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Author Topic: Riffs and licks  (Read 4956 times)

Offline keys4ever

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Riffs and licks
« on: October 29, 2006, 06:29:59 PM »
any1 got any riffs and licks to do with the alto sax....?

Offline Ladymusic88

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Re: Riffs and licks
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2006, 08:50:06 PM »
I'm still learning to improvise. 

Anyone's input would be appreciated. ;D

Ladymusic88

Offline Wolfram

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Re: Riffs and licks
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2006, 03:23:04 PM »
Learn the blues scales in all twelve keys... FULL RANGE.  (start off slow, then work for speed) (R-b3-4-#4-5-b7-R)

Get back to me once you have those under your fingers and we will progress to the next step...

:-)

Wolfram

Offline keys4ever

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Re: Riffs and licks
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2006, 06:26:17 PM »
ok thanks wolfram am gonna work with those...

Offline keys4ever

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Re: Riffs and licks
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2006, 06:27:18 PM »
ok thanks wolfram..am gonna work on those...and get back at you..

Offline keynote

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Re: Riffs and licks
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2006, 08:22:17 AM »
Learn your major blues scale too => [R - 2 - b3 - 3 - 5 - 6 - R]

- have fun
Take care and be blessed!  Ps 16

Offline Ladymusic88

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Re: Riffs and licks
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2006, 09:28:41 PM »
Thanks for the tips!

God Bless!
Ladymusic88

Offline Wolfram

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Re: Riffs and licks
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2006, 12:56:47 PM »
Learn your major blues scale too => [R - 2 - b3 - 3 - 5 - 6 - R]

- have fun

Hey Keynote,

Never heard of this one....   :o

The scale you are describing sure does look like a major pentatonic with a #9 added in it.. 

The ' blues scale' can be used in both major and minor  blues progressions (1-4-5)  The reason why this scale works so well in this venue is because it shares common tonality with all three of the chords present.  The 'out' or tension sounding notes just add enough spice to 'jazz' things up a bit. 

A student that knows his/her major scales, dominant seven scales, harmonic minor scales and the blues scales in all twelve keys can walk into any situation with confidence of knowing that they have the basic foundation of good improvisational nonclementure down.  Then it is up to them to take all this 'science', and turn it into something creative...

Offline keynote

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Re: Riffs and licks
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2006, 03:57:45 PM »
Yeah... that's all it is - a major pentatonic w/ a #9 -> just like the "blues scale" is a minor pentatonic with a b5

I'm not sure if it's a legitimate name - that's what I was taught tho... Although everytime I use the term "major blues scale" don't nobody know what I'm talkin about - it makes sense to me (maybe everyone should start using that term :D)

I got a question for u Wolfram....

I have a piano player buddy who uses the symetric diminished scale (alternating whole and half steps) all the time over altered chords.... it sounds ok, but I was wondering what your approach was to altered chords in a progression when you're soloing - the blues scale gets redundant after a while - u gotta mix it up with everything else right? But with what?

- Keynote
Take care and be blessed!  Ps 16

Offline Wolfram

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Re: Riffs and licks
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2006, 06:47:17 PM »
I would try using the melodic minor scale half a step above your dominant 7 chord.  For example

If you are play a G13alt you would play the Ab melodic minor scale...  You could also play with the Spanish scale (R b2 3 4 5 b6 b7 R).   That may clash a bit but it is fun to play in the right context.

The blues scale is a recognized scale for major and minor blues progressions.  Both the blues scale and the scale you proposed leave the pentatonic category because they involve six notes.

Have you learned your Lydian scales? (#4 scales) or the bebop scale (R 2 3 4 5 6 b7 7 R)

Offline pdpguy

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Re: Riffs and licks
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2006, 03:43:04 PM »
I would try using the melodic minor scale half a step above your dominant 7 chord.  For example

If you are play a G13alt you would play the Ab melodic minor scale...  You could also play with the Spanish scale (R b2 3 4 5 b6 b7 R).   That may clash a bit but it is fun to play in the right context.

The blues scale is a recognized scale for major and minor blues progressions.  Both the blues scale and the scale you proposed leave the pentatonic category because they involve six notes.

Have you learned your Lydian scales? (#4 scales) or the bebop scale (R 2 3 4 5 6 b7 7 R)

Your Aeolian? Mixolydian? Locrian? Dorian? Chromatic? Harmonic minor? Have you tried coming up with patterns involving your major scales? Pleeeeease don't fall into the gospel-sax player rut of overusing the blues scale. it gets boring fast.

look up the post that asks about some licks (from earlier this year). baldeagle gave some good advice about licks and chops. just do a little search.

Learn your major blues scale too => [R - 2 - b3 - 3 - 5 - 6 - R]

- have fun

this scale is really just a blues scale starting on the minor 3rd.

Offline Wolfram

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Re: Riffs and licks
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2006, 11:53:53 AM »
Your Aeolian? Mixolydian? Locrian? Dorian? Chromatic? Harmonic minor? Have you tried coming up with patterns involving your major scales? Pleeeeease don't fall into the gospel-sax player rut of overusing the blues scale. it gets boring fast.

look up the post that asks about some licks (from earlier this year). baldeagle gave some good advice about licks and chops. just do a little search.

this scale is really just a blues scale starting on the minor 3rd.

Sure, I can list a ton more scales if this topic was meant to be a contest on who knows the most scales.  The question was asked about riffs.  I recommended they start slow with a blues scale then once they get that let us know and we can move forward...

As far as the 'Gospel Sax player rut", as you so eloquently put it,  I believe that moniker can be assigned to any instrument in any style of modern music.  The reason why the 'blues scale' is taught FIRST to beginners is because we are trying to boost the confidence level of the soloist not the ego of the theorist.  The blues scale allows more 'correct' sounding notes to a novice player in the forefront of their playing experience.   

Your suggestion of 'loading them up' with all the modes and then adding major scales patterns to boot is like walking on a frozen lake that you have no idea the thickness of the ice.   You do not throw a baby into a pool, neither do you throw a novice player into the ocean of musical theory.

Baby steps...  If you try to run right away, you may find yourself falling on your face.   Take your time.  It takes time and practice to perfect this stuff.

Offline pdpguy

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Re: Riffs and licks
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2006, 01:07:38 PM »
Sure, I can list a ton more scales if this topic was meant to be a contest on who knows the most scales.  The question was asked about riffs.  I recommended they start slow with a blues scale then once they get that let us know and we can move forward...

As far as the 'Gospel Sax player rut", as you so eloquently put it,  I believe that moniker can be assigned to any instrument in any style of modern music.  The reason why the 'blues scale' is taught FIRST to beginners is because we are trying to boost the confidence level of the soloist not the ego of the theorist.  The blues scale allows more 'correct' sounding notes to a novice player in the forefront of their playing experience.   

Your suggestion of 'loading them up' with all the modes and then adding major scales patterns to boot is like walking on a frozen lake that you have no idea the thickness of the ice.   You do not throw a baby into a pool, neither do you throw a novice player into the ocean of musical theory.

Baby steps...  If you try to run right away, you may find yourself falling on your face.   Take your time.  It takes time and practice to perfect this stuff.

it's obvious that you took what i said the wrong way. truthfully, my questions weren't directed at you. i was piggybacking off what you said. i was letting keys4ever know that there were more scales. you don't have to jump into every one of them, but don't stop looking for things just because you've found something that may sound good.

and just to clear things up about the scale contest. . . if i wanted to win, i wouldn't only put 3 or 4 scales up. as a matter of fact, i wouldn't put any scales on here because i wouldn't have wanted keys4ever to know what i know. so now that it's clear that i'm not about who know what (clearly i don't know what you know or anyone else on here) we can get back to offering help to the person who started this thread. and there's no ego trip. . . i'm nobody. i'm an empty can. the only thing that gives me purpose is the merchandise (God) inside me. so please don't be offended by me trying to offer help as well.

the only reason i know any scales at all is because someone gave me some literature with scales in it. once i saw a couple and learned what i could do with them, i started wanting to know more. why not just be able to find a bunch of scales in one place, offered by several individuals, as opposed to learning one then going back several times to find new stuff?

okay how about this. . . in addition to the blues scale, you could also use the chromatic scale. it will make your playing more fluid and get your fingers used to running. or you don't have to if you start to get confused or feel bogged down.

as for the blues scale being what the beginner should know first. . . that's all relativet. i didn't learn it first, i learned major scales first, and everything still worked out. i know a whole lot of sax players who are no longer beginners and are still stuck on blues scales only. that was my point. didn't mean to come off as arrogant.

Offline Wolfram

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Re: Riffs and licks
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2006, 02:08:17 PM »
pdpguy,

I appreciate your enthusiasm.  Sometimes words on a screen come across differently than we mean them.  That is the danger of online message boards.  Don't sweat it.  I know that you are only trying to be helpful.

Wolfram

Offline BMA

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Re: Riffs and licks
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2006, 09:00:58 AM »
Hello my name is Kreston Smith. I have been teaching saxophone since 1993. I am a graduate of the University Of Memphis - Music Education - Saxophone Emphasis and I am the owner of Bartlett Music Academy.

Improvising first of all comes from listening to all sorts of players. Ie. John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Maceo Parker, Michael Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Tom Scott, Richard Elliot, Kirk Whalum Etc. Go to your local library and search for Saxophone. Check the cd's out for 25 cents and listen listen listen. You learned how to talk by listening likewise you learn how to play by listening.

Now on to what to do to develop your craft. First play the follwing notes in order: C G D A E B f# c# Ab Eb Bb F (This is the circle of Fifths.)

Now go back and play each major scale in that order without stopping ie cdefgabcbagfedc, gabcdef#gf#edcbag, etc If you do not know your major scales email me at bartlettmusicacademy@hotmail.com. I have a book I wrote that I can send to you that will teach you your major scales in 30 minutes Guaranteed.

Now play your major 1-3-5 and Minor chords 1-b3-5 Ie MAJOR-CEG, GBD,DF#A,etc    MINOR - CEbG, GBbD, DFA, etc.

Now play the chromatic scale off each note for one octave.

Most music moves in ii-V-I and I-IV-V order. Now play a ii -minor - 1-b3-5 (DFA), V-Dominant 7 - 1-3-5-b7 (GBDF), I- CEGB
DO this in the circle of fifths as well. Ie in G - ii-aceg, V-df#ac, I-gbdf#

Now go back and do I-IV-V CEGB, FACE, GBDF.

Once you have done all these exercises you will have a vocabulary of basics. Your technique will be better and you will have some basic changes in your ear. Use metronome when doing these exercises. It is the only way to improve your time.

Now go buy two books. Major and minor Scales in all keys - Jamey Abersold and Maiden Voyage - Jamey Abersold.

After you purchase these two books start with the Scales book and work with the cd playing the track that is your C major scale. Eb track for Alto, Bb for tenor. Now play the C scale up and down about 10 times in quater notes, then eighth notes, then sixteenth notes. THen repeat each note twice ie cc, dd, ee ,ff etc then three times, then four times. Afterwards play the modes. Ionian(Major)Cdefgabc, Dorian- defgabc, phrygian-efgabcde, lydian - fgabcdef, Mixolydian - gabcdefg, Aeolian (Natural Minor)- abcdefga, and finally Locarian-bcdefgab.
Then go back and do the twos, threes, and fours on each of these. If you have any method books like Rubank Advanced or Elementary you can use the studies on each key with the tracks as well.

Then play the 7th chords for each mode, CEGB, DFAC, EGBD, FACE, GBDF, ACEG, BDFA,CEGB, BDFA,ACEG,FACE,EGBD,DFAC,CEGB.

Now you have a vocabulary to work with. Now take your notes and exercises (words) and form ideas (sentences) out of them. You will be surprised how free you will feel now. Improvising is a craft that takes A LOT of practice. To hear examples of my playing, check out www.bartlettmusicacademy.com Mp3 Recodings of our teachers - Kreston Smith. I have 11 tracks there of Jazz, Gospel, Classical, and R&b.

I hope this helps you.

Offline pdpguy

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Re: Riffs and licks
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2006, 11:23:49 AM »
Hello my name is Kreston Smith. I have been teaching saxophone since 1993. I am a graduate of the University Of Memphis - Music Education - Saxophone Emphasis and I am the owner of Bartlett Music Academy.

Improvising first of all comes from listening to all sorts of players. Ie. John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Maceo Parker, Michael Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Tom Scott, Richard Elliot, Kirk Whalum Etc. Go to your local library and search for Saxophone. Check the cd's out for 25 cents and listen listen listen. You learned how to talk by listening likewise you learn how to play by listening.

Now on to what to do to develop your craft. First play the follwing notes in order: C G D A E B f# c# Ab Eb Bb F (This is the circle of Fifths.)

Now go back and play each major scale in that order without stopping ie cdefgabcbagfedc, gabcdef#gf#edcbag, etc If you do not know your major scales email me at bartlettmusicacademy@hotmail.com. I have a book I wrote that I can send to you that will teach you your major scales in 30 minutes Guaranteed.

Now play your major 1-3-5 and Minor chords 1-b3-5 Ie MAJOR-CEG, GBD,DF#A,etc    MINOR - CEbG, GBbD, DFA, etc.

Now play the chromatic scale off each note for one octave.

Most music moves in ii-V-I and I-IV-V order. Now play a ii -minor - 1-b3-5 (DFA), V-Dominant 7 - 1-3-5-b7 (GBDF), I- CEGB
DO this in the circle of fifths as well. Ie in G - ii-aceg, V-df#ac, I-gbdf#

Now go back and do I-IV-V CEGB, FACE, GBDF.

Once you have done all these exercises you will have a vocabulary of basics. Your technique will be better and you will have some basic changes in your ear. Use metronome when doing these exercises. It is the only way to improve your time.

Now go buy two books. Major and minor Scales in all keys - Jamey Abersold and Maiden Voyage - Jamey Abersold.

After you purchase these two books start with the Scales book and work with the cd playing the track that is your C major scale. Eb track for Alto, Bb for tenor. Now play the C scale up and down about 10 times in quater notes, then eighth notes, then sixteenth notes. THen repeat each note twice ie cc, dd, ee ,ff etc then three times, then four times. Afterwards play the modes. Ionian(Major)Cdefgabc, Dorian- defgabc, phrygian-efgabcde, lydian - fgabcdef, Mixolydian - gabcdefg, Aeolian (Natural Minor)- abcdefga, and finally Locarian-bcdefgab.
Then go back and do the twos, threes, and fours on each of these. If you have any method books like Rubank Advanced or Elementary you can use the studies on each key with the tracks as well.

Then play the 7th chords for each mode, CEGB, DFAC, EGBD, FACE, GBDF, ACEG, BDFA,CEGB, BDFA,ACEG,FACE,EGBD,DFAC,CEGB.

Now you have a vocabulary to work with. Now take your notes and exercises (words) and form ideas (sentences) out of them. You will be surprised how free you will feel now. Improvising is a craft that takes A LOT of practice. To hear examples of my playing, check out www.bartlettmusicacademy.com Mp3 Recodings of our teachers - Kreston Smith. I have 11 tracks there of Jazz, Gospel, Classical, and R&b.

I hope this helps you.

i'm no beginner, but this is good stuff. it reminds of me of what i used to do (and still should be doing--and need to get back to doing) when i practiced. thanks for the slap in the face.

Wolfram, ain't no thang, man. no hard feelings. you're giving good advice. keep posting, bruh.

Offline BMA

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Re: Riffs and licks
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2006, 09:54:48 PM »
TO add to the previuos post:
Riffs and Licks
I would go rent from the library or buy the greatest hits of James Brown album, Chicago, War, Tower of Power, The Meters, Eddie Harris, Eric Marienthal, David Sanborn etc and transcribe, transcribe, transcribe,
and oh by the way TRANSCRIBE!!!
If you do this you will not only learn what to do in these situations, you will learn how to phrase the licks as well. Typing out notes are not going to reap the best rewards. Learn from the ones who did it best. Take your favorite lick that they play out of the transcription you do and then transpose it to every key . You will be surprised how just two or three licks will change your playing entirely.

Offline keys4ever

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Re: Riffs and licks
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2006, 07:58:36 PM »
wow!! thanks so much for all the useful information...sorry for not responding earlier...i was away for a few...but i'hve been practicing the blues scales and tryin to incorporate it when playin with the band...(which i need a little bit more practice at)...wolfram i believe am ready to move on to the next step...

Offline Wolfram

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Re: Riffs and licks
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2006, 09:45:39 AM »
pm'd offline

Offline Ladymusic88

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Re: Riffs and licks
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2006, 12:28:05 AM »
Wow!  Thanks, you guys for the wealth of knowledge you have given.  It truly is a blessing!

Ladymusic88
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