View Full Version : ChrisJ -- guestion

06-30-2008, 02:26 PM
Since you have some time and are checking in with the forum I have a piano modal improvisation question for you.

As I'm new to keyboard most of what I do is still in C -- all white keys --

A few words on modal vamps in the key of C would be appreciated. For example: Dm chord then I normally start the melodic improvisation on the D note and help myself to any white key I like. Telling myself I'm playing a Dorian improv solo.

Your comments on how you would approach this Dorian solo ...... and then answers to the following questions will be appreciated:

1) What other vamp chord would you suggest to go along with the Dm?

2) What melodic notes would you use, and what notes would you avoid.

Thanks, glad to see you dropping in.


07-01-2008, 01:23 AM
1) What other vamp chord would you suggest to go along with the Dm?

Let's see, first we must ask ourselves; "What is the dorian chord?" Dmin is ok, but it could be any of the minor family modes right? Same with Dmin7. The dorian chord would be a Dmin13 or Dmin6. With the keyboard, it may be easier to imagine what the top three notes in the Dmin13 chord stack up to be. Hmm.. 9,11,13 would be E-G-B, this is an Emin chord. Therefore Emin/D seems like a good choice. Maybe something like this would work nicely: Dmin7-Emin/D. What happens if we make the Emin chord to a Emin7? Emin7/D = E-G-B-D/D, we get the root in the chord as well.

What if we look at the top four notes of the Dmin13 chord, the 7-9-11-13? We get a C-E-G-B chord, or a Cmaj7 chord, therefore Cmaj7/D looks good. A vamp of Cmaj7/D-Dmin7 would be nice. Or how about a combination of Emin7/D, Cmaj7/D and Dmin7?

Of course the standard ii-V vamp always works.

2) What melodic notes would you use, and what notes would you avoid.

Well this depends on where the notes fall in time. roots, thirds and fifth as a rule, sound better on the strong beats. But depending on the voicing and notes contained in the chord, any of these notes can be equally strong as well. the B note will sound great on the Dmin13 (or Cmaj7/D) chord. Matter of fact, as the B note makes dorian what it is, it would seem like the note to focus on.

You could try playing D, E and A minor pentatonic scales as well.

07-01-2008, 02:20 AM
Thanks, I'll work with your suggestions.

EDIT} Dm13 or D, F, A, C, E, G, B
.....................D, F, A, C being Dm7
............................... C, E, G, B being Cmaj7
Left and right together making the Dm13 or every note in the scale
Then left hand making the Dm7
And right hand making the Cmaj7
And then being able to insert the double D note with either hand
And then inversions of all that
And then looking at ii, V just extend to the right with G -- G, B, D whatever..........

THAT opened a new door for me a whole new way of thinking about what can be used.

Thank you very much!