MUS 319A – Improvisation III

Course Objective:

Play “Blues” and “Rhythm Changes” in All Keys!! All solos will be played without accompaniment exposing melodic and rhythmic strengths and weaknesses. “Making changes”, melodic development, time feel, and idiomatic phrasing will be emphasized in this class.

None, bring your ears to class!

Techniques For Improvising:

1. Guide tone lines

2. Narrow range of solo to 1 octave

3. Variation of tempo (double time soloing)

4. Sight reading changes

5. Review chord/scale relationships


Two Transcriptions will be due during the semester – one at mid-term, and the other at finals. The first solo will consist of a minimum of 2 choruses of “rhythm changes”. The second solo transcription must be an entire blues solo consisting of a minimum of 4 choruses of blues. Both solos may be written out and played with music. You must be able to perform each solo with the original recording.

Grade Components:

Weekly quizzes and assignments – 20 percent

Mid-Term Playing exam on “rhythm changes” in any key – 20 percent

Mid-Term transcription – 20 percent

Final Playing exam on “blues” in any key – 20 percent

Final Transcription – 20 percent

Attendance Policy:

Grade will be lowered 1/3 for every class missed over 10 percent of the total number of classes. (You are allowed 3 “absents” before your grade will be affected). Class begins precisely at the top of the hour! You will be graded “absent” if you are more than 5 minutes late at the beginning of class or if you are consistently 1 to 5 minutes late (more than 5 times). Have your instrument out, warmed up and ready to play at the beginning of class!