In this post I am going to attempt to analyse the etude I created to go with this YouTube video!
Here is a look at the solo in it's entirety -
This is of course an etude and not an improvised solo but it still has some useful vocabulary that could be taken and practiced in a meaningful way.
We will look at the etude four bars at a time!
So, we are staring on the 9th. I love the 9th, it's a very cool sounding note, especially on minor chords!
Down to the major 7 and then on to the 5th just using simple syncopation! Very easy to practice phrases like this.
Take a rhythm that you know really well and experiment/practice using it with chord tones! For example, you could use the rhythm to 'I've got rhythm' on the same Gmaj7 chord. I also used it on the A7 too. Check it out -
On the A7 chord here, I am simply using a leading note to the 3rd and then going up the chord notes to the 9th and the coming back down again, finishing on the 7th.
The next four bars -
Here, I Play the 3rd on the Am, and enclose the tonic, play the root on the Ab7(b5) and then drop to the b5, then use a leading note to the 3rd og Gmaj7 and ascend through the scale to the 3rd of the Ab7(b5) chord.
Bar 1 here is very easy to practice and also bar 3. Check it out -
In this exapmple I am simply playing a chord note on beat one and then enclosing another chord note on beat 3!
Here, I am play the scales for the chord. Of course, you need to know you chord/scale relationships for this -
The next four bars of te etude uses a very well trodden phrase for the Gmaj7 and then I simply use a simple melodic motif for the A7 going from the 5th to the 3rd.
Again, I could have used the same motif as sometimes occurs -
The next section is a little more scalic in it's approach -
Simply starting on the root of the Am7, up to the 5th and resolving onto the root of the Ab7(b5), then starting on the major 7th of the Gmaj7, enclosing the root and then ascending using the 9th, 3rd, 5th to the 7th and then back down again.
Again, as you have seen from the previous examples, it is very easy to take any vocabulary and practice it in a meaningful way, where we are just thinking about a small chunk rather than a 4 bar virtuosic complecated phrase by one of the jazz masters!
This next section moves to the middle eight where there are some tricky chord changes if you are not used to it!
Starting on the Ab7, I sometimes like to use quotes from other songs in my solos (as do many of the great jazz masters). Here I have used the first part of the jazz standard 'have you met miss Jones? In the next two bars on the Db7, I have simply used chromatic enclosures! For a complete video I created on this topic, check this video out! Chromatic enclosures are a great piece of vocabulary that sounds really authentic in a more hard bop style but I have also seen Bix use them on occasion too.
The next part of the etude uses a Clirrod Brown/Clark Terry type approach (I think), up the G#m7 scale and then down the chordal notes again in a melodic way, enclosing the tonic of the E7 by using the 5th, 7th and b9.
Again the next part of the etude, I have used a Clifford'ish approach, I have heard him use this type of vocabulary on many occasions. I am a BIG fan of Clifford Brown's playing. Again, you can use this type of vocabulary on ANY chord pretty much. The F7 simply uses a small fragment on the F7 bebop scale.
In this next part of the etude, I have again used a classic approach of the 5th on the Bm7 down to the 3rd of the E7b9(#11). If you are a jazz fan and listened to lots of jazz, you would have heard a phrase like this many, mnay times!
This is the part I mean!
The Am7 to the D7b9(#11) again uses simple rhythms on a descending type phrase, finishing on the b9.
The next phrase has been stolen straight from one of my favourite Herb Alpert songs, 'So what's new'?
The last four bars takes another very well known phrase what could be called the 'Cry me a river lick!
You can play this phrase over major, minor and dominant chords (on all different starting notes) to great effect. Again, just practice it on the different starting notes and different chords!
For an in depth look at taking jazz vocabulary and practicing it in a focused way in what we touched on here, check out my lesson on 'When the saints', if you submit your email, you receive a pdf containing all of the exercises you will see in the video.
Here's the link - When the saints video
If you want to work closer with me and enjoy monthly lessons on a jazz standard (again in this focused way) with another catch up zoom call/hang/Q&A then check out my Patreon jazz improvisation lesson here -
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