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Thread: Jazz: Connecting arpeggios?

  1. #1
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    Jazz: Connecting arpeggios?

    I'm currently learning jazz guitar using 'autumn leaves' as my point of reference. I'm at the stage where I know arpeggios relatively well to play the harmony using them. I'd like to develop the capacity to connect them, i.e. play the arpeggiated harmony and not always start on the tonic.

    Now, I know this takes practice and I plan on spending the next week or so doing this (I have a course every week...), but before I do, I'd like to know what u did in order to develop this skill...

    any help is appreciated, really!

    cheers,

    Patrick

  2. #2
    IbreatheMusic Author Bizarro's Avatar
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    Practice!

    One exercise is to develop patterns to play through the entire circle of fifths using arpeggios. Try limit yourself to a 5 fret range on the guitar. You can start with major arpeggios, then go to minor, then diminished, then add in 7ths and so on... It is really challenging but worthwhile if you want to get proficient at jazz.
    -Bizarro
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  3. #3
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    You mean playing these arpeggios iii-vi-ii-V-I-IV: minor to minor to minor to dominant to tonic (major) to major?

    I am aware that by focusing on guide tones it is possible to easily convey the chord feel. Is this what should I strive for at the beginning? After that look for extensions...?

    Patrick

  4. #4
    IbreatheMusic Author Bizarro's Avatar
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    That's essentially what I'm saying. If you go through the entire circle you'll go through every key. I generally started with playing all major, going through every root via the circle of 5ths, then minor, then the rest...

    After awhile you'll see the patterns more clearly.

    It is also good to go through the cycle in the way you mention, which is what I would call a diatonic progression since you're taking the chord flavors (maj, min) from the major scale.

    When you're playing lead over a chord progression, it is important to hit the notes which give the chord it's special quality. For example, the 3rd is the most important note in a basic triad. It defines the chord as either major or minor. A 7th is also very important, plus any other altered chord note. The root and 5th are very "common" tones so they aren't quite so interesting.

    If you always nail the 3rd right at the chord change people will know you mean business!
    -Bizarro
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  5. #5
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    What you are referring to here is voice leading.
    You want to use inversions of the arpeggios to not have to move around so much.
    Write out the notes of each chord and find the common or neighboring tones (1/2 or 1 step apart) between each sucessive chord. Now try to write out a line/lines using the common or neighboring tones. The idea is to move each chord tone through as little space as possible to get to the next chord tone. Rearrange the missing notes from each chord around your common tones to allow for minimal movement. Now once you have this written out try playing it. If you move each of these chords through its inversions while moving the others through their inversions you will have four different ways to execute this with nice voice leading. Some ways will sound better than others but almost all with sound better than playing the same root inversions constantly.
    "Listen to the Spaces Between the sounds."
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  6. #6
    Groovy Bastard Maarten's Avatar
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    Find some Charlie Christian recordings and figure out the solos. He's improvising is very much based on 7th chord arpeggios. This way you'll be learning this stuff in a much more musical way than just connecting fretboard shapes, which can be useful, but only so far. It's good to know these pattern's, but you'll never want to play these exact patterns in a solo, you'll want to use them as building block. Try to make up melodies with these patterns as a starting point.
    Stop talking about modes and start working on your groove.

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