Jazz phrasing in improvisation : imitation techniques  

Imitation is a repetition with variation that is repeating a sentence by transposing it, varying rhythm or melody with the same rhythmic structure. Let us analyze this agreeable and telling technique. Many classical and modern themes are based on this very kind harmonic and melodic technique. J. S. Bach with his fugues has been the chief of the imitated style.

Every musical idea, even the most banal one, if transposed starts becoming interesting and transmits a sense of geometry, symmetry, and similitude to musical phrasing, all being so nice to the listener. Let us analyze this pleasure and powerful technique

Transposing ( Progression )

jazz phrasing in improvisation : imitation techniques

Rhythmic variation

rhythmic variation in jazz phrasing

Rhythmic repetition

improvisation and jazz phrasing : rhythmic repetition

Getting to study phrasing in improvisation means starting to express musical matters, stories, ideas and logical concepts. That is beginning to get excited in playing and consequently to tremble and to feel like crying.
It also means to discover beauty in musical geometry, in similitude and development connections, in contrast and repeat. You can reach symmetry and balancing contemplation. You can reach the harmony world.

How to learn jazz phrasing : non harmonic effects

Sometimes you can create some non harmonic effects, that is playing some notes without considering the chord you are playing on, However pay so much attention in using these two techniques and check always by ear.

For example :

1. Repeating the same melodic pattern

how to learn jazz phrasing
2. Repeating the same rhythmic pattern

jazz phrasing with rhythmic pattern

However, be careful when you use these 2 techniques. Control always by ear.

Learn jazz phrasing in improvisation

Phrasing is an important item of music. The fundamental concept is:

  • Every new phrase must be linked to the previous one’s
  • Repeat an idea in a new phrase and then develop it
  • Jazz phrasing is like talking or telling a story.

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