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Beginner Improvising for beginners

Chubbertate

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I have an AB book that suggests notes for improvising over certain chords.
Under the chord G7 it suggests you can play both a B and a Bb. I dont understand how you can play a Bb when it is not within any Gmajor or Gblues scale.
Being new to this can someone please explain?
 

jbtsax

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The G7 chord is what is called a "dominant 7th chord" and as such it can contain all kinds of notes to give it "color". Some examples in a G7 chord would be an added 9th (A), a b9 G#, a #9 Bb, a #11th C#, a b5 Db and so on.

The G7 blues scale is G Bb C C# D F G and so it contains the Bb already. Get any of the Jamie Aebersold play-a-long books and it will contain a chart of chords and which scales go with them. The possibilities are quite amazing. A good one for those just starting to improvise is Volume 54 Maiden Voyage.
 

Colin the Bear

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The written chords for any piece are only one concept of how a melody can be harmonised. The given harmony gives the piece its musical flavour. As time progresses and we hear more and play more we find certain harmonies appeal to us like flavours. Sometimes as with flavours, something we wouldn't ordinairily like, can be surprisingly pleasant if it follows or is layered with a contrast.

Trust your ear.

It's probably a passing note. I wouldn't think holding a long Bb against a G7 would be very pleasing but a dissonant tension resolving as you pass by going elsewhere can be quite fun. Blue notes they call them too.

Most books start you off playing "nice". It gets a little more fun when it gets "dirty"
 

saxnik

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Plus one for Maiden Voyage, have a go at improvising over the Bb blues (that's a G blues for your alto due to the sax's transposition), and use those same notes that AB recommend. Let us know how you get on!
 

ArtyLady

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I would just add (apologies if someone has already mention it and I missed it) the reason the B works is that the relevant scale for G7 is G Mixolydian which is GABCDEFG.
 

Colin the Bear

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I would just add (apologies if someone has already mention it and I missed it) the reason the B works is that the relevant scale for G7 is G Mixolydian which is GABCDEFG.

The question was why Bb.is suggested. I thought mixolidian was something rabbits caught.
 

kevgermany

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Sorry boss's instructions ;)

But welcome home, you're cooking tonight I'm tired from all the moving :)

Jx
Guess we're eating out then, I'm tired from watching baseball in the blazing sun all day.
 

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