[Harp-L] Jazz Imnprovisising on the chromatic

The Iceman icemanle@xxxxx
Mon Jan 22 12:26:01 EST 2018

The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine.
second that suggestion. His companion book Jazz Piano Theory Book will teach you all about "jazz voicings".

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Rubin <michaelrubinharmonica at xxxxx>
To: The Iceman <icemanle at xxxxx>
Sent: Mon, Jan 22, 2018 11:46 am
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Jazz Imnprovisising on the chromatic

I have also been working on this for a long time and still feel like a beginner. 

One day I counted all the jazz CDs I owned and came up with 35. 

I own around 2000 blues CDs. I set out to own as much jazz as I could and listen a lot. Whatever I thought jazz was is a very small segment of what I think jazz is now. 

Then I realized I had learned hundreds of blues solos note for note but no jazz solos. 

I started with Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young. i learned around 20 solos from each.  The process slowed down when I decided to transcribe in scale degrees and play each solo in all 12 keys.  It was so worth it.  I have learned lots of solos by other players now.

I jam along with CDs but also with Band in a Box, which is good because you can actually see  which chord is happening.  If you  can read music it has a program where it creates a solo that a famous jazz player might play and they have many different options of players.

Arpeggiating chords in as many voicings as possible helped.  

Playing bass lines helped.  I am serious on bass harp, but the notes are the same on a chromatic, just higher pitched.  The midi harmonica can sound like a bass.  Band in a Box will also let you read the music of how they think a bass player would play.  

Playing chords helped.  I play mandolin, keyboards, harmonetta, chord harp and have developed a chord tuning on the midi harmonica.  The chord harp and mandolin forced me to come up with substitutions as they cannot play lots of five notes chords.  I think the piano is the most helpful, because you can see it and you can play piano with one hand and chromatic with the other.

Of course, jamming with other musicians is big.

I have a good understanding of basic music theory.  I understand lots about jazz theory but still am amazed by the seemingly endless ways to approach it.  I recommend the book The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine.

Michael Rubin

On Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 9:30 AM The Iceman via Harp-L <harp-l at xxxxx> wrote:


I had a lot of fun years ago working on this very same problem by listening to Chet Baker solos - there are even transcribed Chet solo books out there if you need the visual.

Chet had a natural ability to play pretty musical lines through the jazz changes. A good place to start.

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