Today we look at how we can develop a basic ballad style.
“Getting the Feel Of It”
As strange as it may sound, improvising a Ballad Style is the easiest way to learn it. This is before you learn tunes. The reasoning behind this is that it is quite difficult to remember the notes of tunes. In contrast, playing around with the notes and experimenting with scales and patterns is proven to be the easiest route.
Below is six ways to approach this style.
1. Learn a simple LEFT HAND pattern that can be applied to any chord.
2. Put this pattern into a sequence of chords.
3. Learn the PENTATONIC SCALE - a magic 5 note scale that will sound GREAT
over ALL your chords no matter what order you play the notes in!
4. EXPERIMENT with the magic scale - NO RULES!
5. Learn a more structured approach to playing Ballad style using various
patterns and chord tones
6. Apply what you have learned to ACTUAL melodies.
EXERCISE ONE: The Feel
Play the sequence of notes below (C Chord Based) one note at a time. Start from C low all the way up to G then up to the high C. The high C note should be held for two beats. The sustain pedal should be kept down throughout.
Move the entire pattern two notes to the left on the Am chord.
Now two notes to F
Then two notes left to G
Here is Ballad Style Exercise One in Musical Notation: