Through class participation, students will develop technical and aural ability through the study of the blues, modes and selected II-V-I progressions.
Students may participate on either their primary or secondary instrument. Drummers will play either a mallet instrument (vibraphone) or percussion in addition to drums.
As this course is designed for the beginner or novice jazz soloist, no previous experience in jazz improvisation is required.
- The blues, II-V-I and modes
- Using lead sheets
- Playing a melody
- Applying knowledge of the harmony
- Assimilating jazz rhythms
- Playing by ear
- Improvising using limited resources
- Developing a rhythmic flow
- Phrasing in jazz
- Understanding the importance of a musical vocabulary - "licks" and patterns
- Organizing an improvised solo
- Practicing techniques
- Studying the masters
- Transcribing a solo
- Interacting in the group setting
- Comping (improvised accompaniment for guitarists and pianists)
The successful student will be able to:
- Perform a basic solo in the blues style
- Read basic chord changes as found in the blues using either the blues scales or proper chord/scale combinations
- Demonstrate understanding of the basic blues forms (12-bar, 16-bar, minor, modal)
- Demonstrate understanding of selected blues melodies as studied in class
Class participation up to the mid-term: 15%
Class participation from the mid-term to the end of the course: 15%
Solo improvisation - tested at the end of the course: 30%
Written Exams (mid-term and final): 20%
Transcription projects (2 minimum): 20%
The instructor may assign a text book such as: Creative Jazz Improvisation by Scott Reeves (Prentice Hall), or A Guide to Jazz Improvisation by John la Porta (Berklee Press) – students will purchase the version that applies to their instrument.
Registration in one of the following MUSC courses: 1150, 1250, 2350, 2450, 1152, 1252, 2352, 2452, 1153, 1253, 2353, 2453