Now we're going to put together the two three-note segments we learned in Part 1 to form a complete scale.
Here are all the notes we'll be using:
Again using a combination of quarter notes and eighth notes, try playing up and down all 6 notes.
For now, only play the next note up or down, or repeat the same note - in other words - No Jumps.
For now just give it a go and see what comes out - we'll talk more about what to do with the notes in a moment. Here's one example:
That's already a fine blues melody!
If you're struggling to reproduce the effect, here's a few pointers :
A musical phrase in the blues is the same as one in any other type of music - think of it as a
sentence, or the part of a sentence up to a comma. When you are improvising around the notes
of the blues scale, try to create the feeling of a musical phrase.
This might be an opening phrase for example:
Once you've got an opening phrase, it helps to think of the next phrase as an answer to that phrase.
But what does 'answering' a phrase mean?
Think of any everyday argument
or discussion. One side says one thing. The other side might :
agree entirely - repeating the phrase exactly
agree almost entirely - repeating the phrase, but perhaps with a
small alteration at the end
agree with some parts and not others - copy one part of the phrase,
and make the rest totally different
agree, but amplify a point - extending the phrase by taking a detail
and playing with it
totally disagree - do something exactly the opposite
...and so on - there are lots of other possibilities of
A complete blues melody
To create your first true blues melody, we're going to build on this question an answer idea
and create a melody with four main sections:
The opening phrase or question
An answering phrase
A variation on the answering phrase
A return to the opening phrase.
Here's our example:
Again, try to follow the ideas presented here, rather than the music. Go with your instinct about
what sounds good as a phrase, an answer or a variation - there are no rules!
When you're ready to move on, check out our collection of Improvisation Pieces for Violin. These
are written pieces of music, that include a section for improvising.