How to Play Patterns That Don’t Sound Like Patterns – Peter Martin

Patterns might be a dirty word in jazz, but Peter Martin shows you how to play them without making it obvious.


What’s going on everybody, Peter Martin here for 2 Minute Jazz. Wanna talk to you about patterns, which is a little bit of a dirty word for me, but there I said it. But I want to talk to you about how we can play patterns, without them sounding like patterns.

Now, a pattern is anything that’s repeated, it could be anything that you repeat and move around. So, how do we play them? Because actually patterns and art and music and nature are very important, and they form a great foundation for some of our great improvisations.

So, I was kind of playing around on “Someday My Prince Will Come,” and when I get this D flat diminished, a little bit of a problematic chord for many of you. So that’s a place where sometimes we’ll take a pattern, we’ll take an easy phrase, and then repeat it.

So we’re just going up the diminished whole halves, I guess it is. In broken minor thirds. Over a little triplet thing. That’s fine but it sounds a little corny. And then especially if we keep moving it into that C minor.

So, there’s some little things we can do though. So there I’m just I’m a little out of time, we’ll pull it back into time, but I’m going up the scale, the diminished, but then I start going chromatic, and kinda change up the time also, so if I start out triplets, it makes it a little more organic, it makes it more like, you know, you’d sing it or something although you’d be a heck of a singer to be able to do that, but harmonically and melodically that chromaticism really kinda adds something I think nice.

Other things you can do is to keep the same interval but then change direction, and doing it in a kind of random and organic way. And if you combine that with the chromatic, then it sounds like it’s not a pattern, but it actually is.

All right, have fun with that, happy practicing.


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