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Free online resources on the Art of Improvisation : 1

www.musilosophy.com

FREE online resources on the Art of Improvisation

(Piano) Improvisation
Technique
by Musilosophy

www.musilosophy.com

Improvisation means real time composing.....

Copyright © 2006 Paolo Parrella.All rights reserved.


Free online resources on the Art of Improvisation : 2
www.musilosophy.com
“I know of knowing nothing” ( Socrates )

Music is based on harmony

Harmony is based on chords and scales

Melody and improvisation are based on chords and scales

Accompaniment is based on chords and scales

Chords are based on scales

Scales are based on physics,mathematical principles and musical


tradictions

Musical tradictions are based on human


perception,technology,economy,history,religion…

Copyright © 2006 Paolo Parrella.All rights reserved.


Free online resources on the Art of Improvisation : 3
www.musilosophy.com

SUMMARY

1. Keys
Key awareness
Major
Minor
Scale harmonization

2.Chords
Major 7th
Minor 7th
Dominant 7th
Half diminished 7th
Diminished 7th
Inversions
Chord degrees

3.Other scales
Blues
Whole tone
Diminished
Diminished/whole tone
Pentatonic

Copyright © 2006 Paolo Parrella.All rights reserved.


Free online resources on the Art of Improvisation : 4
www.musilosophy.com

4.Melody
Melody building
Chordal notes
Turning note
Passing note
Leaning note
Delaying note
Anticipated note
Chromatic note
Double leaning note
Mixed note
“Wrong” notes

5.Phrasing
Beginning of phrase
Ending of phrase
Imitation

6.Rhythm
Emphasizing offbeats and upbeats
Syncopation
Swing
Polyrhythmics

7.Practice… Practice… Practice…


Generale practice
Progressive drills
Fondamental drills
Greatest piano improvise
Copyright © 2006 Paolo Parrella.All rights reserved.
Free online resources on the Art of Improvisation : 77
www.musilosophy.com
About improvisation

Intervals

Improvisation with perfect fourths

Analysis of solos

Lydian chromatic concept

Main chordal progressions

Main used forms

Improvisation tips

Inside, outside

“Free” improvisation

What you have to avoid…

Improvisation goals

Copyright © 2006 Paolo Parrella.All rights reserved.


Free online resources on the Art of Improvisation : 78
www.musilosophy.com

About other music subjects

COMPOSING

EAR TRAINING

ARRANGING

ANALYSIS

Copyright © 2006 Paolo Parrella.All rights reserved.


jazz improvisation techniques : music harmony : theory

Home: jazz improvisation : pop blues | Pop music videos | Pop blues jazz albums | Jazz
improvisation - harmony | Lingua italiana | HELP - FAQ |

Introduction on the Art of


Improvisation
● Jazz improvisation and music
Jazz improvisation, piano improvising, music
harmony : Summary harmony and theory
● Piano improvisation technique :
introduction
MIOP means Musilosophy Improvisation Open Project.

Site menu
● Blues singer songwriter jazz "Improvisation means real time composing.....
pianist
Improvisation means composing new ideas....".
● Pop music videos
● Jazz piano, tutorial videos
● Pop blues jazz albums Music bases on harmony.
● Jazz pianist music stores
● Improvisation : MIOP donation Melody and improvisation base on chords and scales.

Accompaniment base on chords and scales too.


Improvisation and music
Chords base on scales.
harmony : MIOP
● Jazz improvisation and music Scales base on physic, mathematical principles and music traditions.
harmony : summary
● Music harmony concepts Music traditions base on human perception, technology, economy,
● Scales, modes to improvise
history, religion.
● Blues improvisation
● Jazz melody and improvisation
● Swing jazz rhythm
You need to know the following items to improvise and compose in a
● Jazz techniques : practice
right and nice way:

first you have to know all major and minor scales and relative keys

and all chords in every keys. Then you must play all chord inversions

and the building melody techniques.

You have to practice so much so you can play right melodic lines with

swing and without thinking about scales, rules, keys...

Phrasing is the following step.

Other resources on jazz You must learn to begin and finish melodic phrases from every point
improvisation

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jazz improvisation techniques : music harmony : theory

● - The world of jazz improvisation of measure.


● - A jazz improvisation primer
Ear training, transcribing, music harmony, transposing, voicing,

harmonization are other important and fundamental techniques to

learn jazz improvisation and composing.

These techniques can give you the skill for express the music you

have inside.

Learning jazz improvisation is not simple. The theory and harmonic

concepts you have to learn are few and easy to understand but the

fundamental concept is just one: to learn improvisation you have to

play much and practice for a longtime!

I used to compare improvisation with language. Improvisation is a

language, you can express ideas, concepts and emotions and

sometimes much deeper than language. So, as well as you have to

study and practice a lot to learn English or French or Italian so you

have to do the same with music improvisation.

You do not need to understand difficult concepts but without doubts

you must be patient. Here in this site I offer free resources to learn

this art but be patient if my English is not perfect.

I have published also another site to learn music theory and harmony.

1. Music harmony : keys

Key awareness

Major

Minor

Scale harmonization

2. Chord charts

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jazz improvisation techniques : music harmony : theory

Major 7th

Minor 7th

Dominant 7th

Half diminished 7th

Diminished 7th

Inversions

Chord degrees

3. More music scales

Blues

Whole tone

Diminished

Diminished/whole tone

Pentatonic

4. Melody and improvvisation lesson

Melody building

Chordal notes

Turning note

Passing note

Leaning note

Delaying note

Anticipated note

Chromatic note

Double leaning note

Mixed note

Wrong notes

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jazz improvisation techniques : music harmony : theory

^ TOP

More resources on music harmony and piano jazz improvisation

5. Musical phrase

Beginning of phrase

Ending of phrase

Imitation

6. Music rhythm and jazz swing

Emphasizing off beats and upbeats

Syncopation

Swing

Polyrhythmic

7. Practice and improvisation techniques

General practice

Progressive drills

Fundamental drills

Greatest piano improvisors

If you have troubles to understand what I write, or any concepts I try

to explain, send me an email. I suggest also to visit this site on piano

jazz improvisation.

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jazz improvisation techniques : music harmony : theory

^ TOP
Learning jazz improvisation and piano improvising

You can learn to improvise. If you know music harmony and you

practice on your instrument one hour per day learning improvisation

is easy. I think is one of the greatest, important Art. Remember to

listen the greatest improvisers : Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Charlie

Parker, Sonny Rollins, Pat Metheny, Miles Davis and many, many

others...

...and do not forget that Music must be pleasant.

©2005-2007 Paolo Parrella. All rights reserved

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music phrasing : jazz improvisation : music phrasing

Home: jazz improvisation : pop blues | Pop music videos | Pop blues jazz albums | Jazz improvisation - harmony | Lingua italiana
| HELP - FAQ |

How to compose a melody


Jazz melody and improvisation

Music phrasing in jazz improvisation
● Jazz phrasing : imitation
technique
● Music phrasing Practice to end the phrase on the different tones of a chord and to make the action I propose.
● Music theory and mistakes
The fundamental element to build a good phrasing is that every phrase must be connected with the

Site menu previous ones.

● Blues singer songwriter jazz


pianist 1. Remember to vary the beginning and ending of a phrase:
● Pop music videos
● Jazz piano, tutorial videos
● Pop blues jazz albums
● Jazz pianist music stores

Improvisation and music


harmony : MIOP
● Jazz improvisation and music
harmony : summary
● Music harmony concepts
● Scales, modes to improvise Practice to begin and to end the phrase in every point of the measure
● Blues improvisation
● Jazz melody and improvisation B = Beginning tone
● Swing jazz rhythm
● Jazz techniques : practice E = Ending tone

AVOID this bad habit : (Same beginning and ending points )

^ TOP

Ending of a phrase

Practice to end a phrase on different tones of a chord:

Tone Effect Style Action


1 Rest - Close the Rock, Pop You have to begin a new
phrasing You phrasing
You have begin the following
2 Tension and unbalance Jazz
phrase from that note

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music phrasing : jazz improvisation : music phrasing

Rest and strong


3 Any style No particular action
determination
Tension, unbalance and Begin from that note and solve
4 Jazz, Blues
suspension it to the tone below

5 Rest and neutral Any style No particular action

A bit of tension and I suggest to begin the


6 Jazz, Pop
coloured tone following phrase from that note
A bit of tension and Jazz, Blues
No particular action
7 determination Pop

This aspect of improvisation is very important

^ TOP

Music phrase : phrasing development

Practise to end the phrase on the different tones of a chord and to make the action I propose.

Na = no particular action

T = Tension

Ba = Begin again

S = Solving tone

Another example containing a wrong ending tone ( Tension is not solved or begun again).

E-mail

Contact © 2005-2007 Paolo Parrella All rights reserved

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music phrasing : jazz improvisation : music phrasing

me

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chord charts : scale harmonization : major : minor keys

Home: jazz improvisation : pop blues | Pop music videos | Pop blues jazz albums | Jazz improvisation - harmony |
Lingua italiana | HELP - FAQ |

Chords and music harmony


Music harmony, chord families

Chord charts in all major and minor scales
● Chord charts and keys
● Learn chord charts Musical chords derive from the scale's harmonization: it means superimposing notes over a
● Major seventh
scale's degree by thirds. Every scale can be harmonized, but western music bases above all
● Dominant chord chart
● Minor seventh chords on major and minor scales' harmonization.
● Half diminished chords
● Diminished chord
Here are all chords of each Major and Minor (Natural, Harmonic, Melodic ) key

Site menu You must know and play them.


● Blues singer songwriter jazz Music bases (above all) on these chords.
pianist
● Pop music videos
● Jazz piano, tutorial videos ^ TOP
● Pop blues jazz albums
● Jazz pianist music stores Major key chord chart
Improvisation : MIOP donation
Major key has two major seventh chords on I and IV degrees; there are minor seventh

chords on II, III and VI degrees while dominant 7 chord is on V. Half diminished chord is on
Improvisation and music
harmony : MIOP the VII degree of major key. I, II or IV, and V are the most used chords. Classical pop
● Jazz improvisation and music progressions are I - VI - IV - V or I - III - II - V. However, in music you can find every
harmony : summary
● Music harmony concepts combination of all these chords.
● Scales, Modes to improvise
● Blues improvisation Pay attention to IV degree (Major with augmented 4th )
● Jazz melody and improvisation
● Swing jazz rhythm
● Jazz techniques : practice ● Here are the major and minor scales with their chords

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chord charts : scale harmonization : major : minor keys

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chord charts : scale harmonization : major : minor keys

^ TOP

Harmonic minor key chord charts

Harmonic minor key is the classical minor scale; I think it is the true minor scale because

the natural minor ones is similar to the major scale while melodic minor scale is less used.

This scale has minor major seventh chord on the first degree; there are major chords on III

and VI; half diminished chord is on the second degree, diminished 7 on VII and minor

seventh is on fourth one. Dominant seventh chord is on V and it has also minor ninth and

minor sixth!

● Here is the harmonic minor chord chart

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chord charts : scale harmonization : major : minor keys

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chord charts : scale harmonization : major : minor keys

^ TOP

Melodic minor key chord chart

Melodic minor scale is less used than natural and harmonic scales but it is important. Pay

attention to IV degree ( seventh chord with augmented 4th) and to II degree (min 7th )

● Melodic minor chord chart

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chord charts : scale harmonization : major : minor keys

Pay attention to II degree ( half diminished ) and to VII degree ( diminished seventh )

^ TOP

Natural minor key chord chart

Natural minor scale is much used in pop, dance, classical and jazz tunes. It has a catchy

sound and many people love it! However, it has the same major scale's chords but they

have different position. For example, in D natural minor key, C7 is on the VII degree while

in F major key it is on V degree. Pay attention to V degree ( Minor 7th) and to VII degree

(7th chord)

● This is the natural minor chord chart

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chord charts : scale harmonization : major : minor keys

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chord charts : scale harmonization : major : minor keys

These chord charts are the harmonic base of classical, jazz and pop music. They derive,

above all, from J.S. Bach but also other great classical composers.

^ TOP

Considerations on seventh chords and their key

Seventh chords are complete chords, in the sense that they have the main notes that

determine the harmony of a chord. The fundamental, the third, the fifth and the seventh

(said "chorda notes") does understand the key and the type of a chord. Besides they may

determine, comparing with the chords near, to what key it belongs and then from what

scale's degree is produced. In my pop blues music, I use nearly only seventh chords that

have a complex but non too dissonant sound.

You can learn everything about improvisation reading articles, watching tutorial videos and

listening solos published on the Web. Internet offers you a great resource to learn music

harmony, theory and improvisation but the best resource is your passion for this art!

©2005-2007 Paolo Parrella .All rights reserved

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jazz techniques : improvisation : general music practice

Home: jazz improvisation : pop blues | Pop music videos | Pop blues jazz albums | Jazz
improvisation - harmony | Lingua italiana | HELP - FAQ |

Rhythm and swing


Jazz techniques : practice

● Music techniques : coming soon


Jazz techniques and practice for improvisation
articles
● Art of improvisation project General jazz practice
● General improvisation tips
● Music studying : general tips
I suggest these progressive exercises:

Site menu Learn all major, minor and ...blues scales


● Blues singer songwriter jazz
First play the scales for an octave just with the right hand, then with
pianist
● Pop music videos both hands; play for 2 and 4 octaves with both hands
● Jazz piano, tutorial videos
● Pop blues jazz albums
Learn all chords of every key
● Jazz pianist music stores
Play the chords of every key with right hand then with both hand

Improvisation and music


harmony : MIOP
● Jazz improvisation and music Learn to analyze music
harmony : summary
● Music harmony concepts Practice to analyze every music style with scores or if you want by
● Scales, modes to improvise
ear. Write keys, chord types, degrees of the chords, modulations
● Blues improvisation
● Jazz melody and improvisation (key changing) on the scores. Analyze melody and write the
● Swing jazz rhythm
● Jazz techniques : practice harmonic role of every note (Chordal note, turning note, passing

note......).

Arpeggiate all chords

Arpeggiate all 7th chords with right hand (but not only) in their four

inversions.

Begin to improvise just using the chordal notes

Improvise only on a chord and using just the four chordal notes

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jazz techniques : improvisation : general music practice

( also out of time )

Improvise just using continuous eighth notes, eighth-triplet notes,

sixteenth notes.

For pianists : improvise on a song using just the four chordal notes,

moving the melody up and down the whole keyboard and playing the

chord with the left hand. (You have to play this chord around C4 and

moving the notes less possible when you change the chord )

Improvise using a melodic item one at time

Practice a melodic item out of time and just on a chord

Improvise using the suggestions on musical phrase

Practice a phrasing item out of time and just on a chord

Some important considerations

Mastering these jazz techniques needs many, many hours of

playing but it is amusing and you can feel what creating music means.

Besides, these techniques are the same of composing songs or any

other music style.

Composing is easier than improvising because you can correct your

mistakes.

However I will suggest you some easy techniques to 'correct'some

melodic 'errors'.

Sometimes many new and interesting ideas come from so called

harmonic 'errors'.

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jazz techniques : improvisation : general music practice
^ TOP

Improving jazz practice and techniques

Ear training

Use this free tool - Functional ear trainer

Transcription - Powerful!

Select your best songs or solos and transcribe them on paper using

your piano or keyboard, then transpose them in all keys. I think this

is the MOST IMPORTANT AND POWERFUL DRILL TO LEARN

IMPROVISATION

Transposing

Transpose some phrases in all keys

Singing

Sing the notes you are improvising

Search

www.musilosophy.
Web com

^ TOP

Listening great artists to analyze jazz techniques

Listening

Every musical style but good music, that is great artists

When you listen to music, analyze it!

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jazz techniques : improvisation : general music practice

Piano improvisors

Listen to these masters of piano improvisation:

Bill Evans

Keith Jarrett

Herbie Hancock

Chick Corea

Ahmad Jamal

Oscar Peterson

Bud Powell

McCoy Tyner

Many others...

Improvisors

Other instruments:

Miles Davis ( Trumpet )

Charlie Parker ( Alto Sax)

John Coltrane ( Tenor Sax )

Pat Metheney ( Guitar )

^ TOP

Resources and jazz practice on the Art of improvisation

So, you need to work following several directions: studying music

harmony, developing your hearing, listening great artists and above

all playing many hours on your instrument: remember to play correct

harmonic and melodic notes and above all do not play random

sounds.

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jazz techniques : improvisation : general music practice

© 2005-2007 Paolo Parrella All rights reserved

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http://www.miles.be/

welcome to www.miles.be
probably the best FREE ear training resource on the internet
Homepage of Alain Benbassat

table of contents

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http://www.miles.be/

Ear Training Products


Download Functional Ear Trainer - Basic (freeware)
Download Functional Ear Trainer - Advanced BETA2 (freeware) "This is a great and very useful tool. It's
exactly what we practiced a lot at Berklee but
Functional Ear Trainer on Linux?
I've never come across an application like
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) this."

Ear Training Articles


Ear Training: A Direct and Logical Path (by John Mark Piper)
The Most Important Skill That Most Players Don't Have (by Tom Hess)
Contextual Ear Training (by Paula Telesco)
Transcribe, transcribe, transcribe! (by Ron Gorow)
The 'Charlie Banacos' Exercise (by Frank Singer)
"Oh you'll hear it" (by Peter Sprague)
Perfect Pitch? (by Chris Aruffo)
Making a Living as a Guitar Music Transcriber/Arranger (by Dale Turner)

Ear Training Books


Books I Like
Bird Song Ear Training Guide

About Me
Who Am I?
Who the Hell is Miles?
My Music
Links

Important note: a lot of virusses are spreading themselves by e-mail, using fake e-mail addresses.
If you receive an e-mail from miles.be with an attachment, please do not open it and delete it!
Such e-mails are not sent by me...

Copyright © 2004 - Alain Benbassat

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http://www.miles.be/

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The Home Page of Alain Benbassat

welcome to www.miles.be
probably the best FREE ear training resource on the internet
Homepage of Alain Benbassat

Back to table of contents

Ear Training Products

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The Home Page of Alain Benbassat

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The Home Page of Alain Benbassat

Functional Ear Trainer is a critically acclaimed ear training suite containing two programs:

■ Functional Ear Trainer - Basic


■ Functional Ear Trainer - Advanced

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The Home Page of Alain Benbassat

Both programs are different from the traditional ear training programs where you typically have to guess intervals, scales, chords, and rhythms.
Functional Ear Trainer presents an original and very effective way to learn to recognize notes in the context of a key.
This is a proven method that, with a little bit of effort, really works.

Functional Ear Trainer Basic and Advanced are FREEWARE.


If you want to support me, consider making a donation.

Functional Ear Trainer is only available as a Microsoft Windows executable. It will NOT run on Mac.
However, it runs fine on Linux using Wine. More info...

Functional Ear Trainer - Basic


Principle
The program establishes the key or tonality by playing a chord
sequence, followed by a random note. The user has to guess
what note was played.

How?
Every note has its own function within the key and wants to
resolve to the nearest tonic. The help page describes a method to
learn to hear this resolution to the nearest tonic, and so know
<click image to enlarge> which note was played.
System Requirements User Comments
- Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP "Great program, it helps me a lot for my hearing test at school!!!
- Minimum 64MB of RAM Thx man !"
- Minimum 10MB free disk space read more...
- Soundcard or MIDI device
Independent Review
License Functional Ear Trainer got the rating 5 out of 5 from the e-
FREEWARE magazine Cyberfret.
read more...
Current Version
Version 1.1 - 2 December 2002

Download Now
right-click and select Save Target As...
(approx. 1.5MB)

Functional Ear Trainer - Advanced


Principle
Based on the enormous success of Functional Ear Trainer -
Basic, the idea was expanded by playing two notes after the key
or tonality has been established.
The user has to answer 3 questions:
1) What was the first note?
2) What was the second note?
3) What is the interval both notes form?

The missing link between interval training and


note-in-key ear training!

How?
Try to hear how the two notes resolve to the nearest tonic using
<click image to enlarge>
the method you learned in Functional Ear Trainer - Basic. Then

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The Home Page of Alain Benbassat

determine the interval between the two notes.


HARDER THAN YOU THINK!

System Requirements Options


- Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP The two notes can be played one after the other (melodically) or
- Minimum 64MB of RAM simultaneously (harmonically).
- Minimum 10MB free disk space Many settings possible.
- Soundcard or MIDI device

License
FREEWARE

Current Version
Version 1.0 BETA2 - 2 December 2003

Download Now
right-click and select Save Target As...
(approx. 2.5MB)

Support Functional Ear Trainer

If you like Functional Ear Trainer, consider making a donation through PayPal (secure payment).

Donation of $15
Donation of $10

Donation of $20

BONUS: Generous people who make a donation of $20 will receive a computer program I wrote to learn
intervals by associating each one with the beginning of a well-known song. This is a "classic" way to learn to
recognize ascending and descending intervals.

Thank YOU!

Top

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