Advanced Level Session

We will delve into jazz standards which are known to be challenging. By following the processes we’ve implemented during previous sessions you’ll be improvising over the following standards in no time!

1. Oleo
2. Stella By Starlight
3. Giant Steps

The Process

Characteristics of advanced jazz standards may include more upbeat tempos, complex harmonic structures, multiple key centres and mostly require a thorough understanding of harmony to solo over.

Although this maybe the case, there are ways to grasp the above tunes and create successful improvisations. Specifically, by following the steps taken during previous sessions. Take a look below where we’ve outlined the process for each of these standards.

Oleo – This is probably the most common melody played over a Bb “Rhythm Changes”. To tackle this, we’ll listen to the melody – a lot! Although a blanket scale approach works with this tune’s harmonic structure, we’ll do our best to avoid it! It’s extremely important to include be-bop language when improvising and we’ll use this tunes chord sequence as a vehicle to delve into be-bop language. We’re going to say it again, listening is the best thing you can do to start understanding jazz and the be-bop language. Follow the link to Oleo and try to sing along to the melody and solos – this will take time but you’ll see the results!

Stella By Starlight – This piece includes many key centres. The reason this piece has been chosen is because it allows us to explore minor II V I’s as well as looking into both the Lydian and Lydian dominant modes. This will allow you to explore different modes for improvisation, adding to your toolbox. Don’t forget, this is all transferable so will work over many other jazz standards too!

Giant Steps – This composition by Coltrane in 1960 is the definition of Coltrane Changes (which we’ll talk about during the session). It’s really not that hard if you break it down! It’s just a II-V-I in the key of B, G and Eb. We’ll spend some time looking at the relationship between keys, looking at common tones and most importantly how to create an interesting improvisation over this standard. Interesting fact – Coltrane never performed Giant Steps live, wonder why!

Re-harmonisation and playing ‘outside’

We will also revisit re-harmonisation during this workshop, exploring some more advanced techniques to help you to understand the process behind it. This also ties in nicely with playing ‘outside’. We’ll look into various methods you can include within your playing to begin exploring soloing outside of the given harmony to create variation, tension and interest. We don’t want to give away too much here, so you’ll have to come along to the workshop in December.

What we need from you?

An open mind and your instrument. That’s it! There’s nothing else to it. The workshops will take place at Chichester University in the recently built state of the art music block. There is a canteen/shop on site for breaks as well as vending machines in the music block itself. We hope to see you for the first session in October.

For more information please contact us at info@chichesterjazzacademy.co.uk

 

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Intermediate Level Session

For those of you already familiar with some concepts of jazz improvisation, we can focus on slightly more advanced jazz standards as well as looking at simple ways to re-harmonise/arrange the tunes. For example:

1. How High The Moon
2. My Funny Valentine
3. All The Things You Are
4. Beautiful Love

The Process

The above tunes are slightly more complex for a number of reasons. They include more than one key centre/scale, more than 4 to 6 chords, challenging to improvise over, and include more complex melodies. Breaking this down will be the focus of the day, enabling you to accomplish confident improvisations over each of the standards.

More than one key centre/scale – This can be a daunting task at first. How do you know when to change scale? How do you sound like you’re not just playing up and down scales? Why does that note work over this chord but not that one? Well, it’s simple really and we will follow a very similar process to the first session. By breaking down the harmony into bitesize chunks and exploring the chord tones, melody, root movement and colour tones you’ll have a good starting point. This workshop will include an insight into the theoretical concepts of jazz harmony and modes to help you better understand how to approach improvising over more challenging repertoire. We’ll also rely heavily on the ear, developing aural skills as a group to engage better with the music.

More than 4 to 6 chords – To begin with we will look at connecting the dots. In other words, examining common tones which connect more challenging sections of the repertoire. Common tones are notes which belong to a selection of chords. So if there is a section of music with 4 chords over two bars, there will be a selection of notes that work over all of the chords – even if the tune changes key!

Challenging to improvise over – Using all the tools outlined above we will begin to collectively improvise over each standard. Collective improvisation is a great way to improve confidence as well as helping you to develop as a jazz musician. During this session, we’ll also begin to look at the all-important phrasing of a solo – basically, when to play and when not to play! The idea is that by putting everything together, you will begin to be able to create a variety of interesting improvised solos with an emphasis on storytelling. Think of it as adding new tools to a toolbox so you are better able to complete a task.

More complex melodies – These tunes include more challenging melodies than the previous session. But that’s a very good thing! It means we’ll have more options when using the melody as a basis for improvisation. It also means our ears will be challenged a bit more – which is great! Aural development is fundamental to every jazz musician. Please do click on the pieces above and listen to them as often as you can. We hope to see you in November.

Re-harmonisation & Arranging

In conjunction with the jazz theory being examined, we’ll also delve into re-harmonisation and arranging. There’s certain tricks you can utilise to manipulate the harmony over any standard and we’ll look at the basic principle during the session. We don’t want to give away too much so you’ll have to book a space to find out more!

What we need from you?

An open mind and your instrument. That’s it! There’s nothing else to it. The workshops will take place at Chichester University in the recently built state of the art music block. There is a canteen/shop on site for breaks as well as vending machines in the music block itself. We hope to see you for the first session in October.

For more information please contact us at info@chichesterjazzacademy.co.uk

 

BOOK ONLINE

 

 

Introduction to Jazz and Improvisation

For those just starting out with jazz and improvisation please see an example of workshop structure below using four jazz standards, dissecting them piece by piece.

1. Freddie Freeloader
2. Blue Bossa
3. C-Jam Blues
4. Autumn Leaves

The Process

Firstly, we will listen to the tunes and discuss the various features, instrumentation, improvisation, tone, form and structure. Click on each standard above to have a listen now! After all, listening is the most important thing you can do when learning jazz.

Rather than looking at the music or delving into complicated jazz theory we’ll begin to pick apart the harmony and improvise over the piece using a blanket scale approach – this is where the ear really come into play. This means that one scale can be used over the entire form, but it can be challenging to create an interesting improvisation; so, we’ll do this using various approaches to help you to use your ear, begin playing off each other and create interesting improvised solos.

Next; learning the melody, root movement (bass line) and outline each 7th chord. This will begin to give you more ammunition when improvising over the tune. We will also look at how to utilise the melody, manipulating and adding notes to create improvisations. After this, we’ll start to add the colour tones related to each chord – this part will connect the dots and begin to give you an understanding of jazz theory using modes. Not sure what this means? Then get booking to find out more!

We have chosen the above tunes because they are a great starting point, and also a very good choice for the more intermediate musician wanting to revisit a simpler song form – you can always learn more by revisiting tunes. Two of these pieces are a jazz blues form (with simple melodies) which is really common in jazz. The other two feature minor harmony and slightly more complex melody.

Finally, we will put everything together and play the tunes through, arranging them so that the performance suites the instrumentation available.

By the end of the day workshop you will have internalised each of the standards and be able to play them through without using sheet music. You will have also learnt how to interact with other musicians, in itself a very important skill.

What we need from you?

An open mind and your instrument. That’s it! There’s nothing else to it. The workshops will take place at Chichester University in the recently built state of the art music block. There is a canteen/shop on site for breaks as well as vending machines in the music block itself. We hope to see you for the first session in October.

For more information please contact us at info@chichesterjazzacademy.co.uk

 

BOOK ONLINE

Chichester Jazz Academy

 

In association with the University of Chichester and their excellent Jazz Bmus and Jazz BA programmes, we are providing jazz and improvisation day workshops every month during semester time. If you are new to improvising or want to expand your knowledge further please contact us. Bookings can be made via our booking page.

These workshops will focus on the fundamentals of jazz and improvisation using famous jazz standards as a vehicle for learning. We will explore various techniques to help you get the most out of your instrument. Playing first, theory later is the ethos at Chichester Jazz School. We walk you through standards and show you how to interpret the tune in your own way, by relating melody, chords, bass lines and storytelling to help you achieve confident improvisations every time. Run by accomplished jazz musicians (piano and saxophone) we can also provide expert advice for your personal instrumental progression. We welcome all abilities and musicians aged 16 and above.

These workshops are for instrumentalists wanting to improve their improvising. Although we welcome rhythm section players, this course will not focus on fundamentals of a rhythm section. The workshops will focus on developing solo style, improvisation, phrasing and use of rhythm.

The price for a one day workshop is £50 and run at The University Of Chichester Bishop Otter Campus.

Saturday 7th December 2019

Workshops run from 10.30am – 4pm.

For more information please contact us at info@chichesterjazzacademy.co.uk

 

BOOK ONLINE