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Tip #1 – Video – Scale Use in Improvisation
Tip #2 – Ron’s Improv Tip
Ron’s Tips: Learning scales and inflections for Jazz
In my last segment of “Ron’s Tips” here on Keith’s Trumpet resources on 9/27 I stressed that You must learn your scales if youwant to be able to improvise in jazz, and how to apply and use triads…( see week tip 9/20 for triads) The course I started to teach here is from the Manhattan Schol of Music which I learned in the Westchester Conservatory of music from my teacher Bob Arthurs who received his MA from Manhattan.
I remember that first day of meeting my teacher Bob in a room in the back of the Conservatory where I had my weekly lesson in the school. It was a great time. I was so excited. He stated to me that “we will not be using any reading on paper any more for about three to 5 years”. After studying legit trumpet for about twelve years from the age of 5-17, this was something entirely new for me at age 17. But he did say that we will only be charting chords eventually once we start playing tunes, we will chart those and learnng them by ear. It’s not like playing an technical exercise or characteristic study from the Arban Book. This is Jazz, a whole different world. So what I learned in my lifetime, I will be giving to on Keith Fiala’s Trumpet resource site.
Yes in jazz the best way to learn something is to listen and try to learn by ear, and in my last segment I asked for you to learm 3 Major sacles such as CM-FM- and G Major to start. You should use a metronome. ( suggested speed @67bpm). this is quite slow, but when you learn to play scales, “the slower the better” at first then you can gradually speed it up But this is not a race This is to really learn your scales in all Keys.
So now each week you should learn 3 more major keys like AM, AflatMajor, and Bbflat Major. Now you have six. with 6 Major keys to go. Do 3 at a time but if you can only learn one or two for now, that’s fine! I suggest setting the metronome at the slow speed and trying to play your first scale in quarter notes one octave then try two. After you feel you have this then take that scale and play it in 1/8 notes.Remember it is harder to play something slow and accurately then trying to rush through it. Now we will talk about inflecting the 1/8 notes by playing the second note of that scale louder and the third soft- then the 4th loud- and the fifth soft and so on. So if we take the scale of C Major the inflected louder notes will be D- F-A-C and the softer notes will be C- E-G- B then back down. try them in two octaves. The reason for this exercise is to one day get a feel for swinging a tune by inflecting these scales. We will eventually get you to try them in triplets, quarter notes and 5 notes in the inflected scales Remember this course is not for beginners. This is for beginning intermediate players who have a basic knowledge of playing legit trumpet for a number of years before they attempt this stuff. If you are someone who needs to learn trumpet technique and good basic legit trumpet playing I suggest Keith Fials’s trumpet thoughts and online books and courses…
So to let you understand what I am trying to convey here is that with the previous two lessons on triads and how to use them as a basis for chords, we now must concentrate on learning your scales. When you learn all 12 major scales with inflected 1/8 notes you are on your way but in the meantime learn one or two scales at a time. or per week, if you can do three then great. As I mentioned in my previous segments on 9/20 and 9/27 this is the beginning to a complete trumpet course and from time to time I may exclude the jazz course and give you other tips on trumpet playing also to break things up.
Sincely, Ron Tenore
Life is a great big canvas, throw all the paint on it you can.