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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I was hoping to get into Fusion but it's hard to untangle.

What's the essence? Pentatonic? Dorian?

For example I'm listening through some fusion numbers, and find it hard to identify what patterns are used.

I.E. Sax improvisation from 2:30

Is there a good theory book on Fusion?
What chord progressions are commonly used, which patterns, scales, etc.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Get hold of Jazz resolving progressions (II, V, I) and chromatic type progressions (Night and Day F#m7b5-Fm7-Em7-Ebdim-Dm7-G7-Cmaj7), cycle of 4ths type progressions, tritone sub progressions, turnarounds, more static less resolving modal harmony like an extended Dm7 in a "So What" or a Funk sort of thing, and how to possibly solo over them all.

Fusion can use more static less resolving modal concepts and also Jazz resolving concepts (Bebop) and mix them both up.

Fusion obviously came after Bebop and Modal Jazz so it can use elements from both along with Rock and R&B and Funk elements as well.

It's the leading tone back to the I that resolves a progression back to the I ie Dm7-G7 (leading tone is B)->Cmaj7 or Dm7b5->G7 (leading tone is B)->Cmin7 and the leading tone in a minor scale creates a harmonic minor scale.

Chord tones on the on beats to cement the lines to the harmony and to create melodies and this approach usually goes along with resolving progressions like in Bebop where there is harmonic movement and resolution into new tonal centres.

More static less resolving modal like harmony can take more of a scale approach than a chord tone approach and a scale can spread things out, like playing D dorian over a Dm7 for 16 bars or whatever but chord tones and other things can also be used to help bring out melodies etc.

Get a hold on Jazz and Rock and R&B and Funk rhythms and odd time signatures and odd timing changes.

The 4 big concepts are

1: Resolving progressions

2: More Modal less resolving progressions

3: Chord tones on the on beats and line contour shapes and interval jumps (as found in Charlie Parker transcriptions)

4: Scale notes on the on beats and a more free flowing rolling scale approach

3 tends to go along with 1 and 4 tends to go along with 2

Of course the above is very general.

Don't just listen to and try to learn from Sax players.

Look up Guitarists and Keyboard players because they tend to match the scales/chord tones/lines with the underlying harmony and rhythms which provides the context and without the matching it can all be a bit of a mystery because music is mostly about context and the context info is needed.

 

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You might want to check out Steve Neff's website: http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/

He recently finished a book of licks tailored to funk/fusion playing.
 

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I'd also go back to the man who (arguably) started it: Give Davis's 'Bitches Brew' record a good listen. His solos in particular provide a good starting point. I think saxpiece has given some great advice. When I think fusion, I think heavy utilization of chord tones, approach notes, outside playing, and sequences. Freddie Hubbard was great at this, you can hear this on Shorter's 'Speak No Evil' which could be seen as a spiritual predecessor to his later fusion works.

Then again, I don't think there's anything about fusion playing that makes it distinct from anything you could also play over standards. Maybe it's more about the attitude.
 

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Off topic slightly, but warp x that sound clip in your sig line is gorgeous. Had both me and my girlfriend dancing around. Cheers -- DP
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for going at length to respond Saxpiece. Appreciate such a detailed response.
There is a lot of value in it, and it will take a little bit of digesting on my side until I go through the lot, but I can read it an comprehend it OK.

re: listen to gtr an dpiano
That's a good advice. The gtr and piano range is much larger though.

I listen to gtr players on youtube, as these are the most common samples, and have purchased some fusion backing tracks of David Walliman (gtr school).
The guitarist often focus on the neck/tab patterns which makes it harder.
I listened a lot to the piano player of that example band too. He provides more clues than the sax players.

Neoboard. Thanks, I checked, and not sure what are you referring to?
http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/product-category/new-lessons/

re: What about having a look at what Wayne Shorter did with Weather Report?
Definitely one of my favourite bands, but not sure I can untangle the egg-beating contents of Wayne's improvisation, outside the main lines.

re: Davis's 'Bitches Brew' record a good listen.
Will do, although, I prefer his later work.

re: but warp x that sound clip in your sig line is gorgeous
I like it too.

Thanks guys. Appreciated.
 

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Neoboard. Thanks, I checked, and not sure what are you referring to?
http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/product-category/new-lessons/

......Thanks guys. Appreciated.
It's in the link to the store - "Devastating minor lines for jazz and funk playing". A lot of his books he also demonstrates on YouTube as well. (Just a taste).

Depends on what you're looking for. Going to the source recordings is the best, but Steve's book can give you some good material.
 

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It's in the link to the store - "Devastating minor lines for jazz and funk playing". A lot of his books he also demonstrates on YouTube as well. (Just a taste).

Depends on what you're looking for. Going to the source recordings is the best, but Steve's book can give you some good material.
Thanks Neobard! Here's a link to the book.
http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/product/devastating-minor-lines-for-jazz-and-funk-soloing/

I also have over 500 30+ minute video lessons that deal with many elements of this kind of playing...........you can browse them and see samples from the lessons. Steve

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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re: What about having a look at what Wayne Shorter did with Weather Report?
Definitely one of my favourite bands, but not sure I can untangle the egg-beating contents of Wayne's improvisation, outside the main lines.

re: Davis's 'Bitches Brew' record a good listen.
Will do, although, I prefer his later work.

re: but warp x that sound clip in your sig line is gorgeous
I like it too.
Thanks again :)
Re: Wayne Shorter, I don't think you need to untangle anything. What you can learn from Wayne is how he approaches the music, the angles he finds to enter, and most of all the freedom he has. Almost no licks, and so much pure inspiration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm going slowly through the advice and understanding what each advice means.
One thing for sure, the expression of "fusion" covers a lot of ground.

re: neffsmusic
I had a listen to the example. You play great, and it is very much jazz sounding.
I can recognise the patterns it in the bebop numbers, but not in the example I put up originally.
Your book concept is great. PDF, so I get it instantly, mp3s, videos...
Could you tell me which of your books cover the patterns the three musicians on the clip I supplied improvise on?
I'll have a listen to your other materials too.


re: Cousin Ichbob - pentatonics with some bebob
Hmm. This probably sounds right.
I can work on the pentatonics, and could use some suggestions on the less common variations.

re: Throw in a bop lick once a while. And resolve on a minor 9th sometimes. Natural 6ths are your friend (minor). Take a look at triad pairs, too.
This will require some thinking/analysis.
Had a look at the triad pairs, and that's again very bebop sounding
The rhythm thread is quite interesting

I think I need to get hold of pentatonic arpeggio variations first...

Really thankful for everyone's help.
 

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re: What about having a look at what Wayne Shorter did with Weather Report?
Definitely one of my favourite bands, but not sure I can untangle the egg-beating contents of Wayne's improvisation, outside the main lines.
Transcribe what he did. Work out what he's playing over. Analyse it (if you really want to).
 

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Rhythm! I've noticed the top players manipulate it so well. Makes a line come to life! Experiment with that. What about chromaticism and grace notes? I love playing with those.
 

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I'm going slowly through the advice and understanding what each advice means.
One thing for sure, the expression of "fusion" covers a lot of ground.

re: neffsmusic
I had a listen to the example. You play great, and it is very much jazz sounding.
I can recognise the patterns it in the bebop numbers, but not in the example I put up originally.
Your book concept is great. PDF, so I get it instantly, mp3s, videos...
Could you tell me which of your books cover the patterns the three musicians on the clip I supplied improvise on?
I'll have a listen to your other materials too.

re: Cousin Ichbob - pentatonics with some bebob
Hmm. This probably sounds right.
I can work on the pentatonics, and could use some suggestions on the less common variations.

re: Throw in a bop lick once a while. And resolve on a minor 9th sometimes. Natural 6ths are your friend (minor). Take a look at triad pairs, too.
This will require some thinking/analysis.
Had a look at the triad pairs, and that's again very bebop sounding
The rhythm thread is quite interesting

I think I need to get hold of pentatonic arpeggio variations first...

Really thankful for everyone's help.
I just listened again to the clip at 2:30 and I hear a lot of bebop style licks. Mastering the Bebop Scale gives you a ton of stuff to shed on dominant and minor grooves. The Devastating Minor lines book is also great but I don't hear him doing much of that "outside" playing in this clip although if I was playing over this I would tend to go in that direction as that is what I like.
 
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