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Cello Lessons: “Tenor Madness”

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[MUSIC]
Tenor Madness is a great
B flat blues tune by Sonny Rollins.
Since we've put so much work into
learning the B flat blues for Blue Monk,
we've gotta take advantage of that work,
and learn a couple other heads in B flat.
So the way jazz heads work is
you'll find a lot of different
melodies based on the blues, and
a lot of them will be written in B flat.
And all of those melodies can be used
to set up improvisations over the same
chord progressions, the B flat blues.
So when you're in a jam and
you've already played Blue Monk,
if you wanna play another blues,
you could just call Tenor Madness and
play it at maybe a faster tempo.
And even though you're still improvising
over the chord changes that are the same,
by choosing a different head,
and a different tempo,
it can give you a new opportunity
to say something different or
explore different things
when you're improvising.
So for Tenor Madness,
what I tried to do in my performance
was to explore the use of space.
That's the word we use for
silence in a jazz solo.
You wanna leave a lot of
space in your solo sometimes.
There's a couple reasons for that.
A, it just actually feels really good, and
it creates a nice feeling in your solo.
And it can help you make
really thoughtful choices.
And your solo can sound very
thoughtful if you're leaving space.
The other good thing when you leave space
in your solo, is that the other musicians
who are accompanying you,
can maybe throw in some fills.
And it can become a little bit more of
a conversation with the other musicians.
And so it's a really important concept.
It's almost a shame that it's taken
us this long to talk about it
in the jazz curriculum.
But I want you to start thinking
about it whenever you're improvising,
see if you can leave space for
the other musicians to insert fills.
And also, as far as building
a solo over multiple choruses,
if you leave a lot of space in your first
course, well that gives you a whole lot of
room to develop and fill that space in
in your second course of improvising so
that not every course ends
up sounding the same.
Learn this melody of Tenor Madness,
it's pretty easy.
And you already know the chords to the
blues, so you're probably already ready to
submit a video to me once you
get that melody memorized.
So can't wait to hear
you play Tenor Madness.
[MUSIC]