Students learn to derive improvisatory vocabulary exclusively from a composition's original melody or theme and different methods of thematic development through the analysis of a wide range of jazz improvisations and classical compositions. Through various exercises and assignments, students apply the learned techniques to their instruments.
Analysis and performance of music in the style of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Brown, Kenny Dorham, and others. Standard progressions and transcribed solos from music of the '40s and '50s are analyzed and performed.
The performance of music (melody, bass line, harmony, and rhythm) by ear. Classes will be instrumentally balanced so students can gain a practical knowledge of playing by ear in a traditional group setting. The study of chord qualities, chord progressions, and tensions through improvisation. Exploration of rhythm through the study of combinations of 2 and 3. Primary focus on creating grooves by tapping even combinations. Over-the-barline phrasing through 3/8 and 7/8 over 4/4. Evolves into linear, harmonic, and compositional concepts. This course is recommended for performers interested in developing their musical ear.
An upper-level course recommended for students with well-developed improvisation skills and concepts who are interested in further developing their own personal style through detailed application. Techniques covered include motive soloing, motive development soloing, and soloing with full and partial rhythm section accompaniment and also with no accompaniment. Development of effective practice skills. Music from various periods of jazz (swing, bop, postbop, and contemporary) will be used for demonstration, practice, and performance activities. Classes are leveled and instrumentally balanced; students perform weekly.
An advanced course recommended for students who have already begun to develop their own personal musical styles. Challenging rhythmic topics are featured as aspects of performance of improved solos. Techniques covered include preparation exercises for rhythmic displacement: symmetrical and asymmetrical, pentatonic and tritonic scales applied to conventional chord scales, motive development (augmentation and diminution), soloing rubato on song's chord progression, and soloing with full/partial rhythm section accompaniment and also with no accompaniment. Development of effective practice skills. Music from various periods of jazz (swing, bop, postbop, and contemporary) will be used for demonstration, practice, and performance activities. Classes are leveled and instrumentally balanced; students perform weekly.
An advanced course offering sophisticated approaches and concepts. Techniques covered include metric modulation, melodic curve, continuous motive development, nonharmonic triads, alternate tempos, extreme tempos with rhythmic syncopation, and soloing with full, partial, and no rhythm section accompaniment. Music from various periods of jazz (swing, bop, postbop, and contemporary) will be used for demonstration, practice, and performance activities. Classes are leveled and instrumentally balanced; students perform weekly.
Performance and analysis of original jazz tunes. Discussion, demonstration, and performance of advanced jazz improvisational techniques. Use of three tonics, pentatonics, composite scales, and other harmonic devices, along with practice techniques. Students will be expected to create their own compositions, which will be included in a class recital at the end of the semester. Note: This class is recommended for students who have already taken PSIJ-421 or have an ensemble rating of 6666.
Students learn how to develop materials for use in their individual practice sessions to prepare for performances of jazz music. Techniques addressed include development and use of electronic music practice sequences, editing retail play-along recordings, and use of analog to digital converters to enable external microphones for recording. Also addressed is the use of Amazing Slow Downer software as a jazz transcription aid. Students learn to use classroom materials to identify their instrumental performance areas requiring improvement, as well as areas requiring maintenance. Time-sensitive goal-setting for the development and implementation of a practice schedule focused upon preparedness for a performance event is addressed.
This course is for intermediate- to advanced-level rhythm section players who seek to improve their accompaniment skills by studying and playing transcriptions of recordings by classic jazz master rhythm sections from the 1950s and 1960s. The course will focus on the rhythm section styles played by the bands of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, and various Blue Note artists.
Performance-based class in blues improvisation using recordings and transcriptions of traditional and Chicago blues, swing and bop blues, gospel, funk, and rock styles as principal resources. Emphasis on adapting those techniques to develop a personal style. Weekly assignments include practicing blues-based exercises and learning solo transcriptions. Other performance skills covered include turnarounds, pacing of solos, and implying reharmonizations in improvisation.
The four-course sequence in rock improvisation is designed to cover all skills relevant to creative performance in that idiom. Major techniques discussed in this course include pacing, rhythmic density, melodic and rhythmic embellishment, chord scale practice, and nonharmonic melody notes. Students will learn what and how to practice and will develop the skills necessary for individual and group improvisation. Various styles of rock (progressive, blues, classic, contemporary) will be used for demonstration, practice, and performance activities. Classes will be instrumentally balanced with students of similar improvisational backgrounds. Students will be required to perform each week.
A study of basic blues playing in the jazz idiom. The 8-, 12-, 16-, and 24-bar blues forms; improvisational techniques applied to inner form; solo analysis of leading and legendary blues players; weekly performed and written homework; weekly solo playing. Recommended for the beginning to intermediate improviser interested in this idiom.