Building Improvisation FAQ’s : Jazz Improvisation With Andrea Fascetti
Hi my friends! Thank you very much for interest in my column. I have received some emails about my work and am very happy to make clear some concepts that I mentioned in the last lesson.
Some bassists want to know why we have to learn all types of chords. It’s certainly true that most of the time we use major, minor and dominant 7th chords, but often in modern bass players like John Patitucci or musicians like Michael Brecker, Chick Corea or John Scofield, for example, we appreciate beautiful harmonies full of chords as mentioned in last lesson. For example, check out John Patitucci’s “Our Family” (from his debut album)… Here we find beautiful sounds.
Often my students ask me why I insist on studying jazz. They don’t know that most famous players from other music genres have great jazz skills. Learn the rules, and then adapt it to the music you love. Our goal is to achieve a great musical knowledge…. so we are ready to face every situation!
Some friends want to know if practicing with a metronome is right… this is an important question! I remember my early years; I studied double bass in La Spezia Conservatory. It was like living’ in a nightmare! I played double bass with the bow (it’s really difficult) while I read music and played along with a metronome. I just remember his awful sound when my teacher said, “Andrea what are you doing?” I stopped playing… I said to my teacher that, “I can’t learn three things at the same time.” I hurt him, but it was a great person and a great teacher… he understood.
One month later, he said I was right! I was inexperienced, was a bad music reader and my bow technique was poor, so using a metronome created big problems for me. The purpose of this little story is this: If you don’t know very well what you’re practicing, don’t use a metronome! Play the music note by note, slowly, sometimes out of time… let your brain learn all information correctly. You can use metronome when you have all notes under your fingers. At this second stage, a metronome is a great friend. (In the next lesson I’ll teach you some great ways to use it.) And please remember… obviously, this is my personal point of view.
Okay… now it’s time to talk about homework. First of all, please review the chords you learned in past lesson.
Next download the lesson at the bottom of this page.
In ex.1 you have to sing all the chord tones for each type of chord, up and down the chord, along when you’re practicing.
In ex 2 you sing chord tones in all 12 keys, so your ears will become familiar with the sound of each chord.
Ex 3 is this… take a single type of chord then play all chord tones as fast as you can. AS FAST AS YOU CAN! Next time I’ll explain this concept.
It would be great if you can play chords with a piano or a keyboard. If you don’t play keyboards, you can use music software and listen over and over to the sounds.
I know it’s a lot of work my friends………..but…..no pain, no gain!
I wish you the best of success with all your musical endeavors.
Thank you for interest in my lesson.
Hope to hear from you soon!