This article presents 3 all the things you are improvisation exercises arranged for jazz guitar to help better your jazz guitar playing.

All the things you are, often abbreviated to AATYA, is a commonly played standard at gigs and jams.

The cyclic chord progression is great for practising chords, scales, arpeggios and licks.

But with a new chord in almost every bar, the standard might seem daunting at first.

This article presents 4 all the things you are improvisation exercises that have helped my students navigate through the progression.

Because of the tune’s fast moving harmony, there often isn’t enough time to play a full scale.

Most of these exercises keep the harmony short by focusing on targeting chord tones rather than using scales.

The first two exercises are applied over the first 8 bars of the tune, but they can be applied to the rest of the tune.

 

 

All The Things You Are Improvisation Exercise #1

 

When learning any new jazz standard, a great improvisation device is the melody.

Guitarists such as Jim Hall and John Abercrombie are known for using melody in their improvisation.

This first all the things you are improvisation exercise shows how the melody can be embellished using different enclosures.

Enclosures can develop any melody, especially simple themes based off guide tones.

Any enclosure combination can be used. Besides targeting 3rds, try targeting other chord tones.

 

All The Things You Are Improvisation Exercise #1 - Enclosures all the things improv exercise 1

 

 

All The Things You Are Improvisation Exercise #2

 

The second All The Things You improvisation exercise exclusively uses triads to navigate through the progression.

Stripping down the harmony to triads on a busy chord progression, like ATTYA, makes it easy to hear what is happening harmonically.

Etudes like this have a nice classical sound to them too.

If you are new to applying triads to a tune, practice them ascending over the entire progression, then descending.

Once you can fluently do both, mix them to your own taste.

Practice this etude by changing the rhythms from quarter notes to eighth notes.

This will force you to find two different triad inversions to play off in each bar.

 

All The Things You Are Improvisation Exercise #2 - Triads all the things triads

 

 

All The Things You Are Improvisation Exercise #3

 

The next two all the things you are improvisation exercises are over four bars within the final A section of the tune.

These four bars contain an interesting guide tone line that is often missed out when studying the progression.

The first shows how the 3rd of each chord drops a semi-tone.

This is demonstrated done by sticking the 3rd of each of the chords as the top note in the voicing as demonstrated in the notated example below.

Moving the chords this way creates interest in your comping.

 

All The Things You Are Improvisation Exercise #3 - Guide Tone Line

 

 

All The Things You Are Improvisation Exercise #4

 

The final All The Things You Are improvisation exercise is applied over the same part of the chord progression.

This example demonstrates another chromatically descending guide tone, this time using 7ths.

Rather than using chords to demonstrate this guide tone line, I wrote out a quarter note arpeggio exercise as seen below.

By experimenting with different rhythms, tasty and melodic lines can be created using this guide tone movement.

 

All The Things You Are Improvisation Exercise #3b - Guide Tone Lineall the things improv exercise guide tone

 

 

I hope that you have enjoyed playing and working through each of these all the things you are improvisation exercises.

Practice them using this free ATTYA backing track on YouTube.

What are your favorite ways to practice this tune? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

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