8 Bar Reggae Improvisation Based On A Rhythm

A discussion on how to work with slightly longer funk improvisation patterns, includes a Free MP3 Backing Track.

This lesson should be a approached as a continuation of our Rhythm Based Reggae Improvisation Lesson. On this page I will be briefly discussing how to approach a similar exercise to this but spread over 8 bars. You will also need a copy of This Free MP3 that is used as a backing track for this lesson. The content on this page will also be very similar to our Rhythm Based 8 Bar Rock improvisation lesson.

Note: The backing track starts with a two bar quarter note count in.


This lesson will be very straight forward if you have covered the exercise linked at the top of the page, you just need to build you groove to fit the rhythm then come up with a couple of simple variations. The exercise looks like this:

The sheet music for the exercise

In previous improvisation lessons the first thing we discussed was structure and part placement. Obviously for this longer pattern you could just play the same thing twice, but that won't earn you as many marks as creating a full 8 bar phrase. What I would recomend doing is placing the 'B' and 'C' sections at the end of each line in the example shown above. That would give you an 'A A A B A A A C' type structure. If you haven't come across this pattern it would be well worth looking through the linked lesson.

As you can see you will be using the same ideas, 'A' being the groove, which you will build from the given rhythm, 'B' being a variation on that and 'C' being a fill. There is just more groove this time between each change in the part. In the lesson linked at the top of the page I discuss ideas for both constructing and varying a groove, and picking appropriate fills for the reggae genre so have a go now at working out your parts.

Below I have included two examples of what you could play here. Try making your own part before looking at my ideas as this will be far more beneficial in the long run. When you have done that compare them to my examples.


Full Phrase 1

A full four bar phrase for this improvisation

Full Phrase 2

A full four bar phrase for this improvisation
TASK:
  1. Create your own part for the improvisation exercise presented at the start of this lesson.
  2. Play your part to the backing track and see if you think it fits well.
  3. Think about different ways you could approach this exercise.

Up Next

I recomend covering our 8 Bar Reggae Groove Based Improvisation lesson next.