Claude Gordon Brass Camp 1992 - Larry Souza on Jazz Improvisation

Transcript Summary

It is time for you to go on, but I would like to kind of go through some basic things that I feel are totally necessary if you want to enjoy the art of improvisation.
And it's an art based on one simple fact, and that's that you must listen to the music, you must imitate it, you must mimic it, and you should make it part of you so that you have like a collection of history of sounds that you can pull from to put on your instrument to use.
Only if it's convenient.
So anyway, you have to have a foundation of some basic understanding of musicianship and ear training.
And so when you go in college, and those of you that have gotten basic musicianship, that's really the basis for all of your listening and developing your ability to hear intervals and chords.
So with that in mind, let's take some of this stuff that I've handed out in a rather bad order, put it in order.
Ah, thanks. Thank you.
Is it working? Okay, thanks.
I handed out, I'm specifically using the piece we played last night so that you have some reference to what it sounds like, and that's the tune Speak Low.
And there should be a trumpet part, a tenor part, and a concert change part for the piano player and the bass player. That's what they would read off of. There's nothing more.
This is what I handed out to the players last night, was this little sheet that says Seat Concert on it, and that's all of the drummer and the bass player and the piano player went by.
The drummer uses it too. Don't consider him a non-musician. He has to have a framework in which to perform, and this gives it to him.
Because he's got ears, and most great jazz drummers know the tunes too, and they know exactly what's happening.
So don't ever go to a job and hand out parts to everybody except, well, you know what to do. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. Don't do that.
Okay. So anyway, that's the concert part that other players were using. That's what George Sousa used instead of piano, pardon me for saying piano, and the bass and drums.
Then there's the trumpet part that's in B-flat, which has been transposed so I can play on a B-flat trumpet.
The tenor part's also B-flat, and all of this is a harmony part. So this is yours to keep.
With this information, with these three pieces, you and another player could perform this tune. That's all you need.
But to do that, we have to learn how to approach it and how to get through this tune without feeling ignorant of what's going on.
These little chord symbols don't tell you necessarily everything you need to know, so we're going to go through and try and analyze that.
Before we get to it, though, there's some basic ideas I want to make sure that you understand.
Some of it might be basic to some of you, but I think we should go from the beginning.
This piece of paper is a little chart. How many of you are familiar with this chart? Great. Okay.
I've written it probably backwards from the way it normally appears in a book.
Most of them start with sharps to the right, clockwise, and I do it opposite that because usually when you perform the relationship of the fifth chord to the one chord, it's a four-step movement, and this way it gives you that movement by going around this direction.
So this chart must be memorized by any good player.
You must know that C has no sharps and no flats.
Hence, when you play on a piano, there are no black keys involved at all. They built in the half steps into the R system.
Our musical notation system involves using an uneven division of an octave.
And as you can see, as we go from step to step, and if you look at this other piece of paper here, it labels that, and that would be the one that shows you, it has the scale steps mapped out, and it describes the interval distances between these pitches.
Let's take that piece of paper and take a look.
All I've done is drawn all of the notes diatonically, that's step by step, using the letter names of the notes from C to C, C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C.
Now, all of these distances between those notes have a name. They also have a sound, and that's what's important, is that you must be able to identify the sound of the interval distance.
If you can do that, then you can put it together and start to identify a chord sound. When you can identify a chord sound, then you can play that chord.
And from that point, you can start to improvise around that chord using the chord as the framework for your improvisation.
But if you can't hear the chord, it's going to be all by rote and by mechanics. You have to develop your ear to be able to hear it first.
I know some of the greatest jazz players I know can't read a stitch of music and they won't even understand what I'm handing out right now, but they have it all in their head.
They've developed it totally by ear, and there's nothing wrong with that. That's wonderful.
If you can do it by listening and copying and put it on your trumpet without knowing how to read music, that's okay. It's all right to do that.
But if you want to do it with the aid of using musical notation and learn how to take a chart like I handed out to you with some chord changes on it,
you can start to play on it and make some music out of it, and it helps to be able to do this.
First of all, I've mapped out a C major chord scale, and that has significant scale steps between certain notes are minor seconds and some are major seconds.
What is a major second? A whole step. Otherwise, it avoids one of the notes on the piano. If you go from here to here, that's a half step.
If we go up another one, it's a whole step. So this distance is a whole step. This is a half step or a minor second. This is a whole step or a major second.
Now, singularly is different than hearing them together, but nevertheless, when we play a C major scale, we have the root note or the one going to the major second.
That's that interval and another major second and a minor second and three major seconds in a row and another minor second.
Now, if we change that position around at all, we go into another mode. That's where the mode comes into play.
We have just described one mode only, a major mode. There are a variety of modes that we all know exist.
There is the minor mode and the major mode that we use more often than any other mode, but more frequently now in jazz, you'll find the introduction of other modes.
The Greek modes were based mainly on this whole half step, half step, whole step arrangement, and then all I did was transfer it up steps.
So this would be one mode. This would be the next mode.
Okay, next mode.
What is it?
Okay, so some of you know all of this. Mixolydian, Aeolian, what's the last one?
Okay, and then you would start and call this the one position, which is a diminished chord.
Strange place to start, but nevertheless, it was done and it's still done and you can use different modes.
We're going to concentrate today basically on major and minor, but it's kind of locked in our head a little bit.
So now we take this chart again. We notice that at the top of the chart is C.
It has a natural means it has no sharps, no flasks, no black keys. It doesn't alter the pitches.
It's built into our musical notation system. Below it is a small a. What is that indicating?
Relative minor. Why is it called a relative?
Same key signature.
Same key signature. They both share no sharps, no flasks.
So now we play this.
That's a one chord in C major going to four chord to a five chord to a one chord.
We're going to do the same thing starting on a minor.
It's not like we normally hear it there.
I want one, four, five, one there also.
What's different that we normally do something to that minor to make it sound different?
Anybody pick it up? You raise the third on the fifth chord, right?
OK, so that's an altered chord from the natural key signature.
But it's so commonly done and it's been done for so many hundreds of years that we accept it as being what we expect to hear.
And if you look, there's another sheet here and it has the three minors mapped out from A to A natural minor as no sharps, no flasks.
But harmonic minor, where we raise that third scale step on the five chord, which would be an E chord, E, G sharp, B.
You'll notice that there's a G sharp located on the seventh scale step of the scale.
Melodic minor is commonly used when you run up and down linearly like that to sharp the sixth and seventh going up and flat it coming down through natural seven and six.
That's a common procedure used also.
So those are alterations to the natural mode.
OK, now if we can identify these tones, can anybody do this for me?
What is this interval?
OK, let's try this interval.
Major third.
Let's try it again.
Minor third.
You'll notice a lot of times when you hear a minor third, some people might hear it inverted.
Then it's a major sixth.
OK, so that is part of just fine tuning your hearing.
What kind of tune is that?
Why is it perfect?
Because horns play them, right?
I love that. That's good.
Here's a good description of why they're perfect.
If you look at the chart that maps out.
Well, not that cheap.
But this one here that has the major seconds and the minor second degrees of a major scale and then right below it is not the relative minor but C minor.
It's not related because they have different key signature.
What is the key signature for C minor?
E flat. It has three flats. Why does it have to have three flats?
Interval steps occur in the right place, right?
Those interval steps must occur exactly in the same place to create that minor sound.
Now, if you want to do it in the key of F, you've got to rearrange everything so that the half steps and whole steps fall in the same place.
Major has to have two holes, a half, three holes and a half in that order.
So no other order is acceptable. Otherwise, you end up in a different mode.
So if we know that rule, we can start on F sharp and go two holes, a half, three holes and a half and we've got the right note.
We end up with six sharps and that's it is.
That little diagram helps you figure that out quickly.
And then, of course, that should be totally memorized in your head.
You should know that key signature creates that pattern of halves and wholes to create major.
And also, it creates the same thing in minor, only the halves and whole steps are in slightly different positions because we've now moved down.
How many notes is the minor from the major scale, the relative minor?
A third.
OK, so if you go down three and start your scale up in a certain key, you're going to get the relative minor, the key above.
So anyway, now we look at this one, it has three flats in it.
And when we play that, but this one has four.
How come?
Did you notice there's a D flat in there?
It's not supposed to have a D flat.
Well, that's not in the key signature.
I added it just so that we could give a description of why they call the intervals what they call them.
It's based on an older form of minor where they did have a D flat.
And can anybody name that mode?
It's Phrygian, isn't it?
I mean, so all we've done is just moved.
We take a different key signature, a four flat key signature, which is A flat major.
Then if we count up to C, we can find out what mode that is.
A flat, E flat, C.
That's the third up from the major.
That's Phrygian.
So that's a Phrygian mode, an older form of a minor sounding mode.
But anyway, it gives me a good way of explaining where the whole steps and half steps are.
On the top one, on this bottom one, the whole steps and half steps are lined up in a totally different order.
But also the interval degrees, if you look down to the third line, the distance from C to D is a major second, from C to E is a major third.
Then we get to a perfect fourth and a perfect fifth.
Now we're back to that explanation.
Then a major sixth, major seventh, and a perfect eight, which is an octave.
Why are they perfect?
Because they occur in both modes.
Those pitches are not altered when you run to either the Phrygian or the Dorian or the Aeolian modes.
Four, five, and eight stay the same.
And one.
So now we know basically why they're called perfect, because they were static.
You could depend on them.
Now in other modes, they do change a little bit.
But they, years ago, they being probably the Greeks, the Greeks were the ones who were responsible for, they labeled everything.
So they labeled this too.
So now we have minor seconds, perfect fourth, perfect fifth, minor sixth, sevenths, and a perfect eighth.
Does that kind of give you a kind of a groundwork of why they're named minor and major?
The flatted ones are used for minor.
The perfect stay the same.
The major ones are a half step higher in all cases.
There's no exceptions to that.
If we raise a fourth, what happens to it?
What is it called?
We augment it.
If we raise a minor second, what do we call it?
We call it major.
If you raise a major, what is it called?
Now if you take its perfect fifth and you raise it, what happens to it?
And if you flat it, what happens to it?
If you take a major sixth and you flat it, what does it become?
Minor sixth.
What if you flat the minor sixth, what does it become?
Diminished sixth.
Diminished sixth.
So we have more alterations when it has major and minor in there than we do with the perfect interval.
Is that clear?
Does everybody kind of understand that?
Now, below that, I've mapped out what we call a triad.
And triads are nothing more than three-note chords, and they only involve two intervals.
But if you'll look at every one of these interval groups, they're not two of the same there.
The first one is a C major chord.
It has from C to E is a major third, and E to G is what?
That's trademark signature for a major sound is a major third interval on top of a minor third interval.
Oh, that's perfect fit.
That's the outside line.
But we want to name the two intervals as being major and minor stacked on top of each other.
Now, if we flip-flop it around, put the minor in the bottom, we'd have C, E flat, and G.
Now we have minor third on the bottom.
What's E flat to G?
We flip-flop it.
What's the sound?
Minor sound.
Totally different sound, just by flipping it over.
Okay, what's this sound?
This sound?
This sound?
This sound?
Okay, this sound?
This sound?
Now, as we go up these things, you'll notice they're all major, minor, minor, major, major, minor.
Then we get to the seventh scale step, and it's a two minor thirds in a row.
So we can't call it a major or minor chord.
It's a diminished chord.
Now, if we take the B note, and if we started to build a major scale in B, what would the key signature be?
Five sharps.
Can you look in your chart there?
Five sharps.
Five sharps, right?
And that creates whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step, from B to B.
And we want to make it minor.
What key signature do we use?
Now we have a whole different arrangement of whole steps and half steps.
It creates a whole new sound.
Now, if we flap the third of the fifth scale step, we end up with two minor thirds in a row,
and that's where you end up with no F sharp, because there's an F sharp in both B minor and B major.
But in this, there's an F natural.
So that creates not a perfect fifth, but a what?
A diminished fifth.
Hence, we have two minor thirds in a row.
B to D is a minor third.
D to F is a minor third.
And that's a different sound.
Here it is with...
This is with the perfect fifth.
Now let's do it with a raised third.
There's major.
There's minor.
And diminished.
Very basic, but I wanted to make sure that you understand where all these names come from,
because people get confused by it.
And if you don't know this material, then going on to chords makes no sense at all.
Let's pull out this other sheet now that has a description of equal divisions of an octave.
And when you look at that, you'll notice that from C to C is, again, a perfect interval.
Very seldom gets altered in our scale system.
But now we're going to start dividing this thing just mathematically.
Divide by two, and you end up with the next line down.
But you notice that letter-wise, we cannot get an equal division of an octave.
There is no one letter name that gives you that halfway through an octave.
So we end up with F sharp being exactly halfway if we count these keys.
And down.
There's your...
And that interval is real significant. We can hear that interval.
It's kind of dissonant to most of us.
And it sticks out.
And it is called two names.
It can be counted up to F sharp as an augmented fourth,
or if we count it as a G flat, which is what is called an enharmonic equivalent,
means the same note spelled differently,
as a diminished fifth,
or we can leave it going up, and you have the other names.
So it's both augmented fourth, diminished fifth.
It has another name. Who knows it?
What does that mean?
The devil of the abloh.
The devil of the abloh, okay.
That was considered a forbidden interval years and years ago because of its dissonance.
And they avoided it like this way.
Now it's an integral part of our music to create tension and movement.
Okay, now let's divide it by three.
If you take an octave and divide it by three, what do you end up with?
Major thirds.
Major thirds.
C to E, E to G sharp.
Now, since our musical system doesn't divide up equally,
we have to rename that G sharp to an A flat, and we'll go A flat to C.
So we have three major thirds in a row.
Sounds like...
Goes on forever, right?
Equal distance. Keeps moving.
Stepping stones.
Divide by four, you end up with minor thirds.
What is that called?
Okay, the first...
Divide by three, you have augmented sounds.
Major third sounds, which we call an augmented chord
because it has an augmented raised fifth, okay?
But let's go back to divide by four.
You have C to E flat, E flat to G flat.
Well, let's name it again as an F sharp and go to A and then A to C.
Those are all minor thirds.
Again, another stepping stone sound.
Divide by six, what do we get?
Whole tones, okay.
Another conspicuous sound that everybody...
And what's the next division by 12?
We know what that sounds like.
These sounds are moving sounds.
They don't want to sit still.
They have the transitory kind of feel to them.
And you'll notice, and as you go through learning how to improvise,
that these sounds are definitely incorporated into chords
to create transition and movement.
And you'll find that most of the static chords that we depend on
as being called home base or things that you can settle on and stop on
more or less have more unequal division intervals like C major
as a major third, a minor third.
We consider that home base.
And the next interval up from the fifth to the eighth is a perfect fourth.
It's another unequal division of an octave.
When as soon as you insert a lot of equal division,
even though it might not be all of it, it starts to want to move.
If you take like...
You can stop there.
As soon as you add a seven...
It wants to go somewhere else usually to...
And the reason it wants to do that is because if you look at that interval,
what do you have?
You have major third.
You have minor third.
You have a diminished triad on the top.
And as soon as you get that sound, it has a tendency to want to move.
Now, it's not always the case,
but basically that's the simplest version of a motion chord.
When you want things to move, you have a lot of equal divisions in the chord.
It starts to want to go somewhere else.
It doesn't want to sit still.
As soon as you have unequal divisions, even as chord as weird as this...
That's strange anymore.
We're used to hearing that sound.
All that is is...
Root, third, fifth, minor seventh.
But then you put this on top, and we have a sharp nine.
Okay, that's an E against an E flat.
But you can stop there.
In certain jazz pieces, that's considered a home base.
You can go from...
Let's see.
That would be okay to stop on,
because of the fact that it has open intervals in their unequal divisions.
There are some equal divisions in it,
but there are a lot of open sounds.
Now, we have unequal divisions and we have equal divisions,
and it creates different kinds of sounds.
From that point, we can start developing an understanding of chords
that are more complicated and that you find in tunes
with alterations within them.
But how do we explain those alterations?
Why are those things altered?
As you look at this chart, speak low.
Take out the trumpet part,
and we'll use that as the basis for today,
so that when you finally do...
If you have a B flat instrument,
it'll be easy for you to go on from there with this instrument.
We have a whole ton of chords here,
but how do they relate to the key signature G?
We have a G major key signature,
or is it maybe possibly the relative minor?
As we look through this thing and look at the melody...
Take the second one.
What key are we on?
But does it start indicating G?
It starts on an A minor 7 chord.
Is A minor 7 in the key...
If we write out all of the G in the G major,
it starts on the A minor 7 chord.
It starts on the A minor 7 chord.
It starts on the A minor 7 chord.
It starts on the A minor 7 chord.
If we write out all of the G in the G major,
if we write out all the chords, what chord is that?
Fifth, doesn't it?
So it's a two chord, and what's the next chord?
Okay, it's a five chord, so two to five.
Is that a common progression?
Where does it normally go, though?
One. It doesn't do that here, does it?
Take out the analyst sheet.
I wrote out another copy of this thing.
It's two pages long,
and it has...
The same chart written out again,
but with the chords and below that,
we have some Roman numerals that I wrote in.
So let's talk about what I did here.
This is what a prerequisite to...
This is a relatively difficult tune.
It's not real hard, but I mean,
as far as analyzing it,
it's one of the ways that you can start to develop your ears,
and you have to learn the names of these chord sounds
when you hear them.
Can anybody name this chord sound?
Okay, minor seven. Very good.
What kind is this?
It's not a major seven.
It's called a dominant seven
because the seventh scale step
is the distance from the root to the seven.
The seven is a minor seventh degree.
Whenever it has that distance...
Instead of this, this is a major seventh.
We don't call it a minor seventh.
We have to call it a dominant seven chord
because it's the most common sound used on the five chord.
Go back to the one chord or the tonic chord.
So this sound is a dominant seven sound.
Okay, now look at the melody.
What note is the melody in this thing, in the first bar?
What kind of chord is it?
It's a ninth.
What's that got to do with it?
So he's starting on the ninth of the chord,
so he's stretching things right off the bat.
Now it feels in a whole new kind of color to the whole thing, doesn't it?
So he's stretched things a little bit.
Now he goes to...
Does that all fit?
The E, listen to that.
What is the E?
So it's basically not just D7.
If you count the melody too, it's a D9 chord, isn't it?
So we have to understand that that's what he's doing here.
He's going two to five, and then he does it again.
Same thing.
That's four bars, fifth bar.
Then he goes to...
How does that fit in?
Is it in the key signature? It's got an F in it.
It's a B minor with a flat five, so it's a diminished chord.
And then he adds...
He adds a seventh instead of the diminished.
He doesn't continue it as diminished, so it's called half diminishes.
It's a diminished triad with a minor seventh degree on the outside.
So that sound takes us out of the key a little bit.
So I've indicated that by showing below A minor.
Can you see that?
And instead of being a three chord in the key of G with a flat five,
we're going to call it the two chord in A minor.
Well, why A minor?
All because of the fact that it fits into the A minor key signature.
And it goes to what would be the fifth chord or the altered five chord.
Remember we had to raise the third scale stuff in the...
In that minor, they call it harmonic minor.
Well, there it is.
So we have a two chord to a five chord.
He has A minor, which would go here, right?
There's A minor, but does he go to A minor?
Where does he go? He goes to C minor seven, right?
Okay, so it doesn't go there.
So it goes from B minor flat five.
So he's fooling us. He's using surprises.
After looking through this thing, I decided that he just jumped to a new key.
Yeah, you could use B flat major.
It could be major there.
So maybe, yeah, that's probably what it should be.
Okay, so where it says minor, you can mark that out
and just put B flat major because that fits too, right?
And now that's the F7 going to...
Then he goes to D minor seven.
D minor seven, that is not a flat five, it's a regular.
So I'm saying that he went to A major,
the two chord of A major going to the five chord.
Now at that point, you'll notice I marked it as a two chord in the key of G major
going to the five chord in G major.
Every time you see those new letters or the new Roman numerals,
we've transferred to a new key.
So he's back to G.
Now he uses the sixth in the melody.
And that is considered the static position for that chord.
You can stop a tune in jazz circles on those notes.
So that could be the end of the piece, but the melody doesn't end.
The melody is suspended, it's not back to D yet.
So it gives you the feeling he's going to move somewhere else.
He does, he turns right around and goes down and does it all again.
Great piano player, huh?
Okay, now at this point, he goes back around and he comes back to the B minor seventh
on the fourth line down.
He does go back to G.
So we know the basic pattern of that tune.
You can see where it's all kind of like two to five movements all the way through it
in different keys, and that's what creates the tension and interest in this tune.
Now your job is to try and pick out the right notes to play with this.
So finally we're getting to improvisation.
How do you improvise on this thing?
In any of these cases, you have to understand what the key centers are,
then you have to understand the chord formation and how it's spelt,
and then you can develop basically two ways to approach it.
You can leap on an interval basis or you can go diatonic or linearly
and go through the key mode.
Now when you end up on the mode, you have to play a scale that incorporates
those particular notes that are indicated in the chord.
So do we just do this haphazardly or are there certain patterns set up?
How do we know what pattern to set up?
Anybody have any ideas how you're going to approach this?
I mean, here we are now.
We know the chords a little bit.
We've gone halfway through this tune.
We kind of know where the chords are coming, but yeah, okay, improvise.
What do you do?
Okay, now just to start, if you just hit the notes that are on the page,
you're going to be safe.
It's called, I'm okay.
And you move the order around a little bit and it's still safe,
but is it necessarily going to be musical?
But you've got to start somewhere.
So what do we do to develop that ability to become spontaneous enough
to start being inventive with these patterns?
Somebody said, yeah, scales is good.
Somebody said, listen.
He said that.
Larry Miller is right.
You have to copy things.
Copy is right.
And there are agreed upon sounds that we expect to hear out of certain jazz players.
If we play certain patterns,
you're going to automatically identify yourself in a period of jazz,
unless you use patterns from all different aspects of jazz.
But you'll find that most of the stuff I play is probably more or less debopped, period.
And that's 50s, 60s, you know, somewhere in that period.
That's what I consider the stuff that I use as my tools.
And those are all patterns that were developed in that time that I ingrained in my brain.
And I pull them out as I need them and try and put them together
into some kind of order that makes music make sense.
You can go linearly or chordal.
You can move on the chordal basis or on the linear basis, scaling between those things.
Now, on some of these tension patterns, we indicated equal division patterns.
You can use those on chords that incorporate some equal division setups in there
by doing patterns on those, too, like diminished, runs, augmented patterns.
And there are various other patterns you can do with that.
George, can you get your instrument?
Let's see if we can play.
This is George Souza.
He's kind enough to join us today.
Ooh, which one you want?
We're going to play it and you're going to play it in a new key from last night
because we're going to make it simple for me so that I could play piano
and not have to transpose.
I'm using a C trumpet and playing off the B flat part.
I'm going to make George work and play in a new key.
I'll give it to you.
You're playing in G.
You're playing in G.
You want the music?
Can you hand me that portable stand there?
Okay, anyway, I just wanted to play at a slow tempo, just a little bit of this tune.
So here we go, one, two, three, something like that.
One, two, three.
Okay, I played a bunch of notes.
I played some notes that were diatonic.
Some of them I actually chromatically went through past the chord.
You use upper and lower neighbors.
You pass through chords that don't necessarily fit,
but you don't necessarily stay on them too long
so that you just create a little tension
and move back to the tonal notes of the chord itself.
So if you always hear whether he's playing or not,
I would still be able to play enough of the chordal notes
that you'd be able to hear the chordal changes kind of moving by.
That's basically what you do on any tune.
Now, if we take a simple tune, which you all should start with,
basically one of the better ones would be like a blues, some kind of blues.
And what is a blues?
Can anybody tell me about a blues?
What makes a blues a blues?
Well, in terms of music,
do you mean natural progression and the way it's expected to be played?
Well, we know that blues has a certain pattern of changes
that we accept as being a standard format,
and then there's varieties on that.
But there's something about the choice of notes we play with that format.
Please, can you talk a little bit more about a lot of bending?
Bending. So what do those bending notes do?
They're dissonances, right?
They're built-in dissonances that we accept as being bluesy.
Yeah, it is. It's tension and oppression, and that's exactly right.
It's our Black American heritage, you know,
expressed through everybody now.
We hear it everywhere, our rock and roll,
every bit of our music is saturated with blues sounds,
and it's wonderful. It's our own music.
We're very proud of the fact that we've, you know,
here in the country where it was developed.
That's just amazing.
It's a very unique expression.
Let's just play a blues.
Let's play something rosy.
What key do you want to play?
Let's take E flat maybe.
Is that okay?
About one, two, three.
You see trumpet.
Let's play an F.
I forgot. See, I'm a B flat ear.
I have a B flat mentality.
Boy, play that again.
So anyway, we're going to play an F now.
We're going to play an F.
Let's play an F.
Let's play an F.
I used a common thing that happens with the blues
format is that you'll notice that you'll play a minor third sound
against the major, basically major chords going on,
a dominant chord sound,
and you'll hear this minor sound going on.
Let's just play the first chord.
One, two, three.
There's that typical blues quality.
Now there are blues scales that you can use, okay?
So you have...
It's kind of an altered pentatonic.
Anybody know what pentatonic is?
Yeah, pentatonic is all like this.
All black keys.
It's a six note chord, and that's basically a six note scale.
Pardon me.
Five note. Sorry, I added a note.
But I do add a note a lot.
So anyway, pentatonic is similar,
but a blues five note scale or six note scale is a little bit more different,
and it involves using that minor third against the major sound.
So you have a major chord.
Okay, so that's a basic sound that infiltrates all of the jazz qualities
on certain times.
It seems George did a lot last night on that jitterbug waltz.
Yeah, on sections of that, we went into more or less a blues mode.
Did anybody notice that?
Kind of a lot funkier sound, you might say.
But using that quality as opposed to just being straight on one thing.
Now let's let George play a little blues, okay?
Yeah, play any key you like.
Whatever you want to.
Hey, on guitar, the key is E.
That's right.
Easy, easy.
So you lose a lot of, very nice.
You lose a lot of distances that create a kind of tension in blues sound
with using minor flatted tones a lot.
Flatted fifth by minor thirds, flatted sharp nine
is another way of describing that same sound.
Can I play it?
Oh, I was in the wrong key.
I was in the wrong key.
Anyway, that's just a little basic outline of one little tune
and give you some basic ideas.
It's all up to you to do a lot of listening to some jazz players
and develop a collection, a library in your brain of little sounds
all based on every one of these chord sounds.
What you can do to become more prepared for that
is do all your musicianship training, learn all of your chord positions,
identify your chords readily, learn all of your little things and all keys.
If you take a circle of fifths pattern, again, thank you, George.
I'm almost done with it.
I guess we'll finish.
Thanks for doing that.
Thanks, George.
You can take this thing and play patterns on it
and just use it as a guideline to learn how to play different licks.
First thing you can do is, first of all, just play around it
using just nothing more than triads to learn it.
Go to the next one, which is F.
Here we go.
What is it?
It's 2-5-2-5 or it's 5-1-5-1, anything you want to call it.
It's up a fourth.
That's that logical.
We've only talked about one little pattern here.
Two fives are just one of millions of ways you can go.
This tune has to be that.
5-1, of course, is one that you use a lot,
but it's not the only kind of way to set up a tune.
That's one format that you can learn that lick on.
Now you can take another lick, a simple one, just add a scale step.
You know it.
You've got it down.
It's part of you.
That's one way that you can practice two things.
You can practice not only the little lick and all the keys
by going around in circles like that,
but you can also practice a jazz approach to articulation
that gives you the appearance of tonguing extremely fast,
but you're not tonguing every note.
That's called slur tongue off the beat.
Basically, all it is is it creates a little accent on the off beat
by placing the start before you slur from the and of a note
to the one of a note, or the and to a two, the and to the three,
so you're always off the beat.
Now, when you start doing that on a lick,
it has an effective sense of like, wow, he's tonguing everything.
You start going, wow, that's amazing.
You know, double-time, they call it.
And you're moving fast, but you're not tonguing everything.
You're tonguing every other one off the beat.
You do it on the beat, it doesn't do it.
other one off the beat. If you do it on the beat, it doesn't do it. It doesn't sound right.
It gives it kind of a hop to it, but it has a motion to it. So you can take any pattern.
Those are all double-time figures, fast sixteenth notes you might say, using all-off-the-beat tonguing.
Now there's sometimes when your tongue leaps, you have to eliminate it. You can't leap two
notes in the same direction and slur tongue off the beat. So you tongue notes in a row.
Something like that is where you have to almost tongue, because to slur tongue off the beat
gets clumsy. So you'll find that when you leap your tongue, when you have diatonic patterns,
where you can go slur tongue off the beat, when you make a leap again on the off-beat,
you retongue. Or even if it's a leap on the beat, you retongue. But if there's no leaps,
you can do slur tongue off the beat and it'll help you facilitate the ability to move at a double
speed. Does that make sense? Okay, that's my parting shot. We're all finished.
Thank you very much for being so attentive.