This is an incredible exercise that will really help you develop the ability to take solos and hear the movement between chord changes. Since I’m not completely happy with how I explained it in the video, here is a breakdown of how works:
Click here for sheet music: Jazz Improv Exercise Parts 1 and 2
- First, figure out the correct scale to use over each chord in the song. For minor 7 chords, the scale will be the Dorian scale of that key (for example, if you have an F minor chord, the scale will be F Dorian).
- Play through the song slowly with a metronome and play each scale starting from the root, or the first note. For steps 1-4, keep a steady stream of 8th notes without stopping.
- Once you have mastered step 2, you must begin connecting the scales without starting on the first note at each chord. Ex. You have 2 measures, the first one being an F minor chord, and the second one being a Bb minor chord. For the first measure, you play an F Dorian scale. However, when you reach the 2nd measure, don’t jump and start by playing a Bb, play the next closest note that is in the Bb Dorian scale.
- After being comfortable with fluidly moving between scales, you may start skipping notes in the scales so that you are playing larger intervals.
- Finally, you can begin rhythmically leaving notes out so that you are not simply playing a stream of 8th notes. You may also begin adding chromatic notes, or leading tones.
This may seem a little complicated, so when I have some free time, I may make a new video that answers any questions that might arise.