musical improvisation method

Step 1 : Vertical improvisation on one chord progression, rhythm and melody on the notes of the chords, Application: chord C7



As you’ll have noticed, the themes of jazz standards, “All The Things You Are”…”Autumn Leaves”… Well, these melodies are constructed simply with whole, half and quarter notes.

So the first point is to learn how to improvise with whole, half and quarter notes, at a rhythmic level.

And at the melodic level there’s a second point, which is to improvise simply with the notes of the chord.


Now we’ll do the same thing, whole, half and quarter notes, but we’ll anticipate or delay them,
to give our solo an aspect more in line with what really happens in jazz.
The solo immediately becomes more dynamic.

Eighth notes

Now we’ll do exactly the same thing, a melody with the notes of the chord, but this time playing with Eighth notes.


Once you’re at ease with those notes, it’s simple to learn a concept fundamental to jazz improvisation, which is chromaticism.
What is chromaticism? It’s the possibility of using a note, for example C, and getting to it via notes placed on the upbeat, which gravitate around this note. 
For example…I can do a chromaticism of one note…of two notes…of three notes…
Let’s see what happens with all the notes of the chord.

Rhythmic variations

Now we’ll see a step essential to rhythm.
How you can vary four quarter notes to construct little rhythmic bricks which you can use to link together your discourse.
Variation two.
Variation three.
Variation four.
Variation five.
Variation six.
Variation seven.