Backing track 1 (in D Major) is part one of a longer chord progression I wrote a while back, and consists of the first 4 bars of the progression looped round several times for practice. Bass & keys by me, drum loop from Loopmasters nu groove RnB pack.
You can download the track directly from the Soundcloud link above.
NB: everything here refers to the Eb saxes, alto & baritone. If you want to use this loop with Bb tenor or soprano, you need to transpose all the chords etc. up a perfect fourth!
The four chords (for Eb alto or baritone) are: DM7 : Bm7 : AM7 : GM7
(M = Major, m = minor). The time signature is 4/4, and the tempo is 75bpm. There is a one bar intro on drums.
Remember: for Bb tenor and soprano players the chords will be: GM7 : Em7 : DM7 : CM7
The chords are played one to a bar and are arpeggiated as follows;
DM7: D F# A C# Bm7: B D F# A AM7: A C# E G# GM7: G B D F#
A good warm up is to play the arpeggios over the chords a few times to get in the zone!
The chords: although always a contestable subject (chords can have different functions and different names in different circumstances), we can say that broadly the first, second and fourth chords are functions of the scale of D Major. This means that your ‘safe’ menu of notes for soloing / improvising is; D E F# G A B C#.
In the key of D Major, DM7 is chord 1 : Bm7 is chord 6: GM7 is chord 4 (slightly altered)!
The third chord, AM7, requires a bit of care, because of the G#. You can either change to A Major for the third bar (A B C# D E F# G#), or just remember to use G# instead of G….
A cunning alternative is to use A Major Pentatonic (A B C# E F#) over the whole thing, thus avoiding the G / G# problem altogether!
Hope you enjoy using the track, and don’t forget that you’re very welcome to contact me with any questions!