I’m exploring ways to avoid generic cookie-cutter improvisations on blues and rhythm tunes. Step 1 is to NOT improvise on the chord changes. Step 2 is to paraphrase the melody until its distinguishing characteristics are thoroughly metabolized by the imaginal ear. Then present those characteristics with the sparsest melody imaginable. This sparse melody can serve as the framework for improvised elaborations when practicing the tune, which is now no longer a “blues” or a “rhythm” tune but regains its singular identify as “Au Privave”, “Straight No Chaser”,”Veird Blues”,etc. I call this melodic framework a “skeletune”. There could of course be several “Skeletunes” derived from any particular tune.
For “Au Privave”, I created a Skeletune by removing what I hear as the embellishing notes while preserving what I feel is the rhythmic thrust of the melody.
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Over the I Chord
The first two phrases share an identical rhythmic pattern and the same general melodic pattern. The rhythmic pattern spans 3 beats starting with 4 consecutive eighth notes followed by a quarter note rest. The melodic pattern starts on a chord tone, follows with a lower chromatic neighbor tone, goes back to the chord tone, and finishes with a descent to the perfect fifth. Phrase 1 use the tonic as the chord tone and phrase 2 uses the major 3rd.