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Someday My Prince Will Come. Jazz Guitar Improvisation

How I practice Jazz Guitar Improvisation: Someday My Prince Will Come

Someday My Prince Will Come: A Structured Approach to Jazz Guitar Improvisation

My objective as a performer centers around creating a practice approach that enables me to engage in improvisation effortlessly and generate a continuous stream of ideas within a musical piece.

To achieve this goal with a jazz standard, I concentrated my practice efforts on the following principles for my jazz guitar improvisation:

  1. Position and Role: I selected the 5th position on the guitar fretboard to execute the melody, my solo, and the accompaniment. This decision provided a consistent foundation for my practice.
  2. Melody and Chords Mastery: Initially, I dedicated time to internalize both the melody and the underlying chords, committing them to memory. This separation of focus allowed me to better understand each element individually.
  3. Holistic Development: My practice routine revolved around refining the melody, chords, and solo components. This comprehensive approach ensured that I addressed every facet of the performance with equal dedication.
  4. Structured Practice: I devised a disciplined schedule involving two hours of daily practice for an entire week. This timeframe was designed to grant me an in-depth exploration of all three essential aspects—melody, chords, and soloing.

Consequently, my daily practice routine encompassed the following activities. I utilized a metronome throughout and maintained a vocalization component to cultivate the creation of melodic and harmonious phrase.

Progressive Jazz Guitar Practice Journey: From Melody to Exploration

Each of the following bullets requires me to go through the song two times:

  1. Play the tune’s main melody for two bars.
  2. Switch to playing the chords for the next two bars.
  3. Now, focus on playing the 3rd notes of the chords for two bars, then switch to playing the melody for the next two bars.
  4. Move on to playing the 5th notes of the chords for two bars, followed by playing the 7th notes for the next two bars.
  5. Play the 7th notes for two bars, and then switch back to playing the melody for the next two bars.
  6. Play the 3rd notes of the chords for two bars, then switch to playing the melody for the next two bars.
  7. Play both the 3rd and 7th notes of Dominant chords by extending all the chords.
  8. Repeat steps 3 to 7, but this time include Diatonic approach notes from both above and below the main notes.
  9. Repeat steps 3 to 7 again, but this time include Chromatic approach notes from both above and below the main notes.
  10. Now, feel free to play anything you’d like.
  11. Create a pattern: Play two bars of blues, followed by two bars of melody, then two bars of pentatonic notes, and finally, two bars of silence.
  12. Conclude by playing whatever you feel like playing.
From Practice to Play: Unleashing Musical Creativity in Just One Week

After practicing diligently for a week, I began to develop a strong sense of the melody and harmony through my ears. As a result, my creative instincts started to engage, allowing my ideas to flow naturally.

This type of practice demands a significant amount of self-discipline. However, based on my past experiences, I’ve come to understand that it’s only when I truly comprehend a song inside out that I can easily collaborate with fellow musicians on the spot. This leads to incredibly enjoyable and satisfying musical interactions.

Undoubtedly, improvisation holds the key to a fulfilling musical journey.

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Thomas Lorenzo

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