Appendix 2: Different Scales for Different Chords TBk1

Classically trained performers practice the major and minor scales—ascending and descending two or four octaves—for countless hours. Still, they often are unable to use them in improvisations! Why? Perhaps they practice scales to improve technique, but not to create music.

This chapter attempts to addresses these issues, and to provide you with ideas on how to apply scales to harmony. As much as possible, practice the examples below in all keys.

27 Leading & Accompanying KB Improvisation Bk1

The keyboardist could lead the entire worship set alone (without any team members assisting) for 20 or 30 minutes. Here the keyboardist must be able to play and sing simultaneously, and may also have to talk or pray between numbers— do whatever needs to be done. This scenario confers a greatly enlarged role to the keyboardist!

26 Sevenths with Raised or Lowered Fifths KB Improvisation Bk1

Sevenths with raised or lower fifths function mainly as harmonic intensifiers. Think of them grammatically as adjectives or adverbs.  The dominant seven with a raised fifth has an augmented sound embedded within it, whereas the lowered fifth has a diminished sound.

25 Word Painting KB Improvisation Bk1

Worship songs have texts and texts have meanings and poetic images. We can honor and draw attention to these meanings and images by means of “word painting.”  Word painting is an expressive device that attempts to depict (often literally) the meaning of specific, individual words in the text.


24 Outros, Turnarounds, Loops KBImprovisation Bk1

Outros, turn arounds, and loops can also have a profound effect upon worship. They too allow for flexibility in worship, for following the Spirit, and for doing what is fitting and appropriate at the moment.

The word “outro” is a standard term among commercial musicians for an extension, tag,or coda to the final ending. A “turnaround” is an extension at the end, which leads back to the “head” (beginning). A “loop” is a phrase a few measures long that is repeated again and again for emphasis, usually toward the middle of the piece.

23 Intros KB Improvisation Bk1

The techniques discussed in this and the next the chapter—introductions, outros, turnarounds, and loops—can have a profound effect upon worship. They allow for flexibility in worship, for following the Spirit, and for doing what is fitting and appropriate at the moment.

22 Modulation III KB Improvisation Bk1

Now we will explore ways to extend modulations, create moods, use motives, sequences, and to fashion more artistic, sophisticated, worshipful segues.  At the end of the chapter, the iii – vi – ii – V – I chain of fifths will be employed.

21 Smoothing the Transition – Modulation II KB Improvisation Bk1

In the previous chapter we centered on V7 and V9sus chords to effect short, basic modulations. Now our range of options enlarges: any kind of ii chord can precede the V chord. The ii – V – I progression can be used to produce smooth modulations for any key.