Enclosures for Improvisation – Part One

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.

Happy Practicing!

Read it here!

Chasin’ The ‘Trane – Part 2 on Patreon!

This month I’ve got a whole 16-page PDF for you!

For those of you that are familiar with John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” and his other tunes based on similar harmonies, here I have an option you can try out in order to flavor up your solos by using some “alternate changes” over the Giant Steps pattern.

In these exercises, the Dominant chords are substituted by their related minor chord.

For example:

The original changes:

BMaj7 D7 GMaj7 Bb7 EbMaj7 F#7 BMaj7

The “alternate” changes:

BMaj7 Am7 GMaj7 Fm7 EbMaj7 C#m7 BMaj7

You’ll notice that the root of the chords move in whole-tone steps downwards.

Practice a few of the patterns in the booklet and try them over a slower version of a Giant Steps play-along.

Play-alongs for Giant Steps in various tempi you’ll find at PlayJazzNow.com .

Have fun!

Go to the original article and PDF on Patreon!

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