Intro To "playing The Changes" And Improv Thread Idea...
jeffmatz
Dec 14 2012, 07:09 PM
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So in continuing introducing myself, I thought I'd post a few videos I've made in the last year or so abot chord tone improvising--in my opinion, the quickest and most direct way to "play changes," that is outline the chords of a progression in a solo line as opposed to trying to find a blanket scale that fits all the chords.


I'd love to get a little improv thread going here where other folks could chime in with their approaches...maybe we could pick a relatively basic tune (but one that doesn't stay diatonic) and different members could take an improvised solo over a backing track and then talk about some of the ideas they used?

Anyway, let's throw some suggestions out there and see if we can get something going...


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ConnorGilks
Dec 15 2012, 02:18 AM
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Great idea. I may not have the time to do videos and such but this would be a great way to add to my repertoire and maybe even get some new scales as well.

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Bogdan Radovic
Dec 15 2012, 09:16 PM
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Great thread! smile.gif

I think this is essential for successul lead playing. Finding your strong notes (chord tones) should be a building base for any solo. Good exercise is to just play chord notes (arpeggios) over chords in the backing track using a simple rhythm like straight or shuffled 8th notes outlining every chord. Once you can navigate the changes, you should try connecting those notes with chromatics/approach notes and adding on scale notes. If we find 1 scale that works good over the whole progression - its very easy to stop thinking about the strong notes and get lost or loose the melodic sense.

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casinostrat
Dec 15 2012, 10:24 PM
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Yeah this thread got me thinking about this sort of thing, and I have been recording simple chord progressions in cubase and then experimenting with various notes, scales, arps, and other things. Basically what you are talking about is starting with the notes actually found within the chord and then moving outward from there into chromatic notes, chord extensions, etc?

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jeffmatz
Dec 16 2012, 06:46 PM
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QUOTE (casinostrat @ Dec 15 2012, 03:24 PM) *
Yeah this thread got me thinking about this sort of thing, and I have been recording simple chord progressions in cubase and then experimenting with various notes, scales, arps, and other things. Basically what you are talking about is starting with the notes actually found within the chord and then moving outward from there into chromatic notes, chord extensions, etc?



Yeah, that's it.

Here's some good reading...I think maybe the best synopsis of improvisation I've ever read.

Lee Konitz Improv "gradients"


Also check out any of the master class excerpts on YouTube with Hal Galper.

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scottl
Dec 16 2012, 10:28 PM
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I enjoyed the chord melodies on your site Jeff. Good to see a jazzer on here!

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Ben Higgins
Dec 17 2012, 06:46 PM
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Great thread and great explanations/suggestions from you guys. Makes me want to spend a bit more time doing this myself ! smile.gif

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This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Dec 17 2012, 06:46 PM
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jeffmatz
Dec 17 2012, 08:18 PM
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It's obviously the heart and soul of improv in jazz, but I think it can be useful to pretty much anybody looking for a different sound, or someone who encounters those "oddball" chords that don't fit into the same scale the rest of the tune does...

And while they aren't necessarily improvising (though some are) a lot of your great metal solos follow the chord changes for sure...

And don't play a Steely Dan tune without this info! smile.gif


Glad people find it interesting...should we dissect a tune? I might have some videos already made where I talk about stuff like that...video making isn't easy for me right now, got a one year old...there isn't a lot of free time! But I could try...

QUOTE (scottl @ Dec 16 2012, 03:28 PM) *
I enjoyed the chord melodies on your site Jeff. Good to see a jazzer on here!


And thanks, my man.

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