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Old 01-21-2013, 11:03 PM   #1
S0n1c '97
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Coltrane Saxophone Improvisation (Jazz, of course)

So I just got a new piece for our community jazz band that kinda looks like a cluster of chords... I need someone to make sense out of this. It's at 250 BPM.


Code:
[Begin Repeat] Fma7 | Bmi7, E9 | Ama7 | D#mi7, G#7 | C#ma7 | Gmi9, C13 | F6/9 | D#mi9, G#13 | [Repeat once]

Keep in mind I'm not the best at typing or reading these..... It goes into a much longer phrase here:
Code:
[Begin Repeat]C#ma9, E7/B | Ama9, C7/G | Fma7 | Bmi7, E7 | Ama9, C7/G | Fma7, G#7/D# | C#ma7 | Gmi9, C9 | Fma7 | Bmi7, E9 | Ama7 | D#mi7, G#7 | C#ma7 | Gmi9, C13 | F6/9 | [First ending] D#mi9, G#13 [Repeat] | [Second ending] D#mi9, D13(#11) | C#ma9 [End Solo]


Can anybody tell me anything to understand what is going on here, or something that may help me to improvise something that doesn't suck over this?
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Last edited by S0n1c '97 : 01-21-2013 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:10 AM   #2
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Code:
Fma7 | Bmi7, E9 | Ama7 | D#mi7, G#7 | C#ma7 | Gmi9, C13 | F6/9 | D#mi9, G#13 || F | A | A | C# | C# | F | F | C# ||
That's the A section chords with the keys written underneath.

Code:
C#ma9, E7/B | Ama9, C7/G | Fma7 | Bmi7, E7 | Ama9, C7/G | Fma7, G#7/D# | C#ma7 | Gmi9, C9 | C# A | A F | F | A | A F | F C# | C# | F | 1______________ Fma7 | Bmi7, E9 | Ama7 | D#mi7, G#7 | C#ma7 | Gmi9, C13 | F6/9 | D#mi9, G#13 :|| F | A | A | C# | C# | F | F | C# :|| 2__________________________ | D#mi9, D13(#11) | C#ma9 || | C# | C# ||
And there's the B section.

This is a classic example of Coltrane Changes. Each set of changes is just a ii V I, but what's odd is that each key change is by a major third (two whole-steps, or four half-steps). What you're going to want to do is remember your pivot tones, or the notes the current key and the next key have in common. Going from C# to A, you've got C# F# and G# in common. These notes could be good for carrying you over the upcoming changes, but I wouldn't rely on them too much.

Really the only way to get good at playing over Coltrane Changes is just to listen to and learn what the man himself does.

Which tune is this by the way?
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Last edited by food1010 : 01-22-2013 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:42 AM   #3
S0n1c '97
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I know what they are. I should have been clear... My bad.. XD

I was more wondering about the technical aspects. How one could transition between, what the **** a C13 has to go with a Gmi9 and stuff like that. One thing my teacher emphasized was the common tones (pivot tones) and for some reason church modes.... I don't know modes, but I know chords and scales, as well as pivot tones, so I'll try it and see.

And also, it's Giant Steps, but it's a jazz band arrangement.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:44 AM   #4
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Don't worry about modes. They're only going to complicate it further. Why think "B dorian, E mixolydian, A ionian," when you could just think "A major." There's no point.

Yeah I thought it looked like Giant Steps. Now that I take a closer look the first "code" tag you posted was just a shorter segment from the second "code" tag, which is the whole song.

Are you playing trumpet or tenor sax (or clarinet)? Or is the arrangement just written a whole step up from the recording? Coltrane cycles between B, G and Eb concert pitch, which would be C# A and F for him on tenor (which is the same key as you have here).

Quote:
Originally Posted by S0n1c '97
what the **** a C13 has to go with a Gmi9 and stuff like that.
I have quite honestly no idea what you're asking here. They're both in F major if that helps. Gm9 is the ii and C13 is the V.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S0n1c '97
I was more wondering about the technical aspects. How one could transition between, what the **** a C13 has to go with a Gmi9 and stuff like that. .


In a ii-V-I progresiůn in F mayor you have those chord (G minor - C dominant - F mayor) In this case the chords are extended, Gmin with the 9th and C with the 13th.

If you don't know why the ii is G minor read this: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/less...c_chords .html


I hope it answer your question.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:49 AM   #6
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If you don't know why the ii is minor, you shouldn't even know this tune exists...
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:34 AM   #7
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Really dig into 2-5-1 major and minor for playing jazz. Justjazzbooks.com has a play a-long dedicated to just that, it's a great learning tool. The book also has different patterns and ideas to play over a 2-5-1. Start small, really think about having a conversation. If I ran at you and just started saying a bunch of random words at different pitches you'd be confused and not listen to me and walk away lol. What I'm saying is don't concern yourself too much with playing a lot of notes. Stick to your safe ones 3 & 7 are best choices followed by 1 & 5, after that it's up to your discretion. Over something difficult like that make a slow jam track and just say I'm going just play 3rd's of chords or 7th's of chords, second chorus alternate between the tones. Eventually you'll get an ear for how the progression moves and melodies will start to flow.

Good luck!
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:37 PM   #8
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giant steps...its one tune that is a challenge to some of the best musicians...I recommend slowing it down ALOT...before you try it @250bpm...

its a study in symmetric harmony using the augmented scale as the harmonic glue..a study of the augmented scale will show how this simple six note scale contains:

3 major triads
3 minor triads
6 augmented triads
3 major 7the chords

its a study that requires a lot of dedication to use the scale well. there are quite a few lessons/info online that explore the scale from basic to advanced...

play well

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Old 01-25-2013, 11:45 PM   #9
S0n1c '97
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Lemme clear some things...

I DO know that the II is minor. It was just an example, let it go. I know the progression, I know the piece, and I do know how extensions work. I know progressions, and well as the order (M-m-m-M-M-m-*), I was just using an example.

Obviously I'm not doing this at 250 BPM in a long time if ever. We are probably taking it down to 180 ish if even that. Our sax section can't play a lot of the runs, and we only meet once a week.

I am playing tenor sax, which is why everything is a whole step up.

Hope this clears everything up... I am finding a lot of useful stuff here, but People are taking the smallest things too seriously.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S0n1c '97
People are taking the smallest things too seriously.
Welcome to UG.

Anyway, if you have anything else you need help with, just let us know.
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Last edited by food1010 : 01-26-2013 at 01:06 AM.
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:10 AM   #11
S0n1c '97
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^Ok. I forgot I was on the internet XD

Yeah.. I found a lot of useful stuff in the comments, so I'll try a couple things and see if that works.
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