you’re in because, when you improvise, you’re in right now. You’re not in yesterday or tomorrow – you’re right in the moment.
I prefer improvising, rather than creating comedy out of thin air.
I love food and am very good at improvising when preparing it – it’s a really creative experience for me.
Autumn Reeser
I’ll probably never stop improvising.
I’m used to sort of improvising a lot when I do my comedies.
We have home movies of Chris playing the piano with Will on his lap. One of the things that made my life so full was putting Will to bed and hearing Chris downstairs improvising.
When you’re improvising, you connect with people in a way you don’t in normal life, strangely.
Maybe a part of me recognized how right the improvising spirit of jazz is. Not the sounds, but the freedom to work with musicians who work that way. It felt very natural to me, but I think there’s a way to do it without it being a jazz record.
I started improvising the Cliff character, based on someone I grew up with.
Improvising things is always changing. A lot of momentum.
Ikue Mori
Very early on, I started improvising. I was more interested in the music that came out of me than any music I heard.
There are certain actors who are very good at improvising, like Dustin Hoffman and Glenda Jackson.
John Schlesinger
I was 7 years old when I began composing. I began composing, improvising at the piano, the usual story.
Samuel Barber
I enjoy songwriting. It’s slow-motion improvising.
The idea of just improvising and riffing can sometimes be at the expense of story.
Jazz vision is the fusion of music and art a real paradox of same-yet different. Here we play in exchanges, like the hardness of the key of c# major and from the softness of Db major – capturing, reflecting and improvising.
Barbara Januszkiewicz
Working with Dominic Savage was an amazing experience. You don’t have a full script to follow so you’re more or less improvising and he tells you what he wants out of the scene.