Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsSo we are going to say more about improvising in this session. We’ve already met improvising using scales.

Skip to 0 minutes and 21 secondsThere we have used jazz quavers or jazz triplets typically to move up and down the scales starting and ending at any point. Our next device is called “chordal” improvisation. As the name suggests it involves essentially using the notes of the chords and going up and down the chords in a musical manner, hopefully. This chordal improvisation is typical of the earlier eras of jazz - what we call “traditional jazz” in the UK - where there is much more use of chordal improvising. Let me talk about a C blues. Let me do it one bar at a time - out of time - and then we’ll use our playalong.

Skip to 1 minute and 12 secondsSo in the case of a C blues the first chord is C7 and those are the notes that make up C7. We can play them in any order and we play them, typically, either as jazz quavers, or again, typically, triplets.

Skip to 1 minute and 48 secondsWe can “arpeggiate” the chord, which means take a particular shape and move it up and down the chord.

Skip to 1 minute and 55 secondsFor example:

Skip to 2 minutes and 1 secondOr some other shape, like:

Skip to 2 minutes and 9 secondsThere’s our first bar. Second bar F7 and we do the same thing using the notes of F7. Back home again. And again. F7. And again. Home.

Skip to 2 minutes and 37 secondsThen G7 - and there are the notes which make it up - F7. And home.

Using chords to improvise

In this video you will extend your approaches to improvisation by using chords to improvise.

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This video is from the free online course:

Learn Jazz Piano: I. Begin with the Blues

Goldsmiths, University of London