PDA

View Full Version : Forward Motion



sixstrings121
07-04-2005, 05:16 AM
Hey, how do you actually play with forward motion? Is it just you play chord tones on the beats and your time inbetween the beats are sort of your freetime to play tensions other then the chord tones? Ive been trying to use it but Im not sure if Im right. Also, how would I practise using this? Do I just practice writing with it, or is there some exercises for practising it?

silent-storm
07-04-2005, 07:34 AM
Not sure what you're getting at, but I'll asume you're talking about improv and not writting. If you're hitting chord tones on the beats all you're doing is outlining the changes, which may or may not create forward movement. I find hitting chord tones on beats is more of an excerisize then it is actually a soloing technique. Forward movement comes by creating strong melodies and those can come from any of the 12 notes.

That being said there are a few things you might want to experiment with. If the chord progression follows the circle of 5ths, the last beat of a bar is actually dominant and the last half of the last beat actually belongs to the next bar. Usually you do one or the other for any given chord unless you are rediculasly good, but you can experiment with both. What I mean is that in the progression Am7/Dm7/G7/CMaj7 for the Am7 the first 3 beats are Am7 and the last beat is actually A7, or the first 3 1/2 beats are Am7 and the last 1/2 a beat is actually Dm7. That's what I would call forward movement because you're pushing the progression ahead with melody before the harmony actually gets there.

So, you can take this a step further for the first one and say that if the last beat is A7 you can tritone sub that beat and it could also be Eb7. You can actually tritone sub anything if you really want to. In a bar of Dm7 you could play Abm7 at any given time, just remember that once something is altered it usually sounds kind of weird of you go back to the original. So if you switch to Abm7 on the 2nd beat it would be a good idea to stick with that until the chord changes, or else you may end up with regression...the opposite of forward movement.

Then there's 3 tonic systems, but that is getting into some real heavy territory, so my advice would be: start experimenting with approach notes to your chord tones, where you can take any chord tone and play a semi tone or a tone above or below it as long as you resolve to the chord tone. Then start experimenting with tri-tone subs. Give it a couple years and pick up David Liebman's "A Chromatic Approach to Jazz Harmony and Melody." and that should keep you busy for a lifetime.

The hardest thing about forward movement is that it isn't something you can define. I mean it's just melody, and what the hell is that? If there's one thing I've learned is that you have to be able to approach things from every angle and think of them in 10 different ways. No one system is ever going to work.

Factor
07-04-2005, 12:41 PM
What I mean is that in the progression Am7/Dm7/G7/CMaj7 for the Am7 the first 3 beats are Am7 and the last beat is actually A7, or the first 3 1/2 beats are Am7 and the last 1/2 a beat is actually Dm7. That's what I would call forward movement because you're pushing the progression ahead with melody before the harmony actually gets there.


That's something I've seen in written melodies as well. Charlie Parker has some melodies where he plays arpeggio snippets of the next chord over its dominant. Also, I'm pretty sure he did this alot when he improvised as well.

Which kinda goes to show that given any sufficiently strong melody, it can work over almost anything. That is why I believe that a good improviser should have confidence in his playing and it's the first thing I listen to.

gersdal
07-04-2005, 04:10 PM
sixstrings121,
This link may be of interest to you:
http://www.forwardmotionpdf.com/testimonials.shtml

sixstrings121
07-05-2005, 05:39 PM
I can usually play the first bar or so...Like coming in on the & of 1, but then i get off track really fast and it sounds out of time with the beat. How do I practise it is what im getting at. Basically its saying use cromatics and tensions on the &'s of the beats, correct? How do I go about practising this?

perth
07-07-2005, 09:35 PM
I can usually play the first bar or so...Like coming in on the & of 1, but then i get off track really fast and it sounds out of time with the beat. How do I practise it is what im getting at. Basically its saying use cromatics and tensions on the &'s of the beats, correct? How do I go about practising this?
if you're losing your place rhythmically, then you may be pushing too fast. if the rhythm sucks, then it doesnt matter what melody you play, it will suck too. if your rhythm is really good, but your melodies lack anything interesting, at least it wont stand out like an inflamed pimple on your nose.

sixstrings121
07-08-2005, 03:13 AM
I have another question...do you come in on the AND of the 1st beat, or the AND of the 4th? It seems more logical to do it on the end of the 4th so your coming in on the 1. Is this wrong?

perth
07-08-2005, 03:35 PM
I have another question...do you come in on the AND of the 1st beat, or the AND of the 4th? It seems more logical to do it on the end of the 4th so your coming in on the 1. Is this wrong?
what exactly are you trying to do & where did you read about forward motion?

silent-storm
07-08-2005, 05:52 PM
I have another question...do you come in on the AND of the 1st beat, or the AND of the 4th? It seems more logical to do it on the end of the 4th so your coming in on the 1. Is this wrong?

Always comming in at the same point is the first thing that will take forward motion away from your lines.

Be able to come in wherever you want, whether it's right on 2 or the and of 4 or the swung 2nd 16th of 1.

Always starting in the same place is as bad as making every line you play the exact same length...just doesn't sound natural.

Be comfortable in varrying everything you do and you will be on the right track of creating forward motion. When it comes time to just forget everything and play you are only limited by what you are comfortable doing and if you are only comfortable with coming in at one spot then that's what will happen and everything will end up sounding the same regardless of what notes you play.

Just start building up an arsenal of possibilities

perth
07-08-2005, 06:02 PM
i'd never heard the term forward motion before, so heres what a local musician has to say about it:

its nothing more than the concept that what youre playing pulls you along until it finally resolves. it is the melody. melodies that lack forward motion usually sound like random notes with no discernable rhythm and no resolution. when you play a melody, you are playing with forward motion. plain and simple.

hope that helps.

silent-storm
07-09-2005, 02:12 AM
when you play a melody, you are playing with forward motion. plain and simple. .

There's a difference between Bach and 'row row row your boat.' Bach's got a few more tricks up his sleeve.