"All I can say is WOW... Very well defined and methodical [...] I like the way you use basic concepts and build on them."
- Chuck, USA
Welcome to Improv and Chromaticism! This is the first course of many focusing on very specific aspects of improv and crafting single-note solo lines - ideas we couldn’t explore in-depth in Improv 101, 102, and 103. This particular course is all about exploring the concept of “aiming super hard” at a target note in really fine detail using - you guessed it - chromaticism!
When we talk about using chromaticism to aim at notes, we’re really talking about using notes that fall outside the current implied chord scale. If you’re hearing a G7 and you hit an A# on your way to get to that B natural target note - that’s chromaticism!
If you remember the 3 Pillars of Improvisation from our Improv series, this course mainly deals with the 2nd Pillar of Improvisation: “Connecting Chords Logically.” Now that you've gotten a handle on what notes you can play, you have to really solidify your understanding of targeting specific notes and how to aim at them. This is foundational stuff! In other words, if you have a really hard time aiming at the right notes at the right moments, it’s going to be way harder for you to freely play with interesting rhythms and create riveting phrases for your listeners.
In this course on Improv and Chromaticism, we'll outline the "basic moves" that you need to make in order to perfectly target and approach any note you want to at the right time. Your job is to take these foundational techniques and TRAIN THEM: practice targeting notes that you’re not used to targeting; practice delaying or anticipating an approach so that you can pull that technique out of your hat at a moment’s notice; and make sure to try these studies in multiple keys, at multiple tempos, on many different standards and chord progressions!
Marc-Andre Seguin is the webmaster, "brains behind" and teacher on JazzGuitarLessons.net, the #1 online resource for learning how to play jazz guitar.
He draws from his experience both as a professional jazz guitarist and professional jazz teacher to help thousands of people from all around the world learn the craft of jazz guitar.
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"Excellent - clear, straightforward and entirely manageable for a player. Had fun experimenting [...] entices me to make progress."
- Peter, New Zealand
I'm truly humbled to have you in my life, Marc. Your wonderful advice, passion for teaching, and extraordinary talent as a guitarist has been a guiding light for me from my first day back into this realm three years ago. I remember certain things you told me that have resonated: 1) "It took me four years to gain proficiency." 2) "Even though your guitar may be hard to play now, keep at it, and it will get easier."
- Thaddeus G., Jr.