The study of scales and their related chords is a fundamental process in the development of musicianship. Your knowledge of scales and chords will allow you to evaluate chord charts and understand which notes you have available to play in the construction of bass lines and solos over specific chord types.
The easiest method of outlining any particular harmonic structure is through the use of chord tones. Beginners often overlook the significance of establishing a broad chordal vocabulary because the utilization of chord tones seems too basic to be effective. As a result of this deficiency, many musicians have a difficult time outlining simple chord progressions. Practically all of the great improvisers throughout history have exploited chordal arpeggiation in their solos, and some of the greatest bass lines ever recorded make use of nothing more than chord tones.
Tertian chords or those chords built in thirds are generated by simply playing every other note of a typical seven-note scale such as the major scale or any of its related modes. The most basic chord form in Western harmony is the triad which is a three-note chord constructed using a root note and two consecutive thirds located the intervals of a third and fifth, respectively, above the root note. With the addition of another note placed the interval of a third above the fifth of a basic triad, a four-note seventh chord is formed consisting of the root, third, fifth, and seventh degrees of a scale.
Seventh chords are identified by the type of triad contained within the chord along with the quality of the seventh above the root note. For example, a major triad plus a major seventh forms a major seventh chord. There are five primary seventh chords including major seventh, minor seventh, dominant seventh, half-diminished seventh, and diminished seventh. We can then build six additional altered versions of the five primary seventh chords to form chords of secondary significance which includes minor-major seventh, dominant seventh with a suspended fourth, major seventh with a raised fifth, major seventh with a lowered fifth, dominant seventh with a raised fifth, and dominant seventh with a lowered fifth.
Like intervals and triads, seventh chords can be inverted thus changing their intervallic content and the way they sound, without modifying their spellings. The lowest note of a block chord or the first note of an arpeggio played in an ascending fashion will determine the inversion of the seventh chord.
In terms of real musical application, rarely will an advanced improviser just play ascending or descending arpeggios beginning with the root note of a chord type within the context of a solo. Rather, soloists will manipulate chords using a wide variety of devices. First, phrases are often constructed beginning with a chord tone other than the root note. Second, chordal fragments are generally presented in some kind of inversion. Chord tones may also appear rearranged through octave displacement. Finally, chord tones are often preceded by ornaments such as various approach notes and neighbor tones in an effort to increase the underlying sense of tension and release through the usage of non-diatonic components.
These arpeggiated seventh chord exercises will serve several useful purposes. Since these arpeggios consist of only chord tones, they will be excellent for ear training purposes and will help you to thoroughly internalize the sound of the seventh chords. Each of these exercises feature arpeggios over a one and two-octave span on the fingerboard so they will certainly help expand your fretboard familiarity. Plus, due to their vertical structure, seventh chord arpeggios are outstanding string crossing exercises and great technique builders. ... Subscribe Today & Read More!
The IIB offers two levels of bass certification. The Professional Bass Certificate is the highest level of certification obtainable at the IIB and is designed as a project for bassists who are dedicated to the advancement of contemporary bass performance, the study of the bass tradition, and seek to play bass on a professional level. The Certificate Of Completion is awarded to bassists who successfully complete all 5 of the IIB's online bass courses. ... Read More!
The Subscriber's Area is an exclusive section of the IIB which includes the 20-lesson online bass course Jazz Improvisation For Bass Guitar & Acoustic Bass, the IIB Bass Samplers, and an extensive collection of lesson material featuring over 300 individual lessons which cover a broad range of subjects.
Jazz Improvisation is a comprehensive 20-lesson course that will help you acquire the essential skills which are necessary to connect your ears to the fingerboard, develop ideas, and communicate more fluently through the language of improvisation. Featuring dozens of fretboard diagrams and play-along tracks with exercises written in standard notation and tablature, topics covered include practice techniques, ear training, scales, modes, chords, passing notes, approach note techniques, and chord tone soloing. After completing this course, you will have expanded your fretboard familiarity, broadened your knowledge of chord/scale theory, increased your technical proficiency on the instrument, and become more productive in your practice sessions. You will possess the fundamental tools that are required to improvise great bass lines and solos on any chord type, chord progression, or song form in the jazz repertoire. ... Subscribe Today & Read More!