Learning to improv

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Mud, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. mrsemman

    mrsemman Piano User

    Apr 8, 2010
    I agree with following Eric Bolvin's site and his online lessons. However, like you, I am working on improvisation; and another way is to get the S.P.I.T book by Dr. Mark and Jane Shellhammer. The S = scales; P = Patterns; I = Inversions; and T = Triads. With this book, all you have to know is the key whatever song you are playing is in. Then you find the key in the chords in the book, i.e. key of C and find chord of Cmaj or Cminor. Then pull out that page (book is loose leaf binder). Each page had the scales, the patterns WWHWWH, and the Inversions and Triads. You play each in quarter notes, eighth notes or triplets or a combination of all three.

    What it comes down to, is the fact that all the chords must be memorized eventually. My problem, as I get older is the memory. But, even then, if you have the sheet in front of you, you can most likely find something to play.

  2. graysono

    graysono Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hyde Park, Utah
    What he said. But in addition, I would start with the blues. Aebersold's Vol 42 has blues in all 12 keys. For the most part the blues is the simplest form to learn to play. It is just a repeating 12 bars in its simplest form. It starts with the I chord (say C in Bb concert), goes to the IV chord (F in Bb concert), then the V chord (G) and back to the root I chord. Advanced has more subtle variations but always on this same theme. The tune lines in the Aebersold blues book are irrelevant, learning to play the chords is the most important part---and to do so by ear in all 12 keys, eventually. You will see in Vol 42 the blues scales and chords on p.4. Start by listening to the accompanying band on the CD so that you can begin to hear when the chords change in the 12-bar sequence. You want to be able to "hear" this on your own. You should be able to sing it too. Then play along. What sounds good will be right--do more of that; what sounds bad--don't do so much. Have fun. It will take time and patience.

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