subscribe to 7 Introductory Essays on Linear Jazz Improvisation Method.

ByrneJazz Subscriber,

Thank you for signing up for my 7 Introductory Essays
on Linear Jazz Improvisation Method. Over the next week I
will introduce and discuss its core concepts and methodology
which are presented in LJI Book 1, ideas which are applied
and developed in exercises and etudes throughout the 14
other LJI books:

1. Melody and Rhythm Reduction of Songs' Essential Elements

2. Targeting and Improvising on the 16 Basic LJI Jazz
   Chords, in preparation for:

3. Targeting the Essential Elements of Specific Tunes

4. Developing Transcriptions into Improvisations

5. Practicing Functional Skills with LJI Sound Files

6. Advanced Outside Playing Approaches

7. Deriving Scales from Key

ByrneJazz E-Course: 1

Melody and Rhythm Reduction of Songs' Essential Elements
Linear Jazz Improvisation

     The most effective way to develop meaningful
improvisations is to develop the melody and rhythms from
the composition itself. The 4 essential elements of tonal
music are: melody, which in LJI we reduce by eliminating
repeated notes and non-harmonic tones; guide tone lines,
the essence of the harmonic progression in the form of
melodic lines; the root progression, itself a line; and the
rhythms of the composition--also reduced by eliminating
motor rhythms (8th notes that do not produce true rhythmic

     Once we have identified and internalized these
elements, we begin to systematically develop them.
Chromatic Targeting has been the stuff of development for
traditional composers of all Western styles throughout
history. Linear Jazz Improvisation provides 10 Chromatic
Targeting Groups with which to modify all of the above
essential elements. For example, LJI Chromatic Targeting
Type 1a approaches a target note from a semitone below;
Type 1b is an approach from a semitone above, and so on.
There are 10 such LJI Targeting Groups, becoming
incrementally more complex.

     Targeting of reduced melodies can then be combined with
rhythmic reduction and development. In the 1st measure of
Thelonious Monk's Blue Monk, for example, the rhythm is 4
8th notes, with the 4th note tied to a ½ note. The essential
rhythm,however, is the Charleston Rhythm (8th note on
beat 1, followed by 1/4 rest and 8th note tied to a
1/2 note). Once this reduced rhythm is identified, it can
then be permutated and paraphrased in thousands of ways.
For example, it can be offset by a 1/2 beat(started off of
beat 1 instead of on 1, and then begun on beat 2). It could
also be played twice as fast, and so on. We then combine
this with LJI Chromatic Targeting.

     The result is that you quickly learn the most pertinent
aspects of a composition, so that when you improvise it has
meaning with regard to the piece you are playing, rather
than merely employing scales, generic licks, and patterns.
Linear Jazz Improvisation supplies a platform for meaningful
improvisation. By running choruses on the pertinent material,
the piece will begin to suggest ideas to you. In the process,
you will intuitively develop the motives and rhythmic ideas
drawn from the piece itself. LJI offers not only the
methodology for focused practicing of meaningful
improvisation in your own personal style, it supplies the
very substance of what to play.

     The free sound files supplied for all the LJI exercise
and etude books (not Book I) are great for practicing along
with (In learning LJI we read only as needed); and they
work well in both lessons and classes and clinics. Since the
sound files are all inter-related, you can also mix and
match and put different players on each part, and then
switch parts until everyone has done all roles.

     Our focus is on application: The player needs only a
little more theory than he is dedicated to apply to his/her
instrument, the latter of which, of course, takes 95% of
the time and effort towards mastering jazz improvisation.
We sing everything we practice, and we spend more time
improvising on the specific small pieces of vocabulary
found in the LJI exercise and etude books than we do playing
the actual exercises.

     We are completely practical and un-ideological when it
comes to improvising, and lines created through LJI work
well in combination with any other approach. You can mix and
match from among the exercises found in these books at will.
First play each exercise, then look away improvise on it
with the sound file playing the basic idea as a reference.
Spend more time improvising on each exercise than learning
the exercise. Sing everything you practice while you play
it (if possible), as well as separately.

     The true magic of LJI targeting is that, once
internalized through singing and instrumental practicing,
the targeting groups coalesce in a myriad of ways in which
one could never be clever enough to intellectually
calculate in performance. Chromatic Targeting combines with
permutations of the song's melodic rhythms, develops the
reduced melody, guide-tone lines, and root progressions.
And all of this is often intuitively mixed together in a
single line.

     The text-only Linear Jazz Improvisation Book 1 provides
a comprehensive introduction to the unique core concepts and
techniques of LJI Method. Book I presents a systematic
approach to improvising on specific tunes. Get the book and
get started right away. You will not believe how soon your
work in this approach will earn you greater audience
response. Check out the book here:

     Book 1 is the LJI method text, while the other LJI
books are comprised of exercises and etudes designed to
directly apply its concepts through singing, practicing and

Table of Contents

-	Introduction: How to Learn to Improvise on a Tune
-	Melody, Rhythm Reduction and Compression
-	Chromatic Targeting
-	Guide-Tone Lines and Root Progression
-	Blues
-	Rhythm Development and Permutation
-	Pitch Collections
-	Scales Derived from Key
-	Available in both convenient e-book format and
        spiral-bound hard copy
-	Clear, concise theory text in concert key
-	106 pages

     All LJI exercise and etude books are available for all
instruments and voices, in both e-book and beautiful spiral-
bound hard copy format; and they all come with free sound
files to practice with.

     To get a better idea of LJI and how it works, there
are a great many both music and sound examples of the 15
different LJI books to be found in the More Information
sections for each book in the ByrneJazz Online Bookstore
(just click on each book):

     In tomorrow's essay I will address the topic of
Targeting and Improvising on the 16 LJI Jazz Chords.

Yours in jazz,
Ed Byrne, 65 Shattuck Street, Greenfield, MA 01301, USA

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