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.HAL•LEONARD
..__-'-· C, RP CJ IR AT I u tJ

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v..-�.'11 tnurf.a•n
Preface • • • • - • • • • • • • • • • - • • • • • • • • • - • • • • • - ♦ . . . . . . . . .. . - • • • • • • - • • • • • • • • • • • 4

Using the CD ....................•.........•..............•......•........... 5


Tell Your Story ............................•..............••..................6
Suggested Listening ..............................................•...........6
Raw Stuff ................................................•.................8
More Raw Stuff .............•..........•..........•.........•...............13
Ears ....................................•......•.......••.................16
Playing the Blues .......... .18
Phrasing .............. .18
The Chord/Scale Concept .22
Getting Vertical .............................................................26
Harmony Grids .............••...............................••......•......27
Peeling Off the Layers ..................................................•.....30
Minor Harmony ..................................... , .......................32
Internal Melodies ............................................................39
Cellar by Flashli ght .....................•....................................45
Bebop .................................................. , ............ , ....47
Sing For Your Supper ..........•............................................ .48
Practice Tunes .................•............................................50
Bull, a Lie of Lird Band ..... , ...... , . , .......................................50
Eat a Melatonin .................•....•...•..................................51
Blase .................................................•.......•...........52
In Closing , ..... , .... , ...................•.....•........•..................52

3
Writing this book has been a challenge. Improvisation is in many ways indescribable, yet there arc vol­
1
umes written about it. Everyone wants to write the defii1itive book about im1>rovisation. myself included. Bui as
I attempt this, I am all too aware of the daunting nature of 1his task. lt is possible to prepare someone to impro­
vise, you can be exposed lo all the information you need. You can be shown scales, hannony, melody, rhythm,
cliches. etc.. and still not be a good improviser. The final step, pulling all this information into action must
come from within the improviser. Without taking the leap, you won't fly, even if given the best hang glider in
the world. So, in some ways the notion someone can be taught to improvise strikes me as presumptuous. If I
could somehow get inside your soul and guide you through the neuro/chemical/emotional/physical responses
you must hnve to solo through a tune, then perhaps I could teach you how 10 improvise. Short of this, the best I
can hope 10 do is provide you with much of the background information you need to be prepared 10 solo, give
you strmegies and opportunities lO implement this information, ma.kc suggestions to guide you in the right
direction. and encourage you to open your inner ears and connect with the source of music living inside you.

Goal Statement
This book will show background infonnation needed to improvise over jazz tunes. It will also expose
you to several different strategies to help you implement this information in interesting and musical ways. You
will have opportunities 10 put this information into action with the aid of the accompanying CD. Throughout,
you will be reminded 10 look into other sources, recordings, videos. and live perfonnances to help you with
your joumey.
As soloing is an advanced topic. I am going to make ce11ain assumptions about you and your abilities. If
you arc not prepared 10 meet the challenges presented by the material in this book, it will not prove 10 be an
effective use of your time. I must therefore assume you can read music reasonably well, have the ability to play
eighth notes at tempos upwards of 120 beats per minute, have some jazz experience under your belt, and are at
least vaguely familiar with common music terminology.

Acknowledgements
Thanks again 10 my family, Sonia, rrving. Lee Ellen and Aimee Friedland, and David Taylor. TI1anks to
John Ceiullo, Jeff Schroedl, and John Hill at Hal Leonard. Thanks 10 Mark Keisel, Dave Flores, and everyone at
Carvin. Larry and P-Jm Fishman, LaBella Strings. Jim Robel1S, and Karl Coryat at Bass Player Magazine. Bill
Brinkley, Bob Sinicrope. Jim Brady Recording Studios. Jeff Haskell, Fred Hayes. Bob Mick, and everyone at
The Bass Pace in Tempe, AZ. Thanks to Dickie Tilompson for his weekly inspirations. Special thanks 10 Hal
Galper for his improvisational insight.

About the Author


Ed Friedland is a graduate of the High School of Music and A,t
in New York City, and a former faculty member of Berklee College of
Music and Boston College. Ed has a Maslers Degree in Education from
Cambridge College. Cambridge, MA, tmd is currently teaching al
Arizona State Universily, Tempe, AZ. He is a contributing editor and
monthly columnist for Bass Player M<1gt,zi11e and has authored three
other books for Hal Leonard Corporation: Building \Va/king Bass Lines,
£.,ponding IVa/k;ng Bass Lines. and Jau. Bt,ss. His performance credits
include Larry Coryell, Michal Urbaniak, Robben Ford, Eddie Daniels,
John Stowell, Paul Horn, Mike Metheny, Illinois Jaquette, Sal Nestico,
Jimmy Maxwell, Jimmy McPartland, Johnny Adams, Linda Hopkins,
Robert Junior Lockwood. BaJTence Whitfield and the Savages. Martha
and the Vandellas, The Drifters, Brook Benton. The Boston and Tokyo
productions of Little Shop of Horrors, the Opera Company of Boston,
and others. He actively performs on acoustic bas.�, 4-, 5-, and 6-string
elecrric basses as well as t·enor and piccolo electric bass. Ed uses Carvin
Ph010: Janice Fullman
basses, Fishman traosducers. LaBella strings. and 2-Tek bridges.
4
Using the CD
The CD accompanying Lhis book i� provic.lctl lo enhance your 1carning proccs�. It contains pcrfonnances
or mimy oI th� wTitlcn example�. ll htL'i been rL't'.onkcl w1lh a .;p)il-slcrco mix. \"'ilh Llw ba�s antl tlrumi, on lhc
left channel nncl piano and drum� on the nght. You ,v,11 be able to hear an i:xamplc. then turn oll the ldL c:hanncJ
and play along wtth th� piano ancl drum�. On �omc of the trncks I will !-iolo freely. These cxampk� will be goo<l
oppurlllmltcs lor tran�cnption. an important sk11l lu1 c.kvdopmg your c,u·� anc.1 your JilLL l'om:t:ptmn.
The exaJnpk� in the book with a CD icon � ne)d to then1 lmve u number corrc�poalfi1LJ.! lo th� track
11umbi.!r 011 the Cl). l w1ll announce the ext11nple number. then <.:OlH\l ll ofl w1tb l\Vo mei1,ure� out fro,1t. (J::\. 1 ...
...... l. 2. 3 .. ). Thb is the common method for cot111t11lg off tLrnes on a jolz .!!ig.
There are many good resource� nvailnble to you a� play t1long nHlle1·h,l1 h 1� a good idea 10 look into
rbese CD·s and computer program�. Honing yonr skills with music mim1s 011e ClYs can be very he)pfuJ.
Ho\\·e\'er. it i� mo�l important you find oth�r musicians to phiy ,,,.ith, Jazz happens be1ween people. no• between
you a11d a CD. Use lhe�e m�rerinls at home for yoL11· education. �nd make ,)ute you Mep out into the real ,vorJd
with lh•e playen ai often ns pos'tihle. rd like Lo thank Jeff Haskell nn piil110 and Fred Hr1yes 011 drums for
adding their musical co11tlibutions to this project. You will find it's great to have in�piring players like these
buck you up.
Tell Your Story
What is a solo'! There arc many ways to answer this question. By definition1 a solo is a piece of music
executed by one perfonner with or without accompaniment. An improvised solo, particularly in a jazz context,
is much like the art of story telling. There is an event (the song), and we the story teller want to convey our per­
sonal interpretation of that event to the Jistcner. The deeper our understanding of the event, the more back•
ground and interest we can bring to the story. l-lowcvcr, this is not enough to keep an audience spe11bound.
There is also the element of style, or how you say it. There is your intent, why you say it, and your level of con­
viction, how much you mean what you say. And of course, a certain amount of technique is necessary to convey
a story effectively. When all of these clements combine seamlessly, we have the perfect conditions 10 create a
capcivating taJe.
Soloing requires several skills. First. 1Vl! must have an understanding of the raw materials needed to cre­
ate a solo. Since we arc talking primarily about soloing over chord changes in a jazz style, we need to know the
structure of each chord in a particular cune. We need to know the scales tha1 correspond to each chord stmcnire,
and how all this information interacts as a whole. We need LO know the melody of the song we are playing. The
melody's relationship Lo the hannonic structure gives us important infonnation .. By knowing, l mean an intel­
lectual understanding, an instinctual (aural) understanding, and a physical understandin,g. It must be in the
hands as well as the head 1 cars, and heart. Soloing is truly an integrated act.
Once we have an understanding of the raw matel'ials, we must have a sense of how to put the informa­
tion into action. This entails several elements. We need to learn the language if we want to speak to the jazz lis­
tener. How many of us took years of a language in school, only to be utterly helpless when asked to use it? For
a variety of reasons, most of us can't remember much more than "My name is ...?" and "How arc you'!" from
our high school language class. While these lwo questions will help you get by in a foreign country, you won't
be communicating with anyone on a deep level. To communicate in jazz, you must familiarize yourself with the
language. not only the g1ammar, but how it sounds.
As there can be many dialec1s of a language, there arc many dialects of jazz. There is traditional jazz
from the 1920s, the swing era of the thirties and fonies. There is the bebop era from 1945 through 1955, fol­
lowed by the hard bop of the late rifties. Then \Vl! have the innovations of the post bop era, the 1960s, which
brought in new harmonic, rhythmic, and melodic ideas. In the mid•sixtics, two distinct schools emerged,
jazz/rock fusion, and "free" jazz. It is argued by some there have been no major stylistic innovations in jazz
since the 196-0s, and while I am hard pressed to name any myself, all of the aforementioned stylistic periods
have been reinterpreted, and deepened by the generations of musicians that followe><l. There is a lot of gre-Jt
music out there to listelli to, old and new. If you arc going to be a jazz soloist, you'd belier get busy and start lis­
tening heavily!

[ Suggested Listening
While it would be impossible for me to make a complete required listening list for jazz, I can suggest
some names of the best known artis1s on their ins1rument. I recommend listening to all instrumentalists) not
only bass players. Naturally, I will include as many of the signiricant bassists as possible, listed in roughly
chronological order. I apologize in advance for any omissions.

Acoustic Bass
Jimmy 131anto1l, Milt I linton. Oscar Petciford, Slam Stewnn, Major Motley, Ray Brown, Charles Mingus,
Paul Chambers, Reggie \.Vorkman, Jimmy Garrison, Ron Carter, Sco1 Lafaro, Charlie I-laden, Gary Peacock,
Eddie Gomez, Rufus Reid, Dave Holland, Niels Henning Orsted Pederson, Ron McClure, Miroslav Vitous,
Harvie Swartz, George Mraz, Marc Johnson, Ratso Harris, Ray Drummond, Christian McB,ide.

Electric Bass
The electric bass was not considered a tnie" jazz instrument for many yeaIS, therefore some of the
0

leading players are rooted in R&B and Rock music; James Jamel'son, Chuck Rainey, ferry Jemmot. Jack Bnace,

6
John P-&ul Jones, Jack Casady, Phi I Lesh, Michael Henderson, Lany Graham, Louis Johnson, Paul Jackson,
Stanley Clarke, Jaco Pastorius, Will Lee, Marcus Miller, Victor Bailey, John Pattitucci, Michael Manring,
Victor Wooten.

Guitar
The bass and guitar are both string instruments, so special attention should be paid to the great guitarists
in jazz, particularly if you play e lectric bass; Django Rheinhardt, Charlie Christian, Tiny Grimes, Kenny
Burrell, Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis, Joe Pass, George Benson, Jim Hall, Lennie
Breau, Jimmy Rainey, Pat Martino, Larry Coryell, John McLaughlin, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Alan
Holdsworth, Bill Frissel, Mike Stern, Tuck Andress, Wayne Krantz, Charlie Hunter.

Piano
Includes organists, and elec1ronic keyboardists; Jelly Roll Morton, Eubie Blake, Duke Elling10n, Count
Basie, Art Tarum, Bud Powell, Oscar Peterson, Tommy Flanagan, Red Garland, Wynton Kelly, Jimmy Smith,
Jimmy McGriff, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Cecil Taylor, Joe Zawinul, Joanne Brackeen, Benny
Green, Marcus Roberts.

Vibraphone
Red Norvo, Mill Jackson, G·ary Button, Bobby Hutcherson, Jay Hoggard, Steve Nelson.

Violin
Special attention should be paid to violinists if you are interested in developing jazz arco solos on
acoustic bass; Ray Nance, Stuff Smith, Joe Venuti, Stephane Grappelli, Zbignew Seifert, Joe Kennedy Jr.

Trumpet
Louis Armstrong, Bix Biederbeck, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Ray Nance, Cootie W illiams, Dizzy
Gillespie, Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Randy
Brecker, Wynton Marsalis, Wallace Roney, Roy Hargrove, Nicholas Payton.

Saxophone
Sidney Bechel, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Les1er Young, Johnny Hodges, Illinois Jaquette,
Charlie l'llrker, Serge Shallof, John Oiltrane, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Gerry Mulligan, Cannonball
Adderly, Joe Henderson, Paul Desmond, Stan Getz, Omette Coleman, Wayne Shorter, David Leibman, Maceo
Pari<er, David Sanborn, Michael Brecker, Brandford Marsalis, Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman.

Trombone
Slide Hampton, JJ Johnson, CUnis Fuller, Kai Winding, Bill Wattous, Phil Wilson, Steve Turre.

This list is nol complete, but ii will give you an idea of who to listen to. There are many other brilliant
players. You will hear about them from friends, magazines, radio stations, etc. Be open minded, and check out
'everyone you can. Everyone has something lo say, and you can learn from all of them, even if you find you
don't like what you hear.
Once the sound of jazz has planted itself in your inner car, you will start singing ideas to yourself. This
is the beginning of your ability lo create a solo. While you musl know a lot of background information to play
inlelligenlly over chord changes, the guiding principle of soloing is to play what you hear.

7
Raw Stuff
If you want to solo over chord changes, you have to know chord s1ructuJ'es. A chord st111cture is vertical,
il starts on the root and moves 01> in thirds to the top note of the chord. Each chord has a cotTesponding scale.
Sca)es are horizontal structures, 1hey stan on the root and move in a linear fashion to the last note of the sct,Ie.
At first we wi11 look at the chol'd stnictures that are diatonic to che major scale. Diatonic means all the noles
belong to the key of the moment. If we take a major scale and build ve.11ical structures off of each note, using
only the notes contained within that parlicular scale, we get the diatonic chord structure for that key. Herc arc
the diatonic chord structures for the key of Bb major

J!t&I, w,
B�nmj7
lmaj7
! 1
Cm7
iim7
Dm7
iiimi
,
12'muj7
1Vmaj7
ifF7
V7
, ,
Gm7
viin1
I
Am71S
\·iim7�5
oimaj7
lmaj7
;1

Underne.ath the chord name is a Roman numeral with a chord type. These numbers represent the scale
degree each chord type is built from. These numerical assignments are important to learn, they arc the generic
"code" that will m:mslnte to any key. Using the major scale, ,ve v.�H ahvays get lmaj7 off the first note, iim7 off
the second etc. The names of the actual notes will change from one key to another, but the numerical stmcturc
remains the same. Notice that after viim7b5 comes lmaj7 again. The octave and the rool arc lhe same nole, so
we call the structure built from the octave lmaj7. )n gcacrnl, as bassiSlS we will nol play chordally (though it is
possible) 1 we play single note lines.
tlere are some ways to pmctice the diatonic major chord struc.lures that will prove useful for improvis­
ing. \Vhile they nre written out in the key ofB� 1najor, you are advised to practice these in all keys. P..c1y particu�
lar attention to the keys of C, F, B�l Eb. A�, D�. and G, as these are the most common in jazz. There arc several
ways you can finger these example.s, I suggest finding at least one way that is comfort'Jblc and fool-proof.
You'll need to have a default fingering that lays well.
Jn addition, you will bcncfil greatly from cxplol"lng other pathways. Sometimes we must simply make it
happen even if it is inconvenient to do so. Each fingering, as \veil as each position on the bass brings wiih it a
unique set of possibilities. The more familiar you �Lre with the options, the more opporrunities you will have to
create somelhing relevam.

rfrrrflcrFLErPf1rrfErrff1
B�maf Cin i Dm 7 E.11nr1j7 f1 Gm 1 Am 7 �5 Btmaj1

�. (ffi:tff 1rr
ffrcffrr1fPutftrtfftrfUr1frrrfru
Bt.m:ti7 Am1�5 (im1 p7 E�m:;,j? Dmi Cm7 B�maJ'

� �1•

,8
Bfmaj7 Cm7 Dm7 Elmoj1 f? Am715 Blmaj7

mu!EfffEFrcEfff[ErleffFfr (rIEE[f[fLFI
Bhnaj7 Am715 Om 7 F7 Eln»i' Dml Cm7 Dlmai'

'
Next we will look at the diatonic major modes. Modal scales are the horizontal counterpans of their cor­
responding diatonic chord stn1ctures. Modal scales use only notes from the home key. If you stnn a B� major
scale on it's second note (which is C) and continue up an octave to the next C, you will have the C Dorian scale.
Here are the diatonic major modes i11 Bb.

e JJJ3rF[fIECr:rfrf!crffEErtirfFf6·rfI
a.,m�i' Cm7 Dm·' P.tmaj7

s 1
9& •

lJI, Ionian C Oorian ll Phryi:fan El Lydian

l �I,
�1:

F Mi�olydian G Aeolial'I A Locrian

ffi Ionian ALocrim 0 A�oli,1n

?&1. ercrrruIrrurrrrIrcrrrrcrI rru.oJ➔t


£\ Lydian DPhrygian C Dorian Bl, lonian

Understanding lhe diatonic major realm is an important first step 10 improvisation. However, very few
tunes are strictly diatonic major. Modes and chordal structures are also built from the harmonic and melodic
minor scales, First we will look at d1e chord structures built from the harmonic minor scale. This scale has a
very unique character due to Lhc minor third interval between flat six. and major �even scale degrees. This

9
makes for some very interesting chord and modal strucmres. Here are the diatonic chord structures in tile key of
Bb harmonic minor.

II
ll>m(m,i7) em,,s LJl,m.,j7+ El>m7 F7 (;l,maj7 A0? Bb.,�maj7}
lm(maj7) iim7�5 Lllbnaj7+ ivm7 V7 b-Vlm.1j7 vii\'7 lm{maj7)

Here are some ways to pr.actice the diatonic harmonic minor chord strucrures.

I • o. I .�.. .. !:,
G�maf

l,.. Ill �
a !_'
Bl,m(maj7)

!.�Ille - ..
•• " .- '
Ok- ·�' '
,
' ' '

I I I

trcFEfEr ter1·r[[[ fiff'[r[[c�rlf'rFf[r�FiI


B�m(maj7) A'7 GLmaj7 f7 El,,n7 l)\m•i7+ C111M B•m(m>97)

?' �·

G�maj? B l,,n(maj 'I)

- -- -,.��- � llll -
B,m(maj7) Cm1�5

- ., - .. �.. _, - .. � ��Ill .I

I I ' I

d'f rr�Er II
B�m(maj'} A07 o>maj7 f7 E�n7 Olmaj7+ Cn,71.il Bltm(m.a-j1)

?'�1 icff'tfcr1·c['fff fE FI([ ([[[ c�,1 f

The modes derived from ha1111011ic minor are unusual strucrures. They alt contain the distinctive minor
third interval originally found between scaJe degrees flat six and major se\•en. With each new mode. this inter­
val pops up in a different location, creating some unique sounds, and some challenging fingerings. The names
of these scale., are altered versions of the major modes. Here are the diatonic modes in the key of B� hannonic
minor.

10
Bl.m(m•j 7)

? ,1, "jll§tr:rflE'EF
�hannonicminor
Cm;,;

CLOCJim,U)
r·ecEEi:uf D,maj'+

D�loniu.nl5
Gr['t(Cc:'Cf1
1'fFrf
Elm;

1
EI-Oorian�ll

f Phryglan� G�lydianl9 A diminished 13\ harmonic mi-nOT

01, hsnnonicminoc A diminished Gllydianl9 f Phrygian t3

b
Elm7

f'CFFCTcr1 rccr•rrrr1 FEr"rtr•rr'ffbrrJ,J:Ji


Dlrn aj'-t Cm7b> B',m(m•j 7)

,-,1,

&Do,iantlJ D�fonian�5 CLocrian�13 B�ham,onicR'Unor

The next scaJc we build �1:ructures from is the melodic minor scale. The "tr.sditionar' \'ersion of this
scale ascends as the melodic minor, and descends as the n,tunl minor scale (otherwise known as ihe Aeolian
mode),

B� ltttlodi,c mim>r

While the traditional melodic minor scale makes sense from a melodic standpoint, it would be confusing
to build chord shucturcs ftom it, as it is dilforent going up and down. To simplify things, we ascend and
descend using the same scale. This is commonly referred to as the "jau» melodic minor scale.

B� melodi-c mino1

11
Now lets look at tho chord structures built off the B� melodic minor scale.

?= �I, e �,
mm(maj7)
tm(maj7)
!
C.'m7
iim7
, �, , �, , , II
Ol+(n,aj7J
blll➔(maj7)
Eb7
lV7
F7
V7
Gm7�S
vim7io5
Am'Jl,S
vitm1t.5
Bl.n�nllj7)
lm(maj7)

Here are two exercises to practice playing the chord structures from 8� melodic minor.

j!),. " c'FHeErfl'crcrc


aITT EfI b
Bl.n(maj7) Cl1)7 Dl�(maj7)F.l7 f7 Gm7�' Am"' B�m(maj7)

1 r¢rI r EFIEELfih:

fr cr[fEr1trrE[rrftr[Et[[ r•rif[E;[P'LrI
b
Blm(maj7) Amm Gm?U F7 EP Di>.(maj1) Cm7 Bl,,n(maj7J

�: ob

B�m(maj?) cm7

b f Ff&
ol,+(maj')

rib E\7 f7 Gm7H Am7�S Blm(mai7)

91
• c'rfrf[rlc
1

Fff fffrlcfff f ffc1 cf

;r.�· rbe€ffLErIE(reErfflCE[bikF§-1cE[ f
Blm(maj7) Am 7bS Gm'" F7 EP Dl�(m.j1) Cm 1 Bbm(msj7)

ft'EFI
1l
These are lhc modes buill from the B� melodic minor scale.

e JJ�JJrr0:1 r�rrfrff E1�rrrfrEE 81 rfrfCcfy


B>m(maj?) Cm1 D>+(maj')
b E>' _p
__2½;1,
O!> melodicminor CDorian�9 mLydian:S

F Mixolydi.m �13 G Locrian�9 A altered 13� melodic minor

EFtfF rr eu
b
c ,rccu1Fcrqurier rrurri b
nl,m(inaj7) Amns Gm7�s F7

_l1!il,
1
O.rnclodicminor A:dttrcd G Loc:rianlr) F Mixolydi:in �13

EP Dl+(m:ii7) Cm7 Bl,,n(m•;7)

,, ,1, F'rrcrEErrecrrrrr•rl refrFr'crI[FrrJJJJ11


DltLydian#S COorian�9 m melodic minor

All of this infonnalion presents quite a lot of work on your part. As [ said enrlier, ii is very important
1ha1 you can play 1hcse chord s1ruc1urcs and modes, undcrs1and 1hcm imcllccn,ally. and hcttr 1hcm. Don'I skimp
on the basics, i1 will come back to hauni you later. You will probably need to refer 10 1his material several times
as we stal't 10 put it to use later in the book. As you start 10 utilize this infonn::nion. it will start to become pan of
your in1egra1ed unders1anding. Be pa1ien1. ii is a 101 10 remember.

-MoreRawStuff
As if you didn't have enough to do already, there are a few rnore scales 1hat must be learned.
Fonunatcly, thc-sc arc easy in comparison and already familiar 10 anyone with a background in rock and blues
music. I'm refe1Ting 10 the pen(atonic scale. There are only five notes contained in this scale instead of the
seven used in major or minor scales. This scale is widely employed as a vehicle for improvisation in che rock
idiom. 11 is used in 1wo basic shapes. major and minor, ahhough we will la1er see 1hey are ac1ual ly the same
scale, starting from different points.

13
�, C�!.,
Here is the C minor 1>entat.ol\ic scale.

j)= C 1: "r •
f
I'm sure this soun<ls familiar to you. The minor pentatonic scale is popular in rock. blue.s. j a71.. ;ind all
sorts of world music. lJere is a paltern lo give you some ideas and challenge your fingers. This pattern extends
into 1he nexc octave. In general, remember any sca1c or arpeggio must be learned in at least tv.•o octaves.

,I

Now let's examine the C major penlatouic scale. This. St:alc is ,vi<ldy recognized as the opeening guitar
riff to ·"Jvfy nirl'' hy the Tem pmtions.


d OJ ·1
I

Here is il patten1 using the major pentatonic scale.

rf rrcr1 r cE81r fiirrrf

14
Another scale we will look at is the proverbial "blues scale." The nature of the blues progression allows
one to play this scale throughout the eotire fonn. So, in a C blues progression, it is possible to play the C blues
S(ale over each chord The repeated lL'le of the blues scale over the shifting chords creates a tension and release
pattern that i$ e]cmental to good improvising. Th;:; �ale is similar to the minor pentatonic, except for the chrer
matic passing tone in between lite fourth and fifth.

F JQ

Often, the blues s,:ale is played with another chromatic passing tone between the flatted seventli and the
octave.

The last scale to kam for now is the symmetrical diminished scale. There are two versions of this scale,
the whole step/half step pattern, and the half step/whole step pattern. Here is the half step/whole step symmetri­
cal diminished scale.

b

&

r.ymetrical diminished seile half/whol-c

The other version is the whole step/half step diminished scale.

9: e j
F i,r .r 1-r
symetricaJ d.iminishtd scale whole:11alf
ttr F r 11
The previous material will take some time to sink in. You will need to spt.'nd a lot of time playing
throul!h the scales and arpeggios lo gel them in your head, under your lingers, and in your ears. This brings us
to our next lopic, cars.

15
Ears
It's pretty obvious music is an aural phcnQ1nen9n. To creaLe SPQntancous CQmposition, yQu must be able
to hear what you want to come out Sure, you can blindly throw your hands a.round the instrument and hope for
1hc best . many people cominiucd to the ..;:want garde" have made a career of this. I'm not discounting the poten-
1ial for music to occur with that method, but you will find within the "outside" community or musicians, the
.
mos1 musical players are 1he ones that hear wha1 they play. If we are looking at improvising "inside . jazz. we
wam 1hc music coming out 10 reflect our understanding of the harmonic and melodic properties of the song
being played. I-low clo we understand this'? With our brains. with our hcar1s, and with our ears. If you can't hear
the song you're playing. how in the world will you create a musical statement based on ii'?
This said. you will now realize you are on a lire long journey into the realm of ear training. This joumey
s1artcd long ago, well before you ever had the idea of being a musician. Pieces of nursery rhymes, TV commer­
cials, pop songs, potrio1ic songs, and 1hc like have all embedded 1hcmselvcs in your musical memory banks. All
ii 1nkes is someone making reference IO a pa11icular chain of fost food restaurants. and suddenly, you are singing
in your head the jingle that you heard on TV five 1housand times. Ask any person on the s1ree1 to sing the
alphabet, they can, even if it's been 50 years since they've done it.
So, Lhe brain has an infinite capacity for musical storage, the key to accessing ii is to develop your own
personal series of "tags·• for musical events. A "tag" is a memory device 1hat enables you to recall n sound. In
this case. it could be a song you know. For example, remember the alphabet song? ("'l\vi.nkle. Twinkle. Liule
Star") This is a perfect lag 10 help you remember 1he sound of a pcrfcc1 rim, interval. Before you can expect 10
hear complex hannonies. we need to sta11 wi1h 1he core element's of harmony, intervals.
An interval is the space created bc1ween two notes. T1,e way we identify them is to use the major scale
as a reference p0int. Ench note in the scale is numbered one through eight. The first note played, or the bottom
note if the notes arc played simultaneously becomes the root. From there we count up or down the major scale
to find the size of the interval. If you count up three no1,cs in the scale. it's called a third. four notes, a fourth etc.
Of courSe, not all intervals are within 1he majo,· scale. Some intervals occur in between scale 1oncs. FirSI
we will look at I� intervals thal are diatonic 10 the major scale.
The intervals nrc divided into two groups, major intervals and perfect intervals. The major intervals are
seconds, thirds, sixths, and sevenths. The perfect intervals arc unisons, fourths, fifths, and octaves. When you
lower a major interval by a half step, it becomes a minor interval. \Vhcn you lower a perfect in1erva\ by a half
step. it becomes a diminished interval. If you lower a minor interval by a half step, ii becomes diminished as
well. If you raise o major or pcrfcc1 in1erval by a half S1cp. i1 becomes an augme111ed interval.
Arc you confused yet'/ Most people arc a1 first. For the sake of simplicil)'. mosl jazz musicians refer 10
the intervals with aherm11ivc names like �·nat two,".. fia1 seven," or ..sharp five." It gets the meaning across, and
saves valuable bri. in ac1ivity. which is beuer reserved for 1he task of creating music.
f
Here is 1he Fmajor scale in 1wo octaves. For this example. 1he Fon the fourth line of the staf will be
our "ground zero." The scnle will extend up and down an octave from this point In addition 10 numbers, we
will also use 1he (hopefully) familiar solfege syllables: Do. Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Do.
Underneath the notes. you will see n row of nun1bers. then the syllables, and another row of numbers.
The top row of numbers indie-ate the imcrval number from the middle F which is the starting point for each
direct.ion. The syllabics arc named for each appropria1c scale degree, starting in ci1hcr direction. The bottom
row of numbe� are the -5eale degree numbers. Notice these numbcr-s run in an opposite order with the descend­
ing interval numbers.

-• - • • • ...
>Ascending lmcrvals >>
� -
L

�=�
L

• • • •
0

<< Descending hner",•als.<


II
lnlcn·ail,: 8 7 6 s ➔ 3 2 I 2 3 ➔ 5 6 7 8
n
S)'llablc:-.: Do
Sc.ale dc-grce�: I
Re
2
Mi
3
F,
4
Sol
5
La
6
TI
7
Oo
1
Re
2
Mi
3 •
Fa Sol
5
La
6 7
Do
8

16
Wbat you need to do now, is learn to hear each interval ascending and descending. If you have access to
a piano, use it, if not, the bass will do just fine . Play the F in the middle, then play the next ascending note.,
Listen carefully to the sound of the interval, then sing it using the appropriate solfege syllable. Continue this
process until you have played and sung each ascending interval� then repeat this process with the descending
intervals.
I llllderstmd some people may have a little problem with the singing. The range of the bass is lower than
most people can sing, s.o s.ing up an octave. If you have a bass with a two octave noc� or aic using a piano, play
everything up an octave. Still, many people will hit a ,tumbling block over being asked to sing. I totally undcr­
sland. I can remember very well the sheer terror ofmy first day as a student in Ear Training l al Berldee College
of Music. Being asked to sing out loud, in front of all my class mates (who were equally terrilied). The pathetic
quavering in my ,·oice as I nervously attempted to hit something within a barn's door of the given pitch. Years
later ns a teacher of Ear Training 1 at Berklee, I saw this scene replayed over and over.
for those of you that are nervous and insecure abom your abilicy to sing out loud J have some ve1y good
advise. First, take five deep, long breaths to help yourself relaK, then, GET OVER IT! Do you want to impro­
vise or not? lf you do, learn how to sing what you hear! There will be more of this later on, so get used lo it.
You do not have to sing like Pavarotti, for now, just get close enough lo the pitch that it is discernible. Don't
worry about tone, just do it! lf you must, wait until no one is home. After you have done this for a while, you'll
tie amazed at how easy it was to get through this �•stumbling: hlock_'J
Once you have practiced singing the intervals ,._.·ith an instrument to guide you, do it without one. Get
your pitch from the bass or piano, then sing each interval unaccompanied, using the solfege syllables. Practice
this a lot. There are no words to describe how important this training is to your musical de-,..elopment.
Now we will work with the chromatic intervals. ln between the scale tones arc chromatic pitches that
are necessary to hear as well. These chromatic pitt:hcs are used to form all the various minor and modal scales
used in jazz. Again, w e will use the F major scale as our reference point. I will show the F major scale with the
chromatic pirohes that ooour in between. Again, you will see tlle interval numbers, rhe syllables, and the scale
degree numbers. Keep track of which direction the numbers run.
When ascending,. the vowel in the major syllables change to a long "ei � sound. ��Do11 becomes �'Di,"
"Re" becomes ""Ri," between HMi" and "Fa'' i.s. already a llalf step. .so it can't be raised....Fa" becomes '�Fi,"
''Sol" becomes hSi," ''La0 becomes ..Li/' and between "Ti" and ..;Doi' is a half step.
When descending, the vowel changes to at1 "a" sound. Some syllables use a long �a" sound. others use
"a1 as in "mama.n Between "Doi' and "Tl'' is a half step, 'Ti�' becomes "Te (tay)," ''la'' becomes "Le (lay),"
'
1

11S01'' becomes ''Sa (saahh)." Bet\veen "Fa" and "Mi'' is a half step, "Mi" becomes "Me(mayr', and "Re"
becomes "Ra(rahJ"'. As with the diatonic major intervals, practice playing and sin.gin� lhesc: intervals ascending
and descending.

-i• • -�- •#• ...... - -


> Asccndillg Intervals »

�= � I �
��• z■ �- • <<ID
lz-Iii�- ij.1,. 11• 0
•·
. fl
� ♦ .._

8 7 " 6 >6 5
eo;t:en.din� lnltrvaJs <
15 4 J \J 2 ,2 l ii 2 12 J 4 ;14 5 b 6 16 7 8
Do J\,. Re ¼,
>l i, ; 1, 3 •
Ml f,,
I< '
S11 Soi Le La Te Ti Do Di ke
i.; 6 11 7 1 ii ; 11 3 4 ;14 ' "
Ri Mi F•l Fi S\:11 Si � l.i TI Do
i, 6 7 8

l;'.ar training does not end here. I will list some more ear training activities for you to pursur;::, but for the
sake of moving on, I will not go into great detail about them. There is much more to learn. If you practioe
major and chromatic intcrvals1 as well as the upcoming suggestions, you will have a lot lo work with. There are
many ear training programs commercially available on tape and computer. l have no experience with them per�
�anally so I can't make any recommendations. I believe it is totally possible to learn this on your own. It will
takr.:: detennination and inventiveness, both qualities you will need to become an effective improviser.

17
I-Jere is a list of suggested ear training activities.
I. Learn to sing the diatonic chord structures and modes from the major. melodic minor. and hannonic
minor scales.
2. Learn to sing other chord 1ypes no1 found in 1hc above scales.
3. Carry around a chromatic pitch pipe al all limes. Prac1ice 1uning your ears 10 a panicular note. Most
people rnne 1hemselves 10 A. bu1 learn to recall all the olher noles as well. Emphasize the notes of
your open sitings. G. D, A, and E. Outing: 1he day. periodically test yourself against the pitch pipe.
4. Pick notes from 1he pitch pipe and sing scales, intervals, and arpeggios in those keys.
5. Listen to the radio and detem1ine what key the song being played is in.
6. Listen for rJndom sounds throughout the day, car horns, screams, passing rndios, etc. Identify the
pitches you hear.
7. Find out what keys you fuvoritc songs are in. Find out what the first melody note, and first interval
in the song is. Use 1his to help you recall pitches and in1ervals.
8. Have someone play notes on a piano, iden1ify the pitches, and play them back on the bass.
9. Have someone play chords on a piano, idcnlify the chord types, and play them on the bass.
10. Have someone play shon chord progressions on the piano, identify the progressions and play the
root motion on the bass.
11. Turn on the radio. and play bass to whatever comes on. Switch around to different types of music.
There are many other activities you can do to help develop your ears, iryou actually do all of the ones
listed, you'll be well on your way to havin_g those much coveted '•bi,g ears."

Playing the Blues


Every great jazz musician will tell you. if you ,,;ant to play jazz, you must play 1he blues. Jazz was bom
from the blues feeling and articulalion and it's mnrriage 10 the hannonic structures of popular and classical
music. We must learn to use the basic elements of the blues in orde.r to make sense of the more complex ingre•
dicn1s found in other fonns of jnu.
The blues scale is widely used because of ifs ability 10 function over an enlire blues progression. It sim•
plifics the inlcllcctual process of selection. Blues in C? C blues scale! It sounds simple, and it is. However, as
with many simple things, lhere is more going on than meets the eye. or in this case. lhc car. Mindlessly nmning
up and down 1he blues scale does not make you an effective improviser. As ,\1ith all improvisation. the key ele­
ments arc s1rnc1urc. cxcctuion, and perhaps most imponantly, soul. Structure and cxccu1ion can be practiced
and learned, soul must come from wi1hin. I will not presume to teach you abou1 soul, let it JUSt be said tha1
everyone has it. Some pc..-oplc may have a greater challenge connecting 10 it than others, but tmst me, it lives in
everyone.
If you want to hear soul. listen to John Coltrane, Muddy Waters, \Vcs Montgomery, Dexter Gordon.
James Brown (The GodFmhcr!), John Lee Hooker (pre-Pepsi commercial), Bill Evans, Jaco l'as1otius, the list
goes on forever. If you want to play with soul, listen 10 yourself. lf you don't like what you hear, you and you
alone have the power 10 change it Without soul in yout playing. you can eventually become one of the legions
of well schooled, technically proficiclll, boting players 1hcre arc far 100 many of. With it, you can transcend
technique, theoretical cleverness, and play tnu! nole and bring an audience to ifs feet. Soul will come through
as your commitmenl to making music deepens.
In it's essence. the blues is all about soul. The great blues masters were 1101 necessarily 1echnical players.
The ability to shape a phrase.• to play with a cenain atrticulation J and most imporiantly, to pm 1hcmsclves into
the music is whal makes them stand above the resl. Since you will have 10 find your own soulfulness wi1hin. we
can occupy ourselves in the meantime with the pursuit of the external clements of the blues.

Phrasbig
Phrasing is the balance of melody and space. If you never left sp.i1ce in your playing (1nany people don'I)
your solos would be an endless assault on Ille listener. 1 'm sure al some lime you have had the experience of lis•
lcning to someone talk at you endlessly, without pause. and without considera1ion for your understanding. This
is the same effect a solo can have without phrasing.
18
We need to fr .ame our ideas wich open space so they may sit \Vlth the listener and create a picture.
Imagine going to an art museum where all the paintings were painted directly on the wall with no delineation of
where one painting start� and another begins. (Of course1 now sonieone will do thi� and be called a genius�)
Not only does the need for phrasing make music.al sense, it is a practical way to start ouc improvising
effectively. As a new soloist, your ability lo create long comple� phrases is still undeveloped. Learning to work
with short phrases and space is a necessary step on your path to mastering Coltrane's "sheets of sound" concept.
In order to get an understanding of effective phrasing, let's first take a look at ineffeclive phrasing. Here is a
blues progression in Bb. I will demonstrate the Bo blues scale without consideration of phrasing and space.


Before you start playing along with the CD, let's get in tune.

Tuning note G.


:;§L.,f�rrwffi1&r-rr-rr-9r1tr 1/rWr�
llP EP BP Fm 1 B�7

r1 r F�fl ctrr: rtlrYrI JSJ10Iloo


EP 1/. BP Dm7 G7

;>: � , jIJJ
I 1

si= �1 dr r:rctttri �tetl[irtffi-r:tU1�PC::@


Cm7 fl Bl' G7 Cm7 f7

, Q
Have you ever heard people play lhi8 way! Don't let it happen to you. It's ea�y to rec whaCs wrong with
this rich.Ire. The lines run on way pa."'t the point of making sense, never reaching a logical conclusion. The
placement of the mcl□dlc ideas docs not effuctivc::ly use the concept of tension and release, the: rhythmic place•
ment does not give you a feeling of moving forward, and while there are some rests, they are too little, too late.
Herc is the same Bb blui:s, using lhc c�ct �c scak. This time, I will incorporate effcclivc use of the
above mentioned principles. which will then be examined in detail.

♦ BP EP B;,1 Fm1 BP

We ��
�k tjJJ1r Crr *l
_____.=2 � P'----"-
1/. nm ?

C!�Cft�Wrrlf00§ !ir_4!lffi�r � I
EP �
3
BP r,7

1
__,.

,.,

19
Irftr, QI��r r�r5e-�Ml* " f EifI,r'lP �e II b.1 - I
Cm' F' B17 G7 Cm7 F'

9: bl' :t r- �
3

Why does this example work'/ Jusl by looking al it, we ean see several reasons. Finil, there is much
more space. The phrases arc shorter. with space between them, not placed at the end of the line like an after­
thought. There is more rhythmic diversity, there are quartc-r notes, eighth notes and eighth note triplet,. Most of
the phrases start on an 11pbeat. This element is a key principle of a concept called Forwatd Motion, which has
been taught for many years by the great jazz pianist/educator Hal Galper.
The essence of this concept is music moves forward from beginning to end Ideally, we want our impro­
vising to reflect this forward movement by utilizing the natural tendencies of certain beats in a measure of
music. It is a common understanding beats I and 3 in a measure of 414 are considered "strong" beats. Beats 2
and 4 are considered "weak" beats. For eighth notes, the down beats are considered stronger than the up beats.
Mr. Galper has noted starting your phrase on a "weak" beat gives it more propulsion due to the weak heat's ten­
dency to lead into a strong beat. The downbeats are heavy and grounded, while die upbeats are lighter and �ave
more forward momentum. To get a better understanding of how this works.. Vi.'e will examine a phras� two ways.
First we will see how it sounds played from a downbeat, going ai:ain,t the principles of Forward Motion.

;,,iFEfH1rti ElF � I[ *
A c· Y.

C7 F.rn7 A'

flffvtE {J6r 9r Jt �
Dm7 G' c' A1 Dm' 01
b
t1:f f ij
While this doesn't sound terrible, it doesn't feel Iike it wants to go anywhere. l11e phrase just sits there.
Now we' II take tbe same phrase and place it on the offbeat

♦ C7 F7 C7 ;/.

� jtltrcftr1 rff r6F �Uj


20
Fm7 A7

a,:j
Dm7 a: C7 A' Om7 G'

?1 q(ITE[Ujrff.rbr 9 i- "
There is no doubt this version swing, more than the first example. The line has momentum due the the
rhythmic placement of the notes. Notice the phrase no,._,· cmb on the "and" of beat 4 instead of the following
downbeat. This gives the phrase more '"top-spin.�
Another idea from Forward Motion is to lead into the next chord change. Instead of waiting for the
chord change and reacting to it, lead into ii with material relevant to the new chord change. Out of context, you
may have notes occuuing over the old change that may not "work." but as the line leads up to the new change,
it all makes sense to the ear when the change oocurs. We will take the previous example and use this idea to 611
out some of the spaces.

1/.

� �
,-,,
b
F' 7' [:.m?1S A?¼

;1= irlfjEfEJIr ff (t 9tf I- xcr Ibr u,trr1


Dm' G'

EH p- i II
Let's examine this "solo.'' The main phrase is the same as before. However in me�ure 4 ,vc use an idea
starting on the "''and" of beat 3 which leads into the F7 in measure 5. In measure 7 we start a phr.:tsc on the Hand"
of beat 3 thnt leads into the Em7b5 in measure 8 and anticipates the A7b9 on the "and" of beat 2. The following
shon phrase anticipates the Dm7 chord of the next measure with a chromatic idea. Starting in measure 11, we
anticipate each chord change fur the next two measures. There is nothing earthshaking going on here, but the
phrasing does keep the line pu�hing ahead instead of stag.nating, or sounding like you,rc reacting to an event
that has already happened.
Forward Motion involves much more than this, we will talk more about it later. For no\v, keep these
ideas in your head and let them develop. Pay attention to where you start and end your phrases, be conscious of
leaving some space in your solos, look ahead and play towards the next chord change.
Now comos your opportunity to work with the l>lues scale. Here is a blues in F. Obviously, the F bluc-s
scnle is the appropriate choice here. You will ha\'e three choruses to work with.
21

A
F' Bbl r,1 r m? Fl

:::V:I. B / 7 7 7 r7 r 7 7
� 1 7=7=7- 7- -7----+d

BP :/. F7 Aml�5 D7 "

.2.LLZ �
� / / , / 7- rrr
-, -, -,
7✓ 7-P

(j n,i Cl F' Dl Gm'r C7

� r. r. � tttr-�=df77 z:. �
7 7 � 7 � �
r. §I
The Chord/Seale Concept
/\ popular method for determining suitable improvisational material is the chord/scale concept.
Essentially, we detem,ine \Vhat key center a particular chord belongs to, then play the scale that corresponds to
it. This method in itself leaves many stones unturned, but it is an important first step toward understanding all
the many pos.sibilitics.
The first step is to determine the key center. One way to dctcnninc the key center of a song is to look at
the key signature. Another \Vay to teJI is to see what chord the song ends on. Most tunes resolve to rhe tonic (the
"I") chord. If a song is in a minor tonality, the key signature \viii be that of the relative major key. The relative
major key can be found by going up a minor third from the root of the i minor chord. For example, the key of C
minor has the relative major key of EP mnjor. Inversely, the key of Eb major has 1he relative rninor of C minor.
Tlus relates to the fact in a major key, the sixth mode is the Aeolian mode which is also called natural minor.
Most jazz tunes consist of more than one key center, although there will be one key in particular the
song resolves to. In dctcm1ining what the chord 1sc.alc relationships arc, yot1 will have to learn ro recognize what
is lhe "key of the moment." For now we will look .at orie key at a time. Here is a short progression, f-vi-ii-V in
the key of Ub. We take the mode buill from the same scale degree as the chord number, and we arrive at the first
level of the chord/scale concept. The root of the c-hord will match the roo1 of the scale.


ErEf1;JflrriJI rrrrf; erE£U
8�111aj7 Gm7 CmJ F7

e;ffi3
b
®¥ r Fi Ef11
B� [oni:m (i Aeolian cnorfan P Mixolydi::m
lm:tj7 \·im1 iim7 V1

This is not paiticularly exciting, nor is it music.al to nm up and down a scale every time you sec a chord.
Hmvcvcr, you do need to know about these relationships. They will become the building blocks for lhe music in
your future. An important iuea to incorporate now is the use of shorter melodic fragments,
Using the entire scale is mechanical, and becomes very predic1able. By working with smaller portions
of the scale, we can create ideas that are more inte.resting. Simple four note groupings can be very cffocli\'e,

22
particularly when combined with the concepts of Forward Motion phrasing we discussed earlier. Here is the
same progression in Bb using some typical four note groupings with Forward Motion.

♦ 8�oj7 Gm 7 Cm 7 F7

?' klz " Cf§1-fPvrifTFcr,C:tf1fEffCffr�FEr�cc.t11


B� Ionian sci:ment (; Moliru1 sc�ment C Dorian $C,lmcnt F Mi;14;ilydian segment B� Ionian

In the previous example, notice how the mode segments start prior to the chord change. This anticipates
the upcoming event and keeps the listener's ears engaged in the solo. It also times the melodic segment out so
v.-e are not on the root of the chord when the downbeat arrives. Musically this is much more interesting. The
segments themselves are just partial explorations of the mode, starting on the root. Nothing fancy, yet when
positioned this way, very effective. There are many books that will show you different melodic segmenis to use,
I prefer to leave you with the idea of them, and let you experiment. I will continue using these short melodic
fragmenis throughout the book, so with a little analyzation, you can figure them out.
Now take the opportunity to practice on this short progression in the key of F major. Use the same
process as the previous example. First determine what the ..numbers" are for each chord, then match ii up with
the modal scale that starts on the same number. Start by playing the entire scale, then boil it down 10 a short
melodic segment. Remember to use Forward Motion in your rhythmic plac;,ment of the scale fragment.

Fmaj7 Blmaj1 Am7 Dm7

7 � / // /
l /z// ////

, , �31
Cim7 ('.1 Fmai7 ('.1

f>'i; 7 7'. r. �
g
..,. ....,. ..,. � 7'.
..,. 7'c.
..,. 7'c.
..,. ..,. ...... � 7'. r r L·
� 7'c. r. r. �
The previous example stayed in one key, F major. Most jazz tunes will not be so cooperative. A tune
may modulate several times before it is over. This next example will have two different keys, F major and A
major. The modulation starts in the seventh measure with the ii-V 10 A major. In measure 15, we modulate back
to F major, using the ii-V. Again, figure out the correct "numbers" for each chord and their corresponding
scales. Remember to relate the numbers to the key of the moment, when in F major the numbers belong F, when
in A major, the numbers correspond to that key. As before, play through the entire scale first, then find short
melodic segmenlS using phrases that have Forward Motion.

♦ Fmaj7 Om' C'

'//�/1////1
Gm7

91 � e / / -c±. -r--7 I/// I//// IL///

Am1

--
� :;t: :2: � �
� �
Dm7

��
..,.
..,. � �
� � � � �
� � �� �
Rm7

:;t: :;t: :;t: -f:.


F.7

23
AmaJ7 Rm1 Cjm' Dma.j7

�� ��7 �77 7

Fjm7 C'

·I11
E7 Gm'

2·� / / / r 7
L/7 r r... r... r...
""7 ...
T_ r -r...
7
r-.r
7 7 ..

Here'• another new idea to throw into the mix. So far we have only looked at scales built from the roots
of their chord .structures. Howevcr1 since the modes and the chords arc all in the same key, we can actually use
llllY mode from that key over tbe chord structure>. We will occasionally have some rough spots, the lmaj7 and
V7 chords prefer nor to emphasize scales starling a fourth up from the root. The major third in the chord struc­
ture tends to rub against the fourth in M unsettling way, more so on the Imaj7. Even still, I will include them in
this next example. It would be easy to say you should just avoid using them, but you need to experience them
for yourself, and then let your ear be your guide.
The following example will be the 1-vi-il-V in Bl, again,played si� times. Each time, we will use a mode
bui It from a different scale degree. Since we have already used the root of each chord, the first time through
will use the second note up from the root of each chord, then the third, fourth, Md so on.


rfItrffEFEfiHF[CFfn
B�mai? Gm'7 Cm7 F7
2nd
91 &I' c t1.£fLFpi1JJJJcc
CDori.an A Locrian OJ"hrygi:in GAoolian

r riJcEI1Iffl3cEG)rfrFCCGfIcEffFfE
Blm•? Gm7 Cm7 F' �

;� &"

����e+=
UPhyrgillTI llt.loni:..n 1!.'1,Lyd.ian Auv.rian

arrccr IoorrrrIcc rJct Ire: · 1


Bbme:j7 Gm 7 Cm1 F7 f..
4th € 800---------,1oco �


ElL,dian {:nrniem P Mixolvdian Bl-roni11.n

24
simaj7 Gm7 Cm 7 ��m
ff rfffCftt1ffITt I
F7

;�l, rruuf:f1rrrrcF 1
F Mh:olydian DPhyrgi.ln GAcolian C Dorian

Eff[CffflEJff tfPf1E£EfEfE Ia£fr:CEf1


'
s,maj7 Gm 1 Cm7 F
6<h
g

C:Ar•nli
. 11.n Et.Lydian _,\ l.neri.an OPhyrgian

ff g gi
� CE (f f ICE (faffIr(Cfff IrfrfreffII
Blmaj1 Gm7 Cm7 F7
7th

Al...ocri::tn fMixotydia11 R!,Jooian El>Lydian

This last example is quite a lot of material to diges.t Again, using the scales this way is not a musical
approach. It is important you get this infonna.tion into your hands� head, and ears. So practice this until you feel
it coming together. As with the other cxAmples, take the next step and find short melodic fragments from each
scale and work chem into ideas that look ahead to the upcoming change. It will take some time, but don't gloss
over anything. Pay attention to how it sounds, and of course give yourself permission to make plenty of mis­
takes.
Another valuable approach to this example i, to simply play only the first note of each measure. Let it
ring through the entire measure. This way, you gel to hear the color of each note as it plays with different
chords in the background. Imagine the color blue against a red background. Now, take that same blue and put it
against a yellow background. Even though the blue is the same color, tbe interaction with the background cre­
ates a totally different effect This is the same idea as pla-ying a G against a Blmaj7 chord, or against an F7
chord. This concept is the first step toward developing a goal oriented ear. As you learn to hear tlie different
textures created by these melody/harmony relationships, you will ftnd yourself going for the sounds instead of
trying to remember all the theory surrounding them.
Up to this point, all the examples have had one chord change per measure. As you know, many jazz
tunc.s have some measures with two or more chords in them. With one "change'·' per measure� it is easy to figure
out what scale works with it, ho..,,.,ever with two changes per measure, which one do we use? The scale for the
first change or the scale for the second change? The answer will depend on what the chords are, how they relate
to each other, and the key center. Let's keep it simple. If you have two chords per measure and they are both
functioning diatonically in the same key, then you can use any scale from their key center. It is not necessary to
switch scales in the middle of a measure if both chords belo-ng to the same key.


ooumtrucm1arrrcc[ifEuaw
Cmaj? Am1 Om7 G1 Cmaj7 Am1 Dm'I G7


C 1onian D Dorian E Phrygian f Lydian

25
The technique we have been using is ploying the key u111er more than the actual changes. This is anoth­
er approach 10 improvising. h can free you up from the anxiety of having to ''make the changes," particularly
when you have more than one per measure. When you realize you have any scale from the key available to you,
your mind has less to do and you can work within a larger space, even when raced with the cramped quarters or
two changes per men.sure. This technique works welL However, it is best to use it in balance with other
approaches. When players rely 100 much on playing only key centers, their playing may lack the interest creat­
ed by using the specific infonnation contained within the chord changes. However, the same can be said for any
improvisational tcclmiquc, too much of any one idea will make your soloing monotonous.
Now it's your tum to pul 1his concept into action. Here is 3 six1ecn measure progression that fu11c1ions in
more than one key center. It will be up 10 you to rigure out what key you are in at any given place in the pro­
gression. Then determine what scale material you will use 10 construct your melodic fragments. The only hint
I'll give you is 10 look for ii-V's that don't belong 10 the ex.isting key center, they will be your pivot points 10 the
new key of the moment. This example will be played twice through. I will solo over the progression on the CD.
However, I will not conrine my improvisation to the techniques discussed so for. lnstend, I will solo as I usual­
ly do, giving you an example of what is possible when you have integrated many concep1s.

♦ c,naj7 Dm7 En,1 A' Dn,7 G'

Cmaj' Fmaj7 Em' A' Gm' C'

Fma.P l)m'7 (im7 (:1 FmaP Fm7 817

Elmajl :/. Dm' G'

� rr7 7 7 7=7- 7 7 7 7 r rrr


7 7 , 7 ·11
[;;:_;��-:.�-��f:•VF,';-� ,-,. '',._ 1�;-"·--
Up to this point, we have worked exclusively with scalar concepts. This infonnation will lead to devel­
oping a linear s1yle of improvising. Anothe-r side of the process is learning to use the chord .strnctures them­
selves. Playing lhe arpeggios of a chord progression will lead you to developing a vertical concepl for improvi­
sation. When this is combined wi1h the horizontal approach, you have a strong found:llion to build your solos
from. As we nrc s1ill working within the confines of diatonic major hannony, 1he mn.in source of our ma.1crial
will be the chord stn1ctures derived from the major scale. This information was presented earlier in this book. If
you need to, reacquaint yourself with this: ma1erial.

26
Hannony Grids
They're not just for breakfast anymore! I know it's a bad pun, but the name for this concept came to me
while eating hominy grils at a Waffle House somewhere in Georgia. When you play the chord structures of a
ntne, you very effectively ouHine the hannonic content As ..ve have learned with scale material, if a progression
functions within a given key center, at1 the modes from tlnat key cenler are available for improvisation. The
same is tme with chordal stmcnm�s.
The first piece of infonnation l will present is a chart outlining the differem layers of dialonic hannony,
otherwise known as "the hannony grid.�· The c.oll1mn on the. far left is the "root column.'' Going from the top
line to the bottom, we have the diatonic chord stmctures in order from lmaj7 to viim7�5- As the columns move
to the right, they will outline the chord structure, starting from tl1e . root column to the third, the fifth, the sev­
emh. and then the upper extensions off the ninth. eleventh, and thirtee11th. It is possible to use this chart in a
mecbanical, umhinkfog way by simply connec.iing point lo point on the. grid. This is nol in your best interest l
have used the generic chord names, and written in their corresponding strucn1res in the key ofC major.
Herc is an example of how this grid ,:i.·orks. Let's say you have two measures of Cmaj7 in the key of C.
If you wanl to build chord s1ruc1urcs from other levels or the ham1ony grid, look up lhc lmaj7 chord (Cmaj7).
then look to the right. Off Lhe third of thaL chord, we can U!Se the iiim7 (Em7) or from Lhe liFi:h we can build a
V7 (G7) chord, and so on. There arc some special options I ·will mention a Iler you have examined the b'Tid.

lmaj7
Root
·1 i· 3rd
iiim7
5th
V7i
Vmaj7
7th
viim7�5/
viim7
9th
iim7/
117
11th
ivmaj7/ I
livm7J.5
13th
vim7

. . : : · +·
Cmaj7 Em 7 G7/ Bm7'5/ ·····om71 ••• ••• Fmaj7/·T··· Am7
Gmaj7 Bm7 D7 �m7b5
vim7 lmaj7 iiim7 V7 viim7b5
l:.:.:: ••
j
------------- ------------- -------------- -------------
Am7 Cmaj7 Em7 G7 Bm7b5

iiim7 V7 viim?PS iim7


----- ------------- ----1Vmaj7
-
vim7
--------- ------------- lmaj7
---------
Em7 I 07 I Bm7,5 Dm? Fmaj7 Am7 Cmaj7

1Vmaj7 Lmaj7 iiim7 V7 viim7�5 iim7


f-------------j------------- ------------- -------------
vim7

G7 Bm7,s
--------- ------------- -------------

Fmaj7 Am7 Cmaj7 Em7 Dm7

V7 viim7b5 iim7/ 1Vmaj7I vim?/ Imaj7I


IV+(maj7) --------------
iim(maj7) ---------- VI7 #im7>5
I iiim7

C.7 1····Bm71.5 ··t···· om?/··· Fmaj7I Am7/A7 Cmaj71


--- ----------
I
Dm(maj7) F+(maj7) Clm7l,5
F.nl7

vim? I lmaj7 iiim7 viim7b5 1Vmaj7


VI
------ -------------- ---------- .. - ----------
iim7
I
Am7 Cmaj7 F.m7 Gi Bm7,5 Dm7 Fmaj7

iim7 1Vmaj7 vim? lmaj7 iiim7


--------------
viim7�5 \17
----- ------------- -------------- ---------- ---
Bm7>5 Dm7 Fmaj7 Am7 Cmaj7 Em7 G7
------------- -------·

27
The options occur on the lmaj7 and V7 chords. If you remember from lhe scale material, when you have
a major triad in lhe chord structure, it is a challenge to use a fourth from the root in a "pleasing" way. On the
Irnaj7 cl:tonl, building off layers that contain the fourth (F in the key of C) can sound just plain wrong. The
fourth creates a dissonance with the major lhird in the chord stnicture, either a holf step, or a flat nine ifup an
octave. Most people will say "avoid it", and I tend to agree. It takes a lot of skill, conviction, and nerve to pull .it
off musically.
Diswnance is not a bad thing, it makes music interesting. Jaza in particular has a fairly high "dissonance
quotient." However� using a natural fourth (or eleventh) on hnaj7 is a choice you may not wanl to make. The
accepted option for this situation is to raise the eleventh up a halfstep, thus creating the more pleasing Ill (Fl in
the key of C). When we use this alteration on the lmaj7 chord, we produce options like Vmaj7 (Umaj7), viim7
(Bm7), and 117 (D7). These are not diatonic structures due to the introduction of the 14. However, if we _look at
the actual chords, you will notice they are borrowed from the key of G. The key of C is closely related to the
key of Gt they have three chord structures in common. Let's examine this;

Gmajor C major

Cmaj7 Nrnaj7 Irnaj7

Em7 vim7 iiim7

Am7 iim7 vim7

By m.tlcing these substitutions, we avoid a potentially unfavorable sound and add a new �color tone,n
the Fl. Since we are borrowing chord structures from the key of G, we can also use the modal scales from G
with these substitutes.

28
Before I get into showing you examples of this concept in action, I have a little written assignment for
you. Below s a blank hannony grid with only the generic chord numerals in it. I want you to make at least 14
copies of this
i grid Next, r want you to fill in the proper chord names for all the remaining keys. You have the
key of C as a guide post, now do the otb=. Pay special attention to the common jazz keys of F, B�. El,, A>, m.
and G. Don't forget about the "guitar" keys of D, A, and E. Then there arc the less common keys of GI,, B, FIi,
and the dreaded enharmonic nightmare keys of Cl and C,. It may seem like alol of work, but believe me, you
need to know this infonnation.

Root 3rd Sib 7th 9th 11th 13th


lmaj7 iiim7 V7/ viim7,S/ iim7I ivmaj7j vim7
____ Vmaj7 ___
l____ v
iim7 Tl7 li,•m7b5

iim7 1Vmai7 vim7 Imai? iiim7 viim7�5


············•4••···········+·
V7
...

tiim7 V7 viim7o5 iim7 1Vmaj7 vim? lmaj7

!Vmaj7 vim7 lmaj7 iiim7 V7 viim7t,5 iim7

V
_____ 7 ____ '. ___
v
iim
M--� _ iii�::?) J ::;I� J___ _J_ ,1:{�___'.____
1 )
v
�;;.;
1 i m7
ii ___

vim7 lmaj7 iiim7 iim7 1Vmaj7


•••••••J·······•·····+··········•·•f••······•· ·••i••···········+••.•.••.•..•·,....•.••.•.•.
V7 viim7bS

viim7l,5 iim7 !Vmaj7 vim? Imaj7 itim7 V7

Now we will look at some examples of this concept in action. We will use the familiar l•vi•ii-V pmgres•
sion in B, as our foundation. For these examples, I will be using the principles of Forward Motion to create
musical phrasing. T wi.ll use some concepts we haven't discussed yet, like chromatic approach for example. Play
through the example and figure out what is going on melodically. First we will use the arpeggios built from the
root level of the harmony.

29

JilhrrIL Qr®t[[p11
7
8i'C- -B�mnfl - - - - - - - - - - -Cmi
- - - - - - - - - -Gm - - - ... - - - - - -f7- - - - - - ...

� �I 11
Ill YOUNOW
BreakinQ! ChvannWallace is live!

8:1maj1' _, Gm7___, Crn7___ _. F1_::__ 1

Now lets see what happens when we build off the third.

♦ Gm 7 Cm7 F7

:2!.@QjJ'artf!rI,Qi[FElfi 'cf ff[fr'fl Eff_rffitl


B•maj' -

1
Om7_ .J Rbmsj7_ _. ___ J Gmaj7_ _, Am?�:S- - ..1

This example builds off the fifth. We will use the options that contain the #4 to make everything sound
"cool."

♦ s•�- - -1- - - - - - - - - - --- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ,


Bbmaf Gm' Cm7 p7

?: b11 c 1 bi rn�rntliriff� 2£tr��


Fmnj7- _ ...J Dm7_____ ...J Gm7___ _ Cm(maj7)__ J
Now, from the seventh.

♦ Bbmaj' Gm1 Cm 1 F'


gi.:o_ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ,_ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ,

ffft1, [jjt•WI6E [fL � :II
9 -� 9
� e ¥ Jl1r@1, ([f

=·-; ·- - � � - · --
Ami'____, F"maj7_____ J ll!,maj7
__-_ __, Et,.+(maj7)___ ,

f
The upper structures bL1ill' of the ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth can be used as well. They are tricky to
work wilh t but can lead you to some interes1ing sounds. Check into Lhcm when you feel you have a handle on
the sounds built from the chord tones. As you can see, there are quite a lot of possibilities to work wilh.
Eventually, you will have all this infonnation al your fingertips.

l- C- - ••
Here is another strategy for using the H:.\rmony Grid concept. \Vhcn a bassist sccs a sci of chord
changes, the first thing that registers in the mind is the root. lt is what we are trained to do as an accompanist,
outline the root motion. While it is totally possible to create interesting solos by relating_ to the root motion,
many bassists end up over emphasizing the root in (heir solos. This results in bland melodic choices. and a lack
of movement.
When 1ou look at a chord symbol, there is a w1::alth of information in front of you. To maximize the
melodic/ham10nic potential, you must learn to sec the various layers of the harmony being represented.

30
As we have seen, each chord is really attached to every other chord in it's diatonic realm. An easy way
to stan using this information is to practice "seeing" the chord changes from different levels. When you have a
set of changes, practice looking at e.hc:m from the thirds. For ex.ample, here is a short progression. ii-V-iii-vi-ii-V-
1-vi in Cmajor. First I will write it out from the roots. Practice soloing over this progression.

G' Em7 Am7

7 7
-L:, -L:, -L:,
7 7 7 � 7
-L:, -L:, -L:, -L:,
7
-L:, -L:,
7 � � 2:
c:::±. -c::±. -L::.
7'

nm7 (11 Cmai7 A"'' p/ap 3 tintes


.,.
� -;L_ zz ..,...
-;L 2 ..... z
-;L
.,.
'L. zz .......
-;L
....... ....... ....... ..,.
-;L -;L -;L -;L
jj)
Now I will take the same progression and write it out off the thirds of each chord using the harmony
grid concept. What we end up with is a totally different chord progression. As it stands, it may not make sense
as a progression. The root motion is awkward in places, and it doesn't really hang together in theory. However.
it changes whac you see when you look nt the progression, and because it is directly related to the original
chords, you will be playing within the parameters of the key center. It will automatically throw you into the sec­
ond layer of the harmony because you are actually looking at the thirds instead ofthe roots.
Practice soloing off this version of the change,, the accompaniment will still be using the original chord
progression. 1t wlll feel strange at first. Give i.t some room and you�ll find it opens up a new set of melodic
choices.

♦ Fma,i7 Rm7�.5 "' Cmai7

�d 1 , ,.
/ / /
1. ., I
' f f
--�-��,,,-----.,
I _I
_ l z::__f /.
� _f r... r... r... ,.

Fm•f Bm7�S F.rr,7

� .,.. T T � T r
7 7 7
r--7'
7
.,..
7 -,. 7 7
'7" '7" '7"

This process of rewriting the chord changes can be dooe with each level ofthe harmony grid. It is possi­
ble to take any tune and have seven different reharmoni,aions, all built from what is diatonic to the key cente,.
That is quite a lot of WOl'k. and a lot more information than most people can use. However1 the time you spend
doing this will translate lnto a fuller understanding of what is possible. 1t will give you the chance to get new
50und:; undec your fingers) and teach you to sc:c some of these choices immediately,
If you can learn to see a progression built off ifs thirds, you have doubled your choices for improvisa­
lional material. Take the short progiession you just played from the thirds and write it out off each level of the
harmony grid. Then play along with the track and see how each level feel>, pay attention to how it sounds •nd
make notes abont which ones you like the best.

31
Miltor Hal'lllony
\\IC have looked at several ways to deal with diatonic major harmony. All of these concepts \Viii work
for the diatonic minor chord and sc..1le strnctures as well. As 1 said earlier. most jazz nines do not stay strictly
diatonic. They may change keys centers frequently1 and they may also borrow structures From minor hannony.
Of course, there arc also entire tunes written in minor keys. Due to the myriad of choices, and their characteris­
tic feeling of openness, minor key tunes arc a big favorite for jazz improvisation.
Now we will look at the most common chord structures borrowed from minor harmony, with their corre­
sponding scales. The firSt chord we will look at is the i minor chord (i). l fa song is in the key of Cm, then Cm
is our i chord. However, we have three possible minor scales to choose from. The chord symbol will usually
give you the needed clue as to which scale to use. lfyou see the i chord is Cm, then it is indicating use of the C
ham10nic minor scale.

♦ Crn :/. :/. :/.

�iP tr�[; i:RJ]J fJI - ·cpWI�f fcf @1�


C h::i.nnonic minor 3

Sometimes we will sci;: the im6 c.Jiord. which would use the melodic minor scale.

:/.

If you see a im(maj7) chord, you have a choice of either 1he melodic or hannonic minor scales.
Often, lhe im7 chord is used. The scale indica1ed here is 1he natural minor (Aeolian mode),

♦ Cm7

C 11tt1u1;d minor

A common praclice on itn7 chords is to use the Dorian mode. While Dorian is not one of the 3 basic
minor scales (ham1onic, melodic, and natural) it has a very pleasing quality jazz players like. Sc.ale degree flat
three combined with scale degree natural six and flat seven creates some great opportunities for melodic inter­
est. Some tunes you will see 1he Dorian mode is specified, bu1 mosl often, the irnproviser lakes it upon thern­
,;.clv<�s In m:1ke it Onri:rn

32
Here is an example of Dorian on a im7 chord.

♦ C ro1 Y.


C D0<ian
Ar, stated earlier, with minor key runes, we cau choose from a variety of scales to improvise with. The
minor tonal cent.er has a whole step between the flat third and scale degree four, so we don't have the potential
clashes that can occur with major harmony. This gives minor keys a very open feeling, you can throw virtually
any scale on it and i.t will work. To hear thi.s. i.dea in action, check out John Co1trane•s playing around the
"Equinoxn era. His explorations. of minor tonalities are not only thoroughly inspiring, but very complete.
Herc is an example of expanding on the minor tonality, using many of the possible minor s.cales1 includ•
ing some of the minor modes from the diatonic major realm. The lirst half of this example are written ideas, the
second half is open for your experimentation. l will play the written ex.ample once� then improvise freely over
the Cm chord. Once you have learned thE: written material, you can transcribe the rest of the example to get
more ideas:.


,JP ,c crr�r· Irrr IT[ftj [r! ::/.'
C:m
goo thmuglu_,ur 1/.
1
� 11 1 r
p
CDoriari- ________________________________ 1

Cf1F" P�[frft&J r uIn�


y. y. y. y. y.
9:, na-Er
Channonicminnr___________ �

tczJwcfit· oo.:Nr:rtr m!11 *


B alL{C mclodk winor)

y. y. y. y.

?', bstt f=
Fm7(ivm7afCmjnor) ,,..,a.111r.:iJmjnor .... _____ ,_ ___ .... _______ _.J

y. y. y. y.

9: , 1,aa c � r- f
1 1l f4 1- .. J fi1r 6Pr
E�Lydiaol, Grn7___________________________ i

Cm 1/. y. 1/. 1/.


-;- �
� � r. r l--?-2?-- z +I z: .,, :2::
7=7-:·=7 7 .ye ....
-L'

33
1/. 1/. 1/. 1/.
9: 7_l 7l r=7- l l
7- 7- l I 7 7- 7- I, :;:::::::i::::;
f- t
r 7- -f.,.

1/. 1/. 1/. 1/.


7 -L:. 7 ':f::.
7 :z::E:z ':f::. 7
7 :z:::Ei ':f::. -L:. r rrrz
� -L:. -L:=.
l -L:=.
l 7 7 j 7 7 7 7

- 1/.� - 1/.� - � 1/.�


1/.

z::::::c. -L:. -c::::::::t::.

-L:. -L:. -L::::::::;;c_ -L:. -L:. -L:.
I �I
-�
I
r,, ,, II
;,

A common progression in minor tunes is iim7!.5 to V7 to im. The iim7�5 can be treated with the
locrian mode. If we're talking about the natural minor sca1e (which is the Aeolian mode1 built from scale
degree six of the major scale), then the iim7•5 is really the viim7>5 from the relative major key. This is why we
would use the Locrian mode. For example, in the key of A minor, the iim71,S is Bm7>5. A minor is the relative
minor key ofC major. The Bm7,S is viim7o5 in the key of C, understand? Here is an example of using Locrian
on iim7>5.

♦ Bmnl E71'1 Aml

'fJJ E fr f 1C f EJ�f fr r 1°
B1"- - - - - - - - - - - - - ·- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - '

Locrian _ ___________ .J

Notice in the nexl example the B Locrian mode has a G narural. When 1he chord changes to E7, a GI is
inlroduced as a chord tone. When lhe E7 resclves lo the Am7, the GI goes back down to a G narural. This cre­
ates an "internal melody" we can use. By targeting this resolutional pattern at lhe points of change, we can cre­
ate some interesting ideas.

♦ 8"'- - - - - - _E!I: - - - - - - - - - - -

'lcff l#EEflr r O-Taj-y £3' * I


Rmn!i 7
Am

Another option for the iim7,5 chord is to use the Locrian natural six scale, built from scale degree two
of the harmonic minor scale. The natural six in this scale becomes the natural three of the V7 chord in the HN.
For example, in a B Locrian natural six scale, the natural six is a GI. This note is also the third of the upcoming
E7 chord. This common tone ties lhe two chords together neatly, allowin� you to freely use any scale or chord
structure from the A hannonic minor key center.

34
Rml�S F.7,q Am 1/.

Loc.rian�fi lonia:n�.S... _____ - ._ _ - . 'Fhrygian� 3- - ___ - J

r
/o

J 2 3 1.JJP A 1., [, fi #EJ 10- �


Bm'f5 E7"' Am

ff- 1
ca-=--,_ ___ J A h11nn11nic. minl'lt

In the previous e><ample, you'll find a l)j: on the "and" of beat 4 in measure 2. This note is not scale
material. It is a chromatic approach note added to keep the line work"ing. Also notice in measure 6, we. build a
diminished seventh chord off the third of the E7. This is good to remember, you can al,.vays build a diminisl-.ed
seventh chord off the third of any dominant seventh chord
Now lhat we are talking about dominant chords, you'll notice in the mlnor tonality. most V7 chords
have a -ls9 next to them. This comes from the harmonic and natural minor scales which have a flat s.ix. The flat
six is a half step above the five, which becomes the flat nine of the V7l,9 chord. The melodic minor scale has a
natural six, so you may see a V7 chord with a natural nine, but with �13 next to it. This would be the
Mixolydian �13 scale.
Dominant chords are a world unto themselves. As the name implies, they are very strong chord struc­
tures that can s.tand up to quite a bit of tampering. You cHil throw virtually anything at a dominant chord and it
will work. When you look lhmugh fake book,, )'OU will sec dominant c.hords with all sort, of lensions ('9, 19,
�13, etc.) listed. These tensions indicate alleration,; in the scale that will fit the chord structure lo the intended
harmonic "landscape."
Herc is a "laundry Jist" of the various dominant chords you will £::ncounter with their corresponding
scales. For the sake of clarity, I wilJ continue to refer to these chords as "V7'i."" although in context, it may not
actually be buill from the fifth of the given key. first uf course is the regular V7 which would take the
Mixolydian scale.

♦ - - - - - -- - -- ,

� :: �� -I
Mixolydian

The V7sus4 chord also takes the Mlxolydian mode, the naturnl three in the scale becomes a tension.

------------,


Mixolydian

3S
The V7#11 chord gets tbe Lydian �7 scale from melodic minor (this scale also works with a regular V7).

♦ 8�----------------------------,
V7111 C7l11

91 e 'Iw•cr 0:j(Pa [£u+J. pJJ* I



Lydian�?

The V+7 is also written as V715 or V7aug. This chord takes the whole tone scale, which as the name
implies, is made up entirely of whole steps.


9: & e Y ,· rr•dr UTEerfC f I'Ditr fFrFIr fij fj
V+7 C+7
3w ______________________________________,

u.•hnl,,..ttvlt':

Now we look into what are commonly referred to as "altered dominants," dominant chords with
b9's,l9's and bl3's. Remember, wherever you see a 19 listed on a chord symbol, 19 is also available, and visa
versa.
First we'll look at the V7 from melodic minor, the V71!9Jl3. The scale we use is the Mixolydian ,13.
Remember , as with major harmony, all modes and chord structures from the tonic center are available, in this
ease, anything from F melodic minor is fair game.

A
� ---E-
1,
'V° 1,
V711J

�-
9 & e ., WCr GIF [jU * I., rif tE!IF
C7113
8----------------------------------.
1

Mixolydi;i.n l,j 3

Next is the V7 from harmooic minor, the V7b9,bl3. The mode for this chord is the Phrygian narural 3. In
a i-VI-ii-V progressioo, the VI chord is often a dominant instead of a minor 7th. ln these cases, ,... .e can use the
Phrygian natural 3 scale. Because "9 and 19 travel together, I will use them both in the next example, even
though the #9 is not included in the original scale. This also indicates this scale and an example of it's use
would be appropriate for the V719,>l3 chord as well.

36
Another c-0mmonly found dominant chord is the V7alt. This chord symbol indicates the use of the
altered scale, the seventh mode from melodic minor. This scale is sometimes referred to as the �diminishcd­
whole tone" scale because the bottom four notes are part of the symmetrical diminshed scale, and the last live
notes spell out part of the whole tone scale. The altered scale is aloo called the "Super 1.-0crian" by some. This
scale is unusual because it has both •9 and 19 in it. The fourth note in the scale is actually the major third of the
V7alt. chord, there is no rc-.il "fowth" in the scale. The scale construction is as follows: J-l,2(1,9)-112(19)-:l-oS-M­
•7-8. Due to the occurrence of� and J9 together, this scale becomes an ideal choice for any dominant chord
with "altered" tensions.

�a
.A
V s�-------------------------------------- ,
V7alt. C7alt.

9: � C 'r�r 1 11 1 �f fl r�cr([rffifrl1'Ettf1'F �iltJ


'r r 'f J * II
nh�d

The symetrical diminished scale aloo works on a variety ofDominant chords. There are two versions of
this scale, the half step/whole step and the whole step/ half step. Tfyou start on the root ofthe altered dominant
chord, you would use the half step/whole step version. The scale construction is l-•2(•9)-!>3(19)-3-;4-S-6-17-8.
This scale has an "outside" quality that has beceme associated with the post-Coltrane style of jazz. Here is an


example of the symctrical diminished scale over an altered V7 chord.

rflf cf r 1,FO,fMtfIrttdr p]
V7alt. C7alt.
8W--------------------------------------,

91 � e 'r�@�c�f � � 1
syme-trical dimioished

One more type of dominant chord you will see is caUed the "substitute dominant'' or "sub V7." These
are dominant chords that resolve into a target chord from a half step above. for example, in the key of F major,
the sub V7 of the lmaj7 chord is a Gl,7 or •117. It is called a sub V7 because it is substituting for the V? of the
lmaj7 chord. in this case a C7 chord If we examine the structure of these chords, we will see that the C7 (V7) is
built C-E-G-B!,. The 0.7 (sub V7) is 0.-Bo-D,-F> (E).
These two chords share the same tri-tone which is a flat fifth interval between the third and flat seventh,
although they are in reverse order. The roots are also a bi-tone apart. This half step root motion into the Imaj7
chord is very strong, and since the sub V7 has the same tri-tonc as the primary dominant chord. you have a per­
fect resclution pattern. The sub V7 chord takes the Lydian i1 scale from melodic minor. There are also sub V7
chords that resolve to the ii chord (1,iii7), and the V chord C.VJ7). These sub V's alS-O get the Lydian •7 scale.
He.re is an example of the sub V7 in action.

♦ Fmai' AP Gm' GP

,tr£fl±r1, eridt 9Jtcrz!:r 1r1crr'rf�eri


b


Fmaj' Om' OP C1 Fmaf

±J'� •(,F CWIECtr•'ffllEf'E ffl'p]ffffEtr&iE -1 37


i
Two other dominanl chords that take the Lydian !,7 scale are the JY7 and Wll7. This example illustrates
these two chords in use.

♦ F' DP F7 El7

'tff [fjfl_..JJJJIJttfE£2{1tfF[Ff 1
8"" rhrougho11r ,,--..
�,a.
1

B,Lydion,7 -3- -f.1,Lydi,nl7

[Ej+iffl r:rto· 1�rorrcr uIma-r


B >7 F' E ►7

SILydian ,7 El, Lydian '7

This covers most of our alternatives for dominant chords in minor hannony. As I said earlier, minor har­
mony is very open due to the existence of several minor scales to choose from. This leaves us with the opportu­
nity to mix and match scales when playing in minor tonalities. You don't have to be a slave to the hannony,
become familiar with all the possibilities and make your choices based on what you hear in the moment.
Here is a minor tune to practice on. It is in the key ofD minor. Measures 5, 6 and 7 modulate to the rela­
tive major key of F. then measure 8 pivots us back to D minor. The Bl,7 chord shows up in several places_ This
is a sub V7 to the V chord, so the Lydian n
scale works here. Remember to experiment with the different
minor tonalities. The fonn will repeat two times. It is a good idea to transcribe the solo I've played on these
changes, analyzing it will give you some ideas about putting these concepts into action.

♦ Em7••

?= i; e rrrr , ,. z: r, 1r,. z, z,.


A71>9 Dm

, , , , 1rrt / / I/ / / '/;?/,'

Gm' c' Fmaj7 Emns A 'W

r.
7 :r. r.
7 -,. -,--, :r.
� 7 :r.
7 r.
7 r.
7 r.
7 r=i=; L
-L=.
I
7
I r
I
7 Z
7
I

Om <.m7 Rl7 F.mU S A7W

zl: � r. r. -, 7
:r. � '7 '7 ..,.
r. :r. 7 :r.
7 r. 7 :r. '7
r.
7 r.
7 :r.
7

Om A n9

tZ2
r,7111 Em7i,.5

9: & / ��
��
"f" r 'L_
� � � z!
r. � r_ � r
2� � I I � �

'L_

38
En�7o.'5 A 7�9 nm 1/.

Gm7 C7 FnrnF Em7�5 A7 �

r:.
7 r:. ..,, r:.
7 r:. ..,, r:. ..,,
..,, r:. r:. ..,, r:.
r:. r:. 7 7
"L::. r:.
7 r:.
7 r:.
7 7
r:.

"7 "7

Drn G m1 B�i' Em7�:'I ,\ 71,(>

r:. ..,, 7 r:. ..,,


� r:.
� "7
"L::. r:.
7 r:. r:. �r:.
"7
r:_ z-:::rj7-,C7?7J
n,n RP ,\ 7 l)n, 1/.

-;)'b EZ -,
-/ i=j=i=;=�-$(-z-E?----fi �
-/ c±:@1
Al this point. I want 10 ger away from this mode of 1hinking. I.earning chord/scale relationships is an
important step toward your understanding jazz impro\•is.ation, you need to have this information in your hands
:rnd in your ears. However, having it all in your head, while necessary at first, can become paralyzing in the
moment when you need to act. While there are many other chord structLJrcs used in jazz, they are mostly
derived from the harmonic or melodic minor scales. You have lhis infonnation laid out earlier in this book. If
there is .i question about a particular chord type, wl1cre it comes from or ,i..·hm type of scale H takes. look for it
the.re. If you don't rind it in the book, then use some common sense, look at lhe chord in the context of the sur­
rounding tune and find some options for yourself.

Internal Melodies
We have not yet dealt wi1h melody as a 100I for improvisation. Be.fore we look specifically al melodies
and melodic dcvc\opmem, we: need to discover 1he hidden inrernal melodies buill into the chord changes. This
is a concept I have use.d for many years. I lowever, t would like to thank Hal Galper for his valuable insight on
this subject l-lis article ;;Melody and Embellishment" in Downbeat Maga:ine (April 1991) greatly helped me
clarify how I warued to present this informarion. The ability 10 look at a set of changes and automatically sec
the 'juice" notes is a much needed skill.
An imponam place to look for these melodies is the guide tones. GLJide tones arc the thirds and sevenths
of a chord structure, 1he third tells us if a chord is major or minor, and the seventh eC1tnbincs with the third to
dctcm1ine if the chord is dominnnt. major seventh, minor sevemh, e1ce1era. The guide. tones, along wilh the root
11101ion gives us a very complete piclurc of what is happening in a chord progression. If we cxa.-ninc the guide
tones of a chord progression, ,ve will discover resolutional panerns. Jn the common ii-V-r progression. a very
predictable resolution occurS when the Jlat seve.ntb of lhe iim? chord resolves down a half step to the third of
the V7. The Oat third of the iim7 is the same note as 1he flat seventh of the V7, so as a common tone, it can be
held across the chord clwnge. The flat seventh ofV7 re�olves down a half step to llw third of the lmaj7. and the
third of the V7 is held as a common tone with 1he major seventh of the lmaj7.

39
♦ -
Here is how this looks and sounds in the key of C.

�..,-p
Om7 a7 CmaT7
I

With these two resolution patterns oc.cwring, wt': have a choice of two internal melodies for this progres­
sion. Herc is the first one.

♦ 8"'- - -- - -- - - - - - -.
Dm' G7 Cmaj7

2;uf E 1°
Here is the second one.


t
Dm' G7 Cmiy"1

These guide tone resolutions sound good because they are built directly into the chord progression. Herc
is an eight measure progression using several key center.,. I will outline the resolutions that occur between the
guide tones. There will be times when half steps occur, other times whole steps. There may be times when no
resolution occurs, if the root motion makes large jumps, or moves to a new key. At those times, I will use the
closest choice. The progression will repeat twice so I can write a line through the changes utilizing both guide
tones. There are other possible combinations, look for them.

♦ kt r
Fm' BP Elmaj' Cm' Am' o' Gmaj7

?e I F IF 1f I
--1 �19 D



i kg
Gm7

r
C7 Fmaj7

IF
Dm7

f
Bm7

1f
E7


I
,�
Amaj1

Fm7 B •' E�•i' Cm7 Am7 D' Gmaj1

f b§
it
#n
v: f �
1 #� I
40
Gm1 C' Fmaj1 Dm7 S.m' E'

1=
Amaj7

9:-f
��

I� i� I
--
� �
-===11
Herc is anotheT progression for you to practice. Fi11d the melodies starring from each guide tone, look
for .several options.

♦ Am1 n7 Gmafl Cm�j1 flm1�5 R7 F.m 7 A7

ffee+----7: L z �� f!¥=J
� I 1-
r r;,7 ✓ c?7
Dm' G' Crnaf' Ff7 Frnaj7 Blmaj7 Bm7 E7

� � � -Y"
-,,,=---+ � �t

� -Y" ::::;:::+:::;
7'- t
� � -,,..
-Y" -Y" �
� � -Y"
-Y"
� r �

Internal melodies are not limited to guide tone lines. Other chord tones, scale tones, and chromatic pass­
i ng tones can be used as well. Here is an example of other choices we have over a T-vi-ii-V-iii�VI-ii-V progres-­
Slon.

♦ (;1

atz #f __g£--F
C.m1 p7 nm':- Cm' F'
I�
BLmai7 (;7

91 &I, e F----=¥
P-

� �

t
G' Cm1 F' Dm• G' Cm7 F1

�,,
7 t � �
e
i::

Bhnaj? G'

i25J· r 4 --AP- ±-AL. �t -k


Cnii F' Dm7 07 Cm7 f7

*
Blm,f o' Cm1 p1 n....1 r,7 rm7 p7

s
fl"'- - - - - - - - - -
9
9: �I, f [ II � � g
41
Take this progression and find os runny incernnl melodies as you can. Use the guide cones, roors, fifths,
scale tones, even chromatic p,issing !ones to create a melodic line that wcaves through the changes using half
and who1e notes.

Fmaf l-'j'' Gm7 Gr7 Fmaj7 Cm7 t-'7 B�maJJ .1::b?

_2_:
_ &=£
·
2:::±d:-:EILL :z::::zfttz=z Z, 1,
7 7
ICTL 7 ,, 7

F'm:e.i7 Om7 Gm7 r' A7 j)'1 r,7 r'


?=I, / / �
/ Z I/???!? Z / 7 j?? �

Fmaj7 Ff' Gm' Gf" Fmaj7 Cm' f7 Bfmaj' EP

r
�1= 1, rrrr
, , , ,, JZr1
, £:z-J@¾---?---r, 1rrr1
--·--·- , , , ,g � -----

Fmaj7 Dm7 Gm' C' Fmaj7 B •' J::J.m7 AP

:,: & / .cz¥J+ ,z / /te?-=-t93-¥+--6d


Dlmai' Btm? Al7 RP AP

1J?T:Zjjjji::i5di z::z-zj
E�m7 Fml Fkm7


� z------::L. 77

Dlmap D1,/c Blan' Bfm7/.�I, Gm"' C'

I I
Fmaj? Ff' Gm7 GI'' Fmaj7 Cm7 F7 B\.m•i7 El7
��7 41> rr r
1r1 Ir
7r7 z
Zr7 r
1 r
1 I [r
2I r 1r7 r,
1 1

,., nm1 Fmui7 r'

+E=Z:::±-¥-f? rrz
" " " II
flmaj7 G,n7 Dm7 Gm7

? �rrrr
= " " " I Ir2
" z rz
,_ ,, __ __

42
Once you can find the internal melodies of a progress.ion? the ne;itt step is to connect the notes with sup­
porting material 1ha1 tells more about the changes and exhibits a forward moving rhythmic concept. Herc is a
short example of an intemat melody.


md'"'
FEt-w---r-
Dm"I E7 D7 G• C'

F----4- ir
FmaJi' Gml Al
thro,.8hv,.,

.
j

� _

,., n' ,.,

14¥tr
1'7 B:rrn�j7 Gm7 A= ' Cim7

i ¥+-IF-df-lr --f---41
Now here is an example of how 10 "flesh out" this melody with connect.ing material. Notice how the
internal melody notes still show up on beats one and three of tho measure. Because we are using forward
motion. you will occ�ionnlly see the internal melody note anticipated on the eighth note before the chord
chan,:e.

♦ "'

j�JTI1u B 'E r f f If f r r#f r ' f7


fimaJ7 lJ1n7 Gm7
SW 1hrougJrmr1

r•r c r 1 �J r r r-·rac r�r c O


A1 01 G1 er f7 B',maj7

$CT 1
J
ij 1
r 1
J r f 1

r-tr tztj4H-tb·trj(trftrtH
G in1 C' Am7 D7 Gm1 C'

91 �[
Now it's your tum. Take: this progression and ,vrite in an internal melody. Better yet, make several
copies of the blank example and v,:rite a few, there arc many possible lines that run through the changes. Then
write in a ''tleshrd out" ven.ion of your melody line. Play your solos a!ong with the CD, and for e:xtra credit 1
transcribe the solo T played.

♦ F.m7�5 A?� t.mJ I''

?' kl' e � - �

43
Fm' BP EhnaJ7 A,7

Bhnai' Em7�5 A l� Dm7 Blm' EP

FmaP Em7�.S A l� AmUS O l�

G +7 Y. Cm7
Y.

A •' :/. Bbnuy1


:/.

E.m7♦5 Al� D mU 5 G l�

r:mns p7� Bhnai' Y.

Now that you have some experience workJng with melody, you can learn how to embellish and develop
the melodies of tunes. When jazz improvisation first came about in the Traditional Jazz era of the 1920s, the
main source of improvisational material was the melody. Musicians would improvise (often simultaneously)
around the melody of a tune and create new melodics and harmonics. Often these improvisations became new
tunes themselves, and jazz composition was born. The "fleshing out" process used with the internal melodics is
one way you will approach the melody of a tune. We will use the same changes from the previous example and
add a melody, then we will look at ways to embellish and improvise based on that melody. First, here is the
complete rune with melody.

44
Cellar by Flashlight

rr r r r 1�
Em7�.5 A719 Cm' f1
8"' throu,hout
9: �I, c e 1f �

9: �1,

&
w

1r � � r 1
0
·�

1
�·

r Ir· P r rr F
r r r �r Ir
Blmaj' Em7�.1 A7b9 Dm7 Blm'

?�1 1
,

? � • r r r r Ir r r Ir � r-Ii rI
FmaJ' Em7b.5 A7'.o9 Am71,.S D719

= 1

Ir 9C br �r IL C tr F I
G+ 1

9 �I,
:/. Cm' :/.
n
�&
1

3----,
:/.

'r v:nr �r r r r
AP B•m•P
:/.

?• � 1
, A 1&
1
1

IA t f E I
A 71,9

fF r r r I �
E m1bS Dm71,.S Q7�

91 �I, a

rr 1 9
Cm715 f719 B�•i' Y.

f)= �,,
_n
Ir nr &
1° 11
_
_
45
Notice the melody is not too active. This is typical of tunes that were originally vocal numbers. When
jazz players improvise on these melodies, the end result is more active, like the majority of bebop heads. Now
examine the embellished version of this melody. You will see most of the key melody notes arc in place, the
Hflller'' material is drawn from the scales and arpeggios that work with the chord change. The rhythmic place­
ment of these ideas uses forward motion. After you've examined this solo, learn to play it, and then create your
mvn embellished melodies.


rr.au uncrcreecfl1reerf1f of ar1
Emns A7�9 Cm7 F7

--25£..e i

;2= �1, .,�DEcf9R-1�r�o.E ��1� .,����1�,·r [1 at-�s1


Fm 1 B�7 E�maf A�7

3 3

Blmaf Em7bl A71.9 Dm7 Bl.m7 El,7

9: �" �[fl .J) t Iigut CfrIr t i riJTf [efS� I 3

dr
Dc.QfIr r f f f r I., r @CE I-
Fn,nj7 Em7♦.5 A7•51 Am7•.5 o7�

:241 • - .,
'f EI!rI
G+I Crn1

?# �1 • ., ddf f c F [ 1,�m trIY ft �


yVGUi

f>.·f' iT '}
A�'

�r f rJr- or trir
,_
�" •
Blm,j7

s It r ���1 'fs
j

., eor 1., re E tr 1
Em71l A719 Dm71> om

t� i
9: �I, F
A

., 0 f tiI i�c af1r


%
r
r- r jl I r r �J]JJ,J * n
cm7�5 f7 � B�maj7

_±hi, •: j

The bcs1 advice 1 can give you al this point is to lcam· as many melodies as possible. Understanding the
chord changes is 3 big p:.lrt of knowing a nme. 1 lowever. the melody unlocks infonnation you need to know if
you want to improvise musically. The melody is the real "fingerprint" of a tune, otherwise, it's just chord
chan,gc-s. Make it a Point 10 learn the melody and use it in your improvisation.

Bebop
With all this discussion about ja1..z improvisation. we must 1ake a look at the language of Bebop. The
Bebop era was approximately 1945 through 1956. Of course, ii has never really ended, and traces of it were
showing up injaa before 1945. the elates are rnerely cited as a reference point. Bebop grew out of1he swing era
when musicians like Charlie Porker, Dizzy Gillespie. Thelonious Monk. Bud Powell. und many others slarted 10
advance their improvisational skills beyond 1hc melodic a111d harmonic vocabulary tha1 was in use at the time.
The concept of fleshing out melody really went into ovcr. drive, and the use of re.harmonized chord c.hanges
added even more material for improvisation. A popular so11g would be ailcrcd in such 3 way that players unfa­
miliar with the innovations couldn't even play them. At the time, this music caused a revolution within jazz,
polariling the musical world into two camps. the hipste-rs and the squares. Now, 1he language of Bebop has
become so ingrained in jazz, that it is hard to imagine a time when it didn't exist. The best way to understand
lhis language is 10 leam the classic melodies 1ha1 defined Bebop. An excellent source for this purpose is 50
£sse111i<J/ Bebop He"ds for Bas., available from Hal Leonard Co�ioration. The melodies ofbop are full of infor­
mation. Learn to play them to get' the patterns under your fingers, and analyz:c them to understand how they
came about, and why they work.
For learning purposes. I will write out a solo using as many Bebop "truisms" as possible. As a solo, i1
may be too active. but n.s an ctudc it will con1ain many clements for you 10 analyze. Pay careful at1cn1ion to how
chromatic passing tones and apnroach notes arc used 10 fill out the melodic ideas.

♦ Fmaj7 01 Gm7 C1 Am7 1)7 Gm7 c7

� -vfI UBfflflCrtrDJffJU�JJ-1ffl?![[Ptfrr1

fFff�ff9C1 frrrr *'PI qrtfj�f ff1r fr r�JGO


Cm7 F7 B�7 B�m7 Am7 D7 Gm7 c'

1 b
� '(
;;i.

s�--------
Fmaj1 D
--------------------------------------
Gm C Am 07 Gm C

¥1iP7nIJPI tm�ffil&I'rrr•r11rrrl.i?rF[!r@J
7 7 7 7 7

47
7 7 7 "I

Err fJi1i
81-42- �IT}.7 - - - - - - F - - - - B:> - - - Bl,.m - - - Gm - - - - C1 - - - F111aj1

2=ittt.cf t§J Ir LJ � P1r j

Am7 01 A�m1 DP Gm7 c7 Gbm7 CP


800-------------------------------------------,

�ffl)crclf1,EI "[ffl IJJ JJd I I

.2··µp'"qt
" •[fufIi�ill£� [I.zflqlFrrdcrMrrJtty
Fmaj7 D7 Gm7 C7 Am7 07 Gm7 Ci


It is not possible to fully understand the scope of Bebop simply by leaming and analyzing one solo. It
takes years of listening and playing to really get it. By now. your ears have grown accustomed to the sound of
Jazz. Check inro great bop soloists like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Brown, Dexter Gordon,
Cannonball Adderley, Paul Chambet·s, Charlie Mingus., \1/es f\,1oncgomerey, Kenny Burrell, and many other�.
You can buy rranscriptions and analyze them, but better yet, transcribe some solos on your own. This is the best
way to get inside . the music. The actual rrnnscriptiou process is the best thing for your ears. When you analayze
something you've taken off a record and learned how to play i� you not only get a fulle.r unde�tanding of the
music. you �e.t a real feeling of satisfaction. JUST DO TT!

1 warned you earlier in the book ro be prepared to sing, now's your chance. One very good way to learn
to connecl wi1h your improvisation is to sing along. By now� you have worked through alot of material, you
have learned many strategics for implementing this material, and even have picked up ,some "jazz licks."
Hopefully the end result of all this is you are starting to actually hear jazz. Singing along with your soloing will
connect what your hands do to what your cars hear, it completes the cycle. The eventual result is the ability to
do this internally so you don't have to annoy those around you with your "interpretive caterwauling."
Some players have taken this concept to very high levels of artistry. If you have heard George Benson
scat along with his playing, you knm\' this can be very interesting and musical. lf you stait singing like Keith
Jarrett, maybe it'< a good idea to do it internally (with all due respect to Mr. Jarrett). Doing it is easy, just play
and sing. Singing along will have a positjve effect on your phrasing.
48
String players and lc:eyboanl playe,s often don't consider breathing a part of their improvisation. Hom
players must consider it, or else they run the rislc of )Qsing their air in the middle of a phrase. This necessity is
in part responsible for why good born players have good phrasing. If you sing along with your playing, you'll
have to stop sometimes to catch your breath. This will force you lo consider more musical phrasi ng,
Another benefit is you will fmd yourself playing different ideas. After you've been improvising for a
while, you may find yourself getting into tittle ruts. When you see a G7 augmented chord, you always go for
the same thing. This C<lll be dangerous. lt is not bad to have a certain amount of things under your hands, this is
your "storehouse" of licks. "!'hey can come in handy at times, but be aware that running your "stuff" up and
down is not improvising in the truest sense. On those occaisions when I am not connecting naturally to the
source of divine inspiration (it happens), I start singing along, internally, or externally if 1 feel so inclined (qui­
etly). This instantly snaps me back to the moment, and I no longer just pull licks out of my "trick bag." Do Ibis,
you'll find it really changes things for you.

49
Practice Tories
Now we have lhree luncs for you to practice soloing over. Be sure you leam ro play the melodies first,
then you can nm all lhe various processes you've learned for working with the chord changes. internal
melodies. scales, and aipeggios.

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In Closing
This book has ex.plained a lot or things about soloing� yet il is nol complete. The art of improvisation is
100 vast 10 be contaioecl in any one book. Jlopefu1ly, 1his method will give you enough ideas and strategies 10
get you well on your way. It will probably raise as many questions as it will answer.
The nature of improvisation is part science, part magic, with a little bit poker thrown in. fl will take you
quite some time to get to the point where your solos are well formed nnd musical, be parieJH. As time passes,
these clements will naturally be there. As you marurc musically, your solos will rcflccl a deepE:r understanding
of whal you know about rhe songs, you will nalurally c.hoosc the best notes at the right time, and your tone and
phrasing will ripen.
As you play the same tunes over many years. they become as much a part of you as a close friend or
family member. When you play over an old fomilar nme, it will be like telling a story about someone you love.
New tunes will have the thrills and challenges of a new romance, wirh all lhe opporh.mities for self discovery. In
time, improvising will become as na1Un1I as breathing, you�ll no iongcr be concerned ,vilh the mcchanlcs, th-:::
scales, the chords, etc. you will simply hear, and play. Best or luck 10 you ou yourjourney!

52
II Bass Recorded Versions are straight off-the-record transcriptions done upressly for hass guitar.
This series lootures the best in bass licks from the classics to contemporary superstars. Also

I
available are Re<orded Versions for Guitar, Easy Rewded Versions and Orum Recorded Versions.

ii,.,
Every book includes notes and tab.

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