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I can do pentatonic type licks, do the blues scale. , float between the A- and D7 or A- and Ebtriad. or A- and F - pents. What else do you guys/girls practice to run over a longer minor? I was debating in my head about working up a fast dorian bop scale? Ideas thanks K
 

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Depends on what sounds you want to hear.

You can sequence an idea in 1/2 steps up or down altgough that takes you out of the key. Heck, you can sequence your idea up in minor 3rds and it sounds hip over minor chords.

You can use the melodic minor scale (up only) and focus on the tension of the raised 6th and 7th. You can turn that sound into a bebop scale by adding the b6th to the melodic minor scale.

You can treat Aminor like the tonic and play E7b9 back to Amin7. Ehich then opens up the E7 dominant bebop scale with a b9 and b6 as a viable sound over it.

You can do anything if you study the concepts and why/how they work.

Just be careful if you get into bebop scales to make sure you understand what chord tones to start on and how you can manipulate everything with extra passing tones and or humps and skips.

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Transcribe some solos or pieces of solos over Impressions ..... Michael Brecker’s solo on the McCoy Tyner album “Infinity” has some juicy augmented scale lines, and Steve Grossman’s solo from his “Live At Sweet Basil” album has some great Coltrane cycle stuff with chromaticism mixed in.

Since you’re already working on minor pentatonics, how about some of Bergonzi’s substitution ideas in his chapter on Polypentatonics? Pivoting between two minor pentatonics either a half step apart or minor third apart are a couple of my favorite sounds.

Hope this is the kind of input you were looking for!
 

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Does anyone just sing and try to play what they're hearing in real time anymore? If you listen to music of the type you're trying to play and have a decent ear I bet the lines in your head are 1000x more interesting than the ones you can math together using letters, words, and rote patterns. Learn melodies and sing freely during improv.
 

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Does anyone just sing and try to play what they're hearing in real time anymore? If you listen to music of the type you're trying to play and have a decent ear I bet the lines in your head are 1000x more interesting than the ones you can math together using letters, words, and rote patterns. Learn melodies and sing freely during improv.
A-freaking-men!
Put the brain away and stop worrying about which scale, line, pattern, arpeggio, etc. you're going to play. Okay, if you insist on "improvising" by pre-planned brainiac things, fine. But you'll also (in my quite humble opinion.....haha) sound very mechanical and non-creative. For the record, I'm NOT saying you shouldn't learn those scales, patterns, licks, etc. but once you get them under your fingers, STOP the over thinking part. Your rote-memorization, muscle memory or whatever you want to call it will take over and some of those things will come out by default, but your primary goal shouldn't be to just regurgitate pre-planned scales and patterns. You gotta trust yourself and most importantly, trust your ears. Listen a LOT and get ideas into your cranium. Work on those scales and patterns, etc. in the practice room, but then do your best to not sound pre-programmed when you perform.
Keith, in your defense, I believe you're talking about what to practice over those longer stretches with one chord. I get that, but stand firm in my comments above. My advice would be to work on getting out of your horn what you hear in your head. With listening (a LOT), practicing those scales and/or patterns, having the melody of the tune memorized (incredibly important), you'll have a ton of options that can flow out of your horn by hearing.....more than taking the constant cerebral approach.
Rant off. ;-)
 

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That's exactly right - play music at all times. The fundamental description of 'jazz' is playing around with the melody, not applying advanced theory to the chord structure. Jazz instruction starts with reading the melody, then reading the 'jazzy' version (lightly jazzed) by which you learn how to mess around with it. If jazz goes any farther toward standing there playing scales than it already has, there will be no jazz.
 

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That's exactly right - play music at all times. The fundamental description of 'jazz' is playing around with the melody, not applying advanced theory to the chord structure. Jazz instruction starts with reading the melody, then reading the 'jazzy' version (lightly jazzed) by which you learn how to mess around with it. If jazz goes any farther toward standing there playing scales than it already has, there will be no jazz.
From the sounds of it the OP is describing modal jazz, in which case “applying advanced theory to the chord structure” is kind of the point.

Nobody wants to hear a soloist practice and run uninspired exercises on the bandstand. But in the practice room, familiarizing yourself with new sounds, shapes, and colors in a structured methodical way can lead to an expanded melodic palate for the soloist to work with “in the moment” IMHO.
 

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So, play a C Major pentatonic, and contrast those ideas with a G Major pentatonic. Mix in other pentatonics, do some sideslips. Start playing lines comprised of 4ths, then maybe 5ths. Play a quote from some other song and build off of that. Do the ladder and slide thing, where you arpeggiate up the ladder and play linearly as you slide down, rinse, repeat. Play some venting effects kind of thing, honk out some multiphonics. Build intensity.
 

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Discussion Starter #10

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Discussion Starter #11
1sasxman.
I think I disagree with you on this point. I agree that the melody should be internalized and held inside as you improvise but I think the point of jazz is the creation of something new, interesting and chord ally based. In other words the harmony of song is as important as the melody of the song. I used to play most things by ear and ignore the harmony but I try to play differently now. I played with some very good jazz musicians saturday and I was really impressed with how they could go in and out of harmony. I'll agree with you on one part I think of your statement. If all you are doing is unphrased exercise stuff you have practiced you can end up with something I wouldn't listen to. We played blues for alice at this jam and one tenor guy could run all kinds of cute ii v licks over the song but without any hint of a melodic line it to me quickly became boring K
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes Yes Yes lots of ideas now on things to ad to my a minor field trip. K
Transcribe some solos or pieces of solos over Impressions ..... Michael Brecker’s solo on the McCoy Tyner album “Infinity” has some juicy augmented scale lines, and Steve Grossman’s solo from his “Live At Sweet Basil” album has some great Coltrane cycle stuff with chromaticism mixed in.

Since you’re already working on minor pentatonics, how about some of Bergonzi’s substitution ideas in his chapter on Polypentatonics? Pivoting between two minor pentatonics either a half step apart or minor third apart are a couple of my favorite sounds.

Hope this is the kind of input you were looking for!
 

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This is great and easy to practice K

Yes, but for me that isnt the benefit. it isnt a fast/technique thing.

The really good stuff is sitting on one of the diminished notes and just waiting until you hear it wanting to resolve back to the minor triad.

Ive been transcribing Dexter “go ‘recently, and he seems to use this all over the place.... i think, as I’m not writing it down
 

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From the sounds of it the OP is describing modal jazz, in which case “applying advanced theory to the chord structure” is kind of the point.

Nobody wants to hear a soloist practice and run uninspired exercises on the bandstand. But in the practice room, familiarizing yourself with new sounds, shapes, and colors in a structured methodical way can lead to an expanded melodic palate for the soloist to work with “in the moment” IMHO.
Absolutely. Definitely important to have as much of the advanced theory of which 1saxman speaks both under your fingers and (much more importantly) in your ears. It’s all about tension and release, and creating that feeling can be more difficult over static harmony...especially if you’re thinking pentatonic minor to relative major to implying a diminished or dominant sound, etcetera versus working with the gems that are probably already happening naturally if you have the confidence and flow to play what you’re hearing. Miss hearing you play, Dave! Your melodic content and application of advanced concepts is always a treat to listen to and try to absorb!
 

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I agree the goal is to play melodically, by ear, without having to think about all sorts of scales, chord substitutions, etc. In fact there really is no time think about all that stuff up on the bandstand while playing a solo. And of course you don't want to regurgitate a bunch formulaic runs blindly.

Having said that, there is a lot of value in working things out methodically in the practice room. It all has to be internalized to the point it just comes out in your soloing as a way to shape the melody you hear in your head. A really good approach is to take ONE concept and work it out thoroughly, first in one key then all 12 keys. Then experiment by embellishing and developing it in various ways.

That all sounds kind of abstract, but one example would be the lines you can create with a minor triad and a diminished chord on the maj7th, as outlined in the Greg Fishman clip that KMR posted. Once you get the basic line under your fingers and the sound firmly implanted in your ear, you can mess around with it and come up with a lot of good, useful material. The more of this sort of stuff you have to work with, the more you can come up with something interesting and melodic in your improvisation. At least that's my take on it.
 

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I have a ton of resources in my books to use over a minor chord for 8 bars. Primarily I would work on:

-Mastering the Dominant Bebop Scale-on A-7 the vocabulary of the D7 bebop scale sounds great!
-Approach Note Velocity-there are endless approach note lines that can be linked together in various ways and permutations
-Mastering Altered Pentatonics-you start with the A minor pentatonic and then start experimenting by changing different pentatonic notes. Also sounds amazing!
-Devastating Minor Lines-these are a collection of some of my favorite 16th note minor lines. Lots of material here to use. Especially if you take the lines apart and figure out the concepts that are being used to create them.

Hope this helps........ Steve
 

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Yes, but for me that isnt the benefit. it isnt a fast/technique thing.

The really good stuff is sitting on one of the diminished notes and just waiting until you hear it wanting to resolve back to the minor triad.

Ive been transcribing Dexter “go ‘recently, and he seems to use this all over the place.... i think, as I’m not writing it down
That diminished is essentially just E7b9. Its the V chord. Thats why it leads strongly back to the minor i.

Almost everything in music can be related to V / I.

In fact if you expand those 2 chords to this.

A,C,E,F# and G#,B,D,F it also sounds hip. Put those chords together linearly and you have the Melodic Minor Bebop scale! Something all those cats used back in the day. Start on any chord tone on the A minor and you begin to create linear harmony.

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That diminished is essentially just E7b9. Its the V chord. Thats why it leads strongly back to the minor i.

Almost everything in music can be related to V / I.

In fact if you expand those 2 chords to this.

A,C,E,F# and G#,B,D,F it also sounds hip. Put those chords together linearly and you have the Melodic Minor Bebop scale! Something all those cats used back in the day. Start on any chord tone on the A minor and you begin to create linear harmony.

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Simon, of course that is all correct.

I was gently trying to suggest to the opening poster ( in response to his first post when he thought he may “working up a fast Dorian Bop scale “ that he forget about blistering technique /fast scales etc etc. And that it may be more beneficial to get away from scales a bit and start to hear tension wanting to resolve.

I like the idea of adding the F sharp to the A minor triad, but less keen on the idea of thinking of combining them and getting a scale.

I feel that as a way in to this tension stuff, the tensions can be more readily heard if the minor chord and it’s diminshed 7th “friend” can be thought of seperately. Fishmans excercise is great for that. IMHO
Scales, less so.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The scales I'd work on are not necessarily for lines as much as finger speed for note choice. I still do lots of mix bop work just to have the facility to play what I hear. To me its always a two step process. I went to a jam session last saturday (did a video talking about it) and the other horns may have heard great lines but they didn't have the ability to do it in time, in tune and in a melodic way that built up a solo. So I work on the ability to play at a higher level and then translate that into what I hear. Steves books are great and a good resource for ideas, I used them alot years ago and recently bout his altered pentatonic book. Lots to work on. I was fishing for what others found useful in their practice. None of this happens without lots of prep work before. K
 
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