Jazzedge Community Forums PianoWithWillie General Music Discussion Going from Ben’s Blues class to Improvisation

Going from Ben’s Blues class to Improvisation

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Willie Willie 4 years, 1 month ago.

  • Member
    Sachin

    I have been really trying to work on the Ben’s Blues class. Here is my status:
    – Can play bass line pretty steadily (without looking at notes) at a brisk pace
    – I can mix in melody, chords, syncopated rhythms, etc. at medium pace
    – I can do pentatonic and blues scales that you prescribe at a slow pace

    So I will keep practicing. But my question is how to go to the improv step. I have done it once or twice, but I’m not fully confident. Should I just keep doing it? It feels random to me (maybe I need to let go more…). Thanks!

    Keymaster
    Willie

    This is a great question Sachin.

    This very much resembles the 80/20 rule where even though you have done 80% of the work, it is really the 20% where all the magic happens.

    Yes, keep going with your improvisation and make sure that you are breaking it into sections.

    So, to conquer the last 20% I suggest that you try working the improvisation only between 2 chords to start. Use your metronome to keep your place.

    I’ve found the BEST way for students to work on a section of improvisation is to create a lick from a specific rhythm.

    So, start with a rhythm like 8 eighth notes to a quarter note.

    For example, take this rhythm for example:

    example rhythm

    Next, apply notes to this rhythm to create a lick like so:

    Lick example

    Now, of course, this is just one example. The point is that this process allows you to check yourself. What I mean is that with a SET rhythm and SET lick you always know how the lick and the accompaniment “line up”.

    Understand where I’m going with this?

    Member
    Sachin

    Thanks Willie! I will try this. I am sure I will have questions on this after I get this part down better 🙂

    Keymaster
    Willie

    I hope you do! That’s what I’m here for 😉

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