The following post is for less experienced jammers taking part in the 1st set.

We’ve decided for future jams it will work better if everyone isn’t working on the same tune. We’ll list 3 good choices for beginning improvisers and you just pick one. Hopefully, everyone doesn’t pick the same tune. The list will stay the same for the session after that.

Tunes: Sonnymoon for Two (Bb Blues), Autumn Leaves, Cantaloupe Island

Of course you can pick any jazz tune you want, but these are easier to learn. Other good choices can be found in Jamie Aebersold  play-along Volume 54. If you don’t have this, it’s worth picking up.

The concept to focus on next is making b7-3 connections between chords. Try practicing these connections over the chords to the tune you’re learning. Transcribe a solo to the tune you’re learning and identify these connections. Then pick one of your favorite sounding connections and practice it over the chords to the the song. Transpose as needed to make it fit the chords. This takes time if you haven’t done it before. Be patient, we’ll stay with this concept for the next 2 sessions.

From jazz educator, Bert Lignon, here are 3 common ways to make these connections: 

There are three common lines found in music from the Baroque period to the present. They may appear with out embellishment or may be highly figured. (I have written a book that deals exclusively with these structures: Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony, Hal Leonard, Inc.) 

Outline No. 1 connects the 3rd of one chord down to the 3rd of the next. 

Outline No. 2 begins with an ascending 1-3-5 arpeggio and the 7th resolves to the 3rd of the next chord. 

Outline No. 3 begins with a descending 5-3-1 arpeggio and the 7th resolves to the 3rd of the next chord. 

The three outlines are shown below for a G7 to C progression. The outlines are used anytime the chords progress down a fifth. …. these basic outlines will be essential vocabulary. 

Outline No. 1               Outline No. 2             Outline No. 3