This two-chord funky jazz-rock fusion classic by Herbie Hancock is all about the groove…
This extended form is really just a bunch of 8-bar sections stitched together. The really trickly part is being able to play the bass line!
Listen to Original Recording
Lesson 1: Form
Form = 8 bars, which can be played as two 4-bar phrases, which can be further broken into two 2-bar phrases…
Lesson 2: Meter & Feel
4/4 Time, count out loud “1 2 3 4” or “1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &”, feel the funk in the 1/16th notes!
Lesson 3: Tonality & Useful Scales
Tonality = Bb Dorian
Useful Scales = Bb Dorian, Bb Minor Pentatonic, Bb Minor Blues
Lesson 4: The Harmony
Bbm7 = i7 (harmonic home base), Eb7=IV7 (harmonically away from home)
Lesson 5: Comping Ideas
Chameleon Chord Voicings #1
Rootless, Left Hand only, definitive tones (3 & 7)…
Chameleon Chord Voicings #2
Rootless, Left Hand only, color tones (9 & 13) added…
Chameleon Chord Voicings #3
Two fisted, color tones (9 & 13) added, some notes doubled for emphasis and melodic motion…
Lesson 6: Riffing
Don’t underestimate the musical value of short, simple ideas that repeat over the form…
Lesson 7: Mindset
Lesson 8: Play the Idea…
Listen to Frank’s synth solo recorded live with the band Chameleon
Your Turn to Improvise
Download the following bass and drum practice track recorded by Frank…
- Think, hear, feel, and play in 8-bar choruses and 4-bar phrases.
- The “feel” is a funky Rock Beat 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &
- Tonality: Bb Dorian
- Useful Scales: Dorian, Minor Blues, Minor Pentatonic
- Don’t get scale happy.
- Commit to playing coherent IDEAS.
- Vocabulary Sources: Rock, Jazz, Blues
- Borrow ideas from the head (the original melody).
- Cop ideas from other players.
- It’s not all about playing leads. It’s often about creative and tasteful comping, too!
- Don’t just think… FEEL & LISTEN!
- Experiment like a child playing with building blocks.
- Take your shoes off!
Please let Frank know if there is something else you’d like to see or understand.