I remember you - practicing short II-V-I's

I have just created a jazz etude of the jazz standard 'I remember you' made famous by Chet Baker on his recording 'Chet sings'.

This tune is fantastic for practicing short II-V-I's!

What is a short II-V-I?

Check out the image and you'll see a descending sequence, many tunes have progressions like this. Charlie Parkers 'Confirmation' & 'Blues for Alice' have chord sequences that change key centre very quickly.

So, when you are practicing improvisation, at first, you'll will have needed to practice patterns or lines over this type of progression until you start you hear them for yourselves. Looking at the image below, you can see three II-V-I's. The first is in the key of Db, the second in C and the third in Bb.

To play a melodic sounding solo over a chord progression such as this, you need to have mastered playing in ALL the keys. This can be accomplished by practicing patterns parrot fashion and drilling them into your playing so your fingers almost do it without any thought! Remember, to become an accomplished jazz soloist takes time and cannot be accomplished in a matter of weeks or by learning 3 licks, despite what some people say on YouTube. Practicing lines, like the ones shown will improve your jazz vocabulary. Especially if you are new to improvising. What else are you going to play?

When we first start to improvise we must copy music of the masters but if that is too demanding, we need to find simple patterns to develop our ears and technique, or jazz etudes such as this one!

The reason I create my jazz etudes, it to help intermediate or beginner students of improvisation! By using the vocabulary in the etudes, you can sound more authentic than just playing patterns. All the etudes are created to be as melodic as possible by following the chord tones!

Notes on practice!

Practice small sections of the etudes you like and learn them really well (so you don't need the music) and then learn them in ALL the keys.

A great way to practice the phrases you are trying to master is by applying them to other jazz standards!

Here is the video of myself performing 'I remember you'.

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I have created a video on practicing jazz vocabulary on YouTube, here is the link. I hope you find it useful!


Warm regards, Darren.

Jazz etudes.

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