Take the 2-minute tour ×
Music: Practice & Theory Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for musicians, students, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What are the principles of improvisation in jazz? I'm looking for it all, from King Oliver's original jazz to Charlie Parker figures that follow the chord changes to Monk to Bill Laswell to Bill Frisell. Too broad? Don't take the easy route and downvote, comment so I can split the question up well.

share|improve this question

closed as unclear what you're asking by NReilingh Aug 11 at 5:38

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
@CarlWitthoft Each style has its methods and patterns, they all are perfectly good questions. Stop being so annoyingly grumpy. If you can't say something useful, don't say something at all. You and that attitude are one of the big reasons this site has such a low QPD. You guys will complain about everything you can. –  JCPedroza Aug 9 at 2:20

1 Answer 1

Here are a few generalizations:

Traditional Jazz education: follow the chord tones and tensions.

Jerry Bergonzi method: Beginnings of improvisation are mostly in major or minor tetra chords.

Bebop: follow the chord tones but precede them with chromatics or double chromatic approaches, being sure to put the chromatics on a weak beat such as an upbeat.

Avant garde: play whatever you want.

share|improve this answer
    
In original jazz, improvisation is based off the melody. King Oliver once told Louis Armstrong (paraphrased), "If you don't know the melody, you have no business improvising on it." (Source: "Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life") –  Kevin Johnsrude Aug 8 at 5:54
    
please define what you mean by "traditional jazz." –  Kevin Johnsrude Aug 8 at 6:02
    
I've clarified my answer a bit. Although the melody is certainly very important source of phrasing and deciphering chord scales, I've never heard of any jazz improvisational principle that is based on the melody. –  Grey Aug 8 at 6:15
    
Perhaps this will help: Original Jazz = Dixieland Jazz = Jass. Likewise, Bill Frisell's jazz improvisation is based very strongly on melody and it's worth getting the only instructional video that Frisell ever made to hear how passionate he is about melody-based improvisation. –  Kevin Johnsrude Aug 8 at 6:50

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.