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'2Z I rovisation eyoard, Players pete Edition ‘ONCEPTS AZZ WeROVIEATION FOR KEYSOARD PLAYERE YoLUME OnE: Basic concerts a Cee Same Inert Oued ena Lemons trary mn Sess Tone ao ome Gent Tome See ae, = Curren. swe rie Leptin, — S ourrenn, = OUFTERW. Crono MocnEssions Fon ener Lament amon i te ‘Az MeROVISATION Fon KEYSOARD PLAvERE VOLUME Two: ieTERuEoXATE Concerrs ‘AEE IMPROVISATION FOR EEYBOARO PLAYERS ‘VOLUME THREE: AovanesD concerns ne TEAL oevetonne weootes...... .. CUTTER, FACTORS aFPtcrnG Seale coi tee Lemon 1: inte of Oud ton te, Lomon2: Tre Etec of nd pomnen a na, Lamon 3: Incentone of ewiay - j tm pron: Mh Ecole Ton any — OUFTER I. — ArpADACES TO Hanueome ving Ove Harr CMPTER MELO cation oF Ta Yon wasting LmonB: Sale eons tom non - Lene 10: Cert asein# Ts Fon ey ourreny, SUrERimPos:Tion oF ScAuE Fons non 1, St wh Some “Woy ee {mon 12: Penne Se mon 13: Spe Sa ‘azz IMprovisaiion-.- skeyboard Players - JAZZ IMPROVISATION FOR KEYBOARD PLAYERS VOLUME ONE: BASIC CONCEPTS CHAPTER I. CREATING MELODIES .............., Lesson 1: improvising with Chord Tones. 5 Lesson 2: Improvising with Scale Tones ... . Leson 3: Improvising with Chord Tones and Scale Tones... 1-11 ~~~ CHAPTER II. USING THE LEFTHAND. «0.020.022.0004 sees 1213 Lesson 4: Voicing Chords . 5 sees 1218 Lesson S: Styles of Left-Hand Accompaniment 1-18 7 Lesson 6: Rhythmic Treatment of the Left Hand .. + 1-22 CHAPTER III. PLANISTIC APPROACHES TO SOLOING. . ve 12g - Lesson 7: © The Single Note Linear Solo fees 1-24 Lesson 8: Octave or Double Octave Unisons . 25 - Lesson ‘The Chord-Style Salo. . 5 +e 1-25 CHAPTER IV. CHORD PROGRESSIONS FOR STUDY... 1-27 j = Lesson 10: The Il-V-1 Progression ., 27 | Lesson 11: Blues Progressions . ~30 {= = Lesson 12: Cycling Progressiors of Fifths .. 1-34 \ Lesson 13: Chromatic Progressions . . INTRODUCTION Improvisation, almost 3 lost art TA fome styles of music, 1s the reset form of es Fapression of the human spirit. An improviscr. who is actually a composer Cor reate his awn melodies, harmonies and rhythms, and can instantly change the meca oF ne music he plays to anything he desires. Moreover, he can choose te improvise in any style, such as classical, folk, rock or jazz, Listening is really the best way to gain an understanding of various styles of music. - Therefore, the books in this series concentrate primarily on the mate tots and devices s available to the keyboard player who wants to improve his skill saws improvisor. The volumes begin with basic concepts and proceed through intermedises ars advanced levels, All the examples and exercises in these books : Standing each example is important, but the hearin Therefore, everything in the bocks should be pl possible, are intended to be played. Under g of it is of equal importance, layed carefully and as musically as DEDICATION To my wife, Kay, for her hard work in helping to prepare these manuscripts and her loving encouragement throughout. Scoveght €)1978 by STUDIO 224, 2245. Lebanon St, Lbanon, IN 46052 { Ai Rapes Renn” Iteratona Corti Sour hee ae Ste tre: STUBIOP RINE . CREATING MELODIES. i 1 pe to sna © improvise your own melodies, you should look at melodies of | motte cea at gos into them, Generally speaking all maces a et ‘on skipping cainacoguth chords or step-wise motion through scales, Usgt melody is composed Huitga combination of the two methods. Since an improvise really a composer, he must Pelee to eestainted with chords and scales 30 that these rea 2 2 immediately - available to him, = , 7 Play the following melodies'nd Aotice that they are based SaitiFely GArckip through the chords which accompany them, “Example 1 Ballad i C Maj 7 FMaj 7 When you play the next two melodies, yo 1 will see that they use only step-wise motion through scales, - ainple 3 Swing C Maj7 F Maj? G7 C Maj7 es Bossa Nova , Thou... a melody may be mainly skips or mainly steps, it will i Of the two inost of the time, Play the next two melodies ar Probably be a combination ‘motion are combined, ind see how skipping Sxample 5 Swing C Maj7 Fvample 6 |, Rock = Dmiz G7 HE a gine previous examples have used very simple chord and scale materials and are intended to show the principles of melodie motion, The sane Principles may be used with more com : plex altered chords and with many different & types of scales. These will be. discussed in the | Intermediate and advanced books of this seriey Lesson 1 improvising With Chord Tones “~~ — eda raring With Chord Tones The following examples show several different kinds of skipping motion using only the ] tones of a seventh chord. Play these examples i HRM ‘The three chords shown in the precedin | Dyess: minor, dominant and major. ‘They are commonly weed together in the progression on which you will improvise shortly. 19 three examples represent the three main chord Exercise 1 : a | Dmi7 ] "vercise 2 a7 leet Hu Itis very good | Developing Ju2rstet into specific notes and rhythms the idess you ! 4 hear inside your head. Practice singing hows wa Scales of all types and learn to recognize any interval up or dewn from a given pitch, Now try the first three exercises again and Use a metronome to help you develop a - Play the exercises several tim es using the following variation: 1) faster and slower tempos - 3} different note values (1/8's, triplets, 1/16's) } various styles (classical, folk, jazz, etc.) &) Gitferent meters (3/4, 8/4, 6/8, eve) 5) dynamics and shading 8) differen articulation legato, staccato, ete) In playing the next exercise, you will find that now your melodies -ave to connect from one chord to another. An important hint to remember is this: T':2 seventh of a chord usually wants to move downward step-wise. If the seventh of the chord is the last ote you play before changing to the next chord, it would be a good idea to follow this tule, Example 10 shows the principle being appli > Example 10 ] Dmi? Now play exercise 4, still using the metronome and still using only the notes in each - chord. Again, use the variations that you used with the first three exercises. At a faster ‘tempo, make each chord last twice as long; at a slower tempo, only half as long. Exercise 4 j Dai? G7 | C Maj7 Lesson 2 | Improvising With Scale Tones. When you build a seventh chord, you take the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th notes of some rale form to construct it. For example, to build major seventh chord, you take the 1st Srd, Sth and 7th notes of a major scale, Sines ea ‘chord comes = naturally that chord ~“* "more than one scale that sounds good with the basic chord forms and scales that sound good saith them: ; Chord Type Appropriate Scale Form ai Major Seventh Major Scale e Lydian (Major with raised 4th) g | Minor Seventh Pure Minor Scale - Dorian (Pure Minor with raised 6th) Dominant Seventh Mixolydian (Major with lowered 7th) Lydian, $7 (Major, #4 and 67) sone. Rext examples show several types of step-wise motion through scales which are appropriate for each chord, Play these examples, lin example 11 Dimi? | <| ] ‘ample 12 i a7 3 ample 13 C Maj7 4 —= Asin Lesson 1, the minor, dominant and major chords are again used here, 10 Use scales with these thy : er for i es Yes Of chords will make it easier for you to mi different chord progressions. Very ofte Learning YY many 3 n "entire progressions use only these chords - transposed into several keys, Now play exercises 5, 6 and 7 using only step-wise motion through the scales shown. Try to avoid any skipping motion but do emphasize the chord tones which are found in the scale, Usually itis a good idea to have chord tones oceur on the beat or in a strongly. accented position. ‘Also notice, in exercises 6 and 7, that the 4th scale step of those two _ ‘scales is very dissonant and should not be emphasized. Exercise 5 Dmi7 (0 dorian scale) fiesta at ercise 6 GG mixolydien scale) a 1 at at ‘xercise 7 © Maj 7 ( C Major scale ) neal} at As before, play with the metronome and try several variations such as you used in Lesson 1. Be sure to discipline yourself to use only step-wise motion and be sure to use the correct fingering for the scales. Try moving up or down the scale farther than just - the one octave that is notated. em 1 TULL a WW Now, proceed to exercisa 8, still us.ng the metronome and still using only step-wise motion. Asin Lesson 1, your scale melodies now have to connect as the chords change. Remember that the 7th tone of the scals (which is also the 7th of the chord) wants to move downward step-wise when the chord changes, — ==... - ——~ = Again, with exercise 8, use the six variations of the first lesson. As before, at a faster tempo, make each chord last twice as long; at a slower tempo, rd last half . as jong. a = You have probably noticed that all three scales used in this lesson are really aC major scale which starts on different notes. This is because the progression is in the key of C and - these scales help make that key feeling even stronger. Also, the dorian is one of the best choices to use with 3 minor chord and the mixolydian scale is the first basic choice for a dominant 7th chord, ST ERT TIE : Sinai ant ie utataceadlaisiaanlk Sul 9 ~ : Lesson 3 a 7 improvising With Chord Tones Ard Scale Tones ay : - As shown in examples 5 and 6, most melodies use both skipping and step-wise motion. In this lesson, you will combine the two to create your own melodic im | provisations, At this point, two general types of improvisation should be mentioned, They ~ ~~~ are what | call the Flowing Melodic and the Motive Development’ approaches to” improvising, The second approach will be discussed in Volume Two of this series, In the present lesson, you will be concemed with a Flowing Melodic approach. } Exar “e 14, which is based on the same chords used in exercises 4 and 8, shows @ Flowing Melodic type of solo. As you play this example, sing along with your right - hand | Example 14 _— 2 DmiT GT cM fl 1 a ‘ rou = Be ‘As you can see, there is no repetition or development of ideas but rather one continuous flowing melodic line. A continuous stream of running notes is not 1 essential to this approach but short, rhythmic ideas lend themselves more easily to - the Motive Development approach, | Notice also that the melodic line in example 14 is very singable and could almost = be the melody to a song. tis not necessary to create a tune-lixe melody in all of your improvisations; many pianistic styles are not at all vocal in the sense of being singable. But a lyrical, melodic kind of thinking will make your playing very musical. To check yourself, see if you can “pre-hear” or vocally sing your ideas before you play them! Now you are ready to play exercise 9, using both chord tone skips and step-wise i motion through scales. Having removed the disciplines of Lessons 1 and 2, you should | be able to play flowing, singable melodies, * Exercise 9 ~ D mi7 @ dorian) G7 (G Mixolydiaa) C Maj7(C Major) ; ne (3 — i 1 HA ——— saginn’ variations of the earlier lessons are again list imagination. “As before, apply these a exercise 9 and 1 Krableh ePeet the progression a number oF soo. togi 1 establish the style or “feel"™ E several times, 3. 3) faster and slower temps 2) different note values 3) various styies 4) different meters | } dynamics and shading | 8) differen: ifferent articulation Major. The left hand will ion of the chord. al Gmi7 (6 dorian) Or (C mixolydian) F Maj 7/6 Major) A at —— ss aS q - e (Sees 3 Sate -1 Il. USING THE LEFT. HAND. ‘The left hand supplies an important part of the total sound in improvi keyboards and it contributes heavily to the interest of the total expression, Some of the ways in which it contributes are harmonic information, rhythmic energy, stylistic _accompaniment;, and sometimes actually part of the melodic improvisation. In the days of ragtime, boogie woogie, and old stride styles of piano, the left hand was very active because it supplied the aspects of a missing rhythm section; that is, it made up for the void left when there was no bass player or drummer present, In the | bebop era, the piano usually never appeared in a solo capacity and so the pianist would i simply supply a very simple shell to give the barest outline of the harmony which was then completed by his right hand. The bass player and drummer were providing time and harmoni¢ foundation, In more recent years, the left hand has become used in a more sophisticated manner and we again find it providing more of the functions of 7 ‘both bass and drums in the sense of creating harmony and time, In this section the basic and conventional uses of the left hand will be explored ‘to .2e how the pianist needs to be prepared to create his total improvisation. Lesson 4 Example 1 shows a short improvisation in which the left hand is using voicings of each chord rather than root position black chords. ~kample 1 | Dmit (ii) G7tv) C Maj7/s) In the preceding example, notice that the voicing used on the II chord is built on 7 the 3rd of the chord. The voicing on the V chord is built on the 7th and the voicing built on the | chord is again built on the 3rd. This is typical of a majority of the left hand voicings used by pianists. Voicings built on the 3rd and 7th, which include one or both of those chord tones, tend to achieve the strongest feeling of the harmony with - the fewest number of notes. ‘Also, they tend 70 work well together, as in the progression above, to provide a smooth easy connection from one voicing to another. Other voicings may be used, of course, but the voicings we will begin using exclusively are the following four voicings, shown in example 2. Example 2 Dmi7 G7 C Maj7 Ea A DTS TE LEIA TS BET OR ERT Notice that, cf these four voicings, two are built on the 3rd and two are built Soaking, Mere “re some guidelines ree Use of these voi OF cand: 207 Of the four voicings may ge ¥ Of chords: major, 1: nor, and ominant, The student will be ] Bhatentire progressions nen ke played isfactoril them. Try a 1 total sound, Play exercise + ‘sever: vary the treatment of the Ie! Bath ob Se Both staccato and sustained’ chords and vary the rhythne both on the beat and ina syncopated position, Example 3 shows the typical minor blues which simply transposes or adjusts th 1-31 form of the swing style blues to the minor tonality. led C mit Fai? C mit F $5 bs bg ; $9 Cmi7 Ami7 Dmi7 GT Cmit7 Gtr Example 4 shows the blues scale which could be used to improvise over any of the three forms of blues shown previously. i 4 ' C Blues Scale = = = “or = = == > = = = > - aut : SSS ae ee ais When using the blues scale, only the one blues scale of the key (built on the root of the tonic chord) is used exclusively throughout the entire progression. It will be found that this scale closely fits all the chords in the blues progression with only one or two dissonant notes. This accounts for its popularity in use over the blues progression, Also the basic sound of the scale is actually bluesy and cont ibutes - fa the feeling of a blues progression, This scale may be used over either msjor or minor blues and in practicing blues progressions, try using it accordingly. In the exercises that follow, the scales shown are either mixolydian or dorian scales ~ that accompany the chords of the progression, The exception is the harmonic miner Scale used over the last portion of the minor blues. This is the same principle that we saw in playing over a II-V-I progression in a minor key since that is really what the fast art of a minor blues is. Now play exercise 1, which is the simple three chord, I-1V-V 7 Progression. Use either the blues scale of the key or the separate mixolydian scales indicated. Exercise 2 is the I1-V-I form of swing style blues. Again, use either the blues scale of the key or the scales indicated, which are mixolydian scales for each dominant 7th Chord and the major scale of the key for the II-V progression. Notice that the Vi chord ei Uses the harmenic minor built on the 1! chord. J i - e7@) FIqv) ema) ; | 4 } t AT (Wi) (D harmonic mi: G7v) Dmi7@) G7) c7a) “thas In exercise 3, you will play on the minor blues progression. As before, you may id either use the blues scai? of the key or the dorian scales indicated for the minor chords e and the harmonic miner indicated for the II-V progression reise 3 : Cmi7 Fmi7 Wu UL | bo t THT ‘ Lesson12 35 ns Cycling Progressions of Fi..ns_ 1 study some typical progressions that cycle o1 Progsee around = ne evtie of fifths, Progressions of fifths are extremely corre in jazz harmony and even - jn rock and pop music because they are very Strong: progressions. ‘Therefore, if the pianist ao are mntortably deal with progressions which move ‘around the cycle of fifths, he s ble to comerely prepared to comfortably play many pieces of music In this lesson you wil continuous unbroken cycle of dominant 7ths progressing dos sey go see that in practicing this exercise, the improvisog will be stn any portion of it that may occur in chord progressions, All the Exercise 1 is a a fifths. It should | WL LU _repared to deal wi : 2rep2red "Pare mixolydian scales and the voteings used a= ‘simple inversions built either ar: Seales used or the 7th of the chord. As before, exercise | may ‘be played at different Se on wigs and in different styles. ‘The variations possible r= infinite and only limited by a = _the improvisor’s imagination. ‘ = wa | BT = | | 3 = i | W. ebb e——I. ULL. itll Exercise 2 is a continuous cycling progression of fifths with alte rating minor and 1-35 97 dominant chords. Notice that this exercise is in two parts so that th alternating minor and dominant chords occur in all keys. As before, the left hand w xgs are simple shells built on the 3rd or the 7th and the scale for improvisation is the sam. for each minor 7th ~ and the dominant 7th that follows it. Thi typical of the I1-V-I progression stu previously. In this case, only the Il and V chords are occurring. 2a C Gmi7 c7 us Fmi7 BT ats LULL LLU L Ld Bmi7 oo ET AmiT DT | Ha CmT ys FT Brmi7 ys te uu AP mi7 D7 Fbmi7 BT uu ati E mi? S AT Dmi7 G7 - ce k EI BASEL OLE SE _ Exercise 3 is still another slight variation of a cycling progression using a porwon vs a lI-VA in this case, the alternate qualities of chords are Jominant to major creating & a ikcesion of V-I progressions. As before, this progressions divided into two sections hat the dominant and major chords will occur in all keys. Notice that the scale used ‘erimprovisation is the same for both the dominant 7th and the major chord that follows, 3 BP Maj7 at CMaj? as FT Et E Maj7 Al D Maj? LU WLLL" ULL HL Re Hiden tut tis Cebit ts I : E reise 4 is a continuous cycle of minor 7th chords. This kind of progression is 1-37 less lik _/ to occur than the previous progressions, but is excellent for practice in that jse 4 _itallow.. the pianist to practice voicings and chord forms for minor 7ths in all keys. cy A BPmi7 bo be Gmi7 Cmi7 shut Fmi7._ Bmi7 Emi? Ami7 Dmi7 Exercise 5 is similar to Exercise 4 in that the cycling progression moves through all major keys with an unbroken cycle of major 7th chords. Again, this is not typical i rse5 of most chord progressions, but will prove to be excellent for practice. | G Maj7 CMaj7 F Maj7 BPMaj7 | 3 obo | } 4 heen 13, = _ Chromatic Progressions ~~ =, 2 ‘The exercises in this lesson are simply a series of progressions which move through _ _ all keys, but by chromatic step-wise motion rather than moving around the circle of fifths. ‘The first three exercises involve a single chord type moving chromatically downward, as this would be the most common type of chromatic progression. The succeeding exercises = combine dominant and major or minor and dominant in typical types of chromatic = — progressions. Exercise 1 involves a’chromatic progression of dominant 7ths. Each scale presented is a mixolydian scale and the voicings are built on the 3rd of the chord. a1 chr Abmiz Exercise 3is a chromatic progression of major 7ths. The scaies used are major scales. eerie 3 G Maj7 G?Maj7 E Maj7 aS a Exercise 4 is an alternating progression of minor and dominant 7th This progression n {sa substitute for the I!-V progression, The dominant 7th is a half step "low the minor - 7th, rather than a Sth below. rise 4a Gmi7 or Fmi7 ET uw ' a 7 5 Bmi7 BT rae Ami7 aT i bb. G7 Fmi7 FT 2 = A 5 a ie ae i lee 7 ps & is i! i = = Emi? Br Dmi7 Dr i E_ reise 5 is an alternating progression of dominant and major 7ths, This progression Isr is a su: titute for the V-1 progression, The major 7th is preceded-by e dominant 7th a S half-stey above rather than a 5th above, reise 5a - G7 G?Maj7 FT ~ EMaj? cr ae BMaj7 Br A Maj7 the student is encduraged to practice these exercises with a variety of treatments, using both different tempos and different styles. Also, as before, any of these progressions may be stretched in length, doubling or quadrupling the length of each chord. In actual practice, the arogressions may be extended or squeezed to any size. AS they are presented here, they are regular and of an average chord duration. It will be found that different portions of Section IV would be a vali.uble part of the daily practice routine. Possibly, a different exercise might be included in the practice session each day with a regular repetition of this cycle wher all the exercises have beer: completed. Serious practice in this section will lead to ease and fluency in all keys and, most important, the ability to improvise ‘on many chord progressions at sight. After gaining a good understanding of the concepts presented in this book, the student is encouraged to examine Volume Two in the series. Subjects covered in that book include the development of melodies, further use of the left hand, basic scale choices for improvisation, thythmic conception, and different treatments of the tl-V-1 progression,