The B Section Improvisation
In this lesson we explore improvisation concepts over the bridge of “Misty”. We learn techniques for creating melodies over the minor line cliché, and how to create melodic interest over a single static chord type.
The Bridge Harmony Recap
The entire first line of the B section is effectively a stretched out 251 in Ab Major. We have a minor line cliché in the first 2 bars which indicates a descending moving voice from Bb- to Bb-maj7 to Bb-7 to Eb7.
We then have 2 full bars of Abmaj7. A useful trick here is to walk up to the 3rd degree by playing Abmaj7, Bb-7, Bdim7, C-7 or Ab/C. This adds movement and creates new possibilities from an improvisation standpoint.
Moving onto the 2nd line we can play a full bar of A-7 and then a full bar of D7 or another option is to play A-7 / D7 / C-7 / F7 and then move into the 3625 in the final 2 bars.
The 3625 Progression
The 3625 can be voiced with the diatonic 7th chords, as altered dominants, and we can also use the tritone substitutes to play G-7, Gb7, F-7, E7. In addition we can change those tritone subs to major chords to create an interesting turnaround passage.
For improvising over the 3625 we can use any of the devices that we have previously covered in this module such as targeting chord tones, utilising arpeggios, altered lines and targeting alterations, or chromatic voices and blues scale licks.
B Section Improv Notation File Type: pdf
Experiment with block chords when transitioning into the bridge. The ascending melodic motif can be harmonised with George Shearing style 4-way close voicings.
When creating melodies over the minor line cliche, bring out the major 7th in your melody lines when the harmony changes to Bb-maj7.
Improvise over the walk-up chords using chord tones and chromatic approach patterns. Bluesy ornamentation works well over the Bdim7 chord.
Spend some time on chord tone and arpeggio drills for the A-7 to D7 and the C-7 to F7 as we have not covered these chords in A Sections.