Demystifying Jazz Improvisation: Part 3

After completing “Demystifying Jazz Improvisation,” students will have learned the following:

  • a comprehensive understanding of the elements of a jazz standard (melody, lyrics, bass line, harmony) including their roles, how to interpret them on their own instruments, and how this information structures their jazz improvisation

  • a comfortable process for learning melodies by ear and determining the form of a tune

  • skills to embellish a melody with either rhythmic variation or ornamentation/effects on their instrument

  • an understanding of the function of each member in the rhythm section and how to assume those roles on their own instrument

  • the jazz theory knowledge to determine and organize the chord arpeggios, scales, and ii-V-I vocabulary for a tune to inform their foundation for improvisation

  • how to use this jazz theory knowledge as a springboard for their improvisation, which enables them to be creative with their ideas while demonstrating an understanding of the tune’s harmonies and form

  • a step-by-step process to approach and understand new material in the future

With this course, you get what you put into it. If you exhaust all of the possibilities that I discuss with you, you will have an excellent foundation to draw from when improvising on almost any tune. If you end up just scratching the surface on some of these exercises by trying only one version of embellishment or a bass line, or working out the vocabulary in only one or two keys, you will find that you still have holes in your foundation later on. So, I recommend that you take the leap and get serious! Keep a checklist of the keys you have played your ii-V-I arpeggios in, make note of if you have trouble playing vibrato on certain notes. My students improve significantly when they keep a record of what they are working on and what areas they need to improve upon. I love looking back at my old notebooks and seeing what I was working on.

 Check out the course here: 

Grab those practice journals and have fun!