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Anticipating Fingering changes



Karen Wyatte

Anticipating Fingering changes

I've been working on a lot of gypsy-jazz melodic lines to solo over different chord progressions. I've been wondering how to anticipate changes in fingering so shifts in position will be smooth?


Posted 6 months ago by Karen Wyatte - 4 replies

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Karen,
This is always a good question, one of the best. Well, I am not a teacher, professional musician, nor an authority in music of any kind. I can only share what I do when I find, compose, or interpret great sounding chord progressions. Next I ask, hey what if I make a run of melodic transitional notes between those chords to bring out the melody. But where do I start and end that run, and then be on the next chord of the progression? That is a place, I believe, all of us find ourselves at some time in our musical development.
Here is where I start (most of the time):
1) Know the key in which I am playing the progression, and practice the melodic scale of that key. This familiarizes my fingers with the movements that I will need.
2) Next, I play the chord progression, and take note of the roots of each chord in the progression.
3) At about this point, I start seeing what roots and what melodic notes of the scale seem to stand out.
4) Next I explore the space between two of the chords, painfully slow, by plucking the root of the first chord, then add one note in the transition between the first and second chord, ending with a pluck on the root of the second chord. If that note did not sound quite right, I’ll use another the next time round. This is where my creative juices start flowing. What if I played this note instead of that note? Do I need to pluck the roots of the chords? What if I plucked other notes of the chords instead of the roots? What will happen if I add two or three transitional notes? Do I need it complicated or simple? How many transitional runs do I need? Do I need them between every chord in the progression?
5) I keep doing this until I am in tempo with smooth movements.

This is my basic mechanics of creating transitional runs between chords in a progression. It may not be what is taught in music classes, but it works for me. Plus, I did just like you, I asked others. I am surprised there are so many techniques that work. Keep asking, and you will create your own method.
Cheers, Jim


Reply posted 5 months ago by Jim Lair


Oops,
I forgot to add that I also use this method to create a solo over chord progressions. I cheat, and use a recorder to replay my progressions while noodling over the top with melodic runs. But your real question was anticipation. I mentally look ahead of each of my moves (most of the time 3 moves ahead). Only the listener cares what I am playing now, I need to know what is coming. After playing for a time, it becomes responsive. I don’t think there is any other way. When I was kid, playing in the school orchestra (50ish years ago), the music teacher pounded my brain silly with, “When you practice tonight, and you will practice or be out of the band, look ahead. Soon you will no longer think about it.” It’s kind of a back door way of sight reading music. Back then I played the trumpet, piano, and percussions.
Cheers, J


Reply posted 5 months ago by Jim Lair


Karen, Years ago when taking lessons from a jazz guitarist, he taught me to select a chord for every note of the melody keeping the movement to each chord to the minimum amount of change and space. Sometimes that meant a deep review of chord construction to find the right combination. Then he would have me play the song using only the chords following the melody line and it became easy to come up with alternate notes this way. Hope that helps.


Reply posted 5 months ago by Glenn Henderson


Karen Wyatte

Hi Jim, this is helpful. I think I had only been looking maybe 2 notes ahead. I'll try it with three notes ahead and see how it goes.


Reply posted 3 months ago by Karen Wyatte



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