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Improvisation Over Major 7th Chords

For the purpose of this lesson we will be making use of the C Major 7 chord, which is C E G B
One technique about making good improvisations is coined from pairings… We are going to look at 3 pairings that will aid us in improvising over a CMajor7 chord

First pair

1major 7 + 7major 7
In this case the first degree of the Cmajor scale is C while the seventh degree is B…Therefore
C major7 +      B major7
C E G B      +      B Eb Gb Bb
These notes played on melodic interval in rhythm creates good improvisation and also you as a pianist could draw ideas at random from these notes in producing your licks and runs

Second pair

3 minor7 + b3 minor7
In this case the third degree in the C major scale is E, while the flat third degree is Eb.. Therefore
E minor7 + Eb minor7
E G B D + Eb Gb Bb Db

Third pair

4th major triad + 3 major triad
In this case, the fourth degree in the C major scale is F, while the third degree is E…therefore
F major triad + E major triad
F A C + E Ab B
These 3 pairs when played as creating solos, provides you with good ideas for improvisations over the CMajor 7 chord…
Try this out on other keys

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