~ improvisation ~

' ... advancing 'over the changes' styled improv with the five pitches ...'

~ in a nutshell ~

~ improv history ~

~ one, then two, then ... ~

In a nutshell. The five pitches of the pentatonic group become giant steps in an expanded way in the following discussions. While our basic improv studies in UYM / EMG have two basic approaches. One is to solo' over the chord changes. This implies using a 'parent scale', whose pitches work diatonically over a chord progression in a chosen key center.

In the following discussion, we quickly track the process of the pentatonic pitches / colors as a parent scale for creating melodic ideas over chord changes and their progressions as found in our songs. And in doing so we discover John Coltrane's 'bookend closure' of these colors found rocketing through his new harmonic scheme that structures "Giant Steps."

From creating jaunty and haunting melodies and on through its 'all good pitches' quality for improvisation, these five pitches are a central thread in our Americana weave of musical colors. That it turns out that these qualities combine to create a whole new way forward for jazz improvisation from the early 60's, on through today and beyond into tomorrow, will come as no surprise. For while pentatonic pitch logic is a rare simplicity, its art and creative potential, is anything but :)

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

wiki ~ Leonardo da Vinci

As true as it gets? Probably. And that was 500 years or so ago now. With pentatonics, the combination of five, good notes, with both the major and minor colors from the same group of pitches, means we can apply this group to any chord of any sort, any progression we put chords into. In addition, there's permutation properties to explore with the five pitches, while colortones of chords, both diatonic and altered, can figure ways into these groupings of five pitches. Granted, the basic color hue changes with new or altered colortone pitches, but craftily handled, not enough to overly diminish or cancel out the pentatonic's 'all good notes' magical magic.

A bit of improv history. In the jazz styles, which at one time was America's popular or 'pop' music, the historical role of improvisation is quite varied. Initially evolving from the often fully written out 'ragtime' works of the 1880's, of which we have scores and piano rolls for today, we see the emergence of the collective group improv of the dixieland styles of 1900.

As things evolved over the next decade or so, from within this group format, we evolve to the featured soloist backed up by a rhythm section. We see this on into the 1920's or so and forward from there, as new 'stars' emerge and the recording business and making records takes off.

ragtime jazz
dixieland jazz
soloist
wiki ~ recording

Once here, we then begin see the rise of the individual 'star of the show', headlining the bill. Louis Armstrong is among the first of these stars, and leading by example, set the standard for fronting a band, very often as a singer / interpreter of the words of a song followed by an improvised trumpet solo based closely on the melody.

Backed by various rhythm section combinations, this format helps found our improvisatory Americana version of stating a theme ( melody of the song ) and then creating variations of it. What starts out as working over a melody will gradually come to include working out ideas from the overall form and harmonic structure of the chosen song. On down this road, groups become collections of collaborative artists who all get to solo.

Three chords and the truth. In this next idea we create a five note melody over three chords, the 1 4 5 chord of 'C' major. Example 1.

'C' major
 

Five notes over one chord. In this next idea we create a five note melody over one chord. Thinking 'C' major. Example 1.

'C' major

“You fear the least what you know the most about.”

about 5700 words

~ pentatonics ~

~ the simple magic of having all good pitches all the time ~

major minor

parent scale one triad all good pitches

over the multiple changes

giant steps / a love supreme

 

~ two in one nutshell and all the way back begin as parent scale and no wrong notes, all good notes to the ultimate 'parent scale' over fast moving changes to ~

~ 'the original five magic pitches that make for joyous and heartfelt tonic melodies ~

~ and with V7 open a new portal for chord substitution ~

and chords, empowering sentient melodies for every occasion ... '

~ 38 different pentatonic scales ? ~

~ spelling chords with pentatonics ~

~ five notes of pure grace ~

~ they make great pets ~

~ pentatonic elevator ~

~ a parent scale ~

 

 

"It always seems impossible until it's done."
wiki ~ Nelson Mandela

Evolving the triads into pentatonic groups. With the addition of a select pitch or two, we can quickly evolve our triads into the pentatonic group of five pitches. These are the 'no wrong notes' group? Yep. All butter :) Each pitch a keeper. Also, once the triad evolves, we can skip ahead and add a big spoke to our improv wheel.

This comes to us in the song "Giant Steps." Pioneered by John Coltrane, his improvised melody lines find a new sleekness for increased velocity, yet with the triad / pentatonic combination of pitches, bring forth a new clarity of sensation of hearing the 'chord changes in the improvised melodic line. Thus, another 'step' on our way to Parnassus.

helping to make clear sense of advancing chord progressions. Through the changes is still Coltrane's challenge. Yet soon enough there's more evolution to come for Mr. Coltrane, as he returns to the roots of all in the song, "A Love Supreme.

the whole tamale
no wrong notes
Parnassus
a pentatonic song

~ improvisation / pentatonics ~

~ a historical evolution ~

triads / pentatonics

cycle of V7 chords

the perfection of five

can create the modod on every chord /

capture shortnin' and sweet georgia brown vibe on every chord

major minor

1/2 step free zone

parent scale one triad all good pitches

over the multiple changes

giant steps / a love supreme

~ 38 different pentatonic scales ? ~

~ spelling chords with pentatonics ~

~ five notes of pure grace ~

~ they make great pets ~

~ pentatonic elevator ~

~ a parent scale ~

~ our built in shorthand for colors

the simple magic of having five good pitches all the time ~

 

 

 

~ improvisation / advancing 'over the changes' with the five pitches ~

in a nutshell

when starting out

in a nutshell

in a nutshell

starting out

then and now

the #'s of relative major minor

major 1 2 3 5 6 minor 1 3 4 5 b7

G A B D E ~ E G A B D

major triad / parent scale

minor triad / parent scale

'all the way back and all the way forward and everyone is a winner ... :)

~ one sound ~

~ one shape ~

~ new sound ~

~ new shape ~