Most jazz improvisation teachers will teach on 4 note groupings at one point or another. I had a few teachers as I was growing up that taught me this way. I remember studying out of “Patterns for Jazz” when I was a kid and working on 4 note groupings in every key. I also studied it with the great jazz improvisation teacher Jerry Bergonzi as well as learning about them at Berklee.
To be honest, every time I studied this method when I was younger, I hated it. It wasn’t until years later, as I look back, that I realize the great benefit that these studies had for me. In this video series, I will try to teach you this concept in a way that is appealing and understandable.
In this first lesson on 4 note grouping, I focus on taking a simple 4 notes from a chord and showing you all 96 permutations of these 4 notes. I talk about how I went about choosing which of these I worked on by playing them and judging them on there melodic strength (this is subjective). I show you how to work through the patterns and how to pick out the best ones for you. I also stress the importance of thinking of these as melodic fragments rather than number patterns (which was my mistake when I was younger)
This is the first lesson in a series of lessons on this topic. As we move through the series you will discover how to use these 4 note groupings as melodic material to use in your improvised solos. This is a great lesson to learn about all the possibilities that a simple four notes can give you. (34 Minute Video Lesson)