A while back someone asked me about enclosures and how to practice them for improvisation. I had to first identify what was meant by “enclosures”. I realized that I’ve always referred to this technique as “encircling”.
What I would do in a solo was to determine my “target notes” and define ways to indirectly and melodiously reach that note.
In order to really be successful at doing this, one’s technique has to be pretty solid. I’ve included a small document of some basic exercises over major and minor scales and triads to get you going.
Often, the notes that fall on the strong parts of the beat will be non-chordal tones that may or may not exist in the key. This is totally fine.
As long as your goal (or target note) is clear and the logic of your melody is solid, all notes will sound consonant / consistent with the chord.
In the next part of this series, I will give specific examples and exercises on how this technique is used in jazz improvisation.