Improvising Over All of Me

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Lesson Description

The "Improvising Over . . ." series of lessons provides insight into how to improvise over the chord changes to important tunes in the jazz repertoire. Based on a transcription of a master musician improvising over the changes to a standard jazz tune, each lesson describes how the soloist uses chord tones, arpeggios, chordscale passages, approach patterns and other improvisational techniques to develop their solo. The onscreen practice sessions will take you from the lesson to the piano and help you get started improvising over these tunes.

Lester Young's development as a player spanned the late swing years through the bebop era. He rose to fame as a member of Count Basie's Big Band and then led small groups for the rest of his career. This lesson looks at his solo over the tune "All of Me" from his 1956 recording "Pres and Teddy" and isolates licks and improv techniques specific to Lester Young that you can integrate into your own soloing. The tune itself is also of interest from an improvisational perspective as it's harmonic sparseness (it's composed mainly of two-measure long spans of single chords) presents a challenging progression over which to improvise. 


Watch this short video for an overview of the content of this course.



Five Essential 7th Chords
Improv - The Concept
Improv Drills
Four Components of Melodic Construction

Study Support

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To continue your study of this topic, face-to-face, live webcam lessons are available.


"Bill - the upper structure lessons transformed my playing. Thank you! Thank you so much for the quality! I am so impressed." -Tim

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What's included?

6 Videos
1 Survey
2 Texts
1 Download
Bill Rinehart
Bill Rinehart

About the instructor

Bill did undergraduate work at the Berklee College of Music and holds the M.Mus. degree in Jazz Studies from the Boston Conservatory/Berklee College of Music where he studied with Ray Santisi and Charlie Banacos. Bill taught and played extensively around the Boston area for the better part of two decades appearing everywhere from the legendary Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge MA to a long stand at the Hampshire House on Beacon Hill in Boston before relocating to the Raleigh-Durham NC area where he teaches full-time on