Motivic Transformation

There are several ways to transform motifs:

  • Repetition
  • Sequence
  • Displacement
  • Inversion
  • Diminution
  • Augmentation
  • Retrograde
  • Extension
  • Fragmentation
  • Transposition

And you could combine any number of these in any number of ways.

Have a look at any of the tunes you know and analyse the motivic ideas in this way.

Apply this to your ideas.

It’s MUCH easier to transform a short motif than a long one.

So if you’re trying to, say, develop solos, tell a story, get more logic or sense into your playing, you might try to play shorter ideas and develop them in ways that are similar to the tunes that you already know.