Shakatak Nightbird with Forward Motion

Nightbird, a very catchy tune from the Brit Jazz scene. With a very melodious piano solo, that’s just begging for a transcription.

Check out this video of Shakatak playing their Nightbird

Here’s the transcription of the piano solo on Nightbird:


Again, we see the application of Forward Motion theory in this solo transcription.

According to Hal Galper and his Forward Motion theory,

“A chord is spelled out by synchronizing the strong beats (the “on” beats) of the bar with the strong tones (chord tones) of a chord scale, and the weak beats (the “off” beats) with the weak tones (non-chord tones).

For more detail discussion on this, read this article on Tension and Release Beat

Keeping this in mind, observe the scale run at bar 7 of the solo transcription, here’s a snapshot:


Immediately we see the effect of the B natural note circled. By placing it where it is, all the chord tones from a Cm7 chord are beautifully alligned with the relatively stronger beats of the bar.

Had the chromatic passing tone be added somewhere else, a weaker melody line would be heard.

Read up more on Forward Motion Theory in these articles,

Secret Formula to Jazz Bebop Solo Improvisation – An Introduction to Forward Motion Theory

Tutorial on Forward Motion – based on Transcription and Video of Joe Pass
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Until then, have fun and enjoy… 😀

1 Comment

  • Phil

    Reply Reply August 21, 2010

    Wow. What a refreshing website. I thank you for an interesting and informative ride through the Jazz psyche required to play the “King of Instruments”. My beloved piano deserves such devotion and the creators of this website have finally given it it’s due. I have not yet seen an equal or as interesting a site anywhere else as of yet on the entire net. Thank you! Your devotion to the piano is much appreciated and sorely needed. You will definitely help free the music that is waiting to soar skyward from our hands and our hearts.

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