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Jazz Theory and Improvisation Techniques

爵士理論及即興技巧

前言 Introduction:

爵士音樂(Jazz)作為現代音樂的根基,一直影響著由20世紀初至今的音樂,且演化出多種大家熟知的流行音樂風格。除了傳統的Swing Feel爵士樂,你還可以在更近代的Soul,Funk,R&B,Hip Hop等音樂中聽到大量又型又chill的爵士和弦,也可以在Rock、Country等音樂中聽到優雅的爵士味solo。技術層面上,爵士是現代音樂的金字塔尖,無論在音階、和弦還是節奏等音樂要素上,都追求使用最高的結構、最豐富的變化、及最多樣的組合可能,絕對的包容度,讓爵士可以是任何表現形式,且任何地域及民族的音樂元素也都可以是爵士的一部分,融合成全新的音樂聽感,為音樂的創作、編曲、演奏帶來更多可能性。

爵士不單止是一種音樂風格,更是指玩音樂的思考方式,爵士最大的特徵就在於「即興」,你所聽到爵士音樂家們流暢的演奏或演唱其實大部分都是在特定音樂框架下臨場根據情緒即興「創作」出來的音符和節奏,這也極深影響了當今其他流行音樂的創作及表演思維以及方法,如現場的流行樂隊使用和弦譜取代將所有音符標出的五線譜、Soul Funk R&B音樂中臨場加入華麗的即興轉音、鍵盤手吉他手隨手就來的即興演奏、將即興玩音符改為即興玩文字的Rapper等,這些皆是源於巧妙的即興文化,令現代流行音樂擁有靈動多變的屬性,這就要求表演者或創作者在平時練習和聽音樂時大量積累音樂語彙,形成自己的「音樂語言庫」,才能「出口成章」,做到在表演時用0.001秒創作並演奏下一個音符和節拍,且持續不斷,如同我們日常說話一樣。

 

好多人還會問「點解我做嘅歌彈嘅嘢咁單薄咁兒歌feel?」、「點可以彈嘢彈得成熟啲?」、「點可以超越依家啲流行歌?」…學爵士和聲可能係唯一的答案,這也是每個頂級嘅音樂家都希望追求同掌握的。業內有這樣的說法:學咗Jazz嘢之後,玩其他風格都食生菜。也有人說「我玩Folk嘅唔需要學Jazz」,也許最終沒有全身心玩Jazz,但作為音樂人唔可以唔識Jazz,因它可以令我們的音樂素養去到前所未有的全面完整,而增進自己的音樂質素,支持擴展自己的音樂風格及可能性。

本課程致力做最全面系統的爵士課程,將帶領學員由淺入深,啟發學員思考、建立音樂語彙及大膽應用,一步步體驗爵士帶來的樂趣。全程有鍵盤直觀示範,亦會不定時請到本港音樂家一同授課及合奏,讓學員在爵士理論、創作、表演等方面皆有真實的收穫。

​Introduction:

As the foundation of contemporary music, jazz has been influencing music from the early 20th century to the present, and has evolved into a variety of well-known popular music styles. In addition to the traditional Swing Feel jazz, you can also hear a large number of stylish and chill jazz chords in more modern Soul, Funk, R&B, Hip Hop, as well as elegant jazz solo in Rock, Country, and other music. Technically, jazz is "the top of the pyramid" of contemporary music. No matter in musical elements such as scales, chords, or rhythm, it pursues the use of the highest structure, the richest changes, and the most diverse combinations possible. The absolute tolerance makes what we call jazz. It can be in any form of expression, the musical elements of any region and nation can also be a part of jazz, which can be integrated into a new sense of music listening, bringing more possibilities for music composition, arrangement, and performance.

Jazz is not only a musical style but also a way of thinking about playing music. The biggest feature of jazz is "improvisation". Most of the smooth playings or singings from jazz musicians are on the spot under a specific musical framework. The notes and rhythms that are "created" according to emotional improvisation have also profoundly influenced the thinking and methods of other pop music composing and performing today, such as the use of chord charts in live pop concerts to replace the music staff that marks all the notes, the gorgeous improvisational progression and phrase in Soul Funk R&B, the solo section of the keyboardist and guitarists, and the Rappers who played improvisational lyrics in the beats, etc. These are all derived from the ingenious improvisation culture, which makes modern pop music have flexible and changeable attributes, which require performers or composers to accumulate a large amount of musical vocabulary when practicing and listening to music and form their own "music language library" in order to "export into chapters" so that they can compose and play the next note and beat in 0.001 seconds during the performance, and it goes on and on, like how we speak every day.

 

Many people will also ask, "Why does my music always sound so weak like children's rhyme feel?", "How to play those sounds like a pro?", "How to make my song different from current pop songs even beyond their musicality?"...Learning jazz may be the only answer, and this is what every top musician hopes to pursue and master. There is a saying in the industry: After learning jazz, you can rule other different styles. Some people also say "I don't need to learn jazz when I play folk or rock", maybe we didn't play jazz wholeheartedly in the end, but as a musician, it's necessary to know Jazz, because it can make our music literacy more comprehensive and complete than ever before, this improvement would support and expands own musical styles and possibilities.

This course is committed to becoming the most comprehensive and systematic jazz course, which will lead students from shallow to deep, inspire students to think, build musical vocabulary, and bold application, and experience the joy of jazz step by step. There are obvious keyboard demonstrations throughout the course, and local/international experienced musicians will be invited to teach an ensemble together from time to time, so that students can have real gains in jazz theory, composition, performance, etc.

​​課程內容 Content Outline:
(包括但不限於 including but not limited)
 
Basic Level:​
  • ​音符及節奏系統
  • 基本調式/音階
  • 基本和弦及結構
  • 和弦拓展音及高疊和弦
  • 音樂中的調性及聽辨
  • 和弦級數及和弦進行
  • 和弦排列方法及彈奏方法
  • Even節奏體系VS Swing節奏體系
  • 爵士音樂及藍調音樂解析
  • 基本即興思維及即興演奏
Medium Level:
  • 各類Chord Quality Changing
  • 各類Slash Chords (Chords Inversion)
  • 各類Altered Chords
  • 各類Passing Chords
  • 各類 Chord Substitutions
  • 各類高等爵士常用音階
  • 各類爵士及R&B裝飾音彈法及作曲應用
  • 多種爵士分支風格講解
  • 樂隊合奏理念及進階即興
  • 爵士和弦、音階在各類流行音樂風格中的創作、編曲、演奏應用
Advanced Level:
  • 即興編配爵士和弦
  • 即興創作爵士樂句
  • Solo樂段情緒線編排及處理
  • 樂曲段落間的連結手法
  • Outside chords and outside phrases
  • 爵士即興樂句實例解析
  • 爵士中的高等和弦Comping
  • 快速上手新樂曲的方法
  • 經典Jazz、Soul-Funk、R&B曲目演練
  • 現場樂隊合奏合作體驗
Professional Level:​
  • 大樂隊編寫(Brasses / Woodwinds / Strings)
  • 專業爵士樂隊的表演編排 
  • 爵士及相關融合風格音樂完整原創創作及演奏
  • 學員有機會以每班合作,外出舉辦一場音樂會(無需成本)
Content Outline:
(including but not limited)
 
Basic Level:​
  • Note and rhythm system
  • Basic modes/scales
  • Basic chord and structure
  • Extended chord tones and hierarchical chords
  • The tonal theory and aural distinction in music
  • Chord degree and chord progression
  • The way of arranging and playing different chords
  • Even rhythm system VS Swing rhythm system
  • Analysis of jazz and blues music
  • Basic improvised thinking and playing

Medium Level:
  • Various chord quality changes
  • Various slash chords (chords Inversion)
  • Various altered chords
  • Various passing chords
  • Various chord substitutions
  • All kinds of commonly used high-level scales in jazz
  • Various chromatic playing and composition applications in Jazz and R&B
  • Analysis of various jazz-root branch styles
  • Band Ensemble concept and advanced Improvisation
  • Application of composition, arrangement, and performance by using jazz chords and scales in various popular music styles

Advanced Level:
  • Advanced jazz chords improvising
  • Advanced jazz phrases improvising
  • Dynamic line arrangement in improvising solo
  • The way of connection between different sections
  • Outside chords and outside phrases
  • Analysis of improvisational jazz phrases
  • Advanced chord comping in Jazz
  • How to master new music quickly
  • Jam with the classic jazz, funk, soul, and R&B songs
  • Live band ensemble collaboration experience

Professional Level:​
  • Big band arrangement (Brasses / Woodwinds / Strings)
  • Arrangement for professional jazz bands
  • Complete original composition and performance of jazz and related fusion music
  • Students have the opportunity to cooperate with classmates to hold a live concert (non-cost)