Improvising Over the Blues - Cedar Walton

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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.

Cedar Walton’s concise two-chorus solo over Kenny Dorham’s blues head, “Blue Spring,” from his 1959 album of the same name is a model of melodic economy. From the opening blues scale lick, to the minimal left hand comping, not a single note is wasted on flourish or unnecessary gesture. In this lesson, learn how he crafts his surgically precise lines from blues scale and chord sound material and then download the practice session PDF file to play the transcription and transpose seven of his licks into 12 keys to use them in your own solos.


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.


"There is a wealth of material you have provided in an easily digestible format. I have already seen an improvement." -Ken

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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