A Shifting Design Improv

(4 posts)
  1. jazzny

    Anyone have tips on how to look at this tune from an improvisation standpoint? I've started doing some transcription, but I'm still lacking a cohesive vision of how to approach this tune. Certainly not like analyzing a standard ;)

    Loving the version on Star of Jupiter!

  2. smoke

    Do you have the changes and if so, could you list them? I have never transcribed it or seen the chart but I do have some ideas on working on changes that move quickly and are not directly related.

    This is just what I do so feel free to discard. I had a tune that had the following sequence over two bars:

    F7alt / DbMaj7#11 / EbMaj7 / D7alt

    followed by this over two bars:

    F7alt/ AbMaj7/ Ebmin7 / Emaj7#11

    All of this happens around 130-140 BPM so it is fairly fast changes. So here is what I do when faced with a mess of harmony, at least to get the sound in my ears. In no order...

    1. Root position triads, followed by each inversion.
    2. Arpeggios starting at root, then other notes in the arpeggio.
    3. Digital patterns - 1-2-3-5 type things like Trane in Giant Steps
    4. David Berkman's 'Continuous Scale' exercise - basically pick a scale for each chord and change scales as the chords change using the next closest note. From his book on Creative Practicing.
    5. Embellishing the melody in some way - melodically or rhythmically.

    All of this is great and will help you see the board and get the sound in your ears. However, I have had much better luck at 'generalizing'. By using my ear, I found that all of those chords above can be handled by using two pentatonic scales.

    So, even with all of that harmony swirling around, I see it as this:

    F7alt / DbMaj7 / Ebmaj7 / D7alt / F7alt / Abmaj7 = F minor pentatonic
    Ebmin / Emaj7 = Eb minor pentatonic

    I can now play melodically over all of those chords by just using two scales. If I want to dip into making my improv more specific to the harmony, I can. But the 'generalizing' approach gives me a little breathing room so my boo hole doesn't get so tight I can't play anything.

    If you post the changes, we might be able to look at some way to generalize the changes to make it less scary looking. Hope this is helpful. This 'generalizing' approach is really opening my ears to some new things.

  3. jazzny

    Great advice, thx. I apologize for the formatting of these changes, but at least you get a good picture of the tune:

    Emaj7 Eb7(+9) | Gmaj7 EbMaj7 | Fm11 | Ebm7 |

    Dbm7 Phryg. Eb7(-9+9) | Em9 F#7(-9+9) | Gm(b6) Fm11 | Ebm7sus |

    Bbmaj7 C#/Dmaj7(#11) | G7sus | Bbmaj7 C#/Dmaj7(#11) | G7sus |

    Emaj7 F#maj7(#11) | Emaj7(#11) | F#m7 | F#m7 |

    F#m7 | F#m7 | Bbm7 | Bbm7 |

    Bbm7 | Bbm7 | F#maj7(#11) Emaj7(#11)| Dmaj7(#11) |

    Dmaj7 Db7(-9+9) | Gmaj7 F#7(-9+9) | Bbmaj7 C#/Dmaj7(#11) | G7sus |

    Bbmaj7 C#/D | G7sus | Bbmaj7 C#/D | G7sus |

    Bbmaj7 C#/D | G7sus |

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  4. jazzny



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