Transcription & Improvisation Exercises - Intermediate

Exercise 1

Part 1 - Melody over 2 5 1 cadenze in the key of Cmaj

Transcribe this melody from the audio track provided below. In the audio track you will first hear a simple Cmaj chord. After learning the melody in the key of C, take it through all the keys.

Tips:

  • Try to hear the relation of the notes in the melody to the chord tones, especially the roots of the chords, D-7, G7 and Cmaj7.

  • First try to detect the starting and the ending notes of the melody, then any note you can find in between and this way continue ‘filling up the puzzle’.

Part 2 - Transcribe the harmony

Transcribe the following harmonic movement, in the key of Cmaj. In the audio track you will first hear a simple Cmaj chord. The exact voicings not needed, Just roots and the basic function (major, minor, dominant)

Tips:

  • First detect the bass movement, then try to hear the possible 2 5 connection.

  • Always relate to the material you are sure of, for example the chord in the beginning or any part you already transcribed. Use logic and memory.

If you have any questions, please drop them into the comment box below. Right answers will be posted here the day before new exercises. Enjoy!

2 Likes

here s where i go

ex1 1
analysing it Dm arpegio up to 9 approach note to the 7 going to the 3 of G7 approaching scale to the 7 another inverted arpegio 3 5 #5 going to the 3 of CM7 5 inverted arpegio to the final note 13

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1iLVA7cB_LE2iA_Oras15zTqwehAARemZ/view?usp=sharing

ex1 2
the only question is about the Emb5 which go to the A7. is fonction is more a Edim

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rDzqXipWakB7tvXN16OrUssR_Us2XOak/view?usp=sharing

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Hi Pierre!

Very good work,

You got the intermediate ex 1 part 1 99% correct, all notes are correct, just double check the ’ rhythm in the last notes :slight_smile: Right answers coming in tomorrow!

Also great job with the part 2, everything’s correct. About your question, the E-7b5 before A7 is anticipating the minor chord D-7, where the E- A7 25 is leading. The note Bb instead of B already makes the 2 chord sounds like the 25 is resolving to a minor chord.

You are making a good point about the dim chord though, the whole 25 function is actually based on the diminished chord from where it derives, please go check out my courses on

Minor 3rd relationship

and on

diminished

Let me know if you have any further questions,

Thanks, keep up the good work!

-T

Great job @Pierrot

And thanks for setting this exercise @Tuomo

I have recorded Part 1 of the exercise, taking the melody around all 12 keys over rootless 251 in left hand (see video below) and I have a few questions for you Tuomo:

  • Is it important that we take the melody around all 12 keys before we move onto the next week’s exercise?

  • I was playing along with the metronome at 70 bpm. Is it important to play along with the metronome with this kind of drill? And how fast should we aim to play the melody?

  • I played it with rootless voicings in my left hand, would you suggest that we do rooted and rootless voicings?

To make sure that these exercises are accessible to all students, we may need to change/add more difficulty levels, and perhaps change the frequency that the exercises is set, or maybe set ‘smaller milestones’ such as “this week transpose melody though 4 keys” etc…

Let me know what you think on the above questions, and then I will create a poll to get more feedback from our other community members.

Thanks again for setting the exercise Tuomo, I enjoyed the challenge of transposing around all 12 keys and I’m looking forward to doing these on a regular basis.


1 Like

Thank you @Hayden ,

I really appreciate all the feedback you guys give me, that makes it easier to create exercises that are suitable for everyone, but still gives the right amount of challenge.

About the exercises in general, I suggest everyone to find their own way of doing them,

with that I mean,

someone might just enjoy doing a part of the exercise, and later on doing more, depending on the progress and of course how much time each person can invest on these exercises on a weekly basis.

Here answers to your questions Hayden:

  • Is it important that we take the melody around all 12 keys before we move onto the next week’s exercise?

Like I said earlier, it is not always completely necessary to complete these exercises in every key, you can for example pick 4 different keys for these exercises, and 4 other ones for the next ones.

  • I was playing along with the metronome at 70 bpm. Is it important to play along with the metronome with this kind of drill? And how fast should we aim to play the melody?

Metronome is a great tool for these exercises, because while learning the transcribed material, you also can practice your time (here a link to 5-minute masterclass about How To Practice Time)

About the tempo, like with everything, first do it as slow as needed so you can be in control of the melody and every finger and movement. Later on if you decide to work this material into your improvisation, you can start to play faster and faster.

  • I played it with rootless voicings in my left hand, would you suggest that we do rooted and rootless voicings?

I suggest that you do both, sometimes it’s good to play melodies with just the root in the bass, so you really can hear the relation to the basic root and harmony.

Thanks,

Keep up the good work!

-T

2 Likes

This was fun to work on. I found the harmony much more challenging. Admittedly, I kinda gave up after 20 minutes and then was tempted to check what Hayden and Pierre put… but I did not. Very curious tho, looking forward to seeing the answers.

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Awesome thanks Tuomo… that answers all of my questions.

Yes you explain some useful metronome exercises in chapter 3 of that lesson “metronome drills” - that’s handy stuff to know.


@smole and @ed1023573 - this ties in with our discussion about the ‘difficult keys’ or ‘black keys’.

When working on any drill - chords, progressions, melody lines, etc. - remember to alternate the keys we are working on so that we are not playing the same few keys every time we sit down to practice.

That way we gradually build our awareness of the ‘difficult keys’ and with enough practice all keys will become equal which is the end goal.

Understood :+1:

Thanks!

Great summary Pierre :ok_hand:

One thing i found useful with this exercise was that it helped me visualise that inverted V7 arpeggio in all 12 keys, and also the #5 chromatic passing tone into the M3 of the Imaj7 chord in each key.

A nice one to have ‘under our fingers’!

Great job Lyndol!

Right answers will be posted in few minutes :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hi guys, here are the answers to the last weeks intermediate exercise:

Exercise_1_-_Intermediate.pdf (94.5 KB)

Keep up the good work, stay tuned for the new weekly exercises posted tomorrow!

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thanks Tuomo! I also checked out your 5min masterclass on Time and it was VERY helpful. Thanks so much

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Sorry guys, delay with the new weekly exercises, going to be posting them in the next 2 days!

Exercise 2

Part 1 - Melody over 2 5 1 cadenze in the key of Cmaj

Transcribe this melody from the audio track provided below. In the audio track you will first hear a simple Cmaj chord. After learning the melody in the key of C, take it through keys F and A.

Tips:

  • Try to hear the relation of the notes in the melody to the chord tones, especially the roots of the chords, D-7, G7 and Cmaj7.
  • First try to detect the starting and the ending notes of the melody, then any note you can find in between and this way continue ‘filling up the puzzle’.

Part 2 - Transcribe the harmony

Transcribe the following harmonic movement, in the key of Cmaj. In the audio track you will first hear a simple Cmaj chord. The exact voicings not needed, Just roots and the basic function (major, minor, dominant, diminished etc.)

Tips:

  • First detect the bass movement, then the melody (highest note).
  • Always relate to the material you are sure of, for example the chord in the beginning or any part you already transcribed. Use logic and memory.

If you have any questions, please drop them into the comment box below. Right answers will be posted here the day before new exercises. Enjoy!

1 Like

so the harmonic movement is

I IV ii/ii V/ii ii V I

it is another short exercice that could help members @niall @david3 @scott1 who want to have more experience in this type of harmonic analyse

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@anon84688975 - I was showing Tuomo the Harmonomics App we posted here.

Tuomo mentioned that one of the limitations of these kind of apps is hearing and identifying the inner voices as the harmony moves. The app has lots of great exercises to identify specific colours and alterations over different chord types chords, but not in the context of a harmonic cadence.

I’m sure @Tuomo will elaborate further, but we discussing how the extensions/alterations in harmony usually just move by half and whole steps when the chord changes, and this subtle inner movement is very important for us to hear when transcribing.

That’s what Tuomo’s advanced harmonic exercises have been designed for us to work on.

Cheers.

Thanks @Hayden,

I think the best way to work with these apps is to combine them with real transcribing and listening records. Like @Hayden mentioned, if you learn to hear and understand how harmony moves, all the tensions of the chords become clearer, as they are connected to each other in the voice leading. Here example of the chromatic inner voices creating different tensions:

Inner Voice Example.pdf (53.5 KB)

Most important thing is to keep doing all of that on a daily basis, just 20min a day
(for example 10min with the apps and 10min listening records/transcribing harmony)
is fine if you do it every day, that way you make steady progress pretty fast.

-Tuomo

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Agreed. The Harmononics App does have cadential exercises though, and I find them useful because they help you practice exactly this.

Awesome. Yes I do see the 5 to 1 resolution exercises in the Harmonomics App - for both major and minor keys. Useful stuff.

Hi guys, here are the answers to the last weeks intermediate exercise:

Exercise_2_-_Intermediate.pdf (88.5 KB)

Keep up the good work, stay tuned for the new weekly exercises posted in the next few days!

2 Likes

Exercise 3

Part 1 - Blues melody over 2 5 1 cadenze in the key of Cmaj (Swinging 8-notes)

Transcribe this melody from the audio track provided below. In the audio track you will first hear a simple C6 chord. After learning the melody in the key of C, take it through keys F and D.

Tips:

  • Try to hear the relation of the notes in the melody to the chord tones, especially the roots of the chords, D-7, G7 and Cmaj7.
  • The melody is mostly based on C-blues scale
  • First try to detect the starting and the ending notes of the melody, then any note you can find in between and this way continue ‘filling up the puzzle’.

Part 2 - Transcribe the harmonic movement

Transcribe the following harmonic movement, in the key of Cmaj. In the audio track you will first hear a simple Cmaj chord. The exact voicings not needed, just roots and the basic function (major, minor, dominant, diminished etc.)

Tips:

  • First detect the bass movement, then the melody (highest note).
  • Always relate to the material you are sure of, for example the chord in the beginning or any part you already transcribed. Use logic and memory.

If you have any questions, please drop them into the comment box below. Right answers will be posted here the day before new exercises. Enjoy!

1 Like