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Cello Lessons: Arpeggiating Chords

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Jazz is a fundamentally harmonic language.
And for
us to get inside the harmony of any tune,
we're gonna be arpeggiating
a lot of chords, okay?
If any of the chords that we
start arpeggiating for this tune,
Autumn Leaves start to trouble you,
go back to our Finding Chords series and
you can learn the notes in the arpeggios,
But, after you've done that and
you feel comfortable with arpeggios
in all of the chord scales, as well,
you're gonna wanna look at that
series of videos first as well.
I'm gonna show you how we're gonna
arpeggiate through Autumn Leaves.
So basically, we're gonna start
by arpeggiating up from the root.
The first chord is A minor 7.
We're just gonna go up
one octave and then down.
The next chord is D7.
It's a sharp third and a flat seven.
Followed by G major 7.
Then C major 7.
What you may notice, is that the roots
of these chords are going
down the circle of fifths.
A, down to D, down to G, down to C.
This is a really good chunk to be able
to remember, that starting from A,
we're gonna go down the circle of fifths.
Within the key of G major here.
After this, the next phrase is an F sharp,
half diminished 7,
going to a B7, flat 13, flat 9,
and then cadencing in an E minor.
This, is our minor two, five, one.
That we practice in our video before.
So this set of arpeggios you
should've already played when you
are practicing through all 12 keys.
It will sound like this
That's the F sharp half diminished.
It's got a minor third.
A minor flat five, and then a minor seven.
The B seven which you
can add a flat nine to,
sharp third, and then a flat seven, and
then the flat nine, which is C natural.
Then we're gonna cadence in E minor.
That's the second phrase.
So we have a cycle of fifth
progression for four bars, and
then a two, five, one, in E minor.
This is the whole A section and
it gets repeated, okay?
The B section coincidentally
uses the same exact chord
groupings in the opposite order.
The B sections starts with a two,
five, one in E minor.
Before doing
the circle of fifths from A.
Then, as we get
to the final two phrases,
we have a two five one.
An E minor, again.
But, after we get to the E minor,
we're gonna do a little walk down.
We're gonna do a chromatic
walk down from E minor
to E flat seven
so that's a dominant seven chord
on E flat, major third and flat seven.
Then we're going to go down a half
step again, and play a D minor seven.
Followed by a D flat dominate seven.
These four chords are the hardest
part of all of Autumn Leaves.
They move the quickest.
And there a gnarly alternation
between minor seven to dominant seven.
Minor seven to dominant seven
while going down half steps.
Let me isolate these four chords for
you so you can hear them.
Okay, you're gonna want
to focus on just those
four chords a bunch,
'cuz they're really hard,
and they only happen once.
The other chords in the tune
get repeated a lot,
and in fact the last phrase is again,
a two five one, in E minor.
You're going to get to know this two,
five, one really well by
the end of working on these.
So, once we identify the arpeggios
associated with the chords
in Autumn Leaves,
we're gonna try and
play them all the way through the chord
progression without stopping in rhythm,
So we're gonna put the metronome on.
Let's put it on 50 to start.
And I'm gonna
play these
one octave
arpeggios, up and
down on each
chord, through
the whole tune
to the
Now to the B section.
up from
See if you can get this with the metronome
and, actually, even at just 50 beats
per minute, I would love to see a video
submission to see how you're doing.
Cuz as we're starting off on this jazz
curriculum, I wanna make sure that we're
doing all of these exercises with
a nice swing feel, and that we have
a relaxed bow arm, and that we're hitting
all of the right arpeggio qualities.
It can take, you know, like a month to
even get to the point where we just did,
where you're able to go through all
of these chords without stopping.
That's why Autumn Leaves
is such a perfect tune for
us to start exploring these ideas with
because over the course of the tune,
even though it's in a key, E minor,
that works really well on the cello,
we're gonna be going through all of these
different types of arpeggio patterns.
So we're getting practice
in all of the shapes.
We've got 2 5 1s in minor.
We'll actually start the piece
with a 2 5 1 in G major.
And it's really gonna be a great,
great template for
us to figure out the harmonics
of our instrument.
Once you can play it all the way
through at 50 beats per minute, try and
speed it up with the metronome.
Maybe go to 54 beats per minute.
See if you can do it
without stopping there.
And as you keep creeping up
your metronome marking, don't
keep moving up until you feel totally
comfortable at the tempo you're at.
And maybe by the time you
get like twice as fast,
like quarter note equals 100,
that could take, I don't know,
I hesitate to give a number, but
maybe even like a couple months.
Once you've worked up
the metronome to 100, 110, and
you're able to play it really
fast without stopping or
without making a mistake, then you could
try it with the jazz backing track.
I think the solo guitar version
is gonna have a strong,
straight-ahead rhythm that's gonna
feel good to do this exercise with.
And I'll show you what
that may sound like.
Maybe after a few months of practice,
I can show you what that would sound like.
Whew, it's fast.