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“Arpeggios for Jazz Violin, Cello, and Viola” covers a crucial component of mastering harmony on bowed string instruments: internalizing common 7th chord qualities, in all inversions, using arpeggios in all keys.
To internalize harmony on your instrument, you must be comfortable with commonly used chords, and ultimately be able to recognize all the voice-led relationships between common progressions. Bowed string instruments can articulate some chords with double, triple, and quadruple stops, but I recommend that you first learn to articulate the chords as arpeggios, memorizing common voice-led relationships.
(For a more comprehensive method addressing harmony on bowed string instruments, see the Jazz Violin Harmony Handbook – http://christianhowes.com/creative-strings-shop/literature/violin-harmony-handbook/)
Most classically trained string players are only capable of quickly recalling the root position arpeggio. When improvising over a chord progression, one must be able to instantly recall chords from the root, 3rd, 5th or 7th, depending on the most musical option available. The lack of ability to recall chords from any inversion is one of the biggest handicaps for classically trained players.
To overcome this handicap, I prescribe studying chords/arpeggios, their inversions, and accompanying scales in extended range. This workbook covers commonly used 7th chord arpeggios in three forms:
1) Root position
2) Extended range
3) All inversions in extended range
Here is a video which demonstrates the process of finding the arpeggios in all three forms.
You can try out tons of helpful instructional videos, media, and publications for free at the Creative Strings Academy (http://creativestrings.christianhowes.com).
By reading these exercises, you’ll have a chance to get them under your fingers quickly, and over time you can move away from the page. I recommend you BOTH read from the page and work without the notation.
Arpeggios, scales, and what are considered “the basics” are absolutely crucial in grasping the concept of how to learn to improvise.
If you find the book helpful, I’d greatly appreciate your reviewing it on Amazon (click here) and/or sharing it through social media sites.
Remember, it’s all about fundamentals!
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