Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 34 of 34
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Hello guitar comrades

    I am writing because I wanted to know your opinion on the problem I am dealing with.

    In short: I know scales well (major, melodic minor, dimished) and I am a follower of the chord-scale theory.
    For example: Stella By Strarlight I smoothly play each chord with a different scale. But I also know areggios quite well (I learned them before scales).
    But I can't think with scales and arpeggios at the same time The processor overloads and I pass out.

    And now the main questions: Is it more important (from the point of view of musicality) to play small melodies / motifs / motives based even on scales? Or maybe I should play classic - chord tones on strong beat, and all arpeggio stuff? This is a problem that I cannot solve.

    I've found that I feel good about playing scale based ideas. E.g. the first 3-5-note motif. The second is similar, referring to the first one, but with a slight modification. Then a little alteration and landing, the solution to the whole phrase. Or playing a theme and repeating it over several scales over, say, 4 chords. Or, for example, I start with 2 notes and then in the following phrases I develop the idea so that it is logically connected. I like it and I can hear it when the chords change.

    But I have a dilemma: is playing with scales ideas is a dead end and should I play more arpeggios ideas and study chord tones on strong beats approach?

    What is your opinion on this topic?

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    for me chord tones , deffo

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Transcribe the solos you love to see what they are doing and go with that.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    There is a convention very popular in jazz which suggests phrasing lines so they "arp up and scale down". You will notice this a lot if you transcribe some solos and examine them.

    If you arp up and scale down over a chord (like in a ballad), the arp up confirms the harmony and gives you a moment to prep a melodic scale down. With a faster pace your phrases may arp up one chord and scale down the next chord, allowing you to set the point (leading or lagging) of your harmony change with respect to the chord change... lots of other things you can experiment with to hear what sounds good.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by freud
    Hello guitar comrades

    I am writing because I wanted to know your opinion on the problem I am dealing with.

    In short: I know scales well (major, melodic minor, dimished) and I am a follower of the chord-scale theory.
    For example: Stella By Strarlight I smoothly play each chord with a different scale. But I also know areggios quite well (I learned them before scales).
    But I can't think with scales and arpeggios at the same time The processor overloads and I pass out.

    And now the main questions: Is it more important (from the point of view of musicality) to play small melodies / motifs / motives based even on scales? Or maybe I should play classic - chord tones on strong beat, and all arpeggio stuff? This is a problem that I cannot solve.

    I've found that I feel good about playing scale based ideas. E.g. the first 3-5-note motif. The second is similar, referring to the first one, but with a slight modification. Then a little alteration and landing, the solution to the whole phrase. Or playing a theme and repeating it over several scales over, say, 4 chords. Or, for example, I start with 2 notes and then in the following phrases I develop the idea so that it is logically connected. I like it and I can hear it when the chords change.

    But I have a dilemma: is playing with scales ideas is a dead end and should I play more arpeggios ideas and study chord tones on strong beats approach?

    What is your opinion on this topic?
    No scales absolutely aren’t a dead end but the only way I learned this was from studying solos. That’s the best way to see how everything fits together.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    I general I would say we practice longer scales than are actually used. An octave, or five of four note ‘half scales’ are very common, not the two and a half octave positions we learn on guitar.

    But listen and you’ll work that out.

  8. #7
    Hi. Thanks for the interesting answers. Listen, for example, Coltrane was not afraid of avoid notes and used ... Or rather, he made sense to them.

    And that is my main question: which is stronger?
    1- focusing on scales but playing them as ideas / motives that make logical sense and "tell a story".
    2-Classic and dogmatic approach of chord tones on strong beats over changes with arpeggios.
    Which way is better?
    Ok arpeggios more clearly marked chords. But the scales give mobility, more mobility and interesting sounds. The scale is arpeggio 13 after all

    But - the main assumption: is motivic development and creating small, logical melodies more important than the selection of the sound material?

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    There are probably as many paths as players.

    I'll offer an idea that may not really address your point, but might be helpful.

    I think it's important to have an idea of what you want to sound like. When you scat-sing, are you happy with your lines? If so, play those. Can you think of a melody you like while you strum the chords? Play that. Is there a soloist whose recordings sound great to you? Figure out some of it and see if you can apply it to your own playing.

    My thought is that the answer to your question is another question, i.e., how do you want to sound?

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by freud

    But - the main assumption: is motivic development and creating small, logical melodies more important than the selection of the sound material?
    If you want to make music as opposed to solving tasks, yes.

    (But what do I know - I still think that Bmaugmin is a Tolkien character.)


    Gesendet von iPhone mit Tapatalk

  11. #10
    Thanks Docsteve for a nice answer. I think you've hit the point. Yes, I want to make and play music, not act apreggios (that's not an end in itself). Can you write something more about your approach?


    Christianm77 - can you expand on what you wrote about "half scales"? I don't quite understand what you mean?


    Rpjazzguitar - you ask what it wants to sound like. So I like the modern approach the most. Charles Altura is my idol And in general, my favorite music is the music played by Chick Corea Electric Band and the Vigil ... And such music and phrases are most on my mind.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by freud
    Thanks Docsteve for a nice answer. I think you've hit the point. Yes, I want to make and play music, not act apreggios (that's not an end in itself). Can you write something more about your approach?


    Christianm77 - can you expand on what you wrote about "half scales"? I don't quite understand what you mean?


    Rpjazzguitar - you ask what it wants to sound like. So I like the modern approach the most. Charles Altura is my idol And in general, my favorite music is the music played by Chick Corea Electric Band and the Vigil ... And such music and phrases are most on my mind.
    I wasn't familiar with Charles Altura, but I listened to some of his clips. Very modern sounding, very fluid. It's a style I know precious little about and I can't scat lines like that. I'd venture a guess that he's fully conversant in arps, scales and licks. He's a very skilled player, with novel lines and strong time.

    I'll make a comment about the scale vs arp thing. There is more than one way to approach the material. I was not able to do it effectively wth geometric patterns. I found it easier to learn it by note name. Learn the notes, by name, in the scales and arps you use and learn where they are on the neck. A lot of work, but that's true no matter how you approach it. Most don't do it the way I did and I'd imagine there's a good reason for that, so take this as a minority view.

    Good luck!

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    There is a "range of excitement" that includes this:

    Upward movements are more exciting than downward movements.
    Larger movement increments are more exciting than smaller increments.

    So for arps and scales, the most exciting is arps going up, least exciting are scales coming down. The modulation of the excitement level is one of the dimensions of phrasing, which also has dimensions of excitement comprising harmony and rhythm.

    As an improvisor, one may have a sense of the feel of these dimensions and the strategic real-time adjustments to express their effects in various combinations. Not saying these are definitive or complete, but the quick lists below give a schematic idea of what the underlying dimensions might look like. In actual improvising one naturally learns how the various combinations support what you may want to express through your phrases.

    Melodic dimension
    Relaxed: diatonic moving down
    Neutral: diatonic moving up
    Interesting: triadic moving down
    Exciting: triadic moving up
    (triadic includes chord tones, extensions, and alterations)

    Harmonic dimension
    Relaxed: static harmony
    Neutral: vanilla harmony
    Interesting: extended harmony
    Exciting: altered, angular, or outside harmony
    (angular includes diminished and augmented)

    Rhythmic dimension
    Relaxed: straight time
    Neutral: syncopation
    Interesting: swing, groove
    Exciting: shifted beat width
    (shifted beat width is slight leading or lagging the beat)
    Last edited by pauln; 01-25-2021 at 06:40 AM.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by freud
    Hi. Thanks for the interesting answers. Listen, for example, Coltrane was not afraid of avoid notes and used ... Or rather, he made sense to them.

    And that is my main question: which is stronger?
    1- focusing on scales but playing them as ideas / motives that make logical sense and "tell a story".
    2-Classic and dogmatic approach of chord tones on strong beats over changes with arpeggios.
    Which way is better?
    Ok arpeggios more clearly marked chords. But the scales give mobility, more mobility and interesting sounds. The scale is arpeggio 13 after all

    But - the main assumption: is motivic development and creating small, logical melodies more important than the selection of the sound material?
    To invoke a meme - Yes.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by freud
    Christianm77 - can you expand on what you wrote about "half scales"? I don't quite understand what you mean?
    You’ll hear lines that focus for example on the first five notes of the minor scale 1-2-b3-4-5, the diminished tetrachord 1-b9-#9-9 on dominant chords,

    The pentatonic outline thing 1-2-3-5 is another partial scale.

    When a chord lasts for half a bar you don’t have time to play a whole scale. They can be unwieldy. I’m talking about classic bop language here.

    But if fusion and players who have been through the chord scale thing are more your bag, you may find chord scales more useful (scales and chord scales aren’t the same thing BTW.)

    Musicians play phrases which combine arpeggios, scales, chromatic pitches and intervals.

    Your ears and your tastes will have a way of telling you what to focus on.

    If you are a beginner I would suggest getting a really strong handle on triads though 1-3-5 to start with. Everything can be built from that, and a lot of great players old and modern are very triadic.

  16. #15
    Christianm77 thank you for the explanation. Now I understand your point of view.


    Yes, I'm interested in more fusion sounds and I know people think more of a chord-scale approach in this genre. You know ... it's also not that I only play with scales. I know where the chord notes are, I can see them out of the corner of my eye and so I can land well But while improvising and looking for melodies and motifs that I have in my head, I rather use scales and go from one to the other in a smooth and close way. It's nice to see 2 scales at the same time because I can find common notes right away and the 1 or 2 that are different. This can also be used well when building a melody because you can immediately hear the chord change ...


    You mentioned triads. How can I use them? Where to start and what do you recommend to include them in my vocabulary?

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by freud
    Christianm77 thank you for the explanation. Now I understand your point of view.


    Yes, I'm interested in more fusion sounds and I know people think more of a chord-scale approach in this genre. You know ... it's also not that I only play with scales. I know where the chord notes are, I can see them out of the corner of my eye and so I can land well But while improvising and looking for melodies and motifs that I have in my head, I rather use scales and go from one to the other in a smooth and close way. It's nice to see 2 scales at the same time because I can find common notes right away and the 1 or 2 that are different. This can also be used well when building a melody because you can immediately hear the chord change ...


    You mentioned triads. How can I use them? Where to start and what do you recommend to include them in my vocabulary?
    Well if fusion is your bag I may not be the best person to ask. I haven’t spent so much time studying that music.

    but there are a lot triads in Metheny, Scofield and Scott Henderson. Also use of pentatonics, that’s another thing. But all these guys also have a solid grounding in bop. Altura too from how he sounds.

    Studying bop vocab teaches you how jazz sounds. How it works. How the phrases go.

    You need that to get anything meaningful out of chord scales etc. You need to train you ears and your time sense.

    it’s best done by ear. Direct. No omnibooks. You need to internalise the phrasing.

    It’s not even about the notes as much as it’s about the phrasing, an how chord tones and passing tones etc are used rhythmically. All good jazz players get this intuitively, not that you have to be a bop virtuoso, necessarily, to play fusion. But you have to hear it, and there’s only one way to practice that.

    You get that from horn players mostly. You don’t have to go to bird, Brecker etc use the same phraseology in fusion.

    Re chord tones on the fretboard - Are you a beginner? Can you play changes fluently?

  18. #17
    No, I'm not a begginer. I would say I'm intermediate. I play changes but ... mainly with scales (chord - scales, not key center approach). I've been working on Stella recently and playing a few choruses all of it. Different versions. Before that, I did ATTYA, Autmn and other classics. I only play these standards to learn and find my own voice.


    As for the triads - I am aware of them, I know how the chords and scales are built. I just never thought with triads ... That's why I ask about the way of thinking with them.

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by freud
    No, I'm not a begginer. I would say I'm intermediate. I play changes but ... mainly with scales (chord - scales, not key center approach). I've been working on Stella recently and playing a few choruses all of it. Different versions. Before that, I did ATTYA, Autmn and other classics. I only play these standards to learn and find my own voice.


    As for the triads - I am aware of them, I know how the chords and scales are built. I just never thought with triads ... That's why I ask about the way of thinking with them.
    Well there’s no thinking. You just play them.

    There’s no clever concept; just 1 3 5 on every chord all over the neck in half notes through a tune. That’s the basic skeleton. You can make music with it too! Just ask Pat.

    Then you can start to think about the pretty notes, the extensions, scale tones, subs and chromatics and ABOVE ALL; the rhythm.

    That last thing is the thing that will make it sound like music. Playing a 13th with square time will never sound as hip as a triad with great feel. Again; ask Pat (that is listen to him play.)

  20. #19
    Ok. Thank You. I will try.

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by freud
    Ok. Thank You. I will try.




    Sweat the basics. Without that it’s all a house of cards.

  22. #21
    Christian, thanks for adding your video. A very interesting lesson. It shows that basically chord tones (from arpeggios or chord grips or triads) are the most important and the scales are a dead end? As you wrote - are they like a house of cards?

    Skeleton is chord tones on Beat 1 and 3 (and the rest are approach notes?)

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    Perhaps this is unnecessary, but I'll add it anyway.

    A Cmaj scale and a Cmaj13 are exactly the same notes (noting that Cmaj13 includes the 11th). That's true of Dm11 and so on thru the scale.

    Now, the F note, the 11th, has an increased risk compared to the others of making your line sound like Gdominant, but you can still use it. In fact, it can sound great, well-placed.

    So, the distinction between chord tones and scale tones isn't at all sharp.

    For the student who is confused about whether to focus on chords or scales, my first thought is that the student doesn't know the notes in each.
    If s/he did, it wouldn't be confusing, or so it seems to me. Hopefully, I'm not overstating this case.

    Take "All of Me" as a simple example. It starts with two bars of Cmaj7. That's 4 notes. C E G B. The 6 and 9 work well on major chords, which brings the total to 6 notes, C E G A B D. That's all the white keys except F. Any line with those notes is likely to sound consonant, or too vanilla, depending on your goal. The F# adds a lydian sound; making the chord Cmaj7#11 and the scale Clydian (same notes as Gmaj scale).

    Suppose you know all that -- the scale tones, the basic chord tones and the extended chord tones. Where is the confusion about what to play? Whether to use an F vs F# vs omit it? You know the pool of notes that will work to create the basic major and lydian sounds. Use them to make a melodic statement.

    This is the beginning, not the entire thing. The next thing you might notice is that you can superimpose the tones of different chords on the Cmaj7 to create different sounds and more structure. But, the principle is the same. You pick the notes, you understand the chord sound they yield and you make melody.

    So,you might decide to play Em7 against Cmaj7. Or maybe Bm7. Em7 against Cmaj 7 creates the sound of Cmaj9 - still Cmaj scale.
    Bm7 against Cmaj7 creates Cmaj6/9#11. C lydian scale. If you know the notes in the chords and scales you use, what's left to be confused about? (Not a rhetorical question -- you may be thinking this at a more advanced level than I do).

  24. #23
    Hey Rpjazzguitar. My confusion about which you are asking results from a very simple thing - fear of wasting time ... I don't have much of it so I have to invest it wisely The point is that I want to avoid a situation where in a year I will know the scales better, I will make new standards with them and devote time to practicing them, and in the end it will turn out that it was a bad way and a wasted year and it was necessary to concentrate out (as Christian writes) on chord tones. I'm just afraid that by playing with scales I'm building a house of cards. Now I have even more confusion in my head because it turns out that I should learn the bepop language first ...

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    My philosophy is that you don't learn things to play music; you play music to learn things. Everything you need to know how to do is in the songs you want to be able to play. Make a list of songs and start playing them, figuring them out by ear as much as possible.

    As far as having little time, Wes had a full time day job as a welder, clubs at night, and practiced at home quietly while his wife slept.

    Wes said he never practiced anything that he wouldn't play on stage... that really means just songs.

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by freud
    Hey Rpjazzguitar. My confusion about which you are asking results from a very simple thing - fear of wasting time ... I don't have much of it so I have to invest it wisely The point is that I want to avoid a situation where in a year I will know the scales better, I will make new standards with them and devote time to practicing them, and in the end it will turn out that it was a bad way and a wasted year and it was necessary to concentrate out (as Christian writes) on chord tones. I'm just afraid that by playing with scales I'm building a house of cards. Now I have even more confusion in my head because it turns out that I should learn the bepop language first ...
    Understood. There are many paths up this mountain. You can make great music by thinking about scales, or chord tones, or both with geometric patterns, note names or some other way.

    Probably a good teacher would be the best way.

    That said, if you can actually play a scale against a chord, aren't you going to hear which ones are the chord tones? If you learn some scales and spend time working on tunes, that ought to develop as if on its own.

    So, if that's appealing, try this. Get Irealpro on your phone. Pick a tune. 13 repeats. key change by a 4th every chorus. Play the melody, then solo in every key using a specific set of scales, starting simple, like just major scales. Do it all over the neck. If you like, do it again, this time using chord tones only.

    If you can get thru a tune like that, you have everything you need to play a simple standards based jazz gig.

    And, btw, it is probably not a year of work to master major and melodic minor scales in 12 keys. And, those two scales will take you quite far. No way it would be a waste of time. That depends on how you learn best -- and that varies from one player to another.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 01-25-2021 at 07:08 PM.

  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by freud
    Christian, thanks for adding your video. A very interesting lesson. It shows that basically chord tones (from arpeggios or chord grips or triads) are the most important and the scales are a dead end? As you wrote - are they like a house of cards?

    Skeleton is chord tones on Beat 1 and 3 (and the rest are approach notes?)
    Scales are not a dead end they are another resource, and I use them all the time; but if you want to be able to clearly express harmonies in your playing you need to be able to ... errr.... express harmonies in your playing. And groove. You don’t play over music, you play music.

    That’s one reason why need to wean people off backing tracks; you can always tell when people are used to that crutch.

    Players you play scales without a conception of harmony tend to play a lot of steps and float over the changes. You don’t hear harmonic information clearly. In classical music, Bach say, chord tones are the main thing and scale and chromatic tones add passing dissonance, colour and melody. Same is true of bop lines.

    That’s what the guy isn’t doing in the Pat lesson right? He’s just going up and down and the right scales but it’s got no skeleton. It’s musical jelly. Absolute classic; I hear this a lot in fairly accomplished amateur players. They play pleasing note choices but take away the backing and the chords aren’t really there. Often their time is a bit woolly as well.

    I used to be like that too.

    So do the triad thing BEFORE doing scales. Don’t use a backing track if you can help it.

    It’s good to start simple . Playing chord tones on Beats 1 and 3 is not jazz. It’s not even music really though it can be musically done.

    That starts to give you a roadmap. Better still you can hear these notes clearly.

    But you also need the rhythm thing. Phrases are best learned by ear. The two things are interlinked; chord tones tend to be expressed on rhythmic accents. This is better heard than explained.

    Be able to make interesting and cool rhythmic phrases without pitches. Steal them if you need to.

    Attend to these basics if you don’t want to sound like an amateur. Take them very seriously. I still practice this. I’ve heard Lage Lund practice this.... All the good jazz changes players have done this work or something very similar.

    As Pat says, you don’t necessarily want to always to do this as a jazz player; but it is an essential skill.

  28. #27

    User Info Menu

    I see this very differently from Christian, apparently.

    It seems quite possible that a very different approach to the task has resulted in a different take on the utility of backing tracks.

    I think it's important to hear the harmony when you play. Unless you can hear it so clearly in mind that you don't need anything else, I don't understand how you can fully appreciate the full sound without hearing the harmony. Well, at least, I can't.

    I think that using the backing track can help you focus on the chord tones, arps or licks for every part of the song. And, doing them in 12 keys means you'll never get thrown by a modulation in a different tune. If you don't know the chord tones for a particular chord, you can drill it until you do.

    The mechanical rhythm track isn't great, but it's still possible to swing against it. And, check your time against it.

    It's not a substitute for playing live, but I think it's a great way to practice.

  29. #28
    Gentlemen, thanks a lot for your replies. They really helped me and opened my eyes to many of the doubts I had.


    I also understand your approach. It is really interesting how everyone arranges it differently in order to finally achieve the goal.


    I became interested in traids. First of all, because my scales are so well mastered (fingerings 3 notes per strings) that I play them in various configurations almost mechanically. That's why it's easy for me to see the triads inside the scales now. And move them to better reflect the harmony. I think this is a good path because it combines two important things. I also like to play melodies and motifs based strictly on the sounds of the scale. So if I add a triad to this, the effect can be interesting


    Thanks again for your help! And best regards.

  30. #29

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by freud
    Gentlemen, thanks a lot for your replies. They really helped me and opened my eyes to many of the doubts I had.


    I also understand your approach. It is really interesting how everyone arranges it differently in order to finally achieve the goal.


    I became interested in traids. First of all, because my scales are so well mastered (fingerings 3 notes per strings) that I play them in various configurations almost mechanically. That's why it's easy for me to see the triads inside the scales now. And move them to better reflect the harmony. I think this is a good path because it combines two important things. I also like to play melodies and motifs based strictly on the sounds of the scale. So if I add a triad to this, the effect can be interesting


    Thanks again for your help! And best regards.
    No problem hope it’s helpful.

    None of the work is wasted. When you’ve worked on chord tones the scale stuff will have a new context as you say .

    I’d also say bust out of fingerings. Practice playing chord tones fretting with your index finger only and along one string etc .

  31. #30
    Thanks Christian.


    You know ... 2 years ago, for a few months I was learning Garrison Fewell's triad pairs. I even played them pretty well but then I realized that I was starting to sound like Wes ... Especially when I added the triplet feel - the one you write about - resulting from the fretting fingers technique. I achieved a very classic old school sound, and I was looking for a more modern one. That's why then I went to chord - scales approach.


    But, if You recomend triads, to clarify, you mean to approach each chord separately. Eg. Dm7, G7, Cmaj7 - and now for Dm7 we play triads from this chord etc?
    Can we 251 play with 1-2 scales and play triads that are inside that scale?
    Are the triads for you a way of playing scale (mobility)?

    Should I approach triads from the point of view of chords or scale?

  32. #31

    User Info Menu

    Tim Lerch just made a video you might find helpful.



    Use your scales and arps as tools to make music, that‘s probably the gist of it.


    Gesendet von iPad mit Tapatalk

  33. #32

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by freud
    Thanks Christian.


    You know ... 2 years ago, for a few months I was learning Garrison Fewell's triad pairs. I even played them pretty well but then I realized that I was starting to sound like Wes ... Especially when I added the triplet feel - the one you write about - resulting from the fretting fingers technique. I achieved a very classic old school sound, and I was looking for a more modern one. That's why then I went to chord - scales approach.
    That makes sense, most modern players have studied CST. But there's a lot of ways to use it. Many modern players seem to favour triads and pentatonics for example, to get upper structure sounds on chords.

    Triads are just basic building blocks of (western) music. They don't really have a stylistic association. Outlining a harmonic progression clearly in a line is a basic skill. That might mean outlining triads in a 12 bar, or superimposing a Giant Steps cycle in triads or whatever on a vamp.

    I just seeing it as learning your instrument.

    But, if You recomend triads, to clarify, you mean to approach each chord separately. Eg. Dm7, G7, Cmaj7 - and now for Dm7 we play triads from this chord etc?
    Can we 251 play with 1-2 scales and play triads that are inside that scale?
    The triads are a way of outlining harmony. (Chord) scales themselves don't do this awfully well if you don't learn to use them as harmonic and intervallic combinations. If you can't do this with triads, I don't know why you would try and do it with larger pitch sets. Also you can go a long way with triads, just go listen to some modern players.

    Are the triads for you a way of playing scale (mobility)?
    I think I tend to see scales and chords as a two way relationship? Generally I practice not playing in position. Positions is what you do when you are learning the guitar, you need the muscle memory... later on it becomes more important to be flexible. I do like the way I end up moving around the neck with triads. I do get a bit stuck sometimes with positions.

    You can add scale tones in as you see fit.

    Should I approach triads from the point of view of chords or scale?
    Every (7 note) scale has 7 triads in it, of course. 7 four note seventh chords and so on. So yeah? Most players spend time practicing those, because it's a good way of making scales sound like something.

    It's all resources. There's not one method by which you an improvise. CST is useful for generating options on static chords and creating colours. It is not a panacea for improvising even in a modern style

    The thing is in changes based music you rarely have time to exhaust all the options. That's why I think I've found the triads thing so helpful; it helps me strip things back and focus on the sounds.

    You may get more mileage subbing one progression for another, and outlining that simply. So once you get good at
    Dm G C

    You can play around with things like
    F E Em
    F Eb Em

    Over the progression (the first example has a G half-whole sensibility and the second more of an altered scale sensibility) - is that a bit 'triad pair'-sy? I haven't looked at the Garrison Fewell stuff.

    Then, adding notes to triads is fun, so

    Fadd2 Eaddb2 Emadd4
    Fadd2 Ebaddb6 Emadd4

    You can even run one arp into the other
    Dm/F G/E C/Em
    etc

    And so on. There's also pentatonics.

    And then full 7 note scale patterns etc. Of course when you get into running patterns and so on at high speed, you are back in muscle memory territory. You can't improvise fast playing; the best you can do is combine pre-practiced chunks.

    And I find it limited the way you usually build up from the root; it's better to thing for instance, E Aeolian on C major, or Eb mixolydian b6 on G7 if you are into that type of thing building from our triad examples, because it gets you into a more interesting emphasis. This is the way Adam Rogers does it. Because of this I find it useful to build scale options out from triads be they root position or subs.

    But that's ONE way of doing it, and you can't do this unless you have mastered the basics. People also make the mistake of thinking harmonic options will make them sound as hip as their idols. In fact, unless you have the intuitive understanding - rhythmic and melodic - to use these ideas musically, they will tend to fall flat. That's why most players start with straightahead/bop because it gives you the language (and when does bop not sound GREAT in a fusion context?)

    But not all. You could learn plenty of bop language listening to Mike Brecker on old fusion records.

    And that's just if you want to create lines that agree with/extend the vanilla harmony all the time. That's not necessarily what goes on; there's outside playing obviously, but also much functional playing. And then you have players like Holdsworth who I don't think did the triads thing like ever, but had a scale oriented approach. But in his case, it still came from a place of having listened to a lot of music.)

    All of this stuff is hard to talk about because I wouldn't actually talk about all this stuff if I was teaching a student. I would focus only on what they needed to work on. Beyond that, I suggest developing a solid grasp on the basics if you haven't, and listening closely to your favourite players. That's it really.
    It's tough to advise without knowing about how you play. I'm really just saying the stuff that helps me, and helps my students.

    Unpacking just one lick from a favourite player by ear and working out what's going on can do more to teach you about how to apply resources than a million screeds like this one. That's often what's missing on discussions of improv/theory on this forum.
    Last edited by christianm77; 01-29-2021 at 07:01 AM.

  34. #33
    Christian! Thanks for your mini lecture ... It's very nice that you are sharing your knowledge.
    Now I can see and understand that so far I have used "shortcuts" without going into the true nature of music. From what I can see, without knowing the essence itself, it will be difficult to go further in consciously playing. That's why you motivated me to learn about the triads.


    I promise, one last question
    So how do you approach playing triads from the practical side?
    Do you consider each chord separately - play different triads starting with 1,3,5,7 of each separate chord? Plus upper extension triadas?
    Or maybe you look at the broader context - and play each key with different triads (as if the tonal center approach but with triads?). I am not talking about the static chord situation but about changes.

    I am asking because I think improvising in real time is very demanding for our processor
    Analyzing all possible triads in real time plus adding upper structures triadas for each chord separately in different inversions is quite breakneck ... So I am asking not about the theoretical side, but the practical one.

  35. #34

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by freud
    Christian! Thanks for your mini lecture ... It's very nice that you are sharing your knowledge.
    Now I can see and understand that so far I have used "shortcuts" without going into the true nature of music. From what I can see, without knowing the essence itself, it will be difficult to go further in consciously playing. That's why you motivated me to learn about the triads.


    I promise, one last question
    So how do you approach playing triads from the practical side?
    Do you consider each chord separately - play different triads starting with 1,3,5,7 of each separate chord? Plus upper extension triadas?
    Or maybe you look at the broader context - and play each key with different triads (as if the tonal center approach but with triads?). I am not talking about the static chord situation but about changes.

    I am asking because I think improvising in real time is very demanding for our processor
    Analyzing all possible triads in real time plus adding upper structures triadas for each chord separately in different inversions is quite breakneck ... So I am asking not about the theoretical side, but the practical one.
    You can't.

    If you have to think about any of this stuff, it doesn't work. It has be intuitive. That means hearing it and having it in your muscle memory.

    People don't realise how much ingraining things take. It takes months just to get one thing. It's taken years to get some concepts into my playing.

    Quantitive knowledge is cheap; embodied knowledge is hard won. That's the painful lesson of music. Just because you can do something in the practice room doesn't mean you have it.

    People often move through stuff too quickly. Try recording yourself though; when your playing falls apart, you know there's more work to be done lol.

    Don't worry about improvisation too much. Writing things can be a good way to develop your improvisation vocabulary.