Friday, November 30, 2012

Modern Jazz Line #1 - How to Improvise - Ear Training Exercsie

Welcome to my new jazz lesson video series dedicated to becoming a better improvisor.  In these short videos, we'll explore jazz lines I've written out to help myself become a better improvisor.  Over time, dedicated practice of these lines will greatly improve your ability to hear and improvise modern jazz melodies.  Check out the links below after the break for the accompanying sheet music to this lesson.


This jazz line is composed over the very common ii-V-I progression.  Once mastered, it should be very easy to find an applicable jazz standard to practice it over.

Measure 1:
Beats 1 and 2 of the measure have a simple descending third pattern starting on the 9th of Gm7.  This pattern acts as an enclosure (or circling) of the 9th chord tone on beat 2.  Once the 9th is reached on beat 3, there is a short descending arpeggio going down the 9th, 7th and 5th of Gm7.  A chromatic half step as added on the "and" of beat 4 to lead in to the root of C7alt on beat 1 of the next measure.

Measure 2:
Beats 2-4 of this measure all contain notes from the Chalf-whole diminished scale.  This simple ascending pattern can either be used in 2nds (beat 2) or 3rds (beat 4).

Measure 3-4:
Beat one lands strongly on what would be the b7 of Fmaj7 (a very untypical chord tone).  The striking dissonance is quickly resolved by a drop to the #11.  Another striking dissonance happens on the "and" of three.  What would be the #9 of Fmaj7 is quickly resolved to the much more consonant 3rd.  I think these dissonances help stretch (for the listener and improvisor) what is capable of being played over any given chord

Sheet Music via  View the sheet music to this lesson.

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Jazz Line #1 (11 26 12)

I hope you enjoyed this jazz improvisation lesson.  Please leave me a comment or send me a message if you have questions about any of my videos.


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