Michael Brecker “Outside” Jazz/Fusion playing for guitar

Breaking down Michael Brecker!

When looking at musical notation it can seem like random notes. But if we break down each group into 4 note groupings called “Tetrachords” we can break down the music theory and play each group on our instrument.

We can then remember the “Sound and Shape” of each cell and then join them together. In turn we can then apply these cells to our own instrumental playing/improvisations.

FULL SOLO LINE/PHRASE

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

 

1st Grouping of 4 notes [Tetrachord]=E flat Pentatonic shape/sound [Mixolydian]

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

 

2nd Tetrachord=A flat Minor triad and 4th interval [or #11  #9 and #5] [SAME AS 7TH TETRACHORD]

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

 

3rd Tetrachord=Minor scale fragment [#11 Lydian]

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

 

4th Tetrachord=Changing cell. [From flat 9 to C Jazz melodic minor] [SAME AS 9TH TETRACHORD]

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

 

5th Tetrachord=Very “Outside” D major pentatonic/4ths

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

 

6th Tetrachord =D major Pentatonic sound/shape [very “Out”]

 

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

7th Tetrachord=C minor arpeggio and 4th

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

 

8th Tetrachord=B flat major Pentatonic sound/shape

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

 

9th Tetrachord=C Melodic “Jazz” minor [Augmented] sound/shape [same as 4th Tetrachord]

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

 

10th Tetrachord = Perfect 4th and major 3rd creating triad pairs sound/shape [or E flat minor 11 implication or G FLAT/a flat]

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

 

Lastly= Flat 6 for C minor

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

FULL LENGTH “INDEPTH” VIDEO BELOW

CONCLUSION:

In terms of fingering and musical application on our instruments learning shapes and “Connections” and breaking phrases down into 4 note cells [Tetrachords] is really useful because complex lines can be understood and learnt quickly.

In turn this gives us lots of patterns for improvisation and theoretical knowledge to improvise with as opposed to just playing scales and arpeggios.

If you found this easy then try and break this solo down into“Hexatonic” scale application. You might find it really interesting!

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MICHAEL BRECKER #2

CHROMATICS AND CELL [TETRACHORD] REPLICATION 

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker lesson

Played 8va

To begin with we have a bit of standard Be Bop chromaticism

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker lesson

BUT!

If we look further we can see that we have an exact replicated cell that descends in minor 3rds weaving in and out of the harmony.

4 note  cell

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker lesson

2 four note cells descending in minor 3rds replicated

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker lesson

We can now look at the whole line and see and hear where the descending replicated cells in minor 3rds start and how they serve their purpose.

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker lesson

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Jazz/fusion improvisation Altered scale Theory Lesson

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Today we will look at a John Mclaughlin alternate picking Jazz/Fusion improvisation cadence employing the altered dominant chord! Please watch the video below and then try it out yourself.

As you will see this cadence employs the Altered scale. It is a 2 [minor 7 flat 5] going to 5 [ “Altered Dominant”] 1 [major 7th]. This being Dm7 flat 5  G7 altered resolving to C major7.

I also employ a flat 5 substitution on the Dm7 flat 5. All of this resolves though and slips nicely into the altered dominant 5 chord. I also use pentatonics within the altered scale for rhythmic flow. Please look at the TAB/MUSIC below and play through it yourself to see and feel how it all “Naturally” unfolds. I employ alternate picking the same as John Mclaughlin.

John Mclaughlin alternate picking altered scale line Music/Tab

John Mclaughlin Alternate picking Altered scale jazz improviser line

VARIATION With an A flat Pentatonic shape replacing A flat minor/Major Arpeggio for the flat 5 substitution.

 

Altered scale jazz improvisation, jazz improviser lesson

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Melodic “Jazz” Minor Scale Lesson

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In this blog we will look at the Jazz Melodic Minor scale and its harmony and how to exploit it for jazz/fusion and melodic pop/rock usage. The melodic minor is an exotic and beautiful sounding scale that compliments its corresponding harmony.

If we take the basic C Major scale and play through it we can create a new scale by changing just one note. This is the 3rd note E.

C major Scale

If we flatten this E natural to an E flat note we have the C melodic “Jazz” Minor scale.

C Melodic minor scale how to

Here are the arpeggios for the C melodic “jazz” minor scale in 7ths

Arpeggios of the C Melodic Minor Scale for jazz improvisation

 

Arpeggios of the C Melodic "Jazz" Minor Scale

Upper Extensions: We can add a “triad” above the arpeggios and create an upper extension on each of the melodic minor’s arpeggios.

C melodic minor UPPER EXTENSIONS for jazz improvisation

C melodic minor UPPER EXTENSIONS for jazz improvisation

Jazz improvisation. C melodic minor UPPER EXTENSIONS

It is a good idea to extend the tonic C minor/maj7 Arpeggio to get a good fluid fingering for it as it is a really beautiful exotic sound and can also be used over an altered dominant chord.

C melodic minor arpeggio

Another important point is to get a good fingering by using easier fingerings like the example below. [The easier the fingering the better the intervals sound on the guitar].

Guitar Fingering for C melodic jazz minor scale

It is also a good idea to employ “triad pairs” that exist within the melodic minor scale. Here we have E flat augmented,  F major, Cmin/maj7, and Dm7

Triad pairs for C melodic Minor jazz improviser lesson

We can also make Pentatonic’s from the melodic minor scale which fit easily in the guitarists fretting hand. Below is an example that could be played over an A minor 7 flat 5 chord [Chord 6 in C melodic “jazz’ minor scale].

How to make pentatonics from the C melodic minor Scale

Lastly, we have the dominant chord of the C melodic minor scale being G major [Chord 5]. This would normally make G seventh but due to the E flat note in the scale we can now make an “Altered” Dominant chord [G9 Augmented]. We have the note of A for the ninth and the Eb  flat note for the sharpened 5th.

How to create altered dominant improvised lines from C melodic minor scale