BY JAKE HERTZOG
Hey Jazz Guy,
I know that wide intervals are a modern
concept. Do you have any suggestions for how
I can work them into my playing?
–Narrow in Nashville
You’re right. Wide intervals are
indeed modern, but not as daunting
as you might think. The
guitar is a fantastic instrument
for exploring wide
intervals, because the
nature of the fretboard
makes it physically easy to
play them. There are a few
simple techniques you can
practice and quickly incorporate
into your performances.
is a great way to give the
quirky modern feel of wide
intervals. Ex. 1 is a simple IIm7-
Then in Ex. 2 we will
transpose—up or down by an
octave—some of the notes so the
melody is more disjointed. Even
when applied sparingly, octave
displacement is very effective.
Practicing scales in wide intervals
such as in Ex. 3 (C major scale
played in diatonic 7ths) is another
technique to build wide interval
chops. Notice the harmonic
scales played in different intervals.
Going one step further brings us to the concept of
episodes [Examples 4 and 5]. An episode is a phrase that
includes every note of a particular chord scale. By writing
phrases that include all seven notes of a scale and applying
octave displacement, there are endless possibilities for
creating slick-sounding lines based on wide intervals. Keep
in mind you can play linear episodes as well. Shed this hard,
as it will take time to get used to this type of playing. It
will, however, be time well spent. Your music will literally
Jake Hertzog is the jazz ambassador to
the non-jazz world. Send your questions to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Jake’s latest release
is Patterns [Buckyball].
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