In this blog we will look at improvising over one chord. This will be D minor [D Dorian].
The key is to use chromaticism, tertian harmony, superimposition and outside harmonic content in order to create interesting improvised lines and move away from the cliches of scales and modes to create originality.
The key for smoothness is to be aware of where the 1/2 steps [Semitones]are in the “Connections”.
If we look below we can see where the 1/2 steps connect and how to play off of the tonic note with this. In this case we play off of the tonic D note resolving straight into the Eb note for Eb melodic minor. We can then resolve down a half step to C#m and back down into D Dorian
So as you can see it is easy to weave in and out of the harmony and get back to D Dorian via the 1/2 step.
Below is a line that beautifully weaves in and out of D minor
In this next example we will use tertian harmony and exploit superimposition. We will employ D melodic minor and and keep extending via C melodic minor.
Now we will extend the whole line:
As another idea, there are still useful concepts like “Target Tones”. These can be manipulated without resorting to cliches.
Lastly we will exploit the use flat 5 concepts. In this case there is an Abmaj7/D and a Cmaj7/F# with which we can be creative.
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This blog takes a brief look at John Mclaughlin’s use of Chromaticism in regards to Jazz Fusion Guitar lines. The 2 licks are also from a video I did on Dave Liebman. They both share the same concepts. The licks are riffs doubled up with piano
John Mclaughlin Guitar Lick 1 -Employ strict alternate picking starting on a “Downstroke”
John Mclaughlin Guitar Lick 2 -Again, employ strict alternate picking starting on a “Downstroke”
The key is to pick each 4 note grouping [Tetrachord] in time with your foot tapping the 1/4 note.
So you have:
“1 e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a”
This will give you a smooth alternate picking sound and hold time with the piano [or doubling instrument].
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