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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
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Discussion Starter #1
We mostly met and played a concert A blues many many many times. We used the I real Pro play along with my bluetooth speaker but it'll be great to have bass and keys next week to do our harmony.

Ways we practiced blues which I recommend for methods to consciously work on one thing at a time to improve

1. Walked the changes like a bass 1, 3, 5, 7 in quarter notes just to lock down good tone, good time, rhythm feel. One big thing I noticed in class is the minute the time gets better the lines sound much much better. Almost more important than note choice.

2. We tried to use rhythms over the changes in many many ways. (just chord tones) Goal is to introduce ourselves to rhythms we would not normally use. Improv is always a two thing going on process, rhythms and note choice. Dizzy Gillilespi said he'd just think rhythms and plug in the appropriate notes later.

3. we deliberately used rests and dynamics in our lines. Adding volume swells and adding times we wouldn't play.

4. We traded 4s trying to link ideas from one soloist to the next

5. We added inflections, vibrato, swells, scoops, whatever your instrument can do that you don't normally do. heres the place to experiment .

6. We practiced range of horn. playing once all low part of the horn, one mid, once high part of horn Most people are great in the middle and very awkward high and low.

7 Voice leading. We tried to go from one chord to the next chord to the closest chord tone. So if you were on the third of an A7 chord going to the D7 chord you could easily slide from the C# to a D or C natural. But close and easy for resolving.

8. We practiced some time work. Pushing and pulling the beat. No way to find the pocket/beat if you can' t tell ahead and behind.

9. We practiced inflections.

Extra Credit. Listen to Miles Davie play his solo on Freddie the Freeloader. Should be you You tube. His solo is so well conceived, great time tone, lines

So more of this next week. Excited to have the entire class. We will continue on the concert A7 blues and might change speed/styles. Do a funk groove, bossa, swing, ballad all on those changes. As always questions and suggestions welcome Ksaxman.com
 

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SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
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Sounds like a great program, Keith. It takes discipline to stick to some of those parameters, but I'm sure it pays off! One thing I'd add in would be to play it all in some different keys.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
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Discussion Starter #3
JL, these folks are all older players who have next to no theory . We are lucky if they can figure out the notes on a V7 chord let alone changing keys. I wish we had some people who could rip licks off around the cycle K
 

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SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
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JL, these folks are all older players who have next to no theory . We are lucky if they can figure out the notes on a V7 chord let alone changing keys. I wish we had some people who could rip licks off around the cycle K
Understood.

And there's something to be said about getting a lick or progression down really well in one key prior to moving it into other keys. But of course it's necessary to learn more than one key, eventually. :)
 
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