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Improvisation question: Nuages

bluemovesbluemoves New
edited September 14 in Licks and Patterns Posts: 6

How do folks usually address the fist 2 bars?

(let’s assume we’re in G)

so, either bVI7 / V7(b9) / ... (I) or (preceded by their respective ‘ii’s - b3m7/bVI7 / iim7b5/V7b9 ... (I))

Is it best to treat them independently as isolated non-diatonic ii/Vs i.e. Major ii/V in Ab / minor ii/V from the parallel minor of G and try to connect the lines convincingly..? (I mean, I don’t see that there’s much other choice...?)

Is there a specific scale that ‘works’ on the bVI dominant, I’ve tried Lydian dominant and it doesn’t seem ‘perfect..’ Wondering if there’s a ‘secret’..?

everything I play seems ‘shoe-horned to fit and doesn’t flow particularly well ‘melodically’.

may well be to do with a lack of talent! 😩😂 but would love to know if there’s a clever ‘trick’ to make up for that!!

(Maybe I'm thinking about the harmony wrong? I see different charts label it differently..)


  • adrianadrian AmsterdamVirtuoso
    Posts: 490

    I think you're overthinking it. :) You can play a bar of Eb7/Eb9, then a bar of D7/D9.


  • Posts: 2,947

    As Adrian Said. Also not every chord has to be outlined every time, all the time. Take a breath for two beats then Eb7/9, breath for two beats then D7/9. Or you could play Bbm and Aø phrases in those same places. Also you can take a melody note that falls on the respective chord and create a short phrase around that note (I would just rely on my ear, not any particular theory guidance). Some players just play the 5 chord in 2/5 sequence.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 152

    Maybe. Eb9 for first bar, then D7b9 for second bar.

    Or, think Eb7 and D7, but keep the descending melody in mind so that, if you play one of these 9th or flatted 9th notes during your soloing, it will be the right one (depending on when you play it).

  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    Posts: 1,150

    yeah Am7b5 works better (than D9) for the second bar, as Buco already alluded to. D7/9 is a little "clashy" with a natural 9th (especially so against the melody). Maybe you can get away with it in the solos if you have a rhythm player just playing straight dominant chord there, and allowing the soloist that space.

    But Am7b5 is kind of easier anyway, because you can pull out all your Cm6 licks.

    vanmalmsteenBill Da Costa Williams
  • bbwood_98bbwood_98 Brooklyn, NyProdigy Vladimir music! Les Effes. . Its the best!
    Posts: 501

    What everyone else said!

    I think a super useful idea is to create some long lines in which you change the arpeggio; or scale, start on F (9th of Eb)on say the and of one, go up a Eb7 arpeggio until the and of 4, on the one of the next measure start up a D7, or for a wilder flavor (to be sure I ended my ascending Eb7 on a Db at the 6th fret of the G string) play D, Eb, F#, G, A, Bb, C#, D; then either keep up to on a G major idea, or go down . .

    Lots of very similar 'limited' improvisation drills are possible. up, down, in position, scales, arpeggios, and on and on.

    Also - I can only get these ideas out super slow usually being a rhythm player!

  • edited September 15 Posts: 1

    Usually just feel it, but a couple of less travelled approaches i dig (when purposefully trying to not play my default lines ha);

    Can treat the Eb7 as a tritone sub for lead outlines A7 D7 G (can get clashy, but can experiment)

    Another is to play G dim7 over Eb7 , F#dim 7 over D7 then resolve to G. I suppose sound is a little off (Eb7b9) but can make it work and it's easy on the fingers :) Plus, there's then a G and an E (or Fb to be pedantic ha) in bar 1, and then these reappear in bar 3 if you use G6 :)

  • Listen to some of the Joe Pass versions for some neat ideas.

  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,501

    for the changes I like

    bar one: Eb9

    bar two: two beats of Am7b5 and two beats of D7/Ab

    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."
  • JojoJojo
    Posts: 142

    You may be lauded by the rest of humanity (but get arrested by the Gypsy Jazz police) by using the E blues scale at the 12th fret. Just bend the 14th fret, 3rd string to ‘keep it real’ and noodle from there on in

  • Posts: 7

    when it comes to simplifying Changes there are two approaches that help me a lot: i sing to the Changes and see what's coming up as the essence of it or i analyse the functions of the Chord regarding the key center in this case G major. especially when i don't want to outline every chord in order to play more melodic i do need a few (!!!) lights guide me through the darkness...

    Ok, i do ignore the Bb-7 because to me it's a more Bebopish colour and forces me to outline all the Changes. Also it contains Ab which is a quite difficult/ interesting note in the key of G...

    The Melodie itself tells me it's Eb79 followed by A-7b5 and D7b9, all of the three Chords refer to the minor subdominant of G which is C Minor. If i'm not to low the notes of the C minor triad will fit as a highly effective guide trough the first two bars (making the D7b9 a beautiful D7susb9)! I resolve the C minor to B minor making the G chord a major7 Chord. Yes Cm6 also would sound fine as long as you don't play your Cm69 Lines over Eb7 all the time...

    Another solution i absolutely love since Eb79 always is a great substitute for am7b5 is to take the Chordtones of Eb79 without the Eb (which is played by the Bassplayer anyway): G-Bb-Db-F add the C (the 13 of Eb7) an see what's doing this to the Key Center of G: it is the G BLUES Scale minus the d and that really is something i can approach as a singer/ improviser, very soulful!

    Most of the Times after that i tend play D7alt.=Ab79 which may contain the notes of a Bb major triad (the parallel of G Minor), also quite singable! Of course every note should be heard/ played in relationship to the Key center G major!

    I do think that a lot of old school Players didn't check out all of the theory or arpeggios but where jumping from major to minor all the Time, which i think is exactly what where doing when we're singing!

    Sounds like a lot of work? It's worth it or to put it in the words of T. S. Eliot:

    We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.

    billyshakesBill Da Costa WilliamsBucoBones
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