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CVI1 Lesson 8: 9 videos

CVI1 Lesson 8: 9 videos

II-V-I  (2-5-1)

II-V-I is the most common chord progression.
If you want to improvise in Jazz music this is one of the first things to know.
Be sure to learn everything in the first tab, this way you will understand what goes on in the next tabs.

1 II-V-I (2-5-1)

The most common chord progression in Jazz is the II-V-I (2-5-1) progression. We have to take a look at this progression and also look into the chords. How do we find these chords, how do we recognise them and how do we deal with them?

video

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2 II-V-I in D tempo 100

We will start with some basics over II-V-I in D  (Em7 – A7 – Dmaj7) Follow me on the first part: First the base notes: E -A -D Then the triads, and then improvisation, as you know in the scale of D.

 

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3 II-V-I in D tempo 100 / 2

Same as in the previous tab, but now try to experiment a bit more with the notes from the D-scale. Try to use the entire reach of the violin up to the level you are at.

 

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4 II-V-I in D tempo 120

If you have done tab 2 and 3 right you might want to take it to the next step, tempo 120

 

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5 II-V-I in D tempo 140

For the cracks, tempo 140!

 

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6 Satin Doll

Satin Doll by Duke Ellington, form A A B A.
This is a great study to put the II-V-I into practice.
We will see a II-V-I in C and D in the A parts.
Try to figure out the B part, (Gm7 – C7 and Am7 – D7)

 

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7 Satin Doll 1st improvisation

Let’s put our theory into practice, we’ll start very simple so you can get acquainted with the II-V-I.
First we’ll do the basic notes (chord roots) and then try to play the scales that belong to each II-V-I.
Follow me…

 

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8 Satin Doll 2nd improvisation

Now, instead of starting off with the root note of the scale, we start with one of the chord notes. (But still in the scale of the “I”).
So first start with the base note of each chord.

 

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9 Satin Doll 3rd improvisation

Finally we can mix things up using all we have learnt in this lesson.
Challenge yourself, play 8th notes in swing, play triplets, make nice sentences from the different scales.

 

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CVI1 Lesson 7: 7 videos

CVI1 Lesson 7: 7 videos

The 7th Chords.

Building from the triad (1-3-5) we can add another 3rd, that would give us the 7, (7th note in the scale).
Adding this 7th note gives us the “7th chord”.

There are 2 types of 7th chords: Major 7th and Minor 7th. (NOT to be mistaken with being a major or minor CHORD, ONLY the 3rd note determines that!)
Major and Minor 7th has to do with the DISTANCE from the 1, Minor 7th is 11 semitones away from the 1, Major 7th 12 semitones away from the 1.

The 7th chords have certain function, they have to do with movement.
We will only look at the MINOR 7th chords for now.
The Minor 7th chords have a certain tension in them, wanting to move to a “solution”.
If they move in an “authentic” way they will move UP a PERFECT 4th (5 semitones up, and always count the first note as 1)
In our example the chord G, added with a minor 7 (the note F), will want to move up a perfect 4th and land on C.
We call this dominant behaviour, the minor 7th chord is a dominant chord, in this example called G7.
G7 goes to C (4 up).

This is NOT a rule, as said, it would be an authentic progression if it does move up 4, but often we see it moves to somewhere else, like in Rock music.
In Jazz you will find many authentic progressions on which we can anticipate a lot.

1 The 7th Chords

In this tab you will find the complete explanation and use of the 7th chords. Again, take your time to really understand this, the better you do, the easier it will be to use them in your improvisation.

video

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2 The Mixolydian Scales

We will now practice the scales of the chords in Sweet Georgia Brown. The scales of the (dominant) 7th chords are Mixolydian scales, as we call them, lowering the 7th note in the scale to match the #7 in the chords. Follow me.

 

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3 The Mixolydian Scales #2

Now we will do the same, a bit more tempo, but without showing the scales. Learn to play them this way, feel the notes, where the 7th note is lowered. Listen to how that matches with the chords. You can play a bit with the rhythm too, experiment!

 

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4 The Improvisation

Time to really improvise! Use the notes from the scales that we learnt and play around with them, make your own phrases now. If this goes too fast then hover over the video, click on the “-” to slow it down a bit.

 

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5 That actual chord progression

Time to practice the scales on the actual chord progression. Instead of playing in turns, play along with me on this one. Download the score below to see what chords are coming.

 

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6 A bit more tempo

We’ll practice the same, if all went right in tab 5 you can step up in tempo here. Try to add little variations along the way.

 

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7 The actual improvisation on Sweet Georgia Brown

We have come to the point that you can improvise as a pro on Sweet Georgia Brown. Use the basis as we practiced in the previous tabs and play around in the scales. this type of improvisation is commonly used in Gypsy Jazz style. Practice this as much as you can, other titles will follow.

 

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CVI1 Lesson 6: 7 videos

CVI1 Lesson 6: 7 videos

Swing, Gypsy Jazz.
One of the most popular jazz styles for violin is of course the Gypsy Swing, which originated from Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli’s “Hot Club De France”.
This style is still growing more and more popular all over the world.
Although there were jazz violinists at the time, Stéphane Grappelli can be seen as a pioneer, adding the violin to jazz, first his “Hotclub de France” style, better known as Gypsy Jazz or Manouche, he also played with many great contemporary jazz artists like Oscar Peterson, Michel Legrand.
He was close friends with Yehudi Menuhin, who admired his style of playing tremendously.
In lesson 6 we will work with a few different songs, while we also learn one of the most important chord progressions in Jazz: II-V-I.

1 Gypsy Jazz

We will start with Django’s song “Daphné” where we can practice the jazz style on 2 simple scales, D and Eb. You will be pulled out of your comfort zone again, Gypsy Jazz is known for its virtuosity, so we will slowly build up the tempo. Try to play it with the most relaxed feel you have, if you still experience a bit of stress, focus on the first tabs, the slower ones. Go to the faster tempo’s when you feel you can play it smoothly. That’s what it’s all about. Let’s dive in!

video

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2 Swing on the scale of D and Eb

On the chords of Daphné we can practice our swing style on the scales of D (in the “A” parts) and Eb (in the “B” part). We will start nice and slowly.

video

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3 Swing on the scale of D and Eb #2

Same as in tab 2, but a little faster. When we play faster it is essential that you stay totally relaxed, the more you play relaxed, the faster you will be able to play.

 

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4 Daphné, playing the theme first.

If you haven’t already yet downloaded the score of Daphné it is now time to do so. Usually a song’s theme is played first, then the improvisations start and all ends with the theme again. (Improvisations always use the chord progression of the song, with a few exceptions of course).

 

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5 Daphné, playing the theme first. #2

Same as in the previous tab, but a little quicker. Slowly building up the tempo.

 

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6 Daphné, playing the theme first. #3

The theme can be played as free as you want, just as we saw in the previous lesson. I will play around with octavation, slight alteration in rhythm, free! You can try it at this tempo, but if you download the backing track you can also practice this in a lower tempo.

 

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7 Daphné, playing the theme first. #4

Free theme playing, speed improvisation for the cracks out there. If you can’t keep up with this one, don’t worry for now, maybe come back to this one later. For the ones that are a bit more advanced there is this challenge I wanted to offer. Remember to keep it all relaxed, even when the tempo is a bit higher.

 

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CVI1 Lesson 5: 14 videos

CVI1 Lesson 5: 14 videos

Swing!
For classical players this might be the most difficult part of improvising.
When it is not in our genes, we can definitely work our way to it.
That’s what we will do in Lesson 5, play the swing on country style.
We will get to the jazz part in Lesson 6, let’s first get acquainted with swing on easier chords, the I, IV and V.

If you haven’t reached the level of position playing yet you can download Grey Eagle 1st Position as alternative.

1 Swing

With Swing we actually mean a rhythm that is based on a division in triplets. When we play 2 “8th” notes they both have the same note length. With Swing we will change that to triplets, making the first “8th” note we had longer. This may sound a little confusing, so let’s dive in!

video

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2 Swing Bowing

To get that real swing feel we need to put little accents on the syncopated notes. To get this done we have to learn a certain type of bowing: bow changes on the syncopated notes. We will tie the 2nd note to the 3rd, you might be used to tying the 1st and second… Give a little accent on a bow change and we get what we want, that swing feel. I recommend you to listen to some jazz players, you will always notice the accents coming in between the counts, especially the drummer on the snare! Play everything along with me and get used to this way of bowing before we turn to the next.

 

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3 Learning swing bowing on Grey Eagle

Grey Eagle is an American Traditional, bluegrass style. It is a great way to practice the “swing feel” with this, we will take it slowly at first. Mark the red notes in the score, these are the end notes of a “sentence”. It is common to end every sentence with the root note when we improvise on bluegrass. The bowing you see is just a suggestion, feel free to make your own bowings, but do stick to bow changes on syncopated notes.

 

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4 Learning swing bowing on Grey Eagle at 120BPM

Now we will exercise the bowing on Grey Eagle at 120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)

 

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5 Learning swing bowing on Grey Eagle at 140BPM

Even faster! 140 BPM (Beats Per Minute)

 

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6 A little example of improvising with the melody

Playing a bluegrass (or jazz) melody we can play it as free as we want, yes! even the melody itself. Add little variations with notes or rhythms, here’s an example how you can do it. Download the backing-track with a comfortable tempo to experiment with this. This will also stimulate and grow your “improvisation vocabulary”.

 

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7 Looking at the chords, preparing to improvisation on this song

We are in the scale of A. As we learnt earlier the chords we use were built up from the notes of the scale, in this example, the scale of A. So we can use this scale over the 3 chords in this song, it will always sound good!

 

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8 Practicing with notes from the A-scale

Let’s practice with the scale of A on the chord progressions. Starting slowly, listen to the chords as you fit in the notes.

 

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9 Same, but a little more tempo

Let’s practice with the scale of A on the chord progressions again. Now with a little more tempo.

 

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10 One more time, again a little faster.

Try to keep up! 🙂

 

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11 For the cracks…

Bluegrass is played in faster tempos, train this as much as you can, don’t forget to end on the note A on the places where the red note is marked.

 

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12 Chord Stacks

Let’s do a different approach, now we will pay a little more attention to the chords themselves. We can play notes from the A-scale in this one, but now try to work a bit with the changing of the chords. Try to play one of the chord notes in each chord change. We will start slow again.

 

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13 Chord Stacks with a little more tempo

Same again, try to hit one of the chord notes when they change.

 

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14 For the “die-hards”

For the real “die-hards”, keep up with me at 180 BPM!

 

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CVI1 Lesson 4: 11 videos

CVI1 Lesson 4: 11 videos

Lesson 4 will be all about pentatonic scales, probably the most important scale to master.
These scales are found in improvisation of ALL music styles, so master this and you will be all set to whatever style you choose.
We will still rely on the Blues in D, there is a special reason for that which I will explain in the lesson.

1 Pentatonic Scales

Penta = 5, meaning there are 5 notes in the scale. In major pentatonic we skip the 4th and 7th note. (So we have 1-2-3-5-6) We use this scale a LOT in improvisation. The better you study them the easier improvising will get, especially when you get “stuck”. So give a LOT of attention to the next videos, study these well!

video

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2 Exercise with pentatonic scales on our Blues in D.

Blues in D again? Hmm… yes, here’s why: I explain an easy formula to get you acquainted with the pentatonic scale: Starting from the open string you get 0-1-2–0-1-3. In the Blues in D you have 3 chords: D, G and A, and as you can see now, these are the 3 open strings we can apply the pentatonic formal to. So, Blues in D for just a short while, I promise it is worth it!

video

  • Am I playing too fast?
    Hover over the video, click on “1x” and choose your speed.

  • Do you want to repeat part of the video?
    Hover over the video, click on “AB” then set the beginning point with “i” and the end point with “o”.

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3 Pentatonic scales across the 1st position

We will practice the pentatonic scales in the 1st position, to all its reach.

 

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4 Exercise pentatonic scales throughout the 1st position

Now in practice, in the Blues in D….uhuh, one more time!

 

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5 Minor Pentatonic and Blue Notes

As with the major scales, the parallel minor scale lies 3 semitones (minor 3rd) UNDER the major scale. They both use the SAME notes. So if you play the major scale of D, but you would start with the note B (minor 3rd lower), you will have B-minor, with exactly the SAME notes. We call them Parallel scales. With Pentatonic scales it is exactly the same: D-major pentatonic        D-E-F#-A-B A-minor pentatonic   B-D-E-F#-A Do you see the similarity? Blue Notes are dissonant notes if we combine major with minor, like D major blues and D(!) minor pentatonic scale. (so not the parallel). In blues (and all other styles actually) we can force a minor scale to a major key. The dissonant notes (in D) would be F#-F and C#-C Let me explain this in this video.

 

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6 Exercise pentatonic minor to a major blues, creating the Blue Notes

Time to get the hands dirty again, play with me on this one and keep to 1 octave D minor pentatonic.

 

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7 Pentatonic minor 2 octaves

Same as previous tab, but now we will add an octave. Get used to the fingerings, try to omit open strings. This way you will have no trouble playing in other keys.

 

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8 The Blues Scale

We will add 1 note to the minor pentatonic scale and we get the basic Blues Scale!

 

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9 Practicing the Blues Scale

We will practice the Blues scale, first in 1 octave, the 2nd part we’ll add the 2nd octave too. Stick to just these notes of the scale.

 

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10 Minor Blues

Time to make a little change. Minor Blues also uses the minor pentatonic scale or Blues Scale. We are switching to the A-Minor Blues. We will play the A Blues Scale, (or A-minor pentatonic if you want).

 

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11 Practicing A-Minor Blues

Let’s put this to practice with the A-Minor Blues.

 

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