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A Guide to Jazz Improvisation: Bass Clef John LaPorta Lesson 1

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” ˙ b ?b doo doo ˙ doo w Study in Legato-Staccato bc ?b œ œ b ?b bœ b ? œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ ˙ ˙ - œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ ˙ ˙ œ œ œ œ - œ - ˙ - œ œ œ - œ - œ - œ - ˙ - Swinging Eighth Notes Eighth notes are often played as triplets. 1 .£ œ £ œ œ œ œ œ J J J J œ J ‰ Œ Ó Workshop 1 Write and play eight. Written ? bb ...£ .œ . legato-staccato articulation. The attack of the succeeding note cuts off the current note. and swinging eighth notes.and twelve-measure melodies using the B¯ pentatonic scale.œ œ œ œ œ œ œ J ‰ Œ Ó Played (swinging) ? bb .LESSON 1 1 Tuning note: B¯ Concert THEORY B ¯ Pentatonic Scale (five-note scale starting on B ¯) b4 ?b 4 w 1 w 2 w 3 w 5 w 6 8 w Legato-Staccato (smooth attack) The note is attacked but not cut off. The articulated vowel sound for this would be “doo-doo.œ .œ ..£ œ .

œ .œ . 1.œ .Workshop 2 1. Practice legato-staccato articulations on major scales. 2. Five Note Scale Exercise 1 ..œ .œ ... and any other music selections of your choice.. ˙ You play (improvised answer) ? bb c ^ œ .œ œ œ œ ..œ .œ œ œ œ œ œ . Answer each rhythm pattern you hear with your own improvised rhythm.œ .œ œ . 2 .œ . Echo.œ œ œ œ œ œ Ó Ó .œ œ œ . Write and play at least two original (eight-measure) melodies.œ ^ œ ‰ Œ Note: The figure above is a suggested illustration..œ .˙ œ .. Answer. œ J œ J ˙ ˙ You play (echo) ^ œ ^ œ 2.œ œ .. œ J ˙.œ ..œ .œ œ œ œ œ œ b œ b ? Five Note Scale Exercise 2 doo doo … ˙ ˙ ? bb c . Recorded rhythm ? bb c ^ œ Œ ^ œ ^ œ Œ œ J œ.. Use the pentatonic scale and refer to the exercises below as guides. Recorded rhythm ? ? bb c bb c ^ œ Œ Œ ^ œ Œ Œ œ..˙ .œ . You may play any rhythmic idea you wish.œ œ œ œ œ ˙ .œ .œ .œ œ œ œ œ b ?b c doo doo … Ó Ó . Repeat each rhythm pattern you hear exactly as it sounds on the recording..œ œ œ œ œ b b ? 2 RHYTHM TRAINING Listen to CD Track 2. chromatic scales.œ œ œ ˙ œ .˙ .œ ... œ.˙ .œ œ .œ .

œ œ œ œ . ˙ -.œ . Play and memorize these as well. Improvise/Transcribe.œ . Echo.œ -œ -˙ œœœ œ 14 15 Challenge With another player. Write at least four of your own rhythm patterns. memorize them. Practice each pattern until you can play it without looking at the music. Player 2 repeats it. œ j ˙ You play (echo) ? ^ œ b c b Œ ^ œ Œ œ. Compose. Player 1 improvises a two-measure rhythm pattern.œ -. 2. PERFORMANCE EAR TRAINING 3 Listen to CD Track 3. try the following: 1.œ œ œœ ˙ . 3.-œ -œ œœ œœœ ˙ 12 .œ -œœ œœ œ -œ -œ --œ -œ œ œœ 13 ?b ..œ . 2.. Then switch roles. Improvising call-and-response.œ œ œ œ .œ œ œœ œœ œ œ ˙ . and then write them down.For the two-measure rhythm patterns below: 1.œœ œœ œ œ œ ˙ 11 . Then switch roles. 1. Reading call-and-response. Invent at least four of your own patterns by ear.œ œ œ œ 10 . ˙ œ œ œ ..œ œ -..˙ œ œ 5 Ó ˙ œ œ œ œ 8 Œ 9 œœœ œ œ - 7 bb bb b . Player 2 repeats it without looking at the music.œ œ -. Repeat each motive you hear exactly as it sounds on the recording. 1 b ?b c ?b ? ? b ˙ ˙ w œ œ 2 .œ . ˙ -œ œœ ˙ Œ Œ 4 .-œ -œ -œ . Memorize. Recorded melody ? ^ œ b c b Œ ^ œ Œ œ.œ œ œœ . œ j ˙ 3 .œ .œ .œ .œ œ˙ 3 Œ 6 ˙ . Player 1 plays one of the above patterns.œ .œ .

Answer. Answer each motive you hear with your own improvised motive. Improvise/Transcribe. Invent at least four of your own motives by ear. try the following: 1. Then switch roles.œ œ ˙ j Œ ˙ ^ œ ^ ^ œ œ 6 ˙ ˙ .œ œ Œ Challenge With another player. Try to use varied rhythms and combinations of notes. œ . Player 2 repeats it.œ . 4 .> œ ˙ Œ œ -. Player 1 improvises a two-measure motive.œ œ ˙ ˙ ^ œ ^ . > œ œ ˙ J ^ œ . œ ˙ J > œ ˙ 5 2 ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ -. œ . Write at least four of your own melodic motives.˙ . ˙ ˙ ^ œ -. œ 9 ^ . b ?b c ? bb 4 1 -. Your melodies should be derived from combinations of notes taken from the B¯ pentatonic scale. Player 1 plays one of the above motives. 2. Then switch roles. You may play any melodic idea you wish. Recorded melody ? ^ œ b c b Œ ^ œ œ ^ œ Œ ^ œ > œ J œ. For the two-measure melodic motives below: 1.˙ œ J >˙ .œ œ œ ˙ ˙ ?b ?b b b 10 ˙ ˙ ^ œ -. Practice each motive until you can play it without looking at the music. Play and memorize these as well. œ j œ ˙ You play (improvised answer) ^ œ b c ?b ‰ œ > œ œ Œ Note: The melodic idea written above is a suggested illustration. Player 2 repeats it without looking at the music.œ ^ . Improvising call-and-response. Reading call-and-response. œ -. 2. 3.œ œ 3 ^ œ ^ œ ^ œ ^ œ . memorize them. ˙ ˙ œ ˙ J > œ ˙ 12 13 ˙ 14 15 Œ J j ^ ˙ .œ ˙ œ -.2. œ œ. Compose. Memorize.˙ œ 11 8 ˙ -. > œ œ ˙ J -.> ^ œ œ œ ˙ ^ œ . and then write them down.^ œ œ b œ Œ ?b 7 .

D.œ œ œ Œ Œ Ó { F ^ . .C.8 measures .˙.œ . .œ . You solo.œ . Fine indicates the final ending.” One / lasts for one beat. al Fine Slash marks (/ / / / ) mean “improvise here. Full ensemble.4 PERFORMANCE 1.œ . Play along with the recording.œ œ Ó Fine œ œ ^ ? b ?b bbc A ^ ^ .œ œ .C. Head. A Section.Use the G pentatonic scale.œ œ œ œ ˙.Melody for 7 measures Note: When taking a D. 2.8 measures D Section. al fine. . . .œ œ ^ . (Da Capo) means go back to the beginning. ∑ { b ?b { ?b ?b ?b b b b C You solo: B¯ pentatonic { Recorded solo 8 D You solo: B¯ pentatonic D. . You solo. return to letter A.. a repeated section is only played once unless directed otherwise. 5 .Use combinations of notes derived from the G pentatonic scale to create your solo.C.C. .œ œ -.œ .At D. Recorded solo. Learn the melody as written. Try to capture the same manner of phrasing and style of playing.Melody for 16 measures (2 choruses) B Section. C Section. ˙ B Ó . A Section (repeat). Moderately Origin .16 measures . al Fine. Head.

˙ . ˙ > œ.œ ^ œ ^ . Use the above procedures for improvising solos with the CD. Repeat the pattern. bb -.œ œ Ó Ó ‰ ‰ >.^ ‰ œ œ j ^ œ > œ.œ œ ^ . 4. play the first part of the riff (measures 1–2). but start with your own improvised solo. Play measures 5–6 as written. Background 1 ? ? -. œ œ œ ^ œ ^ œ œ œ . -.œ ^ œ . then substitute measures 3–6 with your own improvised solo. Frame your improvisation. In each pattern. Transcribe the recorded solos from the CD by writing them down or playing along with the recording. In each pattern. ˙ Background 2 b ?b c b ?b œ œ ^ œ œ œ ^ .Backgrounds for “Origin” Backgrounds are musical figures played to support a soloist. play the first two measures. Improvise your own eight-measure riff patterns using the B ¯ pentatonic scale.œ œ Ó Ó ‰ ‰ > œ. 1. and then substitute your own two-measure improvisation. Then do the set again. ∑ 6 . Repeat the pattern. Memorize the following riff patterns and use them as a basis for your own improvisations. 2. Alternate background riffs and improvisations. -. ˙ b c b .œ ^ œ ^ . 3. then play the last part of the riff (measures 7–8) as written. then substitute your own improvisation for measures 7–8.œ œ Ó ‰ ∑ > œ.^ œ œ Ó .