Welcome to episode 132 of the LJS Podcast where today we are answering a question from a podcast listener who asked about avoid notes. Avoid notes are used in music academia to help identify which notes to not play over given chords or chords in the context of chord progression. But should you really “avoid” avoid notes? Listen in!
Listen to episode 132
Today’s episode covers what I consider a complicated subject to talk about. The topic is “avoid notes” and I believe it’s not black and white.
In music academia, avoid notes refers to notes you should avoid playing in a melodic situation over an isolated chord or a chord in context of a chord progression.
The good thing about avoid notes are that they do help give some general rules of which notes to avoid in order to not create too much dissonance over a chord. Or in the case of a chord progression, they help identify how to differentiate chords from each other.
The bad thing about them is that they should not always be avoided, which of course is a contradiction.
Now if that confuses you, don’t worry, and do my best to make this clear in today’s show.
Here’s a bit of what I talk about:
1. Avoid notes and what they are.
2. Which notes to avoid over isolated chords.
3. When playing those avoid notes is acceptable.
4. Examples of notes to avoid in the context of a chord progression.
5. How to play avoid notes in a chord progression and still differentiate the chords.
This episode may not provide black and white answers, but when it comes to improvisation, few things are.
I hope this episode gives you some enlightenment and helps you conceptualize some of your note choice decisions the next time you sit down to practice.