THE FIDDLE JAM BLUES
OK, lets put it ALL together now.
In Tune: Three in one. A simple melody, jamming, and Boogie Woogie example.
Scale: D Blues
Key: D universal (major notes in chords and minor notes in the scale).
Jamming Notes: any, D, F, G, A, or C, with some Ab’s thrown in for color.
EZ-Zone: 0, L2, 3, on the D and A strings
Characteristic: excited with a slight mean streak
Preparation (for improvisation): Run the EZ-Zone notes up and down, inside out and sideways until fairly un-thinking.
Instructions (for improvisation):
Simple: Start and end on a D, stay within the EZ-Zone, and you can’t go wrong! Remember, it’s your creation, so play whatever YOU feel will sound good with the cut.
Advanced: See/hear “Jam Stuff” (below) for an idea or two. Add Ab’s and slide into your A’s. Expand to scale notes outside the EZ-Zone.
Preparation (for playing the melody): 1) Just wander through the notes, one at a time, to get them correct. Learn them either by stopping and starting the CD for each new note, by applying the note names and fingerings provided on the chart (notice that there are only 0’s, 1’s, and 3’s), or, by simply reading the chart itself (preferred if you know how), or, better yet, “All-of-the above.” 2) Without your instrument, tap or clap the rhythm to the melody along with the CD until confident that you know it. 3) Now, extra slow and without the CD, put the correct notes in the correct order with the correct timing. Then speed it up gradually each time until you can play it along with the CD. Easier said than done as they say, but I find that separating it into “practice parts” (notes, rhythm, and tempo) usually can complete the learning process in less time than just sort of having a “go” at it and hoping for the best. Repetition has its merits for sure, but if you don’t learn the parts correctly to begin with, and keep playing the same mistakes over and over, you’re guaranteed to become one thing…
…an expert mistake maker! Take the time to get it right. It’s well worth the effort.
Listening Lesson: Can you pick out all three parts (melody, boogie woogie, and jamming) and when each starts and/or stops? Listen to the CD without playing, imagining yourself playing one of the parts the whole way through.
Troubleshooting: I gets a bit chaotic toward the end (and isn’t that cool?!). Keep your attention on the drum part and the “Boogie Woogie” back-ups if you find yourself loosing the feel of the beat. As a musician, you must cultivate the ability to stay concentrated on this most basic element no matter how crazy the parts around it get!
P.J. (Post Jam): Tell yourself (or have someone else tell you) that you are like the Buddha of jamming and the flow master of flow for the way you can hold yourself together amidst musical mayhem!
When done, you can click here to go back to the Music Mechanics 101 Table of Contents.