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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone thoroughly explain Alvin Batiste's Root Progression Exercise. I came across it in a YouTube video by Quamon Fowler where he goes through the Exercise using a fourth lick, unfortunately the explanation wasn't as clear as I would like.

What I got from the video is that the root progression exercise involves taking things through different sections with each section being a specific interval relationship.

Can anyone go into more depth about this?
 

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My mentor was a contemporary of Quamons at Southern U...the root progression goes through all the intervals up through 5ths....you take every pattern u know or anything u practice over the root progression....and it builds you memory..from repetition..ear..from intervals and allows u to make ground musical decisions without the strict scaffold of chord tones....however u can practice whatever u want over the root progression....my mentor Fred Jackson took donna lee over the root progression....its a very dynamic way of dealing with jazz
 

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Rasax here was one of Dr Batiste's students...maybe u can contact him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Raphyel for your comments.

Practicing stuff in intervalic relationships seems to be what the root progression is all about.
In a blog post I found the following about Alvin Batiste's Root Progression

"The core of the Root Progression was a collection of increasing intervals. The exercise would have the player first move up an octave in halfsteps, then down in whole steps, up half-whole, down half-whole, up minor thirds, down major thirds, up fourths, then tritones going up chromatically, and finally fifths up whole steps. The idea was to then have the player take a melodic motif and then have him transpose this motif through the intervals of the root progression. This exercise would provide the player with master transposition technique as well as an advanced sense of harmony."
 

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When you say Root Progression do you mean the playing the lick as it relates the roots of the chords in the tune you are practicing?
 

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The exercise would have the player first move up an octave in halfsteps, then down in whole steps, up half-whole, down half-whole, up minor thirds, down major thirds, up fourths, then tritones going up chromatically, and finally fifths up whole steps.
Hmm, I don't understand. Could give give me an example in notes? It seems an interesting exercise.
 

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Hmm, I don't understand. Could give give me an example in notes? It seems an interesting exercise.
As far as I can tell, it's a way of sequencing licks/motivs/riffs around in different intervals. So lets say you're practicing the simple 1235 major pattern. You'd do it starting on C and then repeat it starting on C#, D, Eb, etc. all the way up the octave. When you got back to C, you'd come down in whole steps starting C then Bb, Ab, F#, etc. You're just following the root movement mentioned before. When you get to the 4ths, go around the circle of 4ths but keep it all within one octave. So start on C, go up to F, up to Bb, down to Eb, up to Ab. You're keeping everything between the two C's.

I think this is supposed to do a few things. 1) It's supposed to make you learn it faster and 2) one way to play "outside" is to take a lick or motif and sequence it intervocalic into other keys. An example would be Coltrane playing that 1235 lick in minor 3rds (C D E G, Eb F G Bb, F# G# A# C#, A B C# E). I do that a little, but it's usually chromatic and I guess this exercise might help in sequencing in intervals other than a half step.

Here's a clip of Quamon Fowler taking a more complicated lick through the exercise.

 

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Is there any reason why it stops at 5th 's ? ANd therefore doesnt do the augmented 5th, Major and Minor 6th and 7th ?
 
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