The "Improvising Over . . ." series of lessons provides insight into how to improvise over the chord changes to important tunes in the jazz repertoire. Based on a transcription of a master musician improvising over the changes to a standard jazz tune, each lesson describes how the soloist uses chord tones, arpeggios, chordscale passages, approach patterns and other improvisational techniques to develop their solo. The onscreen practice sessions will take you from the lesson to the piano and help you get started improvising over these tunes.
The Dave Brubeck standard, "In Your Own Sweet Way," presents a challenge to improvisors: how to solo over a progression that spans a wide range of keys at a fast tempo. It starts in G minor, moves to Bb, Gb, D, C and then Db in it's thirty-two bars. Kirk Lightsey sheds some light on this problem in his recording of the tune on his 2004 Sunnyside release, "The Night's of Bradley's." Watch as the transcription of his solo is analyzed for the four components of melodic construction and gain insight into his improvisational concept to inform your own approach to soloing over this tune.
Watch this short video for an overview of the content of this course.
The Five Essential 7th Chords
Improvisation - The Concept
Four Components of Melodic Construction
Contact me with questions at any time.
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Consult the Lesson Road Map to for a suggested sequence of lessons.
To continue your study of this topic, face-to-face, live webcam lessons are available.
"I'm glad that I found your site. I've already used the improv concept lesson material to help me write an A section improv to Softly As In a Sunrise for my Tuesday night Theory class at New England Conservatory." -Richard
About the instructor
Bill did undergraduate work at the Berklee College of Music and holds the M.Mus. degree in Jazz Studies from the Boston Conservatory/Berklee College of Music where he studied with Ray Santisi and Charlie Banacos. Bill taught and played extensively around the Boston area for the better part of two decades appearing everywhere from the legendary Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge MA to a long stand at the Hampshire House on Beacon Hill in Boston before relocating to the Raleigh-Durham NC area where he teaches full-time on JazzPianoOnline.com.