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Improv Tip Week #26-Intervalic Series-4ths and 5ths

Here we are at week #26! If this is your first time visiting, thanks for stopping by! Take a look around, say hello and enjoy. If you’ve been following this blog…welcome back! We’re going to finish up our series on Intervalic improvisation this week by discussing what we can do with the 4th and 5th intervals and by looking at what we can do with them through the eyes of targeting (if this is your first time visiting, check out some of the older posts for my thoughts on targeting…or aiming at a goal note with purpose).

There are a number of different sources available that discuss using perfect 4th and perfect 5th intervals in your improvisation. Essentially, the suggestion is to build your melodic line (solo) based off series of stacked 4ths and or 5ths. Some instruments can easily maneuver these stacked 4ths/5ths with ease over their entire instruments range. Others…not so much. However, every instrument is capable of playing intervalic melodic lines in their improvisation. Simply adding in a half or whole step in between the stacked 4ths/5ths still give the line that angular sound, but an easier facility on certain instruments.

Our first example below is over an Fmin11 chord (on a side note, great voicings on piano or guitar are based off of stacked 4ths). You will notice that the first six notes of the line are a stack of perfect 4ths. The line is broken up halfway through the stack and then resolved down a half step (between the Db and C) before continuing the descending line of stacked 4ths.

This next example uses the stacked 4ths idea, but adds some chromatic targeting to the line (targeting the “C” on beat 4) to add a different color to the initial angular line.

The first two examples were stacked 4ths that fit within the harmony stated. The next example below uses stacked 5ths to accomplish the angular sound. Notice how the line is more accessible to instruments that might not be able to play stacked 5ths (or 4ths) easily by adding the half step between the D and Eb on beat 2.

Our final example is a combination of using 4ths and 5ths combined in the line. Again, the stacked 4ths/5ths are broken up by either half-step, whole step or chromatic targeting.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s tip and the Intervalic Series! Please feel free to share this blog with your friends and colleagues by clicking on the links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ below or by sharing this on another site that you’re a contributor. You won’t want to miss the next couple of tips as we close out this calendar year! We’re getting closer to Christmas (or other holidays that you might celebrate around this time of year) and if you haven’t checked out Targeting: Improvisation With Purpose yet, it makes for a great gift for you or musicians and students that you know. Now is a great time to check out the link to the right or by going to Jason Klobnak Music for more information. E-book ($12.00) orders are instant downloads after purchase. If you’re wanting to get the physical book ($16.50) for a Christmas present, you will want to place your order by December 20th for U.S. orders and by December 12th for international orders. Due to some recent international demand, Targeting: Improvisation With Purpose will be translated into a few other languages in early 2012!




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