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Old 12-17-2012, 09:32 PM   #1
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Regarding intervallic thought process

Okay i just wanna get out of the way that i Know that ear training is the key, knowing what the intervals sound like, melodically and harmonically, but this is just a little theory im working on and i would like to get some tips on it.

So this is regarding Improvised and semi improvised soloing.
When i solo over a Blues/jazz blues/swing blues besides of course hearing what note i would like to play next i think in intervals across the neck. If we are in Bb for example, I think of all other notes on the neck as their respective interval to the Root Bb.

At the moment i dont change perspective of the neck when the chord changes to the IV or V or any other. I just keep it all in relation to Bb and rather think about the chord tones of each chord and what i hear.
For example if the IV chord is playing i think of the 4th, 6th, b3, and R of Bb as chord notes of the IV and the rest as color tones.

This has helped to that when i hear a note i want to play,i figure out what interval it is, and the next time i hear that note i instantly know where it is on the fretboard.
I like this method a lot but thinking about it lately, it seems that viewing everything(Intervals) in relationship to Bb or the I Chord or of the Key im playing in, makes it only harder to control the solo when the Chords change because ill have to think of the I chords intervals but translate them to the tones of the chord being played..
You might say 'obviously', but ive not been playing that long and im not the fastes logical thinker.

Anyway, i like this method because i dont have to change my view to the neck and can stay in the relation to Bb all the time and the intervals don't change visually.
Today i tried to do the opposite and changed the root for each new chord to that chords root, visually speaking.
And even though it wasnt that hard because its only a I IV V, it still felt way more confusing, but maybe i should train this method rather, to gain full control and to keep everything where its supposed to be, Ex, thinking of Eb as the root when playing over Eb as in IV chord instead of viewing it as the Fourth of Bb and so on with the other chord tones.

I hope this made sense in the way i described it.

What do you guys think about this and which of the two would you go for, or are you going for.
And remember, I am playing by what i wanna hear and somtimes i think "Okay i wanna hit the b7th right now, it would sound awesome"

Last edited by Ignore : 12-17-2012 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:14 PM   #2
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For me, if the key centre doesn't change, I just keep everything in reference to that key. So for Bb, if I was playing something over IV, I would play in Bb, but keep in mind the chord tones for Eb. That's what I find the easiest.

Some jazz books I've read advocate thinking of scales and chords together but individually, so when you hit IV, you'd play Eb lydian, then on V you'd play F mixolydian. ...That's one way to think about, but I find it inefficient. You lose sight of the tonic; you're playing entirely in Bb major! The only reason I would ever think of 'Eb lydian' over the IV chord is if I needed to remind myself of Eb's chord tones in relation to a Bb tonic. In that case, I would only ever think of 'Eb lydian' if I wanted to employ an A note in any meaningful sense, so I would remember that as the #11 of Eb, but the major 7th of Bb major. But that's it.

Sound complicated? Because it is. I think it's unnecessary. All you need to remember are the chord extensions for each of the seven chords in a diatonic scale. IV has a #11. V has a b7. ii has a 6. iii has a b9. vii has a b5 and b9. And of course, I and vi are major and minor. That's far more simple; just think of everything in relation to the tonic, remember the small change in each of the seven chords, and you're golden.

...And if you want to just play Bb major over Bb, Eb major over Eb, and F major over F, go for it. I don't know why, but you play what you want to hear!
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:53 PM   #3
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Alright good to know that other people do the same thing. But one thing i didnt get.
As extensions to each chord i suppose you meant the 7th, 9th, 11th .13th and and so on. You said IV has a #11, in relation to Bb as the root that would be the IV's b2 and in relation to the IV as the root it would be b5. How does that makes sense?
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:13 AM   #4
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Ultimately you shouldn't have to think "Eb is the 4 of Bb" or "Eb is the b7 of F." It'll just be instinctive.

However, if it isn't instinctive, it helps to think both ways. Theory is a way to categorize different sounds and rationalize how they sound together. It's hard to sort all that out without learning theory, but once you have committed the theory to memory, you don't have to think about it.

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Originally Posted by Ignore
Alright good to know that other people do the same thing. But one thing i didnt get.
As extensions to each chord i suppose you meant the 7th, 9th, 11th .13th and and so on. You said IV has a #11, in relation to Bb as the root that would be the IV's b2 and in relation to the IV as the root it would be b5. How does that makes sense?
He's talking about the leading tone (7), which is #4 or #11 relative to Eb.
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Last edited by food1010 : 12-18-2012 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:13 AM   #5
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You can do both approaches. You can mix the approaches, even.
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It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
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