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Jazz Improv Lesson: A Nice Drill using “Approach Tones” | Free Jazz Tutorial Video

Piano with kent sheet music with letters. piano bar and drums. Spokane, Washington. Photo (c) by Kent Smith @ Piano With Kent | Sheet Music With Letters



Hello everyone!

The jazz ‘drill’ in this video is demonstrated on a keyboard, but–of course–it can be applied and practiced on any other instrument, or voice.

This is a chord-based pattern that we will use and adapt for these standard chords: Major, Maj7, Minor, Min-7, Dominant-7….Actually, this concept can applied to any pre-determined chord, such as a diminished or an augmented chord.

Mastery of patterns/concepts like these

  • Can add fresh interest to your improvised lines, by sometimes preceding the “target tone(s)” of a chord with “approach tones.”
  • Will increase your mastery of any given scale, especially as it relates to the underlying chords.

As a result, the repeated act of mindfully (and not mindlessly) practicing this drill can increase your general facility with approach tones, as well as give you (possibly new) theoretical insights regarding chord-scale relationships.