1. Know how to interpret chord symbols
2. Be able to play all the scales that are called for
4. Be able to play dozens of patterns using each of the required scales
5. Know the names and chord degrees of each required scale
6. Quickly find and play the chord tones that will resolve nicely to the new chord tones of each new chord
7. Keep track of exactly what measure you are in while you are busy keeping track of the the "right" notes for each measure
8. Listen to what the other players are playing in real time so you can have a musical conversation or respond to their musical ideas
9. Be able to play the ideas that come into your head (ear-to-hand coordination, or ability to "play by ear")
10. Draw from the ideas and playing styles of great jazz musicians that you have listened to and transcribed from
11. Think and play creatively...you are trying to improvise and create new melodies, after all
12. Avoid sounding like you "made a mistake" when you accidentally play a wrong note
13. Keep track of where you are in the original tune's melody so you can play variations on it throughout your solo
Am I missing anything?
Isn't it amazing that anyone can do this well? While it is a bit overwhelming, it is also possible. It is a fun and exciting challenge for those who love the music.
Want a classroom jazz improvisation method that helps each student develop the knowledge and skills described above...in only 4 months...using only 60 minutes of class time each week? Try Improv Pathways. The students will turn on to improvisation, and will enjoy the journey that helps them learn all they need to improvise over chord changes. Improv Pathways is comprehensive. Improv Pathways was developed through years of experimentation and testing with real public school jazz bands. Improv Pathways is easy for both jazz experts and jazz novices to use. You won't be disappointed!
Orem Junior High