A key signature is a musical notation that indicates the key in which a piece of music is to be played. In the context of freestyle jazz, the choice of key signature can greatly influence the feel and character of the improvisation.
When starting to experiment with freestyle jazz, it is recommended to choose a key signature that is well-suited to the instrument being played and the performer’s skill level. A common key signature for beginners is C Major, as it contains no sharps or flats and is relatively easy to play on most instruments. Other popular key signatures for freestyle jazz include G Major, D Major, and A Major.
It is important to note that freestyle jazz allows for significant freedom and improvisation, so the choice of key signature is ultimately up to the individual performer. Some musicians may choose to experiment with different key signatures to find the one that best suits their style and musical preferences.
Additionally, the choice of key signature may also be influenced by the overall structure and form of the piece being performed. For example, if the piece is based on a particular chord progression, the key signature may be chosen to align with the chords.
Ultimately, the key signature is just one of many elements that can contribute to the sound and feel of a freestyle jazz performance. It is up to the individual performer to experiment with different key signatures and find the one that works best for their particular style and approach to improvisation.
Source: “Music Theory for Dummies” by Michael Pilhofer and Holly Day.