Adding Chords to Single Note Lines – Part 2

In the first lesson I covered some ideas and advice on adding chords to a solo line. When you try to do this over a progression with more chords you need to take a few more things into account. I’ll try to demonstrate how I approach this and how you can practice towards this skill.

Chord Voicings

All examples in this lesson are over an F major turnaround with altered dominants.

Let’s first go over some scales and chords for those scales. Since I spent a lot of time discussing the voicing choices in the 1st part of the series I am not going into too much detail in this lesson.

Adding Chords to Single Note Lines - Part 2 - ex 1

Example 1 is a harmonization of the Fmajor scale with a Gm7 chord.

Adding Chords to Single Note Lines - Part 2 - ex 2

The C7alt example is a harmonization of the Db melodic minor scale.

Adding Chords to Single Note Lines - Part 2 - ex 3

On the Fmaj7 chord the Bb is an avoid note and instead of using a dissonant Fmaj7(11) chord I opted to use a Gm7 chord to harmonize that note.

Adding Chords to Single Note Lines - Part 2 - ex 4

The D7alt example is a harmonization of the Eb melodic minor scale with a D7alt chord.

A Practice Strategy

The idea is to use target notes since that gives you a line that you know the target of and then you have time to add the chord into how you play the line and the note that is harmonized. Eventually this will all flow together and become a part of playing that you can access without too much effort.

If you want to know more about target notes you can also check out another lesson I made on this here: Target Notes The ability to think and/or hear ahead is essential to a lot of things in music including improvising, sight reading and interacting with others so working on it is very important.

In example 5 I am using the target notes by deciding which note I want to play towards and then play that note harmonized. Since I know that I am playing towards a chord I can choose a melody that is playable and from which I can easily go to the chord.

The exercise is set up so that the chord (which is also the target note) is sustained and then there is a short line towards the next target note. Think of it more as an illustraition of how you should practice than something you will learn a lot from by playing as an example.

Adding Chords to Single Note Lines - Part 2 - ex 5

Solo transcription

My final example is a transcription of how I play over the turnaround and use chords in the lines. As you can see I mix up the chords by not only playing the chords on the target notes but also after the melody I am playing. I also add a chord movement in terms of a 2nd voice at some point.

Adding Chords to Single Note Lines - Part 2 - ex 6 1

Adding Chords to Single Note Lines - Part 2 - ex 6 2

I hope you can use the examples I went over here to work on adding chords to your own solos and explore the options that gives you

You can download a PDF of the examples for later study here:

Adding Chords to Single Note Lines – Part 2

If you want to see more examples of how I solo on forms like rhythm changes or a blues then you can also check out these two lesson in my webstore:

F Jazz Blues Etude 1 – Basic Arpeggios

Rhythm Changes Solo Etude #1

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please feel free to leave on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make thme fit what you want to hear.

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