Tonic Patterns and Cadences
These are often more restricting for jazz improvisers than V7 or IIm7-V7 chords. With V7 chords especially, all kinds of chromatic alterations can sound great, giving colour and extra tension. This works well because most of the time the point of a V7 is to provide tension and a kind of “need” to resolve. But a tonic chord is where a tense V7 resolves to, so you may not want too much tension on a tonic. If you listen to the great bebop innovators you’ll find this – that the extensions and alterations that was one of the trademarks of bebop mostly occurs on the V7 chords.
The most useful chromatic alterations are often “blue” notes, which should be used with care as the tempo and type of melody can dictate whether blues notes are appropriate or not. Much of this is to do with individual taste or techniques of a particular instrument. This section will deal with mostly patterns that work well on chord I.
The patterns are categorised by starting note. This is particularly important as these patterns usually follow on from a V7, and it can be very useful to combine them so that the last note of the V7 phrase runs smoothly and melodically into the first note of the phrase on chord I at the perfect cadence. This is not a hard and fast rule, large intervals and surprising leaps are also useful.
Starting on the root
Ex 1: Two note motif……Perfect cadence (scale run)
Ex 2: Triad arpeggio……. Cadence (bebop scale and extended dorian pattern)
Ex 3: Four note motif….Extended using chromatic neighbour note
Note that the extended phrase can fit over a I chord or a V chord
Starting on the 3rd
Ex 5: As above but extended
Ex 6: Pentatonic pattern….. Cadence using bebop scale and neighbour note (
fake leading note)
This phrase can also be used with a dominant chord:
Ex 7: Lester Young lick
Ex 8: Combination of 5 and 7
Starting on 5th
Ex 9: (Charlie Parker lick)
Ex 10: Extended to major 7
Starting on major 7
Ex 11: Arpeggio………… Extended using dorian pattern 2 but applied to chord I
Ex 12: Another Charlie Parker phrase.