Why You Can’t Play


“Re: Soloing over Chord Changes for “Blue In Green”
« Reply #3 on 9/20/04 at 19:52 »
I think I follow. Yeah, the tonal centre thing hardly applies. Scale wise tho I might use something like the following (remember, just a rough guide):
Bbmaj7#11 – F major scale
A7#9 – D harmonic minor scale
Dm7 – D natural minor scale
Db7 – Ab jazz minor scale
Cm7 – Bb major scale
F7b9 – Gb jazz minor scale
Bbmaj7 – Bb major scale
A7b13 – D harmonic minor scale
Dm6 – D Natural minor scale
E7#9 – A harmonic minor scale
etc. etc.”

The above was taken from a ‘Jazz Forum’. Unfortunately, these are often filled with commentary that makes playing/improvising nearly impossible; there is just too much thinking. Also, there is very little time to play ‘big ideas’, such as an entire scale when improvising.
Improvising is more of a reactionary state of creating/performing. To react well, we must train to be ready for a variety of situations. Thinking should occur during the training season, and reacting should be our process during performance.

I play ‘Blue In Green’ and improvise in the key of F. I do ‘color’ some of my lines with specific notes brought from the specific chords in the tune, but this hardly suggests that I am playing an entirely different scale-type or key center.

The best starting point for improvising over a set of changes is to analyze the song and circle each key center, assuming there is more than one. Then, after playing with this approach for a while (weeks/months), get slightly more specific to one of the notes in each chord.

Then let the ideas of what to try next take over your training process and watch it come to life during your performance process.