I’ve had lots of happy feedback about this lesson, ever since I first posted it on YouTube. People are basically saying that this is the easiest way they have found to learn the notes of all twelve major scales, quickly and painlessly. I learned about tetrachords in my college theory classes, and I have found them to be a little-known “secret” for organizing one’s thoughts about scales and modes. Let me know what you think!
Claude Debussy’s timeless and extremely popular piano piece, Clair de Lune, is well-known around the world. Its origins include influences from poetry, the music of Bach’s time (the Baroque period), and the artistic school of Impressionism.
This is Lesson Two of a three-part video series on “jazzy-rock” improvisation.
(Lesson One is here.)
(Lesson Three is here.)
These three tutorials would fit somewhere near the center of the jazzy-rock genre spectrum, if there was one.
I guess there could possibly be a jazzy-rock genre officially defined somewhere, like in a big canvas binder at the Genres Office, or like that. Regardless of the possibility of this being regulated, I’m using the term freely here, maybe even whimsically.
If I had a managing editor you would not have seen the previous paragraph. Don’t worry, with your continued support, I will hire a managing editor.
Van Morrison’s Moondance is the “jamming vehicle” we’re using in this trio of lessons. Moondance is a catchy tune, and it serves really well as a straightforward case study in jazzish-rockish piano improvisation.
Today we have two video lessons, either of which is a good introduction to a pretty simple notion, which I sometimes like to call the “melody machine.” With this, I’m not suggesting some big new original conception. On the contrary, the concept I’m calling the melody machine is about as old as music itself.
If that nickname sounds a little gimmicky, it’s really not meant to be. I actually do call this device a “melody machine,” in my own thinking, part of an ongoing process of internalizing my favorite composition devices. Also, it’s fun to say, just like saying “Lollapalooza” or “Isn’t she pleasant?”
In a nutshell, this lesson shows you certain ways of using an underlying chord progression as a “thought generator” for creating melodic material.
How to Riff on Van Morrison’s Moondance – Part 1
This is Lesson Three of a 3-lesson collection on the topic of “jazzy-rock” improvisation.