Welcome to this course on Advanced Improvisation Concepts. In these 6 lessons we will explore a specific approach to improvising over the Dominant – Tonic relationship.
We will start this course by talking about how I view and hear harmony. The first time I was introduced to jazz, I started by studying the different modes, scales, and chords. I was overwhelmed with the number of different things to learn. Despite all of this information, I was unable to actually hear or understand what is now, to me, the main point in harmony, logic.
A Simplified View Of Harmony
The main point of this course is to show you how to simplify things. We will stop referring to scales with their modal names or even separate them from each other, as they are just the same scale. If we omit the bass note, it is the exact same notes but in a different order.
You should try to think that music is either resting or heading towards something that is resting. Using this philosophy, this course will simplify a few harmonic concepts that you might have found complicated and difficult to understand.
Chosen Tune: "There Will Never Be Another You"
We have chosen this tune because it’s simple, and most likely you already are familiar with it. For the purpose of this course, we will only take the first A and B sections, and we are going to use them throughout every lesson to explore and demonstrate the theoretical concepts.
The Importance Of Transcribing
Before we start, I want to highlight the importance of listening to music and transcribing from records. My first teacher always told me that transcribing is essentially just listening to music carefully and that any kind of listening can be seen as transcription.
By transcribing you will discover voicings, melodies, harmonic concepts, and rhythms played by the masters. Learning these things and applying them to your own playing is the most beneficial thing you can do when learning improvised music.
Just One Perspective Of Harmony
Of course, the contents in this course are just one perspective of harmony, and there are numerous other ways to the same result, which is a better understanding and hearing of music. Whatever path you take, I urge you to stick on it and learn things as thorough as possible, it definitely will pay off and make things way easier to learn, and will keep music fun!
— Tuomo Uusitalo