Improvising Over It Could Happen to You

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Lesson Description

The apparent ease with which Chet Baker scats over the changes to the tune "It Could Happen to You" from his album "Chet Baker Sings," spinning out line after elegant line, appears at first listen to be an unknowable process of genius.

An act of genius it is for sure but is his process unknowable? Closer inspection reveals his use of chord tones on strong beats embellished with approach patterns at chord changes elaborated with arpeggios and chord scales leading us to a clear understanding of how he created this remarkably logical improvised melody.

Download the included PDF annotated transcription to use the insight gained from this analysis to inform your own improv concept. 


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

Contact me with questions at any time.

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Consult the Lesson Road Map to for a suggested sequence of lessons.

If you are stuck, need a pep talk or just want one-to-one personal attention for your questions, face-to-face, live webcam lessons are available.


"Magistral. Amazing! It all seemed so clear, so layed-out, so sensible, so understandable. Thank you for this revealing window into jazz solo improv." -Mitchell

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What's included?

7 Videos
1 Survey
3 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