Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsWe are going to do some exercises now on motivic improvisation. We are going to use the 3 motivic elements that make up “Blue Monk”. We’ll just use them one at a time. So our very first motif is. And we will only use that. This is going to make it sound pretty tedious but this is an exercise which is tooling us up for future usage of motivic elements. So we’ll stick to that. We can try displacing it. We can try inverting it. We can try rhythmically displacing it. We can try adding notes. In a way, I am not too fussed about where this starts because its chromatic it doesn’t necessarily have to completely agree with the underlying chord.

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 secondsWe’ll take a few liberties here, but it’s just the idea of taking this one little element and doing something with it.

Using "Blue Monk" motivic elements: Motive 1

We explore how we might improvise on “Blue Monk” using the first motivic element from the tune.

You can download the motivic elements referenced in the video in PDF format at the bottom of this step.

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This video is from the free online course:

Learn Jazz Piano: I. Begin with the Blues

Goldsmiths, University of London