Pentatonics and beyond: improvising in popular music

Course Dates: 11/06/22 - 09/07/22
Time: 12:30 - 14:00
Location: Online
Explore how to improvise in popular music. These five practical online sessions are for players of any instrument. Get to grips with improvisation in this exploration of common scales and approaches to improv in pop, rock, blues and jazz. We’ll study blues scales, pentatonics, and extensions to help you get the most out of your improvisation.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £69.00

Course Code: MG424

Sat, day, 11 Jun - 09 Jul '22

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2630

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This course is an introduction to improvising (‘soloing’) in popular music styles blues, rock and jazz. We’ll look at the characteristics of each style and the important ways they relate to each other.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

We will explore the most important approaches to melodic improvisation, such as scale choices, phrasing, chord sequences, ‘blue’ notes and altered extensions. We will look at stylistic features that are typical in each genre, giving your improvisation an authentic and authoritative sound.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Produce musical solos using aural skills, an increased understanding of scale types, and an appreciation of stylistic elements that go to make a ‘sound’.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is aimed at players who read music, since course materials include written music notation. Basic understanding of chord types, and the ability to play major and minor scales in several keys on your instrument will be useful.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

There will be demonstrations in the session to consolidate areas of study; we will analyse classic solos for their characteristic features; you will be asked to upload recordings of your playing to backing tracks provided and you will be provided with constructive feedback on your recordings.
You will get the most from the course if you are able to practise between sessions; materials will be supplied to support your independent practice.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

All course materials and resources will be available in the google classroom.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

This is a supplement to instrumental and jazz musicianship courses.

David Harrison

David Harrison studied at Oxford Brookes university before taking a post-graduate diploma in saxophone performance at Guildhall School of Music & Drama. David has been teaching at City Lit since 1994. In 2004 he wrote a guitar player’s guide for Collins and joined Music Sales in 2005 to update the famous A Tune A Day tutor series, eventually producing over 40 titles as series editor of the relaunched A New Tune A Day books, which has since become the biggest-selling music tutor series worldwide. Since 2010, David has worked freelance writing, editing and producing mainly educational titles, including Abracadabra Beginning Theory (Collins Music); The Complete Ukulele Player (Music Sales) and most recently the Bob Dylan Complete (Hal Leonard), the authorised collection of every Dylan song, together with an extensive introduction covering Dylan’s acoustic guitar technique, his song-writing and Dylan’s place in the American folk music revival. Aside from his guitar and saxophone classes, David runs a course in song writing. a series of talks on the music of The Beatles, and a series on the songs of Bob Dylan’s 1960s albums.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.