Targeting Individual Alterations
Welcome to lesson 6 in our cocktail piano improvisation module. In this lesson we will create interesting colours and tensions in our improvised melody lines by targeting and isolating the individual chord alterations.
Targeting chord tones and utilising arpeggios are 2 of the most fundamental improvisation principles. Targeting single alterations will now add a different dimension to our improvised lines.
Diatonic Approaches, Enclosures, & Chromaticism
In the same way that we targeted the 3rds and 7ths in the earlier lessons we will now use the same approach patterns to target the individual alterations over the dominant chords.
Focusing on the 251 progression in Ab Major which takes us into bar 3 we can target the different alterations of the Eb7 chord. For each alteration we will find a way to approach chromatically and then via an arpeggio.
- Target the b9 with either descending arpeggio or enclosure
- Target the #5 or b13 with ascending arpeggio or chromaticism
- Target the #11 with ascending arpeggio or enclosure
We can repeat this process for the 3625 progressions. Revisit our lessons on the whole step 251 drills where we isolate the individual alterations from a chordal standpoint.
In the next lesson we will explore blues licks and vocabulary that we can apply throughout the A Section of “Misty”.
Targeting Chord Alterations File Type: pdf
Experiment with repeating the alteration up 1 octave to accentuate the sound and to let it linger above the harmony.
Notice that each alterations is just a half step away from a resolution note of the proceeding chord. Always keep the point of resolution in mind.
Remember that targeting alterations is a single component of improvisation and should be balanced with the other elements that we cover in this module.