Using Voice Tones To Teach Improvisation For Beginner Jazz Guitar

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This article discusses an approach to teaching linear improvisation to beginning jazz guitarists through the function of voice leading in harmonic progressions. The guitar student may gain a clear understanding of improvising melodies by establishing clear visual and aural relationships between the chordal and melodic textures.

Three dominant 7th chord voicings are introduced and applied to a twelve bar blues progression in F major. After learning the rhythm guitar accompaniment, single note guide tones consisting of the flat 7th and 3rd chord tones of each dominant seventh chord are extracted from the chord voicings and applied in a melodic texture following chromatic voice leading principles within the harmonic progression.

Musicality within the exercises is increased by the addition of a series of rhythmic variations that are applied to the guide-tone lines. Continuing with the concept, full dominant seventh arpeggios are introduced in order to expand the available note choices as a way to build a solid foundation for improvising within harmonic progressions prior to using diatonic scales.   By Daniel Andersen from the Journal: Revista de la Lista Electrónica Europea de Música en la Educación  Click here to read the full article. *Picture: Jazz Guitar legend Herb Ellis

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