Improvisation & Soloing
This course contains a number of in-depth studies on improvisation over jazz standards. All of the concepts we cover are applicable to any jazz standard you are learning so the tips and concepts can be immediately transferable to any tune you want to improvise over.
We start with a study of “Blue in Green” which is a nice tune to dabble with improvisation. It’s only 10 bars long which makes it easier to keep track of where you are in the form. There’s lots of altered harmony which makes it perfect for applying the melodic minor modes in context. We cover some general concepts that you can apply to any jazz standard. These include arpeggio shapes, approach patterns, enclosures and choosing sustained notes carefully.
The “How To Swing” tutorial contains essential information if you are looking to improvise over medium to up-tempo tunes. If you are playing at a medium tempo, you will be expected to play with a swing rhythm.
We further our study of the tune “Tenderly” by adding upper structure triads and also apply a number of important improvisation concepts including scale runs, chord tone soloing, inner voice movement and stride left hand style.
“This Masquerade” is perfect for applying blues improvisation. In particular, we focus on intertwining the blues scales with modal scales to get more interesting sounds from our improvised lines.
This course finishes with an 3-part improvisation tutorial on the tune “Alone Together”. We begin by exploring the form with left hand voicings and then explore the concepts of: target tones, chromaticism, approach patterns, enclosures, locked hands and blues scale improvistaion. This is a great tune for leanring how to play over minor 251s.
Improvisation is a difficult area of jazz to teach. First and foremost, you must completely immerse yourself in the jazz idiom by listening to as much jazz as you can – both live and off records.
Then the next step is to be regularly transcribing lines and solos… check out the course on “How To Transcribe Lines & Solos”.