The rhythmic and melodic language of music and jazz is not only in the solo lines of your favorite jazz players but also in the melodies of the tunes they play. These could be bebop heads, bossa nova tunes, standard tunes etc. Using these great melodies with their often complex and swinging rhythms we will look at how to apply them to your single note improvising giving your phrasing a fresh new perspective. The great bebop heads for example have great phrasing and articulation which really help give the music forward motion and swing. Borrowing rhythmic and/or melodic motifs (“quoting”) can be a terrific way of learning to utilize better jazz phrasing and articulation. The fun comes into play when we move these motifs around to different pitch levels in order to fit the chord changes. Working on transposing these ideas in numerous ways to fit the chord changes of your favorite tunes is a very important way to practice. It’s where theory meets musicality on your instrument! We can change where the phrases begin rhythmically and work with shorter motifs from these tunes becoming experts at moving them around.
The examples contained in the class PDF demonstrate these principles over the tunes “Out Of Nowhere” and “Rhythm” Changes. Often these motifs can be disguised by changing either their pitch level or altering their rhythms. Many of the greatest jazz improvisers were master of dropping in quotes in clever ways. Sonny Rollins is perhaps the best example, often fitting in quotes in the most surprising places, adding both humor and a sense of wonderment to his solos.
In this class, Steve uses some of his favorite quotes and contrafacts. You simply can’t go wrong with well-conceived melodic and rhythmic phrases penned by the masters, replete with crisp articulations and inherent swing.
- 8 pages of PDF written material notated in standard notation (and TAB for guitarists)
- Running time: 45 minutes