15 Nov Arpeggios over All of Me: what notes to play for each chord
One of the fundamental ways to practice jazz improvisation is by using arpeggios. This makes sense because when you use arpeggios, you’re basically playing the notes of the chords you’re improvising over. And of course, all these notes will sound good because they’re part of the chords.
Arpeggios also help you create long and fast runs, enhancing the flow of your playing. However, a challenge with this method is that some players become too reliant on the shapes, causing their fingers to take over instead of relying on their musical imagination. This can result in dull and uncreative solos.
One reason for this is inadequate learning of arpeggios, causing people to play the whole shape without the ability to create music with it. When they try to deviate from the regular order of notes, play with the shape, and follow their imagination, they often get lost.
The most effective way to overcome this challenge is to master the shapes thoroughly. This enables you to effortlessly transition from one chord to another by concentrating on the music you hear in your head, rather than letting your fingers play the same shapes repetitively.
Memorizing the arpeggio shapes is not enough. Once you have the shapes under your fingers, it’s time to practice them over songs. Here are the main exercises you should start with to develop your ability to improvise over arpeggios in a more creative way.
The exercises are structured in a gradual way:
These are just exercises meant to help you build a strong foundation for your arpeggio playing over songs. After you can do these exercises, start to improvise freely, enjoying the benefits of doing them.
Practice all these exercises for any song you play
Arpeggios from the Lower Root:
Play arpeggios from the lower root (starting on one of your bass strings) of each shape over each chord, following the song’s form, in constant eighth notes. Perform this in five different positions to cover your entire fretboard.
Arpeggios from the Highest Note of Each Shape:
Play arpeggios from the highest note of each arpeggio shape (always starting on the 1st string), following the song’s form, in constant eighth notes. Perform this in five different positions to cover your entire fretboard.
Move from one arpeggio to the next through the closest note in the same direction (ascending or descending).
Aim for perfection with each exercise. Once you can go through them freely (it can take time, be patient and don’t rush through it), start improvising. Creative improvisation is a HUGE subject that I deal with in different courses.
However, these exercises are crucial for giving you the basic ability to think in a creative way. To get you started, here are a few basic principles for Creative Improvisation:).
All of Me Chart
All of Me: Arpeggio Shapes in One Position
Enjoy the process
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