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Mlke 1lLlebaum
ulrecLor of !azz SLudles
lLhaca College

© 2012 CopyrlghL Mlke 1lLlebaum
LmbelllshmenL 1echnlques
• 8egln wlLh a sLralghuorward melody
• ºulsull" Lhls melody lnLo half noLes and whole noLes
• uslng Lhls dlsulled verslon, we'll pracuce applylng sLandard melodlc
embelllshmenL Lechnlques:
– Þasslng Lones
– nelghbor Lones
• Conunue by lnLroduclng lncreaslngly chromauc (buL sull falrly
sLralghuorward) melodlc embelllshmenL:
– uouble nelghbors
– Chromauc LmbelllshmenL
• Apply Lhese Lechnlques freely
• Popefully, Lhere wlll be ume for quesuons aL Lhe end, buL sLop me
and ask for clarlñcauon lf you're confused
• llrsL, we slng.
Ch, When Lhe SalnLs Co Marchlng ln
• We're abouL Lo Lhe ºramp up" Lhe pace a blL
• 8uL Lhe Lempo wlll noL lncrease
• !usL lncreaslng Lhe denslLy/quanuLy of
melodlc embelllshmenL
• CeL ready.
ls Lhls golng Lo keep belng ºslmple?"
1haL was a llule harder.
• nexL sLep ls much more chromauc
• 8equlres an enure pracuce rouune
• 1echnlque ls called ºchromauc
embelllshmenL" (credlL Lo 8lll uobblns)
• WhaL ls lL?
Chromauc LmbelllshmenL
• ueñnluon: Þrecedlng/approachlng a LargeL
Lone wlLh chromauc plLches above and below
Lhe LargeL.
• Cuesuon: WhaL percenLage of greaL
lmprovlsers use(d) chromauc embelllshmenL?
Answer: 100° of Lhem!
Audlo examples played Lhree umes each (Cnce full speed, Lhen Lwlce slowly)
Chromauc embelllshmenL exerclses:
1wo dlñerenL cases Lo pracuce

• Clven a LargeL plLch (for example, Lhe halves
and wholes ln our dlsulled melody)
• ueLermlne Lhe plLch )6%&1 Lhe LargeL
• ueLermlne wheLher upper dlaLonlc plLch ls a
97%01 sLep or 7)0: sLep above Lhe LargeL:
Chromauc embelllshmenL
1hese Lwo cases Lurned lnLo pauerns
Chromaucally Lmbelllshed Ma[or Scale
Chromaucally Lmbelllshed Mlnor Scale
lreely mlxed embelllshmenL
• Mlxlng Lhese ls one way we move from
playlng exerclses Lo maklng muslc
• Þrlmarlly, everyLhlng we've worked on so far
Loday has been melodlc.
• now we wlll also alLer rhyLhms Lo make lL
more lnLeresung:
– Addlng syncopauons
– uelaylng or anuclpaung a LargeL noLe by an 1/8
Ways Lo use Lhese Lechnlques
• Compose your own slmple llne of halves and
wholes, and Lhen embelllsh lL. Pere's mlne:
• Apply Lo oLher songs
• LeL's Lry lL wlLh ºWhaL ls 1hls 1hlng Called
• llrsL we'll slng Lhe song.
Ways Lo use Lhese Lechnlques
Þlaylng ºWhaL ls 1hls 1hlng Called
• noLe Lhe AA8A song form.
• We'll sLarL wlLh Lhe melody.
• 1hen we'll play a slmple, newly composed
melodlc llne of half noLes
• Apply embelllshmenL Lechnlques Lo Lhe new
melodlc llne qulckly 8 bars each) and wlLhouL
• Spend more ume (a full 32-bar chorus)
chromaucally embelllshlng Lhe new melody.
• 8eady? 1ry Lo follow along.
lf Lhere's ume.
• When worklng on embelllshmenLs: Pow do
you declde whlch ls Lhe rlghL noLe Lo be
ulA1CnlCALL? hlgher?
• Should you choose Lhe nexL hlgher noLe ln Lhe
kL? Cl 1PL ÞlLCL, or Lhe one ln Lhe CPC8u
Cl 1PL MCMLn1?
Conunuum of melodlc conLenL
of greaL [azz lmprovlsauon
;<=>? =@
A<5 2=25BA
C5D =@
A<5 E!5;5
1he blg quesuon really ls: Whlch ls more lmporLanL for Lhe lmprovlser?