Improv Tip Week #22-More Digital Patterns - Jason Klobnak Music

Improv Tip Week #22-More Digital Patterns

Welcome back to the blog as we’re going to continue our discussion on Digital Patterns this week! Last week we looked at some basics into digital patterns. This week, we’re going to talk about using one of last week’s patterns amd applying it to other key areas, showing some additional patterns and I’ll show you an exercise to get some of those patterns under your fingers and in your ears. Since most of you have probably read through some of the previous posts, you know one of my primary goals for students is to have them use various tools to target notes. If you haven’t checked out some of our previous posts or need more information on targeting, I’d like to invite you to check out some of our previous week’s.

Let’s first take a look back at one of the simple patterns we used last week:

The above pattern is a very simple (1,2,3,5) pattern. Last week we mainly looked at using that pattern with a major scale. However, since we do have a varied audience that read the blog, let’s give some examples of how we can use that same pattern (1,2,3,5) over other key areas or scales. The example below using the same pattern, but over each of the greek modes starting on “C” (notice that because of this particular pattern, some of the examples are the same for different modes):

You can take any pattern and apply it to any mode, scale or key area. This is a great way to work on keys that are not as familiar as others.

Last week’s patterns were very closely related to the pentatonic scale. This week, let’s look at two new digital patterns that incorporate the “4th” scale degree. Many times you’ll read about the “4th” scale degree as being an avoid note (especially on Major chords. I personally like the use of the “4th” scale degree, as long as you’re using it to get you to a targeted note or not sitting on it. Here are two new patterns that use the “4th” that I enjoy:

Much like last week, let’s take the two new patterns and give some musical examples of how we can use a pattern as tool to target a note:

Finally, some of you that have been following the blog have mentioned that just playing through 4 note digital patterns are too easy, simple or mundane. I’d like to show you an exercise that I’ve used and have had my students use to help get more unfamiliar key areas/scales under the fingers and in the ears. Trumpet players will recognize this exercise, because it comes from Herbert L. Clarke’s Techincal Studies book (Exercise #2). There’s even a book that utilizes just this pattern that was written by trumpeter Pat Harbison. Below is that exercise, but applied to a “C dorian” scale:

As always, I truly hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s tip and continue to follow along as this blog and community grows. Please be sure to share this tip (and blog) with your friends/colleagues via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or any other site that you’re a contributor. I’m enjoying your feedback too, so be sure to leave your comments or click the “like” button. If you haven’t checked out my book, Targeting: Improvisation With Purpose yet, be sure to click on the link to the right or go to Jason Klobnak Music for more information. It was recently mentioned in the Resources section of the October 2011 edition of Teaching Music and is helping a number of people across the globe find creative ways to target notes in their improvisations.

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About the Author jasonklobnak

Jason Klobnak is a versatile trumpet player that has been performing as an active musician, author, clinician, composer and educator. His band, J's Ruckus, is Denver's blend of Post-Bop, Soul, Gospel, and Hip-Hop. They perform infectious and up-lifting originals for audiences hungry for a memorable live experience. J's Ruckus released their latest album, Suck Less, in March of 2020 and their first EP, Sermons, in July of 2019. Both were recorded live in front of an audience. Suck Less was recorded to a packed auditorium at Arapahoe Community College's Waring Theater in Littleton, CO. Sermons was recorded in front of a sold out crowd at the Soiled Dove Underground.  The JKQ (the Jason Klobnak Quintet/Quartet) is Mr. Klobnak's Hammond B-3 centered groups. The JKQ released their third full-length album in March of 2018 called Friends & Family. It has been very well reviewed, on numerous Top 10 lists for Jazz radio stations across the country (including Denver's KUVO 89.3FM which named it May 2018's CD of the month), and in Jazzweek's Top 100. Each composition was written for specific family and close friends (that might as well be family). Their second album, New Chapter, was recorded in part thanks to the Pathways to Jazz Grant from the Boulder County Arts Alliance. In 2015 and 2016, New Chapter was in the Top 75 on the Jazzweek charts and on the Top 10 playlists for over a dozen radio stations worldwide. Their first album, Mountain, Move made the Best Recordings of 2013 list from AllAboutJazz.com by C. Michael Bailey. His very well reviewed Christmas single, Hark the Herald, in 2016 as part of a creative project with musicians James Roberson and Nathaniel Kearney Jr. Besides the JKQ, Mr. Klobnak is a B.A.C. (Best American Craftsman-custom trumpet), Denis Wick (mouthpiece and mutes) and Westone Audio endorsed artist (ES20 and Tru Customs). Mr. Klobnak has played and recorded for numerous groups ranging from jazz, soul/R&B, indie-rock/pop and gospel. In addition to performing, he has also written two improvisation-based books called Targeting: Improvisation With Purpose and Breaking the Monotony and is currently an adjunct professor and brass instructor at Arapahoe Community College. Mr. Klobnak holds a bachelor degree from Drake University (Des Moines, IA) and a Master’s degree from the University of Denver, Lamont School of Music (Denver, CO).

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