Wave – Improv scales and ideas

In this lesson we’ll talk about some improvising ideas for playing over the changes in the song Wave by Jobim

Here is an outline of the chord changes and their function.

Dm7 – G7 : During this vamp I like to play D minor pentatonic. It’s chord I and IV in D minor and you can get a good groove going with this scale to set up the rest of the solo.

Dmaj7 – Bbdim7 : I am thinking D Ionian or D major then B harmonic minor notes starting on A# – this is the 7th mode of the B harmonic scale. You can also think F# Phrygian dominant if you like.

Am7 – D7b9 – Gmaj7 : This is a kind of ii-V- I though it doesn’t quite work with G major scale because of the D7b9, this chord is used if we were going to Gm. So you can play A dorian and D Phrygian dominant scales which are both derived from the G harmonic minor scale. However when we get to the I chord we need to switch to G major scale so put some emphasis on the B natural or you can also try G lydian which includes the C# (suds cool).

Gm6 –  We are now in G minor so we go back to G harmonic minor scale.

F#13 – B9 – E9 :  This is a series of seventh chords so you can play the mixolydian chords of each. You can also try F# mixolydian – B harmonic minor – E mixolydian

B9 – A7#5 – Dm7 : This is heading back to D minor so play chord tones or D harmonic minor

Gmin7 – C7 – Fmaj7: This is ii- V- I in F so play F man scale or corresponding modes (G dorian- C mix – F Ionian.

Fmin7 – Bb9- Ebmaj7 – this is ii – V – I 9n Eb so use the Ebmajor scale and corresponding modes.

Below you will find the chart with my these ideas written in and also my written out improv solo:


Interactive Sheet Music/TAB



This content is restricted to LGM Members

Join LGM Members here