Jazz Scales: The Big Misconception In Improv

jazz scalesComing at you from a gig in Arizona today. It’s super hot! So, let’s get right into it before I melt.

Today I want to talk about a huge problem jazz improvisers all over the world face.

When I have conversations with non-musicians and the use of language to describe music, one of the first things they talk about are jazz scales.

The Number 1 Mistake Most People Make With Jazz Scales

jazz scalesFor some reason, it’s the thing that everybody knows or at least heard of.

So, when people actually try to learn how to play, learning scales is the first thing they gravitate toward.

They’ll think, “Hey if I want to get better I need to learn more jazz scales. And I’ll be more successful right?”

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Scales are like the alphabet.

Sure, it’s good to know the alphabet if you want to write some basic sentences.

But if you want to be a great writer, you have to know a heck of a lot more than the alphabet.

How To Improvise Like A Master

jazz scalesYou have to know how to put sentences together, tell stories, use suspense, and use character development.

Use symbolism, be great at descriptions, and most importantly entertain great ideas.

It’s the same thing with improvisation.

You have to know how to craft a great solo, use great phrasing, and connect your ideas.

You need to use motivic development, improvise over the form of a tune, and most importantly entertain yourself and your audience.

How To Learn Jazz Improvisation Fast & Easy

jazz scalesThe ultimate goal is to take your listener on a journey. To tell a story.

Jazz scales by themselves just won’t do that. You can’t entertain with just the alphabet of music.

So, what will? Well, there are lots of devices that do this. For example, we teach you over 300 of them in the Jazz Improvisation Super System.

And one of the 300 devices we teach is that you should focus on is using more chord tones in your improvisation.

Stop thinking scales. Think vertical. This is how smarter musicians seeing success in their improvisation.

They focus on landing on money notes i.e. chord tones.

jazz scalesOnce you learn how to land chord tones, the world of improvisation will dramatically open up for you.

If you are a premium member, check out improv drill number 2, number 3, number 4, and number 5 over Autumn Leaves.

These exercises show you how to get chord tone improvisation sounding great.

All right Stop the mindless scale improv and practice smarter today.

Talk to you soon! Take charge of your playing, and it can happen for yourself.

Sincerely,
Steve “Stop Mindless Scales” Nixon

P.S. I first discovered this technique by transcribing Charlie Parker and Miles Davis solos. They’re both improvisers that are so influential.

That’s why this technique really landed itself in the playing of so many famous people after them as well.

So, it’s critical that you also learn how to master this technique since 50 years of great improvisers have used it.

All of the improv drills in Premium Membership are based off the improv secrets I learned from these greats. You can get access to them here —–> www.freejazzlessons.com/premium

About The Author

Mark A. Galang

Mark Galang is one of our contributors at FreeJazzLessons.com. He loves teaching all styles of music especially jazz, blues, rock, classical, and Christian music.