Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Generic Shapes: 4 notes continued.

Generic Shapes continued: Generic Shape C (4GSC) 1245 is explored.

Review 4GSA (1235) and 4GSB (1345) from previous two blogs (Melodic Generic Shapes in Jazz Improv—#2 GS (1235) and GS (1345) compared and appliedMelodic Generic Shapes in Jazz Improv... a practise in discovery) to get an understanding of the permutation treatment of the three remaining 4-note GS (4GS):
4GSA (1235)
4GSB (1345)
Remaining 4GS:
4GSC (1245)
4GSD (1234)
4GSE (1357)
These shapes are familiar to most musicians one way or another. The first two 4GSA and 4GSB have been discussed. The remaining three 4GS are outlined similarly with some new thoughts on implementation and practising ideas.

4GSC (1245)

The designation of 4GSC denotes that this is a 4 note Generic Shape, with the 'C' standing for the primary shape: 1245. 

The qualities and characteristics of this GS is one of a suspended resolution tendency. In a major scale tonal setting for example on C (CDFG) the F note (4th) generally has a tendency to fall to the third (making this GS as 1235). Of course as a Generic Shape (GS) it can be utilized, adapted, and transformed in many ways. In a minor chord the stress of the suspended aspect is softened somewhat.

Using our C major example, the first order of permutations is to apply the 6 available changes of note order (Basic Permutations—BP). 
BP1 (prograde), CDFG
BP2 (retrograde), GFDC
BP3 (skip one, down one), CFDG
BP4 (the retrograde to BP3), GDFC
BP5 (skip the 3rd note [F] and play the 4th note, and return to the 3rd note), CDGF 
BP6 (retrograde to BP5). GFCD

See Figure 1 below.

Figure 1.
Exercises in BP awareness.

Since it is difficult technically, with repetitive notes when playing these BP in one GS position, try playing them in order (BP1—BP6) through a scale tone sequence. NB this very exercise can be used with any 4GS(A—E). Exercises to follow.

This example in 4GSC is used as the primary GS in this scale-tone sequence in C major (the shapes conform to the diatonic notes found in the C major scale). See Figure 2

Figure 2.

CDFG ('C'BP1), AGED ('D'BP2), EAFB ('E'BP3), CGBF ('F'BP4), GADC (GBP5), EDAB (APB6)

Basic Permutations in pairs.

Here are some exercises that use only 2 adjacent BPs as in the C major scale: (using in this case BP1 alternating with BP2). All the possibilities may not work as easily as this but many will. See figure 3 for a couple of workable examples. NB that the shapes in Figure 3 follow the same shapes as Figure 2.

Figure 3.

(C)BP1...(D)BP2,    (E)BP1...(F)BP2 ....etc...

GS3 continued with alternating pairs of BP travelling up in a C major scalar sequence (using BP3 and BP4 as an example). See Figure 4. All this has been done before but I'm hoping it's a good idea to document the possibilities here and especially the pairs that work. Obviously sequences other than this diatonic 2nd sequence can be used: 4ths for example.

Figure 4.

(C)BP3....(D)BP4, (E)BP3...(F)BP4, (G)BP3...(A)BP4

Here's a complete list of 21 available BP pairings. This graph shows the fading effect as the pairs accumulate. This is because as the BP numbers get higher, they have already been paired with the lower numbers. They are presented in columns. I have included those BP that are paired with themselves.

6 ———— + 5—————+ 4————— +3—————+2—————+1—....= 21 pairs

BP1 + BP1 — BP2 + BP2 — BP3 + BP3 — BP4 + BP4 — BP5 + BP5 — BP6 + BP6
BP1 + BP2 — BP2 + BP3 — BP3 + BP4 — BP4 + BP5 — BP5 + BP6
BP1 + BP3 — BP2 + BP4 — BP3 + BP5 — BP4 + BP6
BP1 + BP4 — BP2 + BP5 — BP3 + BP6
BP1 + BP5 — BP2 + BP6
PB1 + BP6

This graphic could foster a lot of practising and is obviously applicable to all 5 of the 4-note GS being outlined in this series. It is staggering to think of learning all these in all 4GS not to mention the permutations available by Rotation R and Staggered Starts/Rotations S.

4GSC (1245) Forms from Rotation and Staggered Starts (R and S).

4GSC (1245) Forms from Rotation and Staggered Starts (R and S) and some applications. Not all the Generic Shapes have a pentatonic source, but 4GSC does have an association with a pentatonic scale (12356). Using our example based on a C root: CDFG it can easily be seen that this group of notes can be found in the F pentatonic scale: CDFG are found on 5 of F pentatonic. This GS is also found within a Bb Pentatonic: CDFG are 2356 of the Bb pentatonic scale. In turn these pentatonic note groups serve any purpose that a pentatonic scale might have (I will write something on this pentatonic thing—but for now if you have access to my book: An Approach to Jazz Piano, there is material in there that attempts to outline this). Using the same example: CDFG serves within the chords of F, Bb, Eb, Ab, and even in C major (where the 4th degree is a tendency tone). Figure 5 outlines permutations by Rotation (R) and Staggered starts (S).

Figure 5.

CDFG in a Staggered Start as each repetition of the same GS Rotation (1) [CDFG]

1245    —  2451   —  4512   ——  5124
C24     — Dmi11 — F26(no 3) —  G7sus4

In the graphic below, all 96 permutations of a 4-note GSC (1245) are notated. The next blog will outline exercises using GSD (1234) and GSE (1357).

Figure 6.

The next blog will feature an outline of GSD (1234) [tetrachord] and GSE (1357) [7th chord].

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