Lesson 12: Chord Tone and Guide Tones
Focus on Melody

Index - Introduction - Lessons

Chord Tone Solos with an Emphasis on Guide Tones

Lesson 12 is the same as Lesson 11, but with one alteration: each time you move from one chord to a different chord, you will use guide tones to connect the harmonies.  For example, if you choose to play scale degree 3 at the end of the B flat 7 chord in measure 1, you will begin measure 2 with scale degree 7 of the E flat 7 chord, as shown in the example below.

Connecting the harmonies with guide tones can help us create more melodic solos.  The guide tones outline the harmonies and make a smoother transition from one chord to the next. Also, in this lesson, you will compose longer phrases.  Instead of focusing on short two-measure riffs, create four-measure phrases.

Chord tone solo on the B flat blues, emphasizing guide tones

Lesson 12 Assignment

Part 1: Compose

Compose a solo on the B flat blues, using chord tones. Connect each harmonic change with guide tones, as shown in the example above. (For free blank staff paper, visit www.Music-Paper.com)
In measures 1 through 4, compose a four-measure phrase.
In measures 5 through 8, create a variation on the first phrase.
In measures 9 through 12, create a contrast to the phrase in measures 5 through 8.

Part 2: Memorize

Memorize the solo that you composed.

Part 3: Improvise

Improvise solos following the same guidelines as your composed solo.  See Lesson 8 for a review of guide tones.  Four-measure phrases can be harder to memorize than two-measure riffs.  Improvise simple ideas and remember to connect each chord with guide tones. 

Lesson 13: Building Intensity through Increased Range of Pitch and Dynamics


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