Lesson 6: Variations in the Blues Using Scale Degrees 5 and 7
Focus on Form
This lesson applies the material from Lesson 5 to the B flat blues. In this assignment you will create variations on each measure within the form of the twelve-measure blues, using scale degrees 5 and 7. You can alter the rhythm, pitch, or contour of your ideas to create those variations. Since the harmony changes from measure to measure in most cases throughout the form, there will be built in variations through the change of pitches.
Lesson 6 Assignment
Compose a twelve-measure blues using scale degrees 5 and 7 for each chord, with variations in each measure. Begin with a riff in the first measure using the pitches F and A flat (scale degrees 5 and 7 for the B flat 7 chord). In the next measure, write a variation on the first measure using the pitches B flat and D flat (scale degrees 5 and 7 for the E flat 7 chord). In the third measure, write a variation on the second measure. Continue this pattern of variations through the form of the blues. (For free blank staff paper, visit www.Music-Paper.com)
An example of a B flat blues solo with variations in every measure, using scale degrees 5 and 7:
Memorize your written solo. Repeat it several times so that you can play it effortlessly and accurately without having to think about it.
Improvise a solo following the same guidelines as your written solo above. Use scale degrees 5 and 7 of each chord and create a new variation in each measure.
Suggestions: Start with a simple idea that will be easy to develop. Focus on the form and make sure to keep your place at all times.