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Sage Wisdom

"Good improvisation communicates harmonic progression melodically. Effective melodies manipulate harmonic content through the use of guide tones and preparatory gravity notes, masterfully woven in systematic tension, release, and transparent harmonic definition."

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December 20, 2010 | Giant Steps; 'ii V7 I' Lab

One of the all-time great studies in 'ii V7 I' progressions is the classic John Coltrane tune, "Giant Steps." A virtual "rite of passage" song for the jazz student, this manifests rapid-fire 'ii V7 I' changes at light speed. It's fun to try, and even for the beginner at slower a tempo, the opportunity to see it unravel visually in action is quite an education.

There's a great Dan Cohen YouTube video that presents not only the tune, but written transcription of some of 'Trane's own solo riffs. Take some time to watch this.

View video: Giant Steps by John Coltrane

Get out your Circle of Fifths. Fasten your seatbelt!


"You can play a shoestring if you're sincere."
- John Coltrane

Posted by Ted at December 20, 2010 5:01 AM

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