Improvisation - The Concept Practice Sessions

Practice Session 2: Identifying Melodic Components

Objective
To help you begin to recognize the four components of melodic construction.
Task
Identify the melodic components of a chorus of Hank Mobely's solo from "Tenor Conclave."
Procedure
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Play the transcription using the playalong below. Imitate his playing by emulating the elements of his recorded performance that you noted from listening to his solo. The solo is two 32 bar choruses long. Play the solo four times (eight, 32 bar choruses total). To turn the page, swipe (on touchscreen devices) or press the navigation arrows on PCs (hover over the notation to reveal the arrows).
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Listen for the 4 components of melodic construction as you play them: chord tones, scale passages, arpeggios and approach patterns.
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Print out this PDF of the solo. Using colored pencils or markers, identify the four components of melodic construction by coloring in the open note heads with the appropriate color. Chord tones on strong beats (blue), arpeggios (red), chord scale passages (green) and approach patterns (yellow).
Transcription of Hank Mobley improvising over "Tenor Conclave” from his album of the same name.
Self Assessment
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Compare your answers with the answer key in the notation gallery above. To turn the page, swipe (on touchscreen devices) or press the navigation arrows on PCs (hover over the notation to reveal the arrows).
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Your answers should be mostly the same. Often a component can be correctly classified as more than one type of component.
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If your answers were mostly the same, great! Continue to analyze transcriptions in this way to develop your awareness of the four components of melodic construction.
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If you answers were markedly different, print out a new copy of the solo and try coloring the note heads again. Watch the lesson again and feel free to write with any questions.