Try this: Go to your instrument and play a C-major scale from top to bottom (C B A G F E D C). Play these as evenly spaced eighth notes in 4/4 time.
You will notice that the final note, the lower C, does not land on a solid beat (in this case, that would be beat one). Instead, it lands on the last eighth note of the previous measure.
Assuming that we want our C to land on beat one, as a solid “target note,” here’s a common and jazzy sounding solution.
C, B, A, G || F, E, D-flat, B || C
We now have the required eight notes to fill one measure, and the final C lands on beat one of the next measure – voila!
Continue reading “Jazz Soloing Tip #12”
Discovery <—> Refinement
When I was new to jazz, I spent years in the “discovery” phase. In the beginning, that was, for the most part, learning what scales go best with what chords, and also finding the “pretty notes,” as Charlie Parker once put it.
But I was so fixated on finding the coolest harmonies and scales, I forgot to practice playing what I already knew. In other words, I was skipping the “refinement” part.
Charlie Parker again, paraphrasing, “Play CLEAN and find the pretty notes.” So playing clean, that’s the refinement part.
The refinement part also – and maybe more importantly – means sticking with what you already know when you are coming up with your improvised lines. Which means you are saving the stretching out and the trying of new stuff for the discovery part. Both are obviously necessary for continuous growth.
WHY IS THIS A CIRCLE, NOT A STRAIGHT LINE,
FROM NEWBIE TO EXPERT?
The answer may already have occurred to you: We are forever learning, then refining, then learning, then refining, in an infinite cycle of growth. (Assuming we’re serious about things.)
And each activity feeds the other!
I’ve added a new custom sheet, Prelude in C by Bach, from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book One. Prelude in C is an extremely popular piece that will never lose its appeal to piano players and listeners alike.
This sheet music has each note labeled with its musical letter-name, such as E, D#, A… Some markings (dynamics, etc.) have been omitted to make room for the added letters.
You can read about the pros and cons of marking in letters on sheet music, here.
In response to student requests for sheet music illustrating licks from my video course, A Study in Blues Piano: Focusing on 12 Licks, I have so far created notation for several of the licks.
Continue reading “Optional Sheet Music for “A Study in Blues Piano” (Blues Licks)”