Sunday, August 31, 2014

Funky 12-Bar Riff Blues created for Berklee MOOC

The final assignment in the Developing Your Musicianship MOOC being offered by the Berklee College of Music via Coursera was to compose your own melody using the C-minor Pentatonic scale following the "riff-blues" formula.
The riff-blues formula is: two bars melody, two bars pause (just chords/rhythm), two bars repeat melody, two bars pause (just chords/rhythm), two bars varied melody, and two bars pause (just chords/rhythm).  Presumably all over dominant 7th chord changes such as C7 - C7 - C7 - C7, F7 - F7 - C7 - C7, G7 - F7 - C7 - C7.

The instructor provided two backing tracks over which you could create your own melody and I chose the "funky blues" backing track.  I put the backing track on repeat and just kept jamming over it and this little melody was one of the results.  There might be an "accidental" note in there!


Not that original of a riff I know, but more interesting than some of the initial melodies I was coming up with on the spot.  This was a fun way to culminate the class as I had never before tried to just jam by creating my own improvised melody over a backing track.  I'm looking forward to the next free online Berklee College of Music class starting this fall which deals specifically with the subject of improvisation! 

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