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John McNeil talks a little bit about familiarizing yourself with the scales that will allow you to improvise better when ...
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The first thing you need to do is become familiar with the scales that you are going to be improvising with. We will start with the real common scale, the Dorian scale and we will show you how to begin to gain control over it.
You can then take the principles and techniques we will just to learn the Dorian scale and use them to learn all the other skills, okay?
The first step in mastering a scale, ones you learned the notes, is learning some of the basic structures that are found within that scale. It is possible just to improvise over scales in random way.
But in order to sound coherent sooner or later you have to begin outlining some of the structures such as triads that are found with in the scale. The structure can be very simple. For example it can be a chord composed of the root through the ninth.
When you are improvising, you can use this structure as a frame work. Now, Ron Vincent on Drums, Bill McHenry on Saxophone, Ralph is rhythm bass and Carlton Holmes on piano are going to show you what this sounds like. Okay, one, two; one, two, three, four.
One of the problems you face when beginning to improvise is you do not know where to begin. Maybe look at a scale and you cannot think of anything to play and you cannot hear anything either.
That is a terrible feeling I have had that. If you have a structure in mind though, it helps organize your creativity. A structure such as a Minor chord is also easy to hear and that is going top help you too.
Obviously, to be able to use those structures such as a Minor 9 chord, you need to be able to build it in any key.
A good beginning practice routine would be to play Dorian Minor chords up to the nine and then come back down the scale then reverse it and go up the scale and back down the chord. Like this.
This exercise is easily applied to all scales. In the beginning, concentrate on Dorian major and dominant seventh scales. Now, before we go any farther, let me say that you really need to practice all exercises with a metronome. I want to hear the poles on two and four to imitate the drummers high at.
The great teacher Carmine Caruso that your body and your mind coordinate themselves much more easily if you give him a consistent time frame in which to operate. Also, keeps you from speed nap or slowing down. Both of this Tennessee’s make it part for other people to play with you.
Carlton, why don’t you play some scale exercise with them, the metronome there, just anything.
Now, in the beginning, this might feel a little strange you know but in a short time you could use to it. One of the most basic structures that need to learn is diatonic triads. In other words, all of the triads, they can be found within a given scale.
Let us take a look C Dorian scale and build a triad from every note. Now, here is what this sounds like.
Now, did you notice if even though we called groups of three notes, you play them in 4/4. Now, red note, what it played to look at this. You see. This kind of cross three against for step make sure line is more interesting.
Now, we will talk some about that towards the video. To take them all together, this set of triads is very, very useful to an improviser. Planning leads a lot of shape and a lot of system to any line. But before you put them into a solo, you have to practice them in several ways.
First, play the triad as going up.
Then play them descending.
Then go up one and down the next.
Then vice versa.
So now, let us say that you have practiced going up and down the triads in a particular scale, say E flat Dorian. The next thing is to try to improvise with them.
Now when you improvise, you will never use triads exclusively but you combine them with scale passages and whatever. A triad bass solo would sound something like this.
One thing Bill did was play triads that where in a root position. That is another thing to practice just the same way that you practice the root