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Improvisation

improvisation

Lessons in this competency present concepts and strategies for building effective solos, bass fills, and other improvised lines or phrases in a variety of musical settings. Although in typical scenarios the bass player’s role is primarily foundational, these lessons can be vital to a bass player’s understanding of the relationship between harmony and melody. Both universal and style-specific concepts are covered, including such topics as harmonization, substitutions, and implied tonalities. These are essential tools for the player looking to establish their own unique voice.`

IMP101: Improvisational Objectives & Strategies For Bass Players

improvisation

This lesson discusses improvisational concepts as they specifically apply to bass players. Addresses the challenges often faced by bassists as they attempt to transition from "groove-based" approaches to improvised solos. Offers a basic philosophy for improvisation in general, and demonstrates examples of hybrid approaches combining foundational grooves and improvised lines. A great "intro to improvisation" for players exploring this topic for the first time. Recommended for beginner to intermediate level players with an interest in improvising.

Course Code: IMP101

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IMP102: Modal Improvisation Part 1: Application Over Maj7 Chords Using Ionian

improvisation

This lesson demonstrates how to effectively improvise over Maj7 chords using Ionian-based ideas in a modal-based approach. In this demonstration, the root of a static Maj7 chord is treated as scale degree 1 (the starting point for the Ionian mode) and each of the connected diatonic modal forms are utilized to improvise over the chord. Recommended for intermediate level players wanting to learn howto improvise more effectively using the modes.

Course Code: IMP102

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IMP103: Modal Improvisation Part 2: Application Over Maj7 Chords Using Lydian

improvisation

This lesson demonstrates how to effectively improvise over Maj7 chords using Lydian-based ideas in a modal-based approach. Lydian offers a more colorful and "jazz-like" sound when used over Maj7 chords. In this demonstration, the root of a static Maj7 chord is treated as scale degree 4 (the starting point for the Lydian mode) and each of the connected diatonic modal forms are utilized to improvise over the chord. Recommended for intermediate level players wanting to learn how to improvise more effectively using the modes.

Course Code: IMP103

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IMP104: Modal Improvisation Part 3: Application Over Min7 Chords Using Dorian

improvisation

This lesson demonstrates a modal approach to improvising over a static min7 chords using the Dorian mode. By treating the root of a min7 chord as the 2nd degree of a major scale, we can imply a Dorian sound. Based on the key center, we can effectively combine and connect each of its derived modes and establish a method for voicing this tonality over the entire neck. Recommended for intermediate level players interested in learning how to improvise.

Course Code: IMP104

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IMP105: Modal Improvisation Part 4: Application Over Dom7 Chords Using Mixolydian

improvisation

This lesson demonstrates a modal approach to improvising over a static dom7 chords using the Mixolydian mode. By treating the root of a dom7 chord as the 5th degree of a major scale, we can imply a Mixolydian sound. Based on the key center, we can effectively combine and connect each of its derived modes and establish a method for voicing this tonality over the entire neck. Recommended for intermediate level players interested in learning how to improvise.

Course Code: IMP105

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IMP106: Modal Improvisation Part 5: Application Over Dom7 Chords Using Lydian Dominant

improvisation

This lesson demonstrates a modal approach to improvising over a static dom7 chords using the Lydian Dominant scale, which is one of the modes of the melodic minor scale. By treating the root of a dom7 chord as the 4th degree of a melodic minor scale, we can imply a Mixolydian #4 sound. Based on the key center, we can effectively combine and connect each of its derived modes and establish a method for voicing this tonality over the entire neck. Recommended for intermediate level players interested in learning how to improvise.

Course Code: IMP106

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IMP110: Improvising Over Diatonic Progressions, Part 1

improvisation

This lesson introduces the concept of improvising over diatonic chord progressions using major scales and their derived modes. By grouping together a series of chord changes that share the same key center, we can effectively use the major scale built from the tonic of the key to improvise over the entire progression. ii-V-I progressions are specifically covered in detail in each demostration, but the concept applies to any diatonic chord progression. Recommended for intermediate level players interested in learning how to play through chord changes in a variety of settings. Recommended prerequisite courses: AHT201, AHT202, AHT211, AHT212

Course Code: IMP110

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IMP121: Chordal Improvisation Part 1: Intro & Min7 Chord Application

improvisation

This lesson introduces the concept of chordal improvisation and explains its foundation and purpose when creating solos or improvised lines through the use of harmonized arpeggio forms. A vital concept for improvisation that helps players to step outside of strictly scale-oriented improvisational approaches. The harmonization of scales is revisited and discussed as it applies to chordal improvisation. This method is demonstrated over a static min7 chord using a Dorian-based tonality. Recommended for intermediate to advanced level players interested in becoming more seasoned improvisers.

Course Code: IMP121

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IMP122: Chordal Improvisation Part 2: Maj7 Chord Application

improvisation

This lesson continues demonstrating the concept of chordal improvisation, and specifically applies the approach to static maj7 chords using a Lydian-based tonality. Continues where "Chordal Improvisation Part 1" leaves off. (See Part 1 description for explanation of concept.) Recommended for intermediate to advanced level players interested in becoming more seasoned improvisers.

Course Code: IMP122

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IMP123: Chordal Improvisation Part 3: Dom7 Chord Application

improvisation

This lesson continues demonstrating the concept of chordal improvisation, and specifically applies the approach to static dom7 chords using a Lydian Dominant-based tonality. (See Part 1 description for explanation of concept.) Recommended for intermediate to advanced level players interested in becoming more seasoned improvisers.

Course Code: IMP123

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IMP130: Tips & Suggestions For Improving Your Improvisational Skills

improvisation

This lesson offers practice strategies and additional ideas for improving your improvisational skills on the bass guitar.

Course Code: IMP130

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IMP161: Improvising Over ii-V-I's Using Chromatic Descending Arpeggio Forms

improvisation

This lesson outlines and demonstrates an approach to improvising over ii-V-I chord progressions using arpeggio combinations. Min7, MinMaj7, and Maj7 arpeggios are used from specific scale degrees to create ii-V-I phrases that imply slightly more complex substitution ideas over these common progressions. A great method for introducing more color into your lines when improvising over jazz tunes. Recommended for advanced level players interested in exploring new harmonic options when improvising.

Course Code: IMP161

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IMP162: Improvising Over ii-V-I's Using Minor Pentatonic Scales

improvisation

Introduces a concept for improvising over ii-V-I's based on the use of minor pentatonic scales which are displaced from specific tones over each chord. A single minor pentatonic form is moved chromatically to create substitution ideas over major ii-V-I's. This is a more advanced-sounding concept that fits easily onto the fingerboard and allows the improvising bass player to explore alternative harmonic colors over these progressions. Recommended for advanced level players looking to expand their improvisational voice.

Course Code: IMP162

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IMP163: Min7 Pentatonic Substitutions - Part 1

improvisation

A lesson demonstrating how pentatonic scales can be used as substitution ideas when improvising over minor and minor 7 chords. Using the minor scale pentatonic scale from the 2nd and 5th scale degrees over a minor 7 chord gives you interesting colors that help to move your phrasing away from purely modal and scalar sounds. This is an easy-to-execute concept that takes a familiar shape and allows you to create more angular and sophisticated lines when improvising. Recommended for intermediate to advanced level players looking to expand their improvisational vocabulary over static chords and progressions incorporating minor chords.

Course Code: IMP163

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IMP164: Min7 Pentatonic Substitutions - Part 2

improvisation

Continues where IMP163 leaves off. Demonstrates hybrid combinations of pentatonic scale substitutions  over minor 7 chords and also shows how a "modal approach" can be applied to the pentatonic scales up and down the fingerboard. Recommended for intermediate to advanced level players looking to expand their improvisational vocabulary over static chords and progressions incorporating minor chords.

Course Code: IMP164

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IMP170: Chord Tone Studies - Part 1

improvisation

The first lesson in the "Chord Tone Studies" series, which covers chord tones and their importance in harmony. Because chord tones outline harmony directly, this series is especially useful to bass players, regardless of whether they are soloing or playing foundational parts. This lesson demonstrates the use of arpeggio forms through improvisation over static chords. Major and minor chords are demonstrated in these exercises, but the application extends to cover any and all chord types. This lesson also demonstrates how arpeggios and arpeggio inversion forms can be used to further develop your knowledge of the fingerboard and allow you to cover large shifts in hand position. Recommended for intermediate to advanced level players looking to expand their knowledge of the fingerboard and improve their ability to outline changes over static chords and progressions.

Course Code: IMP170

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