This song was actually never written. I had a few chords that I liked to play, show it to my colleagues, and we recorded.

It might seem like a melody, but again, it is just an improv. Which makes me think of the importance of making melodies when you improvise.

I was just going to post this video and then I thought I would open the subject to:

Melodic Approach to improvisation.

It seems like many people learn improvisation but studying structures, and chord changes. If I was a teacher I would have a complete different approach. I would just learn how to make nice melodies. And there are not a lot of rules here. You just have to play a melody that you think sounds nice.

Now there are some criteria that let other people perceive the aesthetics of our melodies. But it’s more about architecture than harmony or music theory.

So how do you get that “skill”? How do you work on it, how do you practice it?

Very simple. Sing. It annoys the hell out of Martina, my wife, but I sing all day long. Especially in supermarkets for some reason, and that makes her nuts. But sing. sing sing sing sing. And of course, keep listening to a lot of music. The aim is not to copy anything but to absorb the shapes of beautifully constructed melodies.

Second question that I can hear coming: Ok but how can I apply this to jazz if I don’t study or look at chord changes?

There is a reason most jazz songs have similar harmonic structures. Not because some scholar out there said: “This is the way it must be. We need a II, then a V and then, a I. If you don’t follow that, you will be decapitated.”

No. It didn’t happen like that. Songs have similar pillars of constructions because they feel good, and sound good.

Practice constructing melodies in every key. Practice on creating tension in those melodies (V) and coming back home (I).

It’s as simple as that.

And most of all, enjoy. If it becomes hard work, you’re doing something wrong.

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Melodic approach to improvisation – Lumiere du 06300

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