How to master improvisation? Learn from a Kazakh sing-off veteran

Aken Aytes is a folk-art form popular among the Kazakh people. It features playing the dombra - the symbolic Kazakh musical instrument - while improvising a song. The performer is also called an Aken, which means "poet" in Kazakh. Being an Aken is challenging, as the art is usually performed in a sing-off, where two or more Akens exchange lyrics. They must respond fast and outwit the opponent until they're lost for words. 

"Playing the dombra is not so hard. Improvisation is the key," Jagalbek Baibahet, a veteran Aken Aytes performer who lives in Fuhai County, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, told CGTN in an interview. He also shares his experience in mastering the art.

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