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Jazz Sax Lessons: Improvising 103: Play All the Roots

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>> So here we are with improvising 103.
So you know that in watching
improvising 101 we talked
about creating a motif
over just one chord.
In improvising 102, we talked about
connecting one chord to another chord.
So now, we're gonna look at connecting
an entire chord progression over one tune,
so as you see in your PDF there, we're
gonna use the tune All the Things You Are.
I'm playing my altos,
I've got my alto chart.
If you're playing tenor or
soprano you've got your B flat
chart right there in front of you.
So in order to move forward, you've got
to know your arpeggios and your scales.
So, I wanted you to be looking
at this chart just as if
you were reading it on a gig,
a jam session with a band, whatever.
And so all the, I mean,
I could have been really nice and
written out all the different
degrees of the scales and
the arpeggios, but
you know I'm not that nice of a guy.
[LAUGH] No, I am a nice guy but
the idea is that you have to know those
scales and those arpeggios by heart.
So you know.
Think of it I'm giving you a key to
the box, but you have to open the box and
learn what's inside yourself.
You gotta do the work and no shortcuts.
But I am showing you how to get there.
So make sure when you're looking
at this chart, that there are no
chords that you are not familiar with,
that you're familiar with every chord.
You know the scale of the chord,
and really importantly you know
the arpeggio to each chord.
So, as I'm looking through this song.
For instance,
when you see the very first chord.
I'm looking on my alto chart
on that D minor chord.
MI, is our abbreviation for minor.
Sometimes you'll see a minus sign.
I actually sometimes, I almost
prefer the minus sign because it's
a little bit different, sorry it's
completely different, than anything else.
And so, sometimes you might like, you
know, one of my pet peeves is that if you
see a triangle, meaning major.
The triangle, if it's not written
correctly or somebody's writing it
by hand, it can look like a circle, and
the circle means a diminished chord.
So there's a big difference between
a diminished chord [LAUGH] and
a major chord.
So, as I'm looking through here the only
things that are not major or minor or
dominant are first of all in bar 24.
You see on my E flat chart
the A augmented chord,
the plus sign is the indicator for
Augmented actually is
a version of a dominate chord
in that the 7th is flat just
like in a dominate chord.
So that's my A augmented chord there on,
it's gonna be a D augmented
on your B flat chart.
Here in bar 30 you got a minor major 7.
So that's the perfect place to
use our melodic minor scale.
It's a scale with a flat third and
a major seven.
And then, low and behold,
we have a diminished chord in bar 32.
So we're gonna be using that arpeggio.
And then we have, in the second to last
chord of the very last bar is that
minor 7 flat 5.
And so the arpeggio is the root, the flat
3rd and the flat 5th and the flat 7th,
as opposed to a diminished chord that
which would have a doubly flat 7.
So in my school here I have scales and
arpeggios for all these courses.
No stone unturned so
you'll find them right here.
If you, you know I mean you'll see them
clearly in the curriculum list, but
if you have any questions you know
shoot me a question in the forum.
And I'll lead you right
to where you need to go.
Great, so step one.
You know your scales, you know your
arpeggios, so in playing this tune
you wanna create, whenever we're
making music we're thinking linearly.
And so we're creating lines linearly,
So it is a good thing to know
that when we're playing,
when we're improvising we do talk about
scales and we do talk about arpeggios but
it's important to know that a scale
is a vertical entity, so to speak.
Or an arpeggio, you see it,
arpeggiated straight up and down.
But music isn't about playing chord,
chord, chord, chord.
We're creating a melody
that flows linearly.
It flows from beginning
to not the beginning.
And so we want to be thinking about
connecting the chords in that way.
So, in the spirit of that, here are my
series of exercises to get familiar
with all the chords, and at the same
time connect them in a linear fashion.
The first exercise is to go through
the entire chord progression and
play all the roots.
What we're gonna do if you skip forward
is that we're gonna play all the roots,
never gonna play all the thirds and
never gonna play all of the fifths and
then we're gonna play all of the sevenths.
Then we're gonna play through the whole
thing and just to give you a heads up,
we're gonna play the whole thing, and
the game is gonna be that you have to play
a chord tone, but it can be as linear,
it needs to be as linear as possible.
So what we used to call at
Berkley a guide tone line.
So making sure that, and there's
a lot of different guide tone lines,
but the game actually
is to sort of see how
close to the next, the previous note
you can be with your following note.
In other words,
well we'll get to that point.
Anyway, we're going to be
creating guide tone lines and
then finally we're going to be
varying the rhythm and walla.
We are improvising.
Very good.
So I'm gonna play now.
And feel free to follow
along with running through with the track
that you have right there in your lesson.
We're gonna play all the roots
from top to bottom of the chart.
Here we go.