For my Jazz guitar lesson, my professor told me to practice improvising over John Coltrane's Impressions by using the Dorian mode (second mode of the major scale). The chord progression goes like this: D- D- Eb- D- each one goes for 8 bars. Basically what I need help with is that for some reason I just can't seem to get the right feel for the song and sometimes I get lost, usually because the piano playing begins to play the notes on like the 2nd beat for each bar and i just get confused about where each bar begins. I don't know how anyone here could help me but i thought I'd try anyways. Btw, I'm not familiar with theory very well, is my first semester of music so if you are going to explain some sort of theory or whatever please keep that in mind, I might not be able to understand you.

So, any help or any tips that anyone can provide?
Last edited by TrasherFromHell at Feb 26, 2008,
You should be able to hear when the band changes from the D to the Eb chord. Listen to the song a few times so you get a feel for it. I wouldn't suggest trying to count out the measures as you are playing because it over complicates things. Also if you should be able to hear the D dorian mode not fitting well over the Eb chord so just use your ears.
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Try listening to the drums? I haven't ever actually heard the song, but whenever I'm playing, the drums are a great reference for where the song is. That and the bass.
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Tap along (maybe tap in half time if it's played in 200+ bpm)
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A Pro would know exactly which bar and exactly which beat in the bar they were
on at any given time. You can only get to that point by practicing counting, and
practicing it enough that you don't have to think about it any more.

Yeah, its boring and that sucks, but there ya go. If you don't know, you're just
guessing and if you're just guessing you'll guess wrong a lot and if you guess wrong
you'll make mistakes. That means you'll never be able to confidently play the song.
Listen to recordings of it, and So What (same chords) too; even better, transcribe the solos.

Modal Jazz is all about melody. You need to be able to hear really well, which only comes from a lot of careful listening and ear-training (transcription's great for building both skills).