How to Improvise on Donna Lee – Beginner to Intermediate Jazz Piano Lesson

In this short jazz piano lesson, you will learn the basics for how to improvise (also known as taking a solo) over the chord changes for the song “Donna Lee,” a bebop song composed by Miles Davis and popularized by Charlie Parker.

Scales to know:
Major scale – used on Major 7 chords
Dorian scale – second mode of major, used on minor 7 chords
Dominant scale – also known as mixolydian (fifth mode of major), used on dominant chords
whole-half diminished – used on diminished chords

For Skype lessons, email me at jazzpianoconcepts@gmail.com.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “How to Improvise on Donna Lee – Beginner to Intermediate Jazz Piano Lesson

  1. Hey Noah, I looked at your videos on improvising “Donna Lee”. I did watch your other video on improvsing and getting used to the scales of a song. 2 questions: Am I to assume that if a song has 2 chords in one measure….for example “summertime” has Em7 b5 and A7 in measure 2, that I just use the notes that fit both chords? Also Do you use Dorian scale for pretty much most standards? Thanks

    Curtis

    ________________________________

    • Hi Curtis,

      Yes, you can use the Dorian scale for minor 7 chords on pretty much any standard. When you have two chords in one measure, you can either stick to notes that work for both, or you can switch scales more quickly. As you learn more about improvisation, you will also see that you can begin to think less about scales and more about creating melodies that lead you to your next chord.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s