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12

To answer this, we can arrange the modes in order from those that have the highest-pitched notes (largest intervals relative to tonic), to those that have the lowest-pitched notes (smallest intervals relative to tonic), then compare the resulting intervals. Note how, in this order, each following mode is identical to the previous one, except for one scale ...


10

C Major is a tempting key on the piano. I would suggest trying to improvise in G Major and F Major. G Major only has 1 sharp, and F Major only has 1 flat. They're pretty easy to improvise over and since you only have 1 black key to worry about it won't be much harder than improvising in C Major. Just stick with those keys for a while, so that you can break ...


9

Start playing with guitarists. They often prefer E, A and D. This means you move from purely white keys to white and black. In each there are patterns that are similar, but not exactly the same. Learn the scales that go with new keys - they are the basic notes on the menu for each new key. Often, particular bits of tunes work better to play in other keys ...


9

A walking bass line can in principle contain arbitrary chromatic runs, but obviously it's not a good idea to do that all the time. Often it's best to keep mostly to the chord notes and add some extra melodic spice just when it makes sense for supporting the harmonic movement. Other times, there may be a particular melodic line consisting almost entirely of ...


9

tl;dr: You can always guess what notes to play by ear and find what notes sound good, but at the end of the day you are playing in a scale and you should be aware of that. There are some guitarists that don't know scale (or music theory for that matter) and they tend to play by ear. They listen to the progression and try to play something over it and ...


8

The point of a bass line is to express the melody and harmony of a song. This means that you should play the notes that make up the chord as well as the notes of the melody. I know that sometimes this is hard, because a chord has (usually) a minimum of 4 notes and the melody can have as many and even more, but you need to find the most important ones. So, ...


8

As I'm quite easily affected by alcohol and caffeine (being a lightweight and having terrible problems with focusing does that to you), I think I can add some stuff from my own experience here. The main thought to keep in mind is that this is different for each person individually, though. A dose that works for you may very well have an opposite effect for ...


8

Knowing what modes/scales to use over a chord can be approached a number of ways. Here's an over simplified way to know what scale you can use over a certain chord (DISCLAIMER: THIS IS OVERSIMPLIFIED): Is it Major? (R 3 5 7) Is the fourth sharped? (Yes - you might try Lydian) Otherwise, use Ionian or all of the above Is it Minor? (R b3 5 b7) Is the ...


8

There are two components involved here. One is indeed ear training, and the other one is knowing your instrument well, i.e. being able to produce any melody as effortlessly as you do with your voice. And for this second part, you do not need to consciously know the intervals as long as you intuitively find the right notes on your instrument. But anyway, ...


7

From your question, and some of your responses to comments, it sounds like you are relatively proficient playing in all the keys, and in improvising, but you find yourself modulating back towards C over the course of the improvisation, regardless of where you start. Am I interpreting you correctly? If this is indeed the case, then you may want to figure out ...


7

To practice improvising, practice improvising. Put on a recording that's in a key you want to be able to deal with, and start seeing what you can play against it. It's going to feel awkward at first, and that's OK; remember that when you first learned to improvise in C it wasn't all that easy either. Practice makes better. (I play an instrument which is ...


7

"Fundamental differences" is something that is open to interpretation. Jazz, a great-great-great-great step-grandchild of classical music certainly shares some of the rich musical heritage of European and African traditions which gives it "hybrid vigor." Nevertheless, classical music improvisation delves into many areas that jazz only hints at. Here's ...


6

When I'm composing a walking bass line, I think there are a few goals to complete, depending on how well I can play the tune or the progression. Play simple chord tones, maybe 1-3-5-3 or 1-3-5-7 through the tune. Better this than a trainwreck! Play only chord tones, but connect them to create a smooth motion. So for a I-IV progression I might play ...


6

With any solo, you want to tell a story. The licks, riffs and grooves are your words. Writers structure stories as narrative arcs. A narrative arc is usually: Exposition: The introduction the story in which characters are introduced, setting is revealed. Rising Action: A series of events that complicate matters for the protagonist, creating a rise in ...


6

I have a few thoughts for you. First off, r lo is entirely right about his answer; you need to listen to the genre enough for it to become internalized. Playing scales over chord changes will only get you so far and will usually leave your sound less than authentic. Listen to the masters. To take it one step further, transcribing Jazz standards will help ...


6

You can do all of the above. But I find it important to not overwhelm yourself with loads and loads of information. Find things that catch your ear and figure them out. Make up your own licks and shed them. They might not show up in your playing for months, or even years, but they will eventually bubble up to the surface, and will inform your concept of ...


5

if you want to play faster than you currently are, you should focus on efficiency. As you play faster and faster, wasted movement becomes more and more detrimental to the final effect. Watch yourself in your mirror, and play the passage slowly. Is there wasted movement ? There almost always is. The fastest guitarist move very efficiently. Minimize ...


5

I once wrote a software walking jazz bass line generator that created reasonable bass lines in 4/4 time given a key and a sequence of chords (one chord per measure). Source code is not available but I'll explain the basics of the algorithm here. I know it's not really art and it only represents a gross simplification of the actual practice, but it can give ...


5

Mark J. Smith’s video lessons at TalkingBass.net include an excellent introduction to walking bass lines. His technique is to target a chord tone (usually the root) at each chord change, using three kinds of walking movement to make the musical journey between each target note. You can use arpeggios, scales, or chromatic passing tones to make the journey. ...


5

With any improv, you want to tell a story. The licks, riffs and grooves are your words. Each phrase you play is a sentence. So a phrase should be no longer than what you take to say a sentence. Where the phrase should resolve to depends on whether it's contributing to rising or falling action (more later.) So the first thing is your voice. You should ...


5

I think the most important thing you need is to learn how to dive in your guitar's neck without getting lost. Moving around past a certain speed and without watching where your fingers are requires tons of practice. That practice relies in repeating some pattern over and over and over. You can try 1 million solos, practice them, improve and master them and ...


5

Yes, it's crucial that the musicians are listening to each other and responding. Usually there is no preconceived idea or structure. In fact, to have 'an empty mind' is ideal. It will be counter productive to play ready-made riffs or cliche licks, or even to play in a particular key unless this is what is going on in the room. It's likely that the musicians ...


5

In general you don't need to use the same scale over every chord. This case is a very interesting, but common one in modern music and can be seen in a few songs including Unchanined by Van Halen. If we slightly modify one of the chords, the key becomes apparent. If you change the C# to a C#m it is easy to see the chords C#m, B, and A are in C# minor. Thus ...


5

I'm hearing two questions: 1) What notes are safe for me to play? 2) What notes are important? While overlapping, these are different questions that will each have a large impact on your solo. The first is easier to answer, but understanding the second will make you a better musician. tl; dr Try them all, but only repeat the notes you like. 1) Safety ...


5

First of all: This will take time! Don't worry or give up too quickly! It is possible to learn - but it will take time! Training your ear like this usually works best with a teacher or someone you can pair up with. This way you can practice together or a teacher can give you advise. Fortunately there are also free tools on the internet to train your ear. ...


4

I realize some people will probably not like this answer, but I am going to say it anyway: I am a very strong believer in simplicity for recording short jams. You need to have a method to get a rough draft recording down very quickly without much thought. Therefore, I highly recommend simply starting out with a tape recorder, digital meeting/voice ...


4

By law of averages, it's very unlikely that Wolfgang Mozart was unique (this is quite a shocking statement, I realise). There were a lot more working composers of the age who's work hasn't survived, and a great many again who's work is known, but obscure, and not considered part of the classical music cannon. Of these, most will have been following the ...


4

You can establish a theme that you come back to again and again, and then use as a jumping off point for further improvisation. The theme doesn’t have to be long or complicated, and it’s probably better if it’s not. Think of the theme as a chorus, and think of your improvisational stretches as verse. As long and wild as your improvisational stretches may be, ...


4

One of the main reasons that a whole-tone scale works so well to indicate dreaming and rootlessness is that it's a symmetrical structure that divides the octave into equal parts. Multiple notes can therefore work equally well as a "tonic" which kind of means that they're also equally bad at being tonic. A symmetrical structure makes it much easier to avoid ...


4

This is very broad, but I think I can break down some introductory steps: Step 1: Play chords with the fretting hand, as if strumming. Learn some rolls - that is, right-hand picking sequences. There are plenty of rolls in books and on the internet. Step 2: Learn to adapt the rolls depending on the chord, so that root notes are played when you want them, ...



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