Category Archives: Music theory

Diatonic approach 6 – minor II-V-I – 7th chords

In this video I give some exercises and examples in how to improvise over a minor II-V-I using the diatonic 7th chords.

I will focus on the minor II-V-I of Dm – Eø7-A7(b9)-Dm6(maj7).
In this progression ill talk about the 7th chords and how to use these in an improvisation.
The scales that i use are:
Diatonic approach 6 - minor II-V-I - diatonic 7th chords - diatonic scales
On Eø7 i play the F-major scale from the E on: E F G A Bb C D E F – E locrian scale
on the A7(b9) I play the Dm harmonisch toonladder from the A on: A Bb C# D E F G A Bb
i use the scale of Dminor melodic on the Dm6(maj7): D E F G A B C# D E

Diatonic approach 6 - minor II-V-I - diatonic 7th chords - arpeggios
I play the Eø7 till the 11 – E G Bb D F A
The A7(b9) – A C# E G Bb
Dm6(maj7) D F A C# E
On each chord of the D minor II-V-I i have different 7th chords.
I can find these if i staple 7th chords up from the root/third and/or the fifth.

I start with the Eø7.
Diatonic approach 6 - minor II-V-I - diatonic 7th chords - Eø11 arpeggios
I play the Eø7 all the way to the 11 – Eø11 – E G Bb D F A
The following 7th chords can be extracted
Eø7 – E G Bb D
Gm7 – G Bb D F
Bbmaj7 – Bb D F A

Diatonic approach 6 - minor II-V-I - diatonic 7th chords - A9 arpeggios
On the A7(b9) we find:
on the root: A7 – A C# E G
on the third: C#o – C# E G Bb

Diatonic approach 6 - minor II-V-I - diatonic 7th chords - Dm6 arpeggios
The Dm6(maj7)
root Dm6 – D F A B
root Dm(maj7) – D F A C#
third Fmaj7(aug) F A C# E

I played the chords loosly, rubato like without time to be able to listen to the sound of the notes and get the finger combination into my fingers.

Ill get on with an exercise
Diatonic approach 6 - minor II-V-I - diatonic 7th chords_7th chord exercise root - 7
This exercise is played over the chord progression Eø7 – A7(b9) – Dm6
Playing the 7th-chords going up from the root.
The second line of the exercise i play the 7th-chords from the 7th degree gooing back to the root.
These two ways of playing the chords are something you will often play in a solo and often hear in the solos played by other players.

The next exercise.
Diatonic approach 6 - minor II-V-I - diatonic 7th chords_7th chord exercise 3rd - 9
I now play the 7th-chords from the third going up and from the 9th, of the original chord, going down. The chords i play here you can see written out simply in the earlier examples here above.
The two last chords when im playing the progression down i play in a different inversion because I liked the sound better of these ones than the ones that matching the rest of the exercise. To work more with this try to play different inversions of the chords and see what you like the best.

Diatonic approach 6 - minor II-V-I - diatonic 7th chords_7th chord exercise 5th - 11
This exercise takes you through some of the other chords i presented earlier. the exercise begins on the 5th degree of the Eø11 and then goes on with other possibilities as mentioned above.
In all the exercises above i begin the exercise on the second beat of the bar, just to get used to the sound of this. This will get into your ear and you will eventually also be able to start lines on the second beat the bar in your solo. The rhythm is the most essential of your solo so make sure when you practise that you always have a rhythmical aspect in your exercises. Most people use a lot of time exercising so why not exercise more things in one go!

Diatonic approach 6 - minor II-V-I - diatonic 7th chords_root+3rd til 7+9
This exercise works with a continous 8th note line so practising the timing of this and takes you through more arpeggios going up. Root till 7 and 7 till 9 – going up

What i repeat a couple of times in the video, which is also important in your soloing, what goes up can also come down.
Diatonic approach 6 - minor II-V-I - diatonic 7th chords_root+3rd til 7+9 - down
Again a continous 8th note line but this one works with the chords decending.

Diatonic approach 6 - minor II-V-I - diatonic 7th chords_3rd+5th til 9+11
I play the chords acsending from the 3rd to the 9 and from the 9th to the 11th with some minor changes in the chords. Look out!

Diatonic approach 6 - minor II-V-I - diatonic 7th chords_3rd+5th til 9+11 down
The same exercise as above but this time playing the chords descending.

I have made some II-V-I examples by using the above mentioned material, the diatonic 7th chords.
Oc course i also use the scales and approach notes mentioned in earlier videos.

Here is the first example:
Diatonic approach 6 - minor II-V-I - diatonic 7th chords_example 1
I begin by sourrounding the Bb, the 5th of the Eø7, with A and C then running up the Bbmaj7 chord up to the A running down the scale to the D on the A7(b9). The first two beats of the A7(b9) i keep playing the Eø7 resloving to the E of the A7(b9) on beat three, going down the C#o chord of the A7(b9). Resolving to the A of the Dm7 going up an inversion of the Dm6(add9) and on beat three running up the Dm6 ending on the last bar on the D going to the high E surrounding the B with the C# and the A.

Diatonic approach 6 - minor II-V-I - diatonic 7th chords_example 2
I begin this example on the root of th Eø7 going up the scale, surrounding the F with the G and E running down the Gm7 chord, 3rd degree 7th chords of the Eø7. On the A7 i play a standard bebop line A G# G going down to the E, jumoing up to the root arpeggio A7 running up to the Bb in the Dm6 bar staying on the A7(b9) for two beats running down the augmented A triad A F C# to resolve to the 9th of the Dm(maj7) going down the arpeggio E C# A F ending on the second bar of Dm6 descending from the B of the Dm6 to the E.

Diatonic approach 6 - minor II-V-I - diatonic 7th chords_example 3
The first arpeggio in this line is the Gminor triad, see my video on diatonic triads, ending in a standard jazz line playing the maj7 and the minor 7 of the Gminor chord. Jumping down to play the G running up the Gm7 chord over the barline to the A7 resolving to the A7(b9) on beat two ascending the scale of A7 to the C# playing down the C#o arpeggio. Resloving on the Dm to the F going up the Dm6(maj9) chord mixing the B (6), C#(maj7) and the E(9). Ending high on the A going down the chord again and on the last bar of Dm6 i go down the F9aug from the E, down to the F jumping to end on the 6th, B.

I really hope you enjoyed my exercises and examples.
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Diatonic approach 5 – minor II-V-I – triads

In this video I get around the minor II-V-I in minor and explains how you can use the diatonic triads when you improvise. Eø7 – A7(b9) – Dm6.
I call the Dm6, by this name for this lesson but you can also call the tonic minor chord minor-major Dm(maj7), both are good but refers to the extensions of the chord.

The problem mostly found with the minor II-V-I is that you need three different scales to play diatonic over the progression.

The scale of the Eø7 is basically the Fmajor scale played from the E.
E F G A Bb C D E F

The A7(b9) scale is a D harmonic minor scale played from the A
A Bb C# D E F G A Bb

The scale I use over the Dm6 chord is D melodic minor
D E F G A B C#

I will now go on to the chord tones and focus on the diatonic triads in the chords.

The first exercise is the triads of the Eø7 – A7(b9) and the Dm6 in one exercise going through all the different diatonic triads found in the chords.

Diatonic approach 5 - minor II-V-I - diatonic triads_exercise triads 1

I put a little rest in there to also adress the rhythmical aspect of exercises. To make exercises not only finger technicalities.

The next exercise is an exercise without the breaks in it, this makes it more phisically demanding and also covers more material in shorter time, further it will adress the ability to think longer 8th note lines.

Diatonic approach 5 - minor II-V-I - diatonic triads_exercise triads 2
With these exercises I work with every chord for two bars. Two bars Eø7, two bars A7(b9) and four bars of Dm6. This is an outstretched II-V-I with double the amount of time on each chord. I have chosen to do this to extend the time on each chord.

I recommend that you of course use the above mentioned patterns but definitely also look for your own patterns to get really into the material. One of these methods are finding and developing own musical/technical patterns.

I will go on with som examples of the minor II-V-I which I made consisting of the scale material and the diatonic triads I have explained above.

Diatonic approach 5 - minor II-V-I - diatonic triads_example 1
I start this example going down the Bb major triad ending on a low E going up the Eø7 scale from the G to resolve to the C# on the A7(b9). Going up an inversion of the Bb diminished triad approaching the A with the notes Bb and G, going down the A augmented triad to the low A, resolving to the mid E on the Dm6 chord, which is an approach of the D through the E and the C#. From the D I go up the scale to the F jumping down to an A triad going up to the high A running down the scale and ending on the 9th an E.

Example 2.

Diatonic approach 5 - minor II-V-I - diatonic triads_example2
I start the exercise with two combined triads, the one of Ediminished and the Dminor triad running up to the high G going donw the Ediminished triad in an inversion to the low G going on to the A of the A7(b9), jumipng up an octave to the high A approaching the F with the notes E-G. The F resloves to the E of an A triad going down ending on the low A jumping up to the high F of the Dm6 the third. Through the F, C#, E and the C# again im approaching the D minor triad played in a triplet figure up, continuing the rest of the example in triplets, approaching the A with the notes B and g, ending on C#,the maj7, high E, the 9th and finally ending on the B – the 6th.

Example 3.
Diatonic approach 5 - minor II-V-I - diatonic triads_example3
I go down the Dminor triad, A F D, 11, 9, 7 of the Eø7, approaching with the D and the D the E, root of the Eø7, going down the Eo triad to the low E. Begin on an A of the A7(b9) jumping up to the Bb, flat9, approaching the G through the F and the A, picking up from under the Bb and the C#, b9+3 of the A7(b9), jumoing ip to the A, approaching on the Dm6 the F with the G as approach note. Using from the F, the third degree, the A augmented triad approaching the B, the 6th of the Dm6, with the C# + A, jumping up to the E going down the A triad. Approaching the F on the second bar Dm6 with the G+E, ending on some big jumps, A – E – B to C#.

I really hope you enjoyed the approach and the examples.

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Diatonic approach 4 – Minor II-V-I

This video lesson explains the basic scales and chords used over a minor II-V-I – Am.

The minor II-V-I consists of three different scales, one on each chord of the II, the V and the I.
In this video i work on the Am6 II-V-I, Bø7, E7(b9) and Am6.
_0001-Diatonic approach 4 - minor II-V-I - Bø-E7-Am

On the Bø7 chord the II of the II-V-I I play the Cmajor scale from the 7th degree, B C D E F G A B C,
on the E7(b9) i play A-harmonic minor from the Eof, E F G# A B C D E F,
and on the Dm6 i play D-melodic minor, D E F G A B C# D E.
These scales are maybe the most diatonic scales to the these functions.
Diatonic approach 4 - minor II-V-I_0001 - three different scales

I made a set of exercises which you can practise to get the scales well into your fingers but also into you ears.
the first exercise basically just plays the scale up from each chord over a four bar period.
I repeat the exercise, more times.
Second line of the exercise is playing the same material but descending.
Diatonic approach 4 - minor II-V-I_0001 - scale exercise 1

The next exercise takes the scales from the third degree of each scale and again just plays the scale up.
Second line is playing the scale down.
Diatonic approach 4 - minor II-V-I_0001 - scale exercise 2

The arpeggios, the chord tones or the target notes which I sometimes calls the chord tones is the next matter.
on the Bø7(9) you have notes B D F A C, on the E7(b9) you have the E G# B D F and on the Am6 you have the A C E G# B.
I play the arpeggios till the 9th degree of the chord, because i like the sound of the 9th but also because its one of the most common extensions of the chords.
Diatonic approach 4 - minor II-V-I_0002 - arpeggios

You can make up any exercise you want, i made the following exercise, playing the arpeggios up and down:
Diatonic approach 4 - minor II-V-I_0002 - how to practise arpeggios1
Diatonic approach 4 - minor II-V-I_0002 - how to practise arpeggios2

Try to find exercises that suits you.

I also like to play quarternote lines staying within the chordtones.
Here is an example of how this sounds:
Diatonic approach 4 - minor II-V-I_0002 - quarternote melody - chord tones1

I use only chordtones and the rhythm is quarter notes, so in this case, four notes in the bar.
the tones are: high A B D F on Bø7, E G# B D on the E7(b9), C A C E – G# A C E on the two Am chords,
next system is: B A B D, E B G# D, C A G# A, C G# A.

With this method you get the notes in your fingers and into your ear in a slow and controlled way.
The second quarter note, chord tone exercise:
Diatonic approach 4 - minor II-V-I_0002 - quarternote melody - chord tones2

The notes are: starting on high D B F D, B G# E D, C A G# E, C A G# B.
The lower system: A B D F, E D E B, C E G# E, C B A.

I will now play some examples of II-V-I lines. I only use the material I presented in this video in the examples.

example 1:
Diatonic approach 4 - minor II-V-I_example1

I start on the 7th of the Bø7 going down making an approach through the E and G to the F going down the scale of Bø7. Hitting the B of the E7(b9) i continue down the scale to the G# running up the arpeggio of E7(b9) to the high F semi approaching the C of the Am6 with a E and D from above. On the C of the Am6 i jump down to play the E triad up one octave to the E, running down the scale to end on the B.

Example 2:
Diatonic approach 4 - minor II-V-I_example2

running up the complete arpeggio of Bø7 to the high C and from there going down the scale approaching the F of the E7(b9) through the g and E. From the F i go donw the scale to the G# going up the scale hitting a C on the Am major 9 chord going up the arpeggio to end on a high E making a glissando to the B.

Example 3:
Diatonic approach 4 - minor II-V-I_example3

i start with an approach to the F, via the E and G, going down the scale to the G# of the E7(b9) jumping up to the high F going down the scale to the C jumping again up to a high G# playing up to the high C to play th Caug triad down, followed by the E triad followed by a small tail E B C D.

Thank you for watching.
More videos, licks and tricks here

Diatonic approach 3 – diatonic 7th chords

In this video lesson I talk about the different 7th chords on a II-V-I in Dmajor.

I start with the scale of Dmajor, the scale has two sharps with the notes D-E-F#-G-A-B-C#.

Diatonic Approach 3 Diatonic 7th chords on a II-V-I in D - Dmajor scale

I strongly recommend that you learn the scale, the notes and how it sounds on the saxophone.
Here is an exercise how to learn the scale even better.

Diatonic Approach 3 Diatonic 7th chords on a II-V-I in D - Dmajor scale full range

The exercise start on the low D going to the high E, going back down to the low C# and ending on the low D.
This extends the exercise to almost the whole range of the saxophone and you develop your technique likewise. You can put any form to your exercises but make sure the meaning of the exercise stays intact, technique, speed, extremities of the horn etc.

This lesson will further discuss the diatonic 7th chords on a II-V-I in Dmajor. On each note of the Dmajor scale you have a chord that consist of 4 notes. I will play those chords.

Diatonic Approach 3 Diatonic 7th chords on a II-V-I in D - 7th chords of the scale

Dmaj7 on the D – D-F#-A-C#, Em7 on the E – E-G-B-D, F#m7 on F# – F#-A-C-E, Gmaj7 on G – G-B-D-F#, A7 on A – A-C#-E-G, Bm7 on B – B-D-F#-A, C#ø7 on C# – C#-E-G-B.
All these 7th chords are very important tools to use in a solo, but also gives you an overview of the scale and the functions.
I will now play an exercise to get to learn the diatonic 7th chords better.
This exercise have a written out rhythm in it and is fitting in a 4-bar period.

Diatonic Approach 3 Diatonic 7th chords on a II-V-I in D - 7th chord exercise1

You can make up any exercise in this matter pplaying the 7th chords going up or down, or both as long as the exercise fits whatever purpose you want to achieve.

The next exercise is the 7th chords going up but with no break in between, big breath!

Diatonic Approach 3 Diatonic 7th chords on a II-V-I in D - 7th chord exercise2 - no break

This exercise you can easily play as 8th notes as here, but you can also play it as 16th notes with the metronome on the 1 of the bar, training the 7th chords and your timing.
You can also play the chords going down instead of up.

You can also try this exercise playing one chord up – one chord down. Looks like this.

Diatonic Approach 3 Diatonic 7th chords on a II-V-I in D_7th chords up+down

Ill play this exercise faster to give an example of that you need to know this material very well.

The II-V-I in Dmajor have three different chords Em7 – A7 – Dmaj7.
Out of these chords you can find other diatonic 7th chords which also spells out the function of the II-V-I.
I extend the chords of the I-V-I to Em11 – A9 – Dmaj9

The first chords is Em11.

Diatonic Approach 3 Diatonic 7th chords on a II-V-I in D_Em9

On the Em11 – E-G-B-D-F#-A, you find three different 7th chords.
On the first degree of the Em11 you will of course find the Em7 – E-G-B-D.
On the third degree of the Em11 you have a Gmaj7 chord – G-B-D-F# and on the 5th degree of the Em11 you have a Bm7 – B-D-F#-A.

Diatonic Approach 3 - Diatonic 7th chords on a II-V-I in D_A9

On the dominant function of the II-V-I – the V, A9 – A-C#-E-G-B, we have two 7th chords, the A7 – A-C#-E-G and the C#ø7 – C#-E-G-B.

On the dominant function, A9, and on our tonic function, Dmaj9, we only have twho chords because if we get higher we get to the fourth degree of the chord which clashes very much with the third degree of the A9 – a D against the C# and the Dmaj9 – a G against a F#.

Diatonic Approach 3 - Diatonic 7th chords on a II-V-I in D_ Dmaj9

The root, our tonic function Dmaj9 – D-F#-A-C#-E we also have two chords, Dmaj7 – D-F#-A-C# and F#m7 – F#-A-C#-E.

Get to know these chords and functions well, they are very valuable in your soloing, transcribing solos of others and generally understanding music and what´s happening.

Fx. you dont always have to play up or down the Dmaj7 chord on Dmaj7 but you can easily use the F#m7 chord up or down. On the A7 you can use the A7 of course but also consider the C#ø7 chord which gives another sound. On the Em7 chord you even have three possibilities which are the Em7, the Gmaj7 and the Bm7 chord, check them all out.

Example 1 – II-V-I in Dmajor.

Diatonic Approach 3 Diatonic 7th chords on a II-V-I in D_no1

I start on the high D going down the Em7 chord, jumping up to the C#, going down the scale jumping down to the middle B playing up the Bm7 chord dragging over the Em7 (Bm7 chord) over the barline to A7 playing a small bebop lick going down the A7 scale to the C# of the Dmajor running up the C#ø7 chord of the A7 on the Dmaj7 approaching via the B+D, on top the C# going down the Dmaj7 7th chord ending on the C#.

Example 2 – II-V-I in Dmajor.

Diatonic Approach 3 Diatonic 7th chords on a II-V-I in D_no2

Starting on a Em11 chord in triplets going up to the A approaching the G through the A+F#, further approaching the F# on the A7 via G+E, jumping down to the low C# running up the C#ø7 chord ending high on a D+F# approaching the E, goiong down the scale to hit the C# on the Dmaj7 chord, jumping down to the D to play the Dmaj9 chord up approaching the D via E+C#, running from D up the Dmaj9 chord.
hint: check my video on diatonic approach notes here

Example 3 – II-V-I in Dmajor.

Diatonic Approach 3 Diatonic 7th chords on a II-V-I in D_no3

Going up the Gmaj7 chord of the Em9 approaching, through the F#+A, the G, going down the scale and via the D+B approaching the C# of the A9, playing the whole A9 chord in a triplet figure up to the high D of the Dmaj7, further up to the high F# going down the scale to the C#, jumping down playing the F#m7 up jumping to the A using a Coltrane line 5-3-2-1 on the Dmaj7 ending on the C#.

I hope you enjoyed the video and hope to see you back soon.

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Diatonic Approach 2 – diatonic triads

In this video I talk about how to use diatonic triads in Gmajor.
Further i present the triads in the Gmajor scale and a II-V-I in G.

Diatonic triads is a strong tool which you can use in your soloing. Further by knowing the diatonic triads you get more overview of the theory of what you are playing. You get to know where all the chords are from and you attain flexibility in you improvisation.

The material we will work on is the G major scale:
Diatonic Approach 2 - Triads_0001 - G major scale
Diatonic means that you are only using notes that are in the scale, so no notes outside the scale.

You would want to know your material by heart and also over the whole range of the saxophone.
The next exercise will help you with this.
Diatonic Approach 2 - Triads_0001 - G major scale - full range

The triads of the scale are each on one of the notes of the scale. This means you get 7 different triads in a major scale:
on the note G in the scale you have a Gmajor triad, on A you have a Aminor triad, on B you have a Bminor triad, on C you have a C major triad, on D you have a D major triad, on E you have a E major triad, on F# you have a F# diminished triad.
Diatonic Approach 2 - diatonic triads of the scale

here is an exercise how to get this into your fingers:
Diatonic Approach 2 - Triads_0001 - Diatonic triads up
This exercise is written to cover the whole range of the saxophone. Its important that you have flexibility with all material over the whole range of the saxophone because when you improvise you never know how you react to what is happening around you in a band. Maybe you need those high or low notes.

The exercise i just played was written with a little pause in between the triads, the next exercise is not,big breath!
Diatonic Approach 2 - Triads_0001 - Diatonic triads up - no rest
This exercise without the pause in it will save you time when you practise, a very small amount but everytime you play the exercise you save this time, which you can use to practise more.

You can play the triads both up and down, like in the next exercise, first triad going up second triad going down:
Diatonic Approach 2 - Triads_0001 - Diatonic triads up+down
The exercises mentioned here are free to use anyway you want, play the triads up, down, cluster them in groupings etc.
Its important that you know your material well to get more freedom in your soloing. Learn the names of the triads, make you own exercises, learn the triads over the whole range of the saxophone.

Ill now present the material of a II-V-I in G major – Am9 – D7(9) – Gmaj7(9).
There are different triads on each of these chords which i will explain in the following exercise:
Diatonic Approach 2 - Triads_0001 - Diatonic triads structures Am
The first chord, the Am9 with the notes A-C-E-G-B consists of three triads, the Aminor triad on the first degree of the Am9 chord A-C-E, the Cmajor triad on the third degree of the Am9 triad – C-E-G and the Eminor triad on the fifth degree of the Am9 chord – E-G-B.

The next chord in our II-V-I is the D7(9)
Diatonic Approach 2 - Triads_0001 - Diatonic triads structures D7
We begin with the complete D7(9) chord – D-F#-A-C-E. The triads of this chord is Dmajor triad on the first degree – D-F#-A. On the third degree of the D7(9) chord we have the F# diminished triad – F#-A-C and on the fifth degree we have the Aminor triad – A-C-E.

The last chord of our II-V-I is the Gmajor 9 chord – G-B-D-F#-A.
Diatonic Approach 2 - Triads_0001 - Diatonic triads structures Gmaj7
The three triads on the Gmaj9 chord are: on the first degree, Gmajor triad – G-B-D, on the third degree, the Bminor triad – B-D-F# and on the fifth degree there is the Dmajor triad – D-F#-A.

One of the best ways to get this material into your fingers is naturally to play the above mentioned exercises but as soon as you know the material just a bit start to get it into live material like lines you make and play, licks etc.

I have made some examples of lines that uses the diatonis triads, the first line:
Diatonic Approach 2 - Triad lick 1
I start playing a Eminor triad down ending on a B going up the Cmajor triad. Using diatonic approach notes G and E to hit the F# on the D7 chord. Playing down the scale from F# to D jumping down to a F# playing up the F# diminished triad running down the scale from C to A. Jumping up to a D on the Gmajor9 shord playing down the Bminor chord ending on a E on Gmajor9.

The next example:
Diatonic Approach 2 - Triad lick 2
I start with a Eminor triad on the B jumping down to play the triad up, playing the scale down from a till E. Jumping on to the D7(9) dragging the Aminor triad to the D7(9) in a triplet playing it down. I use the diatonic approach notes G and E to get to the F# playing down the scale. eight note rest on Gmajor9 playing the Bminor triad down ending on an A repeating the Bminor triad ending on the low D approaching the end F# with a E – A to F#.

The third example:
Diatonic Approach 2 - Triad lick 3
I play up the Aminor triad with a triplet figure, ending on the high G going down the Cmajor triad using a diatonic approach over the barline G – E to F# of the D9 playing down the Dmajor triad, jumping to the high B playing down the scale extending the F# over the barline playing down the Bm triad jumping up to the F# going down the scale to pull over a D across the barline to end on a Bm triad going down ending on an E.

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Diatonic Approach 1 – Diatonic Approach Notes

This lesson describes a way to get diatonic approach notes into your playing by guiding you through certain exercises and progressions. It also gives you some prefabricated licks you can use directly in you soloing.

Diatonic notes are the notes belonging only to key which you are playing in. Fx. if you are playing in C major the diatonic notes would be the notes of the C-major scale.

Using a diatonic approach to improvising you will achieve a very clear sound in your lines without outside the key notes of course. I play for tenor saxophone in the scale of C-major.
Diatonic approach notes - II-V-I Cmaj_C maj7 scale
The approach notes works as follows: they are the surrounding notes of a target note.

In this example my target note is G and my surrounding notes are A and F which are also the approach notes
Diatonic approach notes - II-V-I Cmaj_approach G

when i use the approach notes on a II-V-I it could fx sound like this:
Diatonic approach notes - II-V-I Cmaj_II-V-I no1
Here you see i approach the F of the Dm7 first with the E and the G, my second group of approach notes are in the G7 bar where i play the target note C and uses approach notes B and D, and the third approach group to the end note, A where the approach notes are G and B.

Another example of the clear sound you achieve with only using diatonic notes.
Diatonic approach notes - II-V-I Cmaj_II-V-I no2
The first diatonic approach group is to the G on the G7 with the approach notes F and A. The second group of approach notes are to the D on the G7 with the approach notes E and C.

An exercise in getting the approach notes in your fingers could be.
Diatonic approach notes - II-V-I Cmaj_c maj scale approach notes w rest
This exercise spells all notes out of the scale with their surrounding notes/approach notes in front.

Try to play around with the exercise and approach different notes in this way.
Diatonic approach notes - II-V-I Cmaj_approach notes
Approach of the G, the A, the C, the E, the high G and the high A.

If you alter the rhythm of the approach note exercise you can play it more continuously.
Diatonic approach notes - II-V-I Cmaj_c maj scale approach notes
In this way you approach all the notes in the C-major scale all the way to the high D – the 9th of the scale.
Diatonic approach notes - II-V-I Cmaj_C maj scale to 9

If you play the approach note exercise moving down you will need to repeat the target note and use this as the first approach note.
Diatonic approach notes - II-V-I Cmaj_approach to cmaj scale down

now we have worked a bit on the whole scale you can get down to the approach notes of the chords of the II-V-I in C. Dm7 – G7 – Cmaj7.
We start with the Cmaj7 chord – the target notes are C E G B D.
start with this exercise but try as soon as its in your fingers to alter the exercise and randomize the target notes to get flexible in the execution.
Diatonic approach notes - II-V-I Cmaj_Cmaj7 approach notes

The target notes of the Dm7 chord are D F A C E
the same rules apply, learn the basic approach notes and order, then start to experiment.
Diatonic approach notes - II-V-I Cmaj_Dm approach notes

The G7 chord – target notes: G B D F A
Diatonic approach notes - II-V-I Cmaj_G7 approach notes

To get some more functionality with the approach notes its important to use the method over basic chord changes.
These following II-V-I lines will show some ways to use the approach notes.
Diatonic approach notes - II-V-I Cmaj_ex 1
First on the Dm7 chord i run down 5321 pattern to make a jump to the G of an Am7 chord on the Dm approaching F of the G7 with E and G of the Am7 chord.
I then play a 1235 of F on the G7 going up to a high E running down the G7 scale to G on the Cmaj7 playing 5321 ending on B and G as approach notes to A.

The next line of II-V-I:
Diatonic approach notes - II-V-I Cmaj_ex 2
Starting with a run up a Am7 chord using the approach notes E and G to land on the F, going down the Dm scale skipping down to an A and making a double approach, A-C-A, to B on the G7 chord. Going down the G7 scale to approach the F on G7 with the G and the E. Going up the G7 scale to the Am7 chord on the Cmaj. Running up the Am7 chord to the 11th (D) using the B and the last mentioned D to approach the C on the C chord, ending on a B – over the barline to bar 4.

The third and last II-V-I example:
Diatonic approach notes - II-V-I Cmaj_ex 3
Beginning with an upbeat approach B and G going to the A on the Dm7 chord. Playing down the wellknown Coltrane/pentatonic run 5-3-2-1 of Dm7 approaching the F via the approach notes G and E. Going up the scale to the G7. Starting the G7 playing a subdominant Am arpeggio using C and E to get to the D. The D and B is the approach notes to the following C leading to the D. Going down the scale from the B ending on the G of the Cmaj7. Coltrane pattern 5-3-2-1 on Cmaj ending on B and G surrounding the A, jumping to D, playing in the last bar an Em pentatonic/blues fragment – B-A-G-E.

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