Category Archives: Blues

10 Killer Solo Strategies on Funky Modal Grooves

10 Killer Solo Strategies on Funky Modal Grooves
How to keep your one chord solo funky?
How do you play one chord groove and keep it exciting?
In this video I will work with funky solo strategies and build up from simple to advanced.
We will begin with a simple pentatonic scale and go all the way to adding bebop.

LINK TO VIDEO

In this tutorial
10 killer Solo Strategies on Funky Modal Grooves
Play with great timing and rock steady groove
G minor pentatonic scale
Music theory with Albert Einstein 
Build up with Candy Dulfer
Repeating patterns in the pentatonic scale
The Dorian minor scale extension
Triads
4 and 5 note chords
Blues scale and bebop
https://www.patreon.com/posts/55988893

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Video links: 
PENTATONIC SCALES HOW TO PRACTICE AND USE IMMEDIATELY
https://youtu.be/ZRs1W9SJ57o

3 great melodic tools to develop strong melodies
https://youtu.be/F8gWYGhOKUs

10 ways to improve your timing
https://youtu.be/2k3NPy0qSPg

Play Amazing Bebop Lines Like This
https://youtu.be/hkEZhgq75cs

The best thing about the Blues and How to Use It
https://youtu.be/EwyfRuIWgAg

Dennis Chambers – Chameleon
https://youtu.be/WtaKRY8wqhA

Candy Dulfer – Lily was here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SfSQ3lQmJw

Candy Dulfer – Strasbourg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNx4EbTu10w

Miles davis – “so what”
https://youtu.be/ylXk1LBvIqU

Funky G minor groove
https://youtu.be/MJIMlr8tI2s

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Mouthpiece is an old Otto Link Babbit – refaced from opening 6 to opening 8/8,5
Alto – The Martin Alto
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Sound great with one pentatonic scale – Play the blues like this

Sound great with one pentatonic scale – Play the blues like this
When starting to improvise you need something very understandable.
You need something that gives you the basic feel of improvising and which is useful in your further development of your playing. 
You need to develop your feel for rhythm and timing.
You also need to develop your motor skills to correspond with your hearing. 
In this video I will get you going on all these great skills with a super simple blues and one pentatonic scale.

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In this tutorial
Why starting with the blues?
The three dominants
One pentatonic scale
Pentatonic scale exercises
The pentatonic scale groups
One bar improvisation
Solo Method “Beginning the blues with one pentatonic scale”
Show, play and analyse a solo on a blues using one pentatonic scale
Get the full transcription of the lesson:
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Video links: 
Beginning the blues with one pentatonic scale
Solo method in the 6 most common blues keys
Patreon:
https://www.patreon.com/posts/44581076
Shop:
https://sorenballegaard.dk/product/beginning-the-blues-with-one-pentatonic-scale-solo-method-in-the-6-most-common-blues-keys/

Jazz Blues – this is the way to play jazz and get the blues sound
https://youtu.be/fb5CeaJLdzY

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Mini keyboard for music notation – https://amzn.to/3sVufcWTenor saxophone: Selmer MKVI 82xxx
Mouthpiece is an old Otto Link Babbit – refaced from opening 6 to opening 8/8,5
Alto – The Martin Alto
Soprano – Yanagisawa Elimona
Tenor reedshttps://amzn.to/2Qrk8zz
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The Best Thing About The Blues Scale And How To Use It

The Best Thing About The Blues Scale And How To Use It
The blues scale is a super great and flexible tool you can apply in any key and almost anywhere.
Here is how it works and how you add this to your playing. 

LINK TO VIDEO

In this tutorial
00:00 Why the blues scale works really great and how to use it
00:21 Gene Ammons – Jazz and blues!!!01:02 A pentatonic scale with an extra sharp note
01:58 Blues example on C7
02:40 Blues example in F7
03:48 Why does the Blue note sound so wrong and so great?
04:08 BB king would sound like this on saxophone
04:20 The wrong notes are leading notes
06:01 The inversion of the blues scale
08:05 Common blues lick
08:09 Major 6 blues lick
08:17 Fitting it together
08:27 Get more value from the Youtube lessons by supporting me: 
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Video links: 

Blues licks and scales compendium
Patreon:
https://www.patreon.com/posts/47710439
Shop: 
https://sorenballegaard.dk/product/blues-licks-and-scales-compendium/

How to add blues licks and sound in jazz and sound amazing

Lesson transcription: 
Patreon:
https://www.patreon.com/posts/47709359
Shop: 
https://sorenballegaard.dk/product/how-to-use-the-blues-scale-in-jazz-and-sound-amazing/
Youtube:
https://youtu.be/E3fIOFkgq94

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Mini keyboard for music notation – https://amzn.to/3sVufcWTenor saxophone: Selmer MKVI 82xxx
Mouthpiece is an old Otto Link Babbit – refaced from opening 6 to opening 8/8,5
Alto – The Martin Alto
Soprano – Yanagisawa Elimona
Tenor reedshttps://amzn.to/2Qrk8zz
Alto reeds –https://amzn.to/2Pwv8Lu
Soprano reeds – https://amzn.to/3vnHfJS
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How to use the blues scale in jazz and sound amazing

A lot of times in jazz you hear a great solo and suddenly a super fat blues lick.
Between the somewhat complicated lines many players often add a super great over the top blues line.
Blues and jazz are right out of the same bag. Learn here how you can play and mix both
In this video I go through some blues scales and blues licks and how to apply on different chord progressions

LINK TO VIDEO

In this tutorial
What is the blues sound?
Why does blues work?
The common blues scale
Blues licks
Using the blues sound in chord progressions
Get the full transcription of the lesson:
https://www.patreon.com/posts/47709359

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Video links:
“Blues licks and scales compendium”
Patreon:
https://www.patreon.com/posts/47710439
Shop:
https://sorenballegaard.dk/product/blues-licks-and-scales-compendium/

BASIC BLUES – SOUND GREAT WITH ONLY ONE PENTATONIC SCALE
https://youtu.be/NaK81KNJBiI

Dave Brubeck tune – take 5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tT9Eh8wNMkw

Dizzy Gillespie – Birks Work
https://youtu.be/nW8i_UfqYNw

Subscribe for more free saxophone videos and lessons: https://www.youtube.com/c/SørenBallegaard

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Mini keyboard for music notation – https://amzn.to/3sVufcWTenor saxophone: Selmer MKVI 82xxx
Mouthpiece is an old Otto Link Babbit – refaced from opening 6 to opening 8/8,5
Alto – The Martin Alto
Soprano – Yanagisawa Elimona
Tenor reedshttps://amzn.to/2Qrk8zz
Alto reeds –https://amzn.to/2Pwv8Lu
Soprano reeds – https://amzn.to/3vnHfJS
Saxophone strap – https://amzn.to/3sV20Lt
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Soprano mouthpiece – https://amzn.to/2R6mvI0
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Blues basics 4 – pentatonics and approach notes

I have divided the pentatonic scale into small groups around the roots of the blues chords. These groups i will use to approach the roots in the blues, its simpler than it sounds 🙂

Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0001 the scale

I have devided the pentatonic scale into groups.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0009 groups (2)

the groups are associated with the roots of the chords in the blues. The D, G and A.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_1 the form

Ill apply the groups and use them to target the root of the next bar.
in the following example i play the root of the chord on beat one. In the bar before I approach the one with the group belonging to the coming root.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_1
You can see that the root is on the one of each bar and leading to the root I use the notes in the group of the coming root. Leading towards bars with the root D I use F and C as approach notes, leading to a G bar i use A and F and leading to an A bar i use the approach notes C and G. All connected through the groups beloning to the root.

You see in the above example that I in the first bar leading to the second bar, on the four, apply F leading to the G of the second bar. Bar two to three i connect with the approach note C in the group of D. On the ninth bar i apply the G leading to the A. The rule would be that i look in the coming bar for the root and backwards i apply the group beloning to the coming bar.

In the next example i only use the approach note from above. The notes would be F to D, A to G and C to A.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_2
Its clear that the notes are upper approach note in the groups.

This exercise is only applying the notes below the root.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_3
C to D, F to G and G to A. Playing towards the target note which in this case is the root.

This way of practising playing towards a target note is quite simple and easy to get used to.
When soloing in jazz music its common practise that you always play towards a target note to get a clear melodic line.

I go on to the next exercise where i change the approach notes. I dont play only one direction anymore but pick the approach note freely, above or below.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_4

The most important to understand in this lesson to do this a lot, to get this way of playing into your ears and fingers.

in the coming exercise i play the approach note as an eight note so, keeping the same rhythm in the whole exercise but changing which approach note i use, above or below.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_5

You can always add more rhythm which the next exercise will illustrate.
Playing two eight notes approach and melodically choosing the above or the below lying note.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0006
The more notes and rhythm you add before the target note the more complicated it gets of course.

In my next video ill get into more more examples where i use more approach notes.

Let me know if you have questions about this.
I hope that these videos inspires you as much as they inspire me.
Enjoy and have fun playing 🙂

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Blues basics 3 – applying the pentatonic scale chord groups in blues examples

Still playing the (basic) blues!
In this video lesson i give examples in how to apply the, in earlier videos, mentioned groups in a blues solo.


I have made some examples of how you can play the blues using the pentatonic scale divided into groups around the roots of the chords of a basic blues.

Example one – played two times
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0014 example 1
In these examples i stay inside the groups and in most bars I start the line on the root note.
I start the first bar with the D group – root D one below C and then again the D, second bar i play the root G twice and the note below, the F. third bar – D and switch between the root and the note below C. ending the first four bars with not beginning on the root but answering to the third bar with starting on the note below C thrice and ending on the D.
Fifth bar I do not start on the first beat but on the second beat G F G, the pattern from the very first bar, continuing on the sixth bar repeating the pattern from the fifth bar, but placed on the first beat, as an answer to the fifth bar. The seventh and eights bar I build together in a continuing string of notes D C D C D C D C, getting into the feel of playing longer eight note lines. In the ninth and tenth bar i repeat a pattern in the A group – A A G A but add a tail ending in bar nine on a C and bar ten on a G leading the way towards bar eleven, a rhtymical pattern on the two and four – kind of bass pedal like on the root D and bar twelve A.

Example two:
The lines in this bar is more in continuation of each other, which means that the lines grow longer and are not individually placed but mostly answers or follow up on the previous line.
I also slowly move away from always beginning on the root. Fx. i can start the D group on F or C also, a line on the G group can be started on the F or the A, and in the A group i can start on the G or the C for example.
important to know is that you can start a line on these other notes but due to our limited material the starting note fx the F on a D does not mean that the F really sounds like D. Consider it more a leading tone towards D. The D is still nessesary to make the D bar sound like D.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0015 example 2
I begin with a rhytmical pattern on the one and three F D – F D on the second bar i start on the two of the bar playing all the notes of the G group, G F G A, the third bar play as quarter notes F D and end with eight notes C D. The fourth bar where i place two D´s as eight notes on the three sounds like an upbeat for the fifth bar where i continue with the quarternote pattern G G G – eightnotes G F – which i answer on the sixth bar on the second beat F G A G. In the seventh and eight bar i play a line in the group of D which definitely goes over the barline – On two and four i play D D which leads on to the second bar of D – F D and moved rhythmically F D. On the ninth bar i play a standard blues lick A C A C, kind of a shout which gets its answer on the tenth bar G A G A and ending with another answer A G, leading towards lower lines on the elleventh bar D D D C, going even lower ending on the twelvth bar with the shouth from bar ten A C A C as eight notes.

example three:
I now fully play eight note lines, in the bar but also extending the lines over the barlines, which is one of the goals with these exercises. Further i also change from only stating on the regular beats to also start a line on the off beats which gives the lines a more jazzy feeling.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0016 example 3
Bar one, i start on the lower note of the D group playing around the Root, C D F D leading towards bar two answering with the G group G F G F G, ending the sentence on bar three and four with a long eight note line over the barline playing around the D – C D F D C D—over the barline to bar four C D. Start a new sentence over the next four bars|G|G|D|D|in bar five, playing the G as off beats in bar five, continuing over the barline to bar six with playing around the G A G F G A G F leading down to the D and still continuing the line in eight notes D C D C D C D C ending in bar eight with an answer to it all leading toward the last D – D F C D. In bar nine i jump into a blues line in quarter notes, as an opposite of the eight notes just played before, A group – C A G continuing on bar ten A C G A ending bar ten leading towards bar 11 with a G going to the F D on bar eleven, Repeating the F D changing it rhythmically, ending on bar twelve with C A C A ready to start fresh on a next round 🙂

I really enjoy making these videos and it inspires me to practise my self, i hope it inspires you to do the same!
Enjoy and have fun playing 🙂

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Blues basics 2 – outlining the chords w/ pentatonic scale

This video is intended for the beginning improviser. I talk about the blues form and how you can easily apply a pentatonic scale and still outline the basic chord progression.
This is the second video in the series.

Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0001 the scale
In the pentatonic scale of D minor, the notes D F G A C D, i find all the notes of the roots of the simple blues form.
on the first degree a D, on the fourth degree the G and on the fifth degree the A.

Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0005 the form
As you see the first bar is a D, second bar is G third and fourth bar is a D, in the fifth and sixth bar you have G, seventh and eights bar is D, ninth and tenth bad is A, the elleventh bar is D and the twelth bar is A.

I divided the pentatonic scale into three groups, one around each root of the basic blues scheme.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0009 groups (2)
The groups consists of the root + one note from the pentatonic above the root and one note below the root.

The D group is root D + F above and C below, G group is root G + A above and F below, A group is root A + C above and G below.
These notes are all diatonic notes to the D pentatonic scale.

I will now slowly start improvising with these groups over the blues. This means that i actually outline the roots of the chords but still stay within very simpel and understandable material.

To learn the groups well you can play the following exercises.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0009 the groups exerciseD
You should try to learn these exercises by heart to be able to play it when you hear it and not when you see this on paper.

You can play these exercises using a metronome to also practise your timing while leaning these groups.
The is the group of G
set the metronome on fx. two and four. Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0010 the groups exerciseG

The group of A
metronome on 2+4 a bit faster.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0011 the groups exerciseA

Start slowly with the metronome in a slow tempo and get the notes into your ears and fingers.

Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0009 groups (2)
The groups are defined by the roots of the blues.
The D group is root D + F above and C below, G group is root G + A above and F below, A group is root A + C above and G below.
Sourrounding the roots with the closest by diatonic notes of the D minor pentatonic scale.

Ill play a few more examples so you can see how to get on with this concept and use it yourself in youor solos.

The first example:
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0012 groups+form exercise1
This example plays a steady rhythm on all bars and applys root of the group and the note below the root. fx. on D group the D and the C. Play through the form many times till you have this very firmly in your ears and fingers.

In the next exercise i change the rhythm and the note choice.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0013 groups+form exercise2
I now play the group root + the note above, fx in the G group i play the G and the Bb.

Try to lear the groups by heart and play as much as you can over the blues with the groups till its firmly planted in your ears and in your fingers.

I wish you very much good luck with this and hope to see you back soon.
Enjoy and have fun playing 🙂

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Blues basics 1 – outlining the chords w/ pentatonic scale

This video is intended for the beginning improviser. I talk about the blues form and how you can easily apply a pentatonic scale and still outline the basic chord progression.

Ill play the D blues and apply the Dminor pentatonic scale to the blues.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0001 the scale
The notes are D F G A C D
To get the scale in your fingers and ears and down to the saxophone you should definitely play the scale over the whole range of the horn. Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0002 the scale whole range
From low D to the high F and back to the low D

Keep exercising the scale until you master it on the saxohone but als able to hear and recognize it.

The next exercise is playing the pentatonic scale from every step of the pentatonic scale from the D going 7 notes up and back to the D. Continuing from the F and 7 notes up and back. repeating this from every step of the scale.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0003 scale exercise every step

If you can play it up you can also play it down:
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0004 scale exercise every step down
These exercises trains your fingers but also your ears to hear the scale.

To play the blues you also need the form of the blues. I made a very simple blues scheme to practise on.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0005 the form
I use only the first, fourth and the fifht degree of the blues. First degree D7, fourth G7 and fifth degree A7.
The first chord is a D7 chord, then follows a G7, then two times D7.
In the 5th and 6th bar you find two times a G7 chord and there after in the 7th and 8th bar we have again two times D7.
The 9th and 10th bar we have the A7, in the 11th bar we have the D7 and ending in the 12th bar with a A7.

You can practise the form by only using the roots of the chords. Play the roots for four beats each follying the progression of the form
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0006 the root
When you have gotten used to the roots of the chords playing them without music you should try applying music, pick a simple playalong track of the blues.

Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0006 the root
play this a couple of times so you get used to the sound of the music.

You can of course change the ocatve of the root. Try to improvise with what octave you play the root in.
I play the following round written down and there after I improvise two rounds woth playing the roots in different octaves.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0007 the root octaves

+ two rounds improvised:
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0005 the form

With this exercise i can explore the different sounds of the roots in different octaves and i can learn the how the chords of the blues move. Play these exercises intensly to learn this by heart, when you improvise you do not have time to check papers, the music has to come directly from your ear and be channeled directly to your saxophone.

When this is learned you can start applying different rhythms to the root notes of the blues.
Start change the rhythm and fool around with the different possiblities of rhythm in the bar, still playing only the root.
I made a little exercise of this. I have written out one chorus of blues and thereafter i will continue to improvise for two more choruses.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0008 root + rhythm
I continue for two more rounds:
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0005 the form

i only use 8th notes in this exercise because i want to have that nice swing feel which is one of the most important factors in jazz. more advanced rhythmic patterns like triplets and 16th notes figures can be applied later. Now its time for the basics of the blues.
Listen to count basis, duke ellington, sammy nestico bigband music to get this feeling.

I hope you can use the notes,
Enjoy and have fun playing 🙂

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