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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

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, ...


9

I think an excellent piece to start with is Duke Ellington's C-Jam Blues. It's about the simplest 12-bar blues you're ever going to find. Start by discussing the overall form of the piece: play through the head, play solos over the changes, repeat the head, stop. You could go over a few styles of soloing like strict-pentatonics, full blues scales, various ...


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

The most important thing is to be able to know and see on your guitar the intervals between each scale tone and the root note. If you're able to do this then you're independent of the key and you don't necessarily need to know the name of the note that you play, as long as you know its relation to the root of the scale. So when you learn scale patterns make ...


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

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. ...


5

I believe that the oft-cited analogy with learning a language is quite to the point. You need to learn (i.e., copy) words, phrases, and simple sentences, and after a lot of practice you will be able to form your own sentences and express what you want to convey. You can speed up that process from copying to self-expression by total immersion, i.e. by ...


5

I'm coming at this from a completely different perspective, but I'll throw my idea out there because it sounds like you need several different activities. There is a tradition of improvisation and ornamentation in baroque music that might feel more accessible to classical musicians. There's lots of good information out there on this, but here's an example ...


4

I would call what you want to do - playing melodies by ear. It's easier to do on piano because of the logical way the keyboard is laid out. Ascending one key is always a semitone higher, descending lower. Piano was the first instrument I learned to play and I quickly developed the ability to play any melody by ear on the piano. With guitar, it took ten ...


4

I think listening to and learning solos from your favourite guitarists is incredibly important. You will the form your own improvisational style as a mixture of players you really like (because you like their tone or style) and your own. Transcribing solos is a great way to fully understand how a player is interpreting a set of changes, and shows you ...


4

Listen to Louis Armstrong. He often plays the melody, but never without a special touch, getting there a little early, leaving a little late. Adding a subtle filigree of ornamentation. Never overplaying. And don't let it bother you that he is a horn player and you are not. Satchmo has been the teacher of every kind of musician - guitar players, piano ...


4

I'm a classical improviser and teacher thereof. I think of improvising as a classical musician as musical conversation (assuming I am playing with someone else or with several people): I talk about something I are familiar with in a comfortable way (I don't try to talk too fast or use words I don't know). The other person listens to what I have said and ...


4

A nice addendum to Caleb Hines' answer is that if you take all the most common intervals, you get M2, m3, P4, P5, M6, and m7, which is the Dorian mode. What's significant about this is that the Dorian mode is a point of symmetry in our diatonic scale. If you use D as a center point and move both up and down in perfect 5ths, you end up getting the diatonic ...


4

What I think you should be able to do is: Play the melody fluently; if you can learn it by heart, even better, but if not don't worry. Play the melody slightly varied. If you listen to the same jazz song by many artists, you'll see that none of them play it the same. Everyone changes it a bit here and there. That's something you'll have to do yourself. ...


3

With the guitar being a positional instrument, meaning one can play the same tune in many different keys but retain the same fingering and strings, merely moving where on the neck the tune is played, then knowing note names as the tune unfolds is not necessary. The relationship between the tonic and other notes, as far as where they are relatively speaking, ...


3

These interval exercises are good for dexterity but in my opinion they are only of limited use when trying to improvise a melodic solo. The patterns sound too predictable when used without modifications. Furthermore, all notes of the scale are given the same weight (or importance), and this is usually not the most musical way of using the notes of a scale, ...


3

This is a very broad question, and each individual subquestion is very broad by itself, but I'll try to point you in the right direction. You should grab a copy of either Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" or Robert Rawlins' "Jazzology". In my experience, those are the most recommended general jazz theory books. Check reviews in Amazon and similar sites ...


3

When composing or creating a melody line to go with your chord progression (harmony) your safest bet is to choose a chord tone for the first note played after or simultaneous with the chord change. A chord tone is any note contained in the underlying chord (one of the three in a triad or one of the four in a 4 note chord such as a 7th). But you can ...


3

If you are playing solo, start by realizing that you are now the full band and you need to adapt your playing like so. Think of the drummer and the bass player as "navigators" on a ship, guiding the rest of the group. So the drummer keeps time and makes fills anticipating when a period is ending and another one is beginning and the bass player plays passing ...


3

I guess it depends on time and level of skill. For a beginner's introduction, I'd start with recording a rhythm track of 12-bar blues, teach the class the pentatonic scales and blues cliche's. For a masterclass, take a look at the question Does improvisation in the classical idiom differ significantly from jazz and folk improvisation?. See if you can get ...


3

At Turion's request, I'm writing out a few ideas for conducting improvisation classes. If using my suggestions, they should be approached and reinforced cyclically, as they all support one another. For the sake of brevity, I'll provide one example for each. Listening / "Talking" Call & Response Response & Variation Variation & Extension ...


2

I feel that the answers above are missing some important points. I've been a jazz musician for close to 20 years now, I started in my early teens, studying on weekends at a top conservatory, later went to music school for college, and have worked on and off as a professional musician since. That said, I will never forget the day, when I was 16, when it all ...


2

I have the SAME EXACT problem: I play music by sight, not by ear. What I usually do when I'm told to play a melody or a song, I play the note in my head. I ask myself "is this a high note, or a low note, or somewhere in-between?" Then, I would make an educated guess of which note it could possibly be, and play it. From there, I would determine if it's the ...


2

When you write that you've studied loads of scales and arpeggios but "I don't have many jazz heroes to borrow those licks from," it sounds to me like you are facing an obstacle faced by many young musicians today: with all the instructional material and fake books around, it is too easy to think you are learning the music without actually listening to the ...


2

Any chord will have certain notes which will match it better than others. Using your C key example, C-E, E-G will work well, as those notes appear in the C chord. If you played C-E, D-F, E-G on beats 1, 2 and 3 of a bar it would sound fine. Starting on beat 1 with an appropriate pair of notes always works well. With 4ths, you'll have to be more picky. G-C ...


2

Ah, yes! This tip from Joe is one of my all time favorite things to meditate on. I especially like to pick voicings from the Joe Pass chord book, and apply this concept to them. I think that the main idea here is associating different sounds with chord voicings, and developing your ear to hear different harmonic possibilities over chords. Also, developing ...


2

Jim did an excellent job of describing how to hear intervals and melodies. There are a couple other aspects of music that can really help you to be a better performer and listener, if you get used to looking for them. When I'm transcribing or learning a piece, I try to listen first broadly, then in more detail. How much time I spend listening at each ...


2

Mix it up to make it interesting. Sometimes, play something melodic in the right hand, with chords in the left hand. Sometimes, play something rhythmically interesting in the left hand (fairly low down) while you play chords in the right hand. And so on. Experiment with different amounts of contrast between left and right hands, see what you feel goes ...



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