Jazz Soloing Tip #12

Hello friends!

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!

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Jazz Improvisation: The Shortest Path from Novice to Expert

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!

-Kent

Video: Ray Charles “What I’d Say” — Practice your blues licks with this one!

Hey!

If you want to get better at your blues piano playing, who better to learn from than Ray Charles? Try playing this video while throwing in your own blues licks on top.  Also try to imitate or paraphrase some of Brother Ray’s.

Here’s some insight to help you:

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Chord Symbols: add2 or add9? (includes my video on using added ninth to chords)

Hi everyone!  I recently received a question today (on my YouTube channel), an excellent one, the topic of which is subject to debate.  The question is in response to one of my videos about using add9 chords on piano.  (A link to the video is included below.)

I thought I would share the thread here:

VIEWER: Isn’t the D in Cadd9 supposed to be an octave higher? I guess I’m just confused as to why it isn’t Add2 instead.

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