louis
Improvisation Lessons

circle of 5thsLearn to play jazz ... 

These lessons are an attempt at 'distance' teaching of a difficult aural musical skill, an almost impossible task, so remember sympathetic hard work is required. 

They involve a series of written lessons and accompanying 'Band in a Box' '.mgu' files containing musical examples which can be seen and heard using the 'Band in a Box' software from pg music logo

They owe much to the tutoring of great & late Roger 'Slim' Read and the musical insights of Randy Ayling. They are based on an assortment of lessons, tutorials, readings, tips and hints which I have accumulated and put together over the years. They are not instrument specific, they are an analysis of the sound of music ... 

The basics of improvisation you will learn are common to all jazz styles but my personal favourite is the collective small band sound of Louis Armstrong - listen to muskrat ramble ... and when you have put in the hours you will be able to play any tune in this style - try charmaine dixie !

Here we go ... click on the logos or examples for the action -

note stave  spiel - introduction to music and improvisation

note stave  course content - lesson overview

The lessons are in MSWord, or pdf format and the examples are zipped 'Band in a Box' files ...  you will find this software almost indispensable for practice as you learn to listen and to hear  ...

note stave  lesson 1 - the concept of tonality & the sound of the 'home base' ... or as a pdf pdf

  'band in a box'  examples Lesson 1 & a 'silent' 'Band in a Box' style ... or as pdf pdf

note stave  lesson 2 - the process of improvisation & moving patterns practice ... or as a pdf pdf

  'band in a box' examples Lesson 2 ... or as a pdf pdf

note stave  lesson 3 - ears, habits & 'sound/finger patterns' ... or as a pdf pdf

  'band in a box' examples Lesson 3... or as a pdf pdf

note stave  lesson 4 - ears, habits & 'rhythmic time feel' ... or as a pdf pdf

  'band in a box' examples Lesson 4 ... or as a pdf pdf

note stave  lesson 5 - interesting sound trajectories ... or as a pdf pdf

  'band in a box' examples Lesson 5 ... or as a pdf pdf

note stave  lesson 6 - pleasing the ear ... or as a pdf pdf

  'band in a box' examples Lesson 6 ... or as a pdf pdf

note stave  lesson 7 - consolidation & summary ... or as a pdf pdf

  'band in a box' examples Lesson 7 ... or as a pdf pdf

note stave  lesson 8 - playing the changes ... or as a pdf pdf

  'band in a box' examples Lesson 8 ... or as a pdf pdf

note stave  lesson 9 - blues theory & pentatonic scales ... or as a pdf pdf

  'band in a box' examples Lesson 9 ... or as a pdf pdf

note stave  lesson 10 - blues practice & blues scales ... or as a pdf pdf

  'band in a box' examples Lesson 10 ... or as a pdf pdf

note stave  lesson 11 - blues legacy & achieving effects ... or as a pdf pdf

 'band in a box' examples Lesson 11  ... or as a pdf pdf

eleven lessons complete part 1 of this course, watch out for 'typos' ...

more to come? ... my original intention was to extend the principles ingrained from part 1 to more discussion of 'high tension' sounds and 'swing' in part 2 ... but my notes include a lot of ideas which on reflection tend to repeat the principles of part 1 ...

I now suggest the best way forward is to practice part 1 and follow your ear !!

... meanwhile ... practice more !!

Don't forget to send me an email with your comments, corrections and critique ... here