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Playing From Chord Shapes

Alfred Scoggins (5185) · [archive]
Style: Jazz · Level: Intermediate · Tempo: 130
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6

When I first started improvising I was, as most players are, confused by the innumerable scales, modes, and other tricks that were suggested.

It seemed to me that to keep all this stuff in the head was nigh on impossible and I quickly abandoned the idea.

One idea, however, stuck and that was using chord shapes as a means of finding the right notes for a solo. I still use it and many players do.

These days, having learnt a bit more, I can stick in other ideas (like altered scales, wholetone scales and so on) but there's no doubt that using the chords as a basis works. It keeps the mind centered on what you're playing.

So, using a standard, here's a lesson I taped for someone once. I guarantee time spent investigating this approach will not be wasted!