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Improv Tip Week #28-Major over Minor

Welcome to week #28! If this is your first time here…welcome! If you’re a returning visitor, welcome back! As I mentioned last week, we’re almost at the end of the 2011 calendar year. If you’re still looking for ideas for a musician’s Christmas (or other holiday) gift, then Targeting: Improvisation With Purpose would be an affordable and practical gift! The E-book version works great on mobile devices and the printed version is sturdy and sits nicely on a music stand. For more information, you can click on the link to the right or you can go to Jason Klobnak Music.

Last week we looked at how we can use minor lines over dominant chords/harmony. This week, we’re going to look at how we can use some of our major lines over minor chords/harmony. Due to the structure of how most major licks or lines are built, they fit nicely over minor chords (especially over dorian minor). The 1, 3, 5 & 7 of the major line become the b7, 9th, 11th and 13th over the minor chord. This approach works nicely when you play your “major” line a whole step below the minor chord. For example, playing a C-major line over a Dmin7 chord.

Below are three examples of taking a typical major line that I might play over a Dmin7 chord. Notice how the lines still have the targeting principles mentioned in past week posts (but the targeting employed is targeting the Dmin7 harmony and not necessarily the implied major).

Try experimenting with some of your favorite major licks/lines and putting them over minor chords/harmony. This is not something that will work 100% of the time and you need to use your ears to decide if it fits or not. If it doesn’t fit, ask yourself why and see if you can alter the line slightly to make it work over the changes.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s tip! Please share this tip (& blog) with your friends and colleagues on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, or any other site you’re a contributor. For your convenience, there are links below that will allow you to quickly share. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check back as the last couple of tips of the year are one’s you wont want to miss!





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