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Re: improvisation and performance

To clarify here, as taught at Berklee (where I did some time, and about 
which I have mixed feelings), "avoid" notes aren't mistakes, they are 
rather notes which are part of a scale which could full well be used 
over a given chord, but are generally held to be too dissonant, thus 
they are to be avoided. One common example would be the 11th over a 
dominant chord.

That said, I hate the entire concept and think it should be tossed 
altogether! Here's my little rant on the subject...


Mistakes, well...if you're improvising, you should know what you're 
going for and be able to hit it. If you don't quite make it, you have to 
deal with your misstep  however is appropriate, which could include 
repeating it, but mainly involves making it seem like you actually DID 
mean to do it.

Daryl Shawn

> Jazz musicians who I have talked to who believe in wrong
> notes call them "clams", and they don't repeat them unless to be 
> humorous or to mock each other with
> call and response. Free Jazz might warrant some exceptions, but with 
> improvisation in traditional or
> modern jazz, I do see a tendency for folks to subscribe to the "wrong 
> note" theory and not repeat them.
> In fact, the really technical players tend to be embarrassed by them.  
> They are called "avoid" notes
> in traditional jazz theory and improvisation, and they don't repeat them.