Guitar solo improvisation : creating cadences Hi ! In this video I’ll show you a great exercise to improve your sound, your harmony knowledge and your improvisations (yes !!) this exercise consists in playing alone and suggesting chords changes with your melodies this is an exercise I like to do when I travel : I do it in the train or when I have my guitar and no computer (no backing track) or nobody to play with we will start by playing a scale : D major this D69/A will be the chord that fits this D major scale the idea here is to play on this scale and sometimes go out of it, suggesting interesting chords with just a few notes here is a example : when I play this note you can hear it goes out of D major same thing : same impression : this note is out of D major and suggests a changing harmony this will be our exercise in this video. So now, what colors (what harmonies) can I play ? there are a lots of them, but we’ll start with one of them : IVm, the “minor plagal cadence” : Gm and as we play gypsy jazz, Gm will be played Gm6, it sounds more typical here is another shape of Gm6 (same notes as Em7b5) and here is its arpeggio the most typical notes will be Bb and G then the D and the E now let’s improvise (no tempo !) : D, Gm6 and back to D D Gm6 D Gm6 D I didn’t do it with a “beginner” level, but here is a much slower example D Gm6 D you don’t have to play many notes. Also, try to land on typical notes just like I did and do it without playing chords : just suggest chords with your melodies in this simple minor plagal cadence there are thousands of wonderful licks you can find Django Reinhardt did this a lot : he used the IVm on the V (IVm I over V I) and he mostly did this before 1940, mainly because this harmonic trick was widely used at that time another great cadence : D°, the I diminished chord, which resolves perfectly on D here is D diminished arpeggio (it’s D°7 to be precise, a diminished tetrad) now, same exercise with this chord ! D D° back on D D° D I just LOVE this exercise : you’ll work your scales and arpeggios without beeing rushed by a backing track also you are 100% focused on your sound : if the strings buzz or your sound is weak you’ll clearly hear it whereas when we play over a backing track, we sometimes thing it’s ok because the backing track sounds good (and we don’t care so much about our sound) this exercise also forces you to hear chords in your mind without playing them and it’s really fun to do ! This is why I like this exercise so much if you’re alone with you guitar (in a train or on the shore) do this exercise and you’ll work your harmony and your sound ! 😉 I’ll do a last improvisation with other colors (other cadences) the V chord with a b9 : A7 b9 the triton substitution, bII : Eb7 9 the bII Maj7 : EbMaj7 this is a very uncommon cadence in gypsy jazz but hey, we can still use it (listen to Beatrice or Little Sunflower) let’s go I hope you liked this video and that you’ll spend some time doing this exercise !