Here’s a question from Jordan:
I’m not new to improvising, I can stay and play over changes, but only when they’re in front of me. Is there something you can suggest to help internalize chord changes or will it just come over time? I’ve tried maybe playing 1235 patterns over each chord but I just get lost (“carried away” would be a better term haha) while I’m improvising.
There are tons of things, but let’s start with one. If you’re not already doing it, make sure you’re working through all the chords and scales in a song with a lot of repetition. I recently covered this for my online students in a lesson on Autumn Leaves, but in short: take a look at Ex #7 on pg 17 of this book [free PDF].
Lob off the quarter note on beat 4 and loop the first 3 beats over a single chord for 2-5 minutes with a metronome. Do this for each chord in a tune, then put them together and loop a couple chords, etc.
The secret is muscle memory…which comes only from repetition.
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