Tag Archives: jazz improvisation

Very Superimposition…Writing on the Wall!

Superimpositions are used by all great improvisers, but are often taught as ‘substitutions’ which can be confusing when you are trying to understand how to apply this information while improvising over a tune.

Succinctly put, substitutions are replacements for the harmonic content within a song and are often chosen to re-harmonise the composition in question, working to co-exist with the original melody.  On the other hand, superimpositions consist of melodic and rhythmic content that are ‘layered’ on top of the existing harmonic progression.

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This Language Called Music

“Music is the vernacular of the human soul.” –Geoffrey Latham     

Music is a language.  It has rules and needless to say, if you want to be considered to be a good bass guitar player, you are going to have to learn the language of music – tonal principles, harmonic structures, rhythmic considerations, song forms, melodic permutations, etc – in order to develop the skills required to improvise.  For the great unwashed improvisation is the ability play on your instrument what you hear in your head; responding and reacting on the fly through the continuous flow of non-stop music.

 Miles Davis

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Charlie Banacos: The Zen Master of Jazz Improvisation

Charlie Banacos

Charlie Banacos- The Zen Master of Jazz Improvisation

I never got to say goodbye.  Somewhat like a respected father figure or friendly military drill sergeant, the profound effect that he had on me was unparalleled.   It was a year ago today that my jazz improvisation teacher – Charlie Banacos – passed away after a brutal battle with cancer.  Charlie was only 63 when he died.  His influence on modern music as one of the major jazz educators and improvisation experts of our time is prolific to say the least. 

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