Lesson 7: Two-Measure Riffs on Scale Degrees 3 and 7
Focus on Harmony and Form
You now have learned all of the chord tones (scale degrees 1, 3, 5, and 7) for each of the chords in our B flat blues. This lesson will focus on two of those scale degrees: 3 and 7. As we will see later, the 3rd and 7th are probably the most important chord tones in terms of melodic improvisation.
Scale degrees 3 and 7 for B flat 7, E flat 7, Cm7, and F7:
In this lesson, we will expand the length of our riffs to two measures. Instead of thinking of one-measure ideas, extend your rhythms over the span of two measures, as shown in the examples below.
Lesson 7 Assignment
Compose a two-measure riff for each of the blues chords, using scale degrees 3 and 7 (For free blank staff paper, visit www.Music-Paper.com). Here are some examples for each chord:
Two-measure riff using scale degrees 3 and 7 on B flat 7:
Two-measure riff using scale degrees 3 and 7 on E flat 7:
Two-measure riff using scale degrees 3 and 7 on Cm7:
Two-measure riff using scale degrees 3 and 7 on F7:
Memorize each of your riffs and repeat them many times until they are effortless and accurate.
Improvise using the same approach as the written composition. Trade fours with yourself by improvising a two-measure riff and repeating it, then improvising a new two-measure riff and repeating it, and so on.