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GIANT STEPS Exercises

I wrote these exercises to help improve rhythmic flexibility while


improvising over chord changes. Each exercise presents an
improvisation over the changes of John Coltrane's tune "Giant
Steps" using a series of rhythmic permutations based on eighth
notes in groups of 3's, 5's, 6's and 7's. The big challenge
improvising in this way is to keep the metric pattern going while
still making the changes in 4/4 (note that I start the rhythmic pattern
over again at the start of each chorus). The top staff presents the
improvisation, the middle staff lays out the bass line in 4, and the
bottom staff presents the basic underlying rhythmic pattern of the
exercise. My apologies to horn players for the lack of breathing
room! Feel free to skip some notes but continue the rhythmic
pattern. Ultimately the point of these exercises is not to play them
exercises flawlessly, but to use them as a blueprint to create your
own improvisations that tackle these same metrical problems. I
have found these ideas to be very challenging and useful for me to
develop my rhythmic conception, and I hope you may gain
something from them as well.
Giant Steps exercises-3's
   
                       
q = 200

   
   
  
Bb7
  
Bmaj7 D7 Gmaj7 Bb7 Ebmaj7 Amin7 D7 Gmaj7 Ebmaj7 F#7 Bmaj7
     
   
   
                       

                  
             
8
 
 
  
 

Amin7 D7

Gmaj7 C#min7
   
F#7 Bmaj7

Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7 Fmin7 Bb7
    

            
              

                   
15

             
 
C#min7 F#7
  
Ebmaj7 Bmaj7 D7 Gmaj7 Bb7 Ebmaj7 Amin7 D7
    
  
     
               

          
21
        
                     

Bb7 Amin7 D7
  
Gmaj7 F#7
   
Ebmaj7 Bmaj7 Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7

    

   
                    

           
27
            
          

 
Gmaj7 C#min7
 
F#7 Bmaj7

Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
  
   
                 
2
32
  
                    
           
C#min7 F#7 
  
Bmaj7 D7 Gmaj7 Bb7 Ebmaj7 Amin7 D7
   
  
 
                


37

         
                                  
  
Gmaj7 F#7
 
Bb7 Ebmaj7 Bmaj7 Fmin7 Bb7

   

   
              

41

                       
          

Amin7 D7

Gmaj7 C#min7
  
Ebmaj7 F#7
 

 
             


45

                    


       C#min7  F#7  
  
Bmaj7
 
Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
   

  
             
Giant Steps exercises-5's

                  
q = 200

         
 
   
    
Bb7
 
Bmaj7 D7 Gmaj7 Bb7 Ebmaj7 Amin7 D7 Gmaj7 Ebmaj7 F#7
 
Bmaj7
 
   
   
    
                          

                   
     
8

     
      

Amin7 D7

Gmaj7 C#min7 F#7
   
Bmaj7
 
Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7 Fmin7 Bb7
    

                           

         
   
15

    
      

          
C#min7 F#7
  
Ebmaj7 Bmaj7 D7 Gmaj7 Bb7 Ebmaj7 Amin7 D7
    
  
            

    
 
   

    
21
       
             
 

Bb7  
  
Gmaj7 F#7
   
Ebmaj7 Bmaj7 Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7

   
   
                   


26
 
                        
   
 
Amin7 D7

Gmaj7 C#min7
 
F#7 Bmaj7 Fmin7 Bb7
   
   
                   
2

     
31
 
                       
C#min7 F#7
 
  
Ebmaj7 Bmaj7 D7 Gmaj7 Bb7 Ebmaj7 Amin7 D7
    
  
   
                      

                     
37

           
  Bb7   D7 

Amin7
   
Gmaj7 Ebmaj7 F#7

Bmaj7 Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
     

        
   
              

     
      
43

   
                
      
 C#min7 F#7  
Bmaj7  
 
Gmaj7 C#min7
    
F#7
 
Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
  

      
                   


                          
49

    
   
Bb7
 
Bmaj7 D7 Gmaj7 Bb7 Ebmaj7 Amin7 D7 Gmaj7
     
 
   
                   

      


            
54

       
        

Amin7 D7
   
F#7

Ebmaj7 Bmaj7 Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
  

   
                   
3
59
           
          
    
 
Gmaj7 C#min7

F#7 Bmaj7
 
 
           

                    
62

        
C#min7 F#7
   
Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
  
  
           
Giant Steps exercises-6's
                             
q = 200

     
  
Bb7
 
Bmaj7 D7 Gmaj7 Bb7 Ebmaj7 Amin7 Gmaj7 F#7

D7 Ebmaj7
    
   

            

                       


7
 
           

Amin7 D7

Gmaj7 C#min7
  
F#7
 
Bmaj7 Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
   

            

      
   
 
       

        
13
 
    
C#min7 F#7
  
Bmaj7 Bmaj7 D7 Gmaj7 Bb7

Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
     

            

 
19

                       



Bb7
  
Ebmaj7 Amin7 Gmaj7 F#7

D7 Ebmaj7 Bmaj7 Fmin7 Bb7

    
 
            

       
          
25

    
     

Amin7 D7

Gmaj7 C#min7
 Ebmaj7  
F#7 Bmaj7

Fmin7 Bb7
   

            
2
31

                  

               
 C#min7 F#7 Amin7 D7  
   
Ebmaj7 Bmaj7 D7 Gmaj7 Bb7 Ebmaj7

    
 
            

 
37

                     
      
    
   Bb7  Ebmaj7
 
  
Gmaj7 F#7
   
Bmaj7 Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7

   

          

    
               
42
     
              


Amin7 D7

Gmaj7 C#min7
   
F#7 Bmaj7

Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
  

            
48

   
    
                 
        

 C#min7
 
F#7 Bmaj7 D7 Gmaj7 Bb7 Ebmaj7 Amin7 D7
    
 
          
53

                
        
        
Bb7
  
Gmaj7 F#7
 
Ebmaj7 Bmaj7 Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7

   

          
3
58

                 
      

    
 
Amin7 D7

Gmaj7

F#7

C#min7 Bmaj7
 

        
62

       
             
 
C#min7
    F#7

Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
  

       
Giant Steps exercises-7's
     
Coltrane/Potter


     
q = 200
      
         

Bb7
 
Bmaj7 D7 Gmaj7 Bb7 Ebmaj7 Amin7 Gmaj7 F#7

D7 Ebmaj7
    
   
    
                        
  
                  
   
7

     
   
  

Amin7 D7

Gmaj7 C#min7
  
F#7 Bmaj7

Bmaj7 Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
    

                            

                   
14
  
  
     
C#min7 F#7
  
 Ebmaj7
   
Bmaj7 D7 Gmaj7 Bb7

Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
    

                        

    
20
    
                
             
Bb7
  
Amin7 Gmaj7 F#7
   
D7 Ebmaj7 Bmaj7 Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
    

    
                        


26

                  
  
  D7       
 Amin7  
Gmaj7 C#min7
 
F#7 Bmaj7 Fmin7 Bb7
  
   
                    
2

            
          
31
  
        

C#min7 F#7
  
Ebmaj7 Bmaj7 D7 Gmaj7 Bb7 Ebmaj7 Amin7 D7
    
  
     
                        

                        


37

         

Bb7 Amin7 D7
  
Gmaj7 F#7
 
Ebmaj7 Bmaj7 Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
     

            
             

          

43

              
             
  
C#min7 F#7
 
Gmaj7 C#min7 F#7
   
Bmaj7

 
Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
 

       
   

  
 
         

      
          
49

               

Bb7
   
Bmaj7 D7 Gmaj7 Bb7 Ebmaj7 Amin7 D7 Gmaj7 Ebmaj7 F#7
     
 
    
                        

          
55

                    
  

Amin7 D7

Gmaj7 C#min7 F#7
     
Bmaj7 Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
  

     
                        
3

     
                   
 
61
    
 
C#min7 F#7
  
Bmaj7 Bmaj7 D7 Gmaj7 Bb7

Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
     

    
                        

               
          
67
    

Bb7
 
Ebmaj7 Amin7 Gmaj7 F#7

D7 Ebmaj7 Bmaj7

    

     
                 

                  
        
72
        


Amin7 D7

Gmaj7 C#min7 F#7
    
Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
 

      
                  

     


        
  
77
   
   
    

C#min7 F#7
   
Bmaj7 Bmaj7 D7

Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
   

   
                   

  
               
82
 
            
Bb7
 
Gmaj7 Bb7 Ebmaj7 Amin7 Gmaj7 F#7

D7 Ebmaj7

     

   
                   
4

      
87
     
                     

Amin7 D7

Gmaj7
  
Bmaj7 Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
  

    
                    

                   
92
    
          
C#min7 C#min7 F#7
    
F#7 Bmaj7

Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
  

     
                  

 
                    
97

           
   
Bb7

Bmaj7 D7 Gmaj7 Bb7 Ebmaj7 Amin7 D7 Gmaj7

    
   

      
                  

                
102
            
        

Amin7 D7
   
F#7

Ebmaj7 Bmaj7 Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
  

   
                    

 
107
  
                     
 
Gmaj7 C#min7

F#7 Bmaj7
 
 
            
5

           
110

        

    

C#min7 F#7
   
Fmin7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
  
   
            