getting in your head, or ears

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by crowmadic, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    When it comes to thinking about, not the playing of Jazz improvisation, what is the first theoretical thought that comes to mind? Do you visualize or hear a particular riff, pattern, chord progression, chord structure, specific scale, sound, etc.. I don't know if I'll ever reach my desire to improvise in the old Bop style, but I'd love to have an idea what musical thought goes through the head of the capable. This has been a hard question for me to put together, and to ask. I'll understand if there are no replies. Be kind.........tom
  2. kadleck

    kadleck Artist in Residence Staff Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    new york
    Tom -

    I think for me it would be the chord progression. I always tell beginners to just play the routes of the chords, then thirds, fifths & sevenths. This helps get the sound of the chords in their ears. Then, I'll have them play different rhythms based on those notes.

    As for specific riffs, the player needs to know which riffs go with what chords, so that comes a bit later.

    Jazz is just like vocabulary. It's built a few words at a time.

  3. Shermock

    Shermock New Friend

    Dec 12, 2006
    Maple Grove, MN
    Great reply, Mr. Kadleck. I couldn't agree more.

    "Patterns For Jazz" may be a good book to look at, as it's filled with all sorts of nuts-n-bolts patterns to be played in all keys.

    Sometimes the thought may be, "I have this lick in my head and I don't know what it would be on the horn." Singing it/playing it on the mouthpiece may bring the lick into "focus" enough to find the notes on the horn.

    Once you have your lick(s) figured out, then theoretically you can figure out where they fit, in what tune or form, etc...It may seem "backwards" but in conjunction with learning chord/scale relationships it's a bit of pure creativity amongst all the book-learnin'.

    Just my $.01 worth...:-)

  4. Dan Millheim

    Dan Millheim Pianissimo User

    Sep 4, 2004
    Fort Worth ,TX
    Chord structures are critical but through the years I found that singing through the lines/changes in my head and even away from the horn in practice helps me wedd the theoritical with the practical. Also, I listen to TONS of great players and their "voice." I would tell anyone interested in this type of playing to: Know theory, practice the various structures, sing them if you can't at first play them, AND listen, listen,listen to great players.
  5. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    You guys are great. Thanks for sharing your approach........tom

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