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Learning to improvise

m4rk

New Member
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4
In an effort to teach myself how to improvise, I've bought Aebersolds, Blues in All keys backing tracks.
I play tenor. So, for example, with the C Blues track do I use a C blues scale. Or does the concert pitch thing mean I use a different scale.
Any advise on improv is welcome.
Cheers.
 

muzza

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Wellington, New Zealand
The tenor book is written for tenor, so play and use notes and chords as written.

If you have copy of book for concert pitch or Eb instruments then you will been to transpose to be able to use the play alone with your tenor.
 

Nick Wyver

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If you've got an Aebersold you'll find the relevant tenor keys in the Bb section. Which will show you that if the tune's in concert C (for instance) then you'll be in D. I wouldn't recommend this book as a good one to start with - you can use blues scales with these backing tracks but they're really designed for a more advanced (or complicated if you like) style of improvising. If you want to stick with the Aebersold ones "Major Minor" might be easier.
But "Creative Saxophone Improvising" would be a far better choice
 

Nick Wyver

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The tenor book is written for tenor, so play and use notes and chords as written.

If you have copy of book for concert pitch or Eb instruments then you will been to transpose to be able to use the play alone with your tenor.

Aebersold books come with chords for concert, Bb and Eb so you have to find the right section in the book.
 

m4rk

New Member
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4
Aebersold books come with chords for concert, Bb and Eb so you have to find the right section in the book.
Thanks for this.
I haven't got the book, I bought the tracks on itunes. It doesn't say If it's for tenor or not.
 

Nick Wyver

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In that case you just have to transpose up a whole tone from the key of the track, so D becomes E, B becomes C#, etc.
 

Saxdiva

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The aebersold book Maiden Voyage is good for beginning improvisation. Jammin' the Blues is also good (can't remember the author). Both books give good tips and are an improvement to just having the backing tracks. The Aebersold has both Tenor and Alto versions in the book.
 

m4rk

New Member
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Thanks.
So, if the track says D blues, I use an E major scale, if the track is A blues I use a B scale?
 

Colin the Bear

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Burnley bb9 9dn
If you can't do it by ear then perhaps a little more musical theory is needed before you start to improvise. You need to understand harmony. Major & minor scales, arpeggios etc. Playing along to some standard backing tracks will help train your ear.
 

MandyH

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I have "Creative Saxophone Improvising" as suggested above, I bought it on my teacher's advice because one of the pieces was grade 6 Trinity Jazz Sax exam, another is grade 7 and a third grade 8, which I plan to take in March.

But you can just noodle along to the backing CD (thee are 2, one for Bb and one for Eb instruments)
 

ArtyLady

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As well as learning your theory gradually (it takes time!) in the meantime just play along to things, start with trying to play the melody by ear, then start to try and harmonise along - you can start by trying playing a third away from each note to a simple tune to begin with, when your confident with that you can start altering the rhythms a little to complement the tune....it's a start just experiment with it and have fun, oh and trust your ear as to what sounds nice :thumb:
 

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