Tag Archives: thelonious monk straight no chaser

How To Learn Great Concepts From Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Monk is one of the most important composers and improvisers to emerge from Bebop. His very personal style of both playing and writing songs has both simple and complex sides to them and is a great place to study and improve your jazz solos.

In this video, I am going over a way to use a Thelonious Monk blues, Straight No Chaser, as a resource in making your own lines and how to take a melody and use different techniques to create new musical ideas from it.

While I made the video with Monk in mind and using Straight No Chaser as an example this will really work in other genres and with other melodies than just jazz and bebop.

In making the video I also analyzed the melody of Straight No Chaser, and the way it is constructed is surprisingly elegant and sophisticated. I am curious about what you think!


0:00 Intro – Not just the right notes or the right arpeggio

0:27 Better Improviser – Better Composer

0:39 Exercise for using composition to solo better.

0:59 Thelonious Monk and the Composition

1:34 The Blues Cliché deluxe

1:48 #1 Inversions of a melody

2:23 Making Licks from the main statement

2:52 #2 Octave Displacement – Bebop Melodies

3:16 How to use Octave Displacement on the melody

3:37 #3 Chromatic Enclosures

4:10 Understanding the melody of Straight No Chaser

5:17 Analyzing the Phrases of the Melody

7:44 #4 Rhythmic Displacement and Repetition

8:04 Using the repetition in a lick

8:25 Example of a II V I lick with this type of repetition

9:01 Phrasing across the barline

9:07 Displacing the rhythm

9:21 Developing the melodic idea

10:12 Changing the polyrhythm

10:56 Some thoughts on how to use repetition11:12 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page.

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The PDF with examples for this video is available through Patreon. You can check out my Patreon Page here: https://www.patreon.com/jenslarsen

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