Moving Forward

Question by Damela

I have a question:

I am improvising diagonally and studying major, melodic minor and harmonic minor scales in three positions and have almost mastered them. I am also doing the bebop, pentatonic major and minor and modal scales.

I want to develop my jazz improvising and plan to buy the Connecting with Linear Harmony book and also the Forward Motion and David Baker Bebop book.

I have been playing 41 years and really want to improvise well.

My question to you is, am I proceeding properly in my improv evolution? In your estimation from what I am describing do you think that I am moving precisely?

Again let me say that you are an incredible teacher and I have never seen a more thorough teaching program.

Damela Ashanti

Hello Damela,

This is a very hard question to answer…

Firstly because I have never heard you play, ever. Secondly, I don’t know your background (musically, socially, etc.) And thirdly, because I can’t develop a clear idea of the “big picture” of your musical goals just by knowing that you are studying from this-or-that book…

Your question is vague, so here’s my best shot at a good answer:

As long as you find you are improving in the right kind of “musical direction”, yes, you are on the right track.

If you’re trying to imitate music you love and always striving musical in the style(s) your feel the most comfortable in, everything should go smoothly.

When you notice that you are less passionate about your playing, listening and the topics you practice are less appealing, it’s time to try something new.

Are you very conscious of your next “musical moves”? Choose the things your practice and you listen to wisely, and music will be fulfilling throughout your life.

I hope this helps,
Marc-Andre Seguin

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