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BREAKTHROUGH TOIMPROV: TnrSrcnrrs hupnovtsATroN oF

15STEPS MUSICAL TO FREEDOM ALLMUSICIANS FOR


by Dave Frank
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goal in this video is to help you to breakthrouqhto the abilityto improvise music.For [t /V I Y I beginning improvisers, session designed leadto the experience bluesimprovisation. this is to of Thosemusicians with prior improvexperience find that applying will the concepts Breokthrough in to lmprov will deepenand expandtheir improvability. The key to getting the most out of this session to spendthe time necessary masterthe material is to of eachsectionas outlinedby the proctice points. The abilities learnedin the first four practicepoints provide foundation the process blues the for of improvisation. blues Free improvisation truly begins in the sectiontitled "lmprovising with quarter-note riffs." ln Breokthrough lmprov,we're concentrating limited musicalelements-the blues progression to on and the bluesscale. We'recombining theseelements usingvarious musical concepts, including riffs, "feelingin fours," question-and-answer, others. and These concepts the secrets improvisation. are of The most important thing to remember you explore as the process this video is to generare on your musicfrom the feeling the flow of swingeighthnotes(onceyou've got that far). The mechanics of of improv,although important,are secondary. you improvise, As alwaysbaseyour musicin the flow of legato(connected) swingeighthnotes-it's a natural rhythm,a bouncyfeeling. you let your music lf coaston the wings of theseswingingeighth-note rhythmsand apply the conceptsintroduced in eachsectionto the notesof the bluesscale, you'll be jommin'!

for comments you with someadditional pointsfor eachsection The followingis a reviewof the practice to useasyou PlaY: the POINT#1: Practice blues PRACTTCE a scale lone. shouldplay this progression Keyboardists .=72' in the left hand alone,metronome *Note:keepthe metronome 72 as you at points.As rvork through all the practice at with the material vou feel comfortable t s l o r v e rt e m p o s ,g r a d u a l l yi n c r e a s eh e at You shouldalso practice times sL.eed. rrithout a metronome, to Prevent p e a d e ' . e l o p i n gr e l i a n co n a n e x t e r n a lu l s e . and instrumentalists, vocalists Cuitarists, shouldplay and/or tape the progresslon a n d l i s t e n t o t h e c h o r d c Y c l e .T h i s rs progression the frameworkfor blues this progression Practice improvisation. to nature you. is untilthe sequence second
c'7
t l

c'7

C7

-o.

change directions the blues scaleagainstthe blues progression; POINT#2: Practice PRACTICE f reely, but up Firstplay the scale and down in quarternotes,then continueto play notesfrom the bluesscale, simple freelyin quarternotes,creating the scale ptayifrem in any order you feel.Ascendand descend as melodies you play.

pOINT#3: Repeatone riff againstthe blues progression, then alternatethe placement PRACTICE riffs. of the two
Rilt'I RiII ]

PRACTICE POINT#4: lmprovisethe order of the two riffs againstthe blues progression. Combine theseriffsin any spontaneous orderthat you feel.Yourinnerearwill continuously promptyou to play one riff or the other.This exercise will teach you to respondquicklyto your inner ear while following blues progression. the PRACTICE POINT#5: lmprovisefreely and createshort eighth-note riffs followed by a rest. Thisis the beginning freeblues of improvisation. additional One technique can be used at thislevel that to is to make up a simplestory as you improvise, matchingeachword with a note. Speakand play,for examote:
''Hcl lo. .lor \\'har do \ou knoq _ o 1 .)'

4
\ o

'

ra -

r l

Letthe wordsleadthe music and simultaneously a shortword phrase create with a shortmusical phrase made up of blues notes. scale Thiseasy technique connects "musical the brain"with the "language Try brain." it-it worls! PRACTICE POINT#6: Improvisefreely and createshort swinging eighth-note riffs.

Thisis similar step5, only faster. to The key to keeping your cool asyou speedup is to consciously relax asyou playat fastertempos. PRACTICE POINT#7: lmproviseusing notes of the blues scaleto create long swinging eighth-note "feelingin fours." lines, "Feeling fours" is Playing this level, at your improvisations soundauthentic! will in one of the unique improvising presented Breakthrough lmprov.lt'sthe most effective concepts in to improv technique l've "Feeling fours" opens you to found to guide the creative process. in the magic and mysteryof improvisation.places lt your music directly into the flow of rhythm.Place small a accent the firstnote on in eachgroupof four eighthnotes and consciously improvise regular, in groups four swinging defined of eighths. Start slowly, creating longermusical sentences maintaining focus. and this PRACTICE POINT#8: lmprovisefreely using your inner ear guide to combine short riffs and longer lines. Balance variation the principles and are here.Follow the promptings your innerear,as it will tellyou of when to change elements your playing-in thiscase, in when to switch from creating long lines short to lines and viceversa. PRACTICE POINT#9: Consciously incorporate three question-and-answer the approaches into your improvisations. Usingtheseapproaches help you to developyour musical will ideas,and will createa relationship your ideas. between Thiswill help your improvisation tell a story. to PRACTICE POINT#10: Add eighth-note tripletsinto your swing linesand createlinescomposed entirelyof triplets. 7

Here an example a blues is of line composed entirely triplets: of

* excerpted from the /oy of /mprov:Book 2 (Lesson 52).

PRACTICE POINT#11: Write out and improvise sixteenth-note lines. line Start slowly!A sixteenth-note at . = 50 is the same speedas an eighth note line at , = 100. Thinkmelodically. sixteenth-note should similar Your lines be your eighth-note lines, onlytwiceasfast! lf at any time you loseyour focusand/or the chord progression, relaxand beginagain.Try not to overreactto "wrong notes."Manyof the greatest recordings the greatest by improvisers containmissed notes phrases. or incomplete lmprovisation a process discovery, a guestfor note-perfect is performances. of not Overtime, the abilityto improvise process-original becomes marvelous a musicwill flow endlessly from your soulthroughyour fingers your instrument. to Onceyou learnto improvise, lifetime creative a of expression be withinyour grasp! will I sincerely hope that Breakthrough lmprovwill offeryou a way to begintapping the infinitesource to of music withinyou, and I encourage to keepstudying, you keeppracticing, keepswingin'! and -Dave Fronk

Special thanksto: Yogi Bha;an, MichaelMcCee,Curucharan Dr. Singh Khalsa, wife Hari for her my patience support, and Charlie Banacos hisvaluable for advice and feedback, for JohnAmaral hisongoing partnership collaboration, Cerullo his belief this project and for in with and for our association Hal John Leonard Corporation, Phil Cay for his excellent direction, Mark Steele his fine editing,Wynton for McCurdy hisgreatjob in the studio, for and to the manystudents worldwide who, throughtheirinterest and enthusiasm, me the opportunity develop teaching gave to presented thisvideo. the approach on

f *,,,n,r,,,,,.,-. OF IMPROV IOY


By DAVE FRANK with JOHNAMARAL for improviser, containing 52 Joyot lmprovis a completecurriculum the aspiring lessons all instruments two volumes. for in Volume1: Devolping Foundotion the contains lessons 1-26.Each is lesson comprised of exercises vocabulary, in technique, 1000 basic modernjazzchordvoicings, blues and jazztunes, and recommended listening. Hundreds writtenbluesriffsand jazzlines of will giveyou unlimited ideas inspire to yourown improvisations. A muslfor anyserious beginning improviser!

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Vofume 2: Completing Foundotion the containslessons 27-52. The curriculumin volume2 is moreadvanced, chordvoicinglists the morecomplex, and the blues and jazz linesmore challenging. special A sectionis includeddescribing techniques to organize voicings the into hip arrangements. studied Every aspect your playing of will improve studying by thisinspirational book! Both books contain thirty pages of insightfultext discussing many aspectsof improvisation well as an audioCD, enhanced PCand Mac,containing as for valuable verbal teaching DaveFrank, by recordings all the lessons, previously of and unissued solopianoperformances. These books highlyrecommended companions the are as to Breakthrouah lmorovvideo. to

To order, your localHalLeonard contact dealer music or store. To schedule DaveFrank a soloconcert and/ormaster in class your area,or for productand/ortouring information, sendemailto Dfrankiazz@aol.com.

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