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  1. #1

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    I have some trouble with scales playing over Someday My Prince Will Come.

    Can you please tell me what to use.

    I use the B major scale, D Mixolydian over V, the fifth mode from the G melodic minor scale, C melodic minor, and some chromaticism, but I got problems with phrasing.

    If anyone has suggestions please let me know.



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  3. #2

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    Some choices are:

    Bbma7 - Bb major scale plus modes
    D7#5 - Eb melodic minor/ D whole tone / D symetrical (1/2 whole)
    Ebma 7 - Eb Lydian (Bb maj)
    G7#5 - Ab melodic minor / C melodic minor
    Cmi7 - C dorian (Bb maj)/ C blues
    C7 - C mixolydian
    F7 - Mixolydian (Bb maj)
    D mi7 D phrygian (Bb maj)
    C# dim (C# symmetrical whole-half)
    Cmi7 C dorian etc.

    Second ending

    Fmi7 - F melodic minor
    Bb7 - Same
    Ebma7 - Eb ma or Eb lydian
    E dim - E symmetrical w-1/2
    The rest in Bb major and its modes.

    You can play most of this tune in Bb major though, but change scales on the D7, G7 ,C7,Bb7

    On the diminshed chords I like to think of them as the 3rd of a 7b9 chord. If you think like that then it opens those chords up to other types of scales and harmonic possibilities.

    One other option on the diminshed is to play a diminshed scale. I don't know the name of this scale but it's a six note scale tha outlines the most common diminshed chord with some extensions. The notes in c would be

    c,d,Eb,Gb,Ab, A natural then repeat.

    There are plenty of other options. I'm sure lot's of ideas will follow from some of the other forum contributers.

    It's a nice tune. Have fun

  4. #3
    that seems so complicated, i cant even read through that. why not just concentrate on arpeggios for the changes?

  5. #4

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    Yes and no.

    The above is more for analysis, possibities. Just some info .

    Honestly I don't think of scales or arpeggios and I don't think it's helpful to alway think in just terms of scales , especialy linear movement only, to improvise.

    I think of types of sounds. Do I hear alternate 5's or 9's? Lydian? Augmented? Diminished? and then I think about what type of movement do I want, Scale wise, Arpeggios, or Intervals

    to elaborate on my original answer from an analytical view , if you look at the above scale choices most are some sort of Bb maj or one of its modes. If I were to think in modes I might start on D phrygian (Bb maj) into D super locrian (Eb melodic minor) back to D phrygian. I could stay in D phrygian got the G7#5 ans here wouls aldo be a good place to through in a G7 arpeggio (do a run of say D, Eb, F from the mode and then G,B,D,F,Ab as an arpeggio)

    But really, I try not to think too much when I improvise. That's one of the things that trips everybody up. Thinking too hard about which scale and then just blowing through the scale.

    I find that all these scales, modes , apreggios and interval excercises are really just a means to an end. We do them to train our mind and ear to invent melodies and then recognize where to put our fingers when we hear those melodies.

    Of course I'll be the first to admit to grabing a D dorian mode and running like the wind on Coltrane's "Impressions" to start it off. But the truth is I pick my staring note and go from there. If I 'm lucky, something good comes out. If not, well, then at least I know all my scales , modes and arpeggios to fall back on.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes Monaco
    that seems so complicated, i cant even read through that. why not just concentrate on arpeggios for the changes?
    that's the way i approach "someday"...i'm usually playing it as a medium ballad.

    something worth checking out would be how bob brookmeyer takes this tune on a great recording from about 30 years ago, "bob brookmeyer's small band" it's a live cut, and they take "someday" medium up....they're blowing! jack wilkins on guitar, to boot. great stuff.

  7. #6

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    I'm curious, why just arpeggios?

    Here's another question , How would Ella solo over this? She would sing the melodies that popped into her head. I'm sure she didn't think what scale or arpeggio to use, she just sang what she heard.

    Same with Benson when he plays and sings the line. I would like to think that he thought about the line he was singing and then played that on guitar.

  8. #7

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    just an easier way of visualization, for me. i can "see" the chord, but i also know how the chord is if i want to raise the fifth, i can. if i want the lydian sound, i can think maj7 and raise the just cuts down on a lot of memorization for me, which is something i've never enjoyed.

    ideally, i'm thinking melodically as well. the chord, or the arpeggio, however you want to look at it, is home base to me.

  9. #8

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    Using the melody as a basis for a first chorus or two is also a great idea. Listen to Johnny Smith for great examples of this in every solo he played. It's a great way to stretch a line, the melody, you already know into a few choruses of blowing by just adding slight alterations.


  10. #9

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    this was very helpful,it looks a little complicated but its not. I also go with the melody and use tone or two from the complicated scales,but if you want really to know the these tone or two you need to know entire scale.Again thanks a lot,really helpful greetings from Kerim,Bosnia

  11. #10
    I'm having a hard time with that tune right now. It's maybe beyond my skill, but I've completely fallen in love with its melody. The thing is, the melody is too empty to throw in the middle of a solo. I usually expect something busier. I tend to use the arps along with some extensions, as it is really easy to get lost when using scales in 3/4 time. Do you have any ideas for using the melody without sounding empty?

  12. #11

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    One thing you can do if play arpeggios from low to high that finish on the melody note. This way you are using the arpeggios that you like to improv with and are mixing in the melody. You can do this with scales as well. Johnny Smith was a master at this so if you have any of his stuff take a listen to hear how he does it.


  13. #12

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    I've arrived late to this blog as I'm currently struggling with, "Someday..." I found a superb version by Joe Pass, in A flat maj7 which transitions to A major, then down to G major. As expected,Joe runs the gamut of chords and adds some stellar single-note runs, too. It's well worth checking out ! Thanks for all the input.

  14. #13

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    There is a great version by Jim Hall where he redid the melody. He calls it "Waltz New". It's on Artist House records , but out of print.

    I remember the album came with a booklet that had the head and solos transcribed for both the bass and guitar. Pretty advanced idea for the "70's

    I think I still have that booklet.

  15. #14

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    A cool reharmonization for those interested: replace the (C#o7) with (Em11 A7)

  16. #15

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    try some voice leading ideas...Bb Bb+ Bb6 Bo Cm CmM7 C#o Co etc...
    scales aint the way go...never are.

  17. #16

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    Simplify the harmony and think tonal centers...

    i.e: Bb/D7aug/Eb/...= Bb/Bb7/Eb...Is like Bb leading to Eb

    G7/Cm/G7/Cm...Is all Cm tonality

    Dm/Gm/Cm/F7 is all I-VI-II-V in Bb.

    The use of the augmented chord is a result of the melody and should not be confused with the basic harmonic structure.
    Check out some other tunes with similar harmonic/melodic structure (Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime, The B section of La Fiesta)
    And listen to how the lines move Hope this helps.

    Just my opinion

  18. #17

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    Hi everyone, first time here for me. I've come across a LOT of useful information in this forum.
    I'd agree that «You can play most of this tune in Bb major though, but change scales on the D7, G7 ,C7,Bb7», as JohnW400 put it.

    On the other hand, what I do find most useful, when practicing, is to play the head 'in a loop', until slight changes in the choice of notes and rhythm start to come in, really slow. It comes from that Lee Konitz 10 steps appoach, which I find realistic and useful. Many times, at least for me, a scale / arpeggio approach seems somewhat unpractical, if you don't know the tune well enough. Of course this is not to imply we shouldn't learn those as best as we possibly can.
    Just some thoughts.
    Greetings from Lisbon,
    André Rodrigues

  19. #18
    Well, you can utilize modes that borrow from the usual scale realms, but that is a very long route and it leans towards tending to address each chord in isolation. You can still study that way, if you desire, but you ask about the tune as a tune first, and the individual changes, second. Although, I understand your strategy in trying to play over the changes. The problem with only driving the mode route is that they don't address the 'connecting tissue.' The tune (progression which involves melody and bass line, besides the changes), is one unit and my advice is to think unit first, as opposed to thinking individual changes (or at least divide your study time between the two concepts; two of several). Having stated this, it's not to say that the tune does not have a "schematic." This involves a bass line and the bass line is covering a cycle that is ultimately drawn as resultants out of the Overtone Series.

    1: Study this bass line (chord roots) and observe how each interval is related to the preceding chord and the subsequent chord.

    2: Write down the cyclic formula and try to think why Mr. Churchill (Not Winston) put together his progression to meet his melody.

    3: Look closer at the 2nd change. D+7. It is D7 type chord, but Bb is in the melody. Sure, you can be told to ignore the "augmentedness" of the original change and just think "D7 land", but the next change is critical concerning improvisation. D aug triad is also and inverted Bbaug triad. look at the second change as the V7alt (1st inv) of Ebmaj7. The bassline goes Bb to D. This is major third, which is quite harmonious, but the composer is now able to kill two birds with one stone with the aug. chord quality as V7/I of Eb, which in turn is the IV chord from Bb. What to play for you first way of thinking (at home as "practice")? Bbmajor scale in bar one adjusted to Bb mixolydian (add the #5 to your thinking and hearing) and then the mini-cadence into Ebmaj7 (Eb major scale).

    4: Mr. Churchill uses the exact same clever device for the IV chord. Eb bass going to G bass (another very harmonious major 3rd, yes?) And agin he utilizes an augmented dominant , G+7. Only this time G7 fits nicely as is: V7/ii (V7 cadence to i min7), so now you can think of this Gaug as an extension of Ebmaj7 and being G7 simultaneously. Look at G aug and look at Ebmaj7#5. Pretty damn close in sound? Now you can reduce the progression (so far) to Ebmaj7/ Bb+7/ Ebmaj7/ Ebmaj7#5/ C-7/

    5: G+7 in bar 6 can now free itself up for G mixolydian (with a twist), becase it is simply returning to it's "mama", C-7. C-7 is now a ii-7 going to F7, but now you have D-7. D-7 is the 'medient minor' sub chord for Bbmaj7. Again, think cadence. Think Bbmaj7 instead of D-7 (for now, at least).

    6: C#dim7 can be thought of what it is "functioning as a secondary dominant" (passing chord going to ii-7). Since it is a flat key, Key of Bb, you can look at it as Dbdim7. A common function as biiidim resolving into ii-7 (C-7). This can also be looked upon as a change of tonic chord quality: Bbmaj7 altered to Bbdim7.

    This is all the time that I have at the moment to donate, but if you can follow what I have written, the rest of the tune follows suit.

    Modes are very helpful and consequently useful, but the cycle of the progression should be first and foremost. Each tune has a "schmatic", so it's only normal that the blueprint should be addressed first, because it clearly reveals the foundation where the modes may be simply housed in. The thing to keep in mind, is that people live inside the house. And each person ("the connecting tissue") has a personality to not be ignored.

    Sure, this looks like more words that a tally of the usual modal suspects, but again it's a matter of communication and this takes words and some enthusiastic reading by default. Reduce down to the cycle and pay attention to the bassline interval movement, while all the time keeping your eyes on the ball.


  20. #19

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    in the second measure in the key of g the chart calls for b+ and that doesn't sound right. the melody note is g....any suggestions

    in the third measure the melody note is f# and the chord is c......???? I would like to play a melody note strum strum simple arrangement of this song.....thanks....dan

  21. #20

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    Those are indeed the correct changes, and the placement of those melody notes against those chords is part of what makes the tune appealing. Are you trying to keep the melody on the bass strings and playing your chord accents on the higher strings? That's going to involve some hard fingerings.

    For the g melody with B chord over it, try a standard B7 fingering but leave the 3rd string open.

    For the f# with a C chord, that isn't as odd. It's a CMaj#4. Assuming you want to keep the melody on the bass strings, try:


  22. #21

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    Try a 7#9#5 for that G melody note over the B bass... I do SDMPWC in G for solo guitar, I voice it like this-- x 2 1 2 3 3, then grab the D# as a single note after that...

  23. #22

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    I tried the b7 with the g open and it didn't sound so good.....I start the song on the open 4th string.....playing a g sounds better to me to pinch low g and 3rd string g and strum the second beat for the second measure

  24. #23

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    Oh, you're taking the melody in the lower octave...that might be tough to get the color of the chords and have the melody "ring out"

  25. #24

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    I'm not sure what you mean.....remember, I'm playing the song in the first pos. thanks....Dan

  26. #25
    B+? That's B augmented. #5 is F## or...G... So, it's a chord tone and actually, the most IMPORTANT chord tone . Honestly, that's the "good note". That's the key component of that chromatic lead line. The thing about playing chord melody on guitar Is that you can really get locked into vertical thinking and hearing in a way that's not helpful with music executing harmony and melody simultaneously.

    Honestly, one of the most helpful things in breaking some of that is to simply arpeggiate with your right hand more. Try practicing articulating every voicing by picking the melody first, followed by the chord, just as an exercise. Strange things about harmonic rhythm and the ears. With the slightest separation, timewise, almost anything works regardless of how dissonant. You easily hear it/see you at piano music where melody and harmony are easily more separable, But it's really more about articulating melody is a separate voice, then other mechanical considerations of range etc.