Chromatic Shred & Arpeggio Jazz Exercise

author: Chris Zoupa date: 07/09/2014 category: soloing
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Chromatic Shred & Arpeggio Jazz Exercise
After recently learning "Minor Swing" by Django Reinhardt I became fascinated with his use of chromatics and accidentals and his ability to weave them into a melodic context. I've since been trying to incorporate elements of the gypsy jazz sound in my improvisation practice, compositions and phrasing. 

This exercise I've devised blends chromatics and arpeggios in a melodic manner. The first 4 descending arpeggios are 4 notes each and are Em7 (E G B D) then Am7 (A C E G) played over 2 octaves. All 4 of these arpeggios can both be played over a droning A minor 9th chord. The final 4 ascending arpeggios are based on a G#dim7 (G# B D F) or Bdim7 (B D F G#). Let's take a look at the arpeggios (see diagram below).

Now let's try adding in the ascending chromatics and looking at the full exercise (see diagram below).

One of the things I love most above this exercise is the sliding notes on the first 4 arpeggios. I really like using slides to spice up my phrasing. It's an excellent way to use or pass through accidentals in your licks without it sounding clumsy, offensive or out of key.

Hope you enjoyed this guys! Happy shredding!

By Chris Zoupa
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