Lesson 19: Improvising on Scale Tones
Focus on Harmony
Index - Introduction - Lessons
Up to this point, all of these lessons and exercises have used only chord tones. In this lesson, we introduce the non chord tones of scale degrees 2, 4, and 6.
Before adding the extra scale tones, it is important to understand and hear dissonance, consonance, and resolution. A dissonant note is one that has a feeling of tension. It sounds like it should move to another note (a chord tone) to relieve that tension. A consonant note is one that does not have a feeling of tension. It does not feel like it needs to move to another pitch. The movement of a dissonant note to a consonant note is called resolution. The chord tones are consonant pitches.
In this lesson you can use all of the scale tones that were first introduced in Lesson 3. As you play, listen carefully to the dissonant notes and how they should resolve. For this lesson, resolve all of your phrases so that you end with chord tones.
Example of the scale degrees and chord for B flat 7:
Example of the scale degrees and chord for E flat 7:
Example of the scale degrees and chord for C minor 7 (usually abbreviated with a minus sign: C-7):
Example of the scale degrees and chord for F 7:
Lesson 19 Assignment
Part 1.1: Compose a four-measure phrase on the B flat 7 chord using any of the scale tones shown above. Resolve each of your phrases to end on a chord tone, as shown in the example below. (For free blank staff paper, visit www.Music-Paper.com)
Part 1.2: Compose a four-measure phrase on the E flat 7 chord, following the same instructions as Part 1.1.
Part 1.3: Compose a four-measure phrase on the Cm7 chord, following the same instructions as Part 1.1.
Part 1.4: Compose a four-measure phrase on the F7 chord, following the same instructions as Part 1.1.
Memorize your solos and repeat them many times.
Improvise on each of the chords in the B flat blues in the same way as the written solos.
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