From a Paul Franklin Method Facebook Group post:
Threes and Fours
I improvise thinking in 3 and 4 note combinations. I learn everything this way. Thinking in small amounts frees my mindset to rearrange any of those note choices as I combine them into longer phrases. Here is a solo where you can clearly see and hear me thinking in 3 or 4 note combinations.
When I was playing licks learned from others, most of the licks I learned were too long, thereby preventing me this type of freedom. This way of viewing how to piece together musical improvisations is the magic bullet for those with the goal of becoming a great fast player or great ballad player.
Here is Jazz great Chris Potter….Listen again to the same concept….The only way to get to this level of freedom is to view the puzzle as smaller pieces. Starts around 2:12 …Listen to the 3 and 4 note combo’s and the permutations mastered at the highest level of musicianship…This concept is applied to every form of music…
To learn to play and sound like Chris, I want you to notice how he is focused on “intervallic improvisations” (The chord notes and their upper extensions). He has the permutations mastered and also notice he has mostly eliminated the obvious scale approach opting for the strongest voice leading notes. He’s heading away from the scale approach even though his instrument (like the piano and guitar) is one of the easiest to play scales and scale patterns on. It’s musical taste to not sound like you are running scales.
Once I heard what the other instruments were doing I stopped listening to steel guitarists who emphasized scales as the means to playing the instrument freely. Check Chris out…Amazing musicianship. Also listen to Buddy’s solo again and notice that his note choice is also triadic focusing on “Intervallic Improvisation”.