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I've been working in this book off and on for a while. Just playing the exercises slowly is a tremendous mental exercise. Once the mental part is learned, then you can get the physical part going by increasing speed. Of course it's the mental part that teaches you the material and this has already been helpful. My question is this: has anybody on this list mastered this book in its entirety, and if so, was it pivotal for you?
 

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I definitely haven't mastered the whole thing, for sure-- I didn't get it until grad school, and by then I'd gotten a lot of its meat from other sources, like transcribing solos and working them through all twelve keys, or making my own exercises out of pieces of solos that I particularly liked.

I will say, however, that I got a lot out of picking a few specific phrases from that book and taking them through all the keys. I think that's the kind of book that you'll get more of by spending more time on a few specific things than trying to hack through the whole thing as fast as you can. Learning all the exercises from that book in all twelve keys at 280 BPM is certainly not necessary for being able to play jazz well. It's just a good resource for internalizing useful patterns that can open your ears and fingers up, and that can inform improvisational ideas later down the line after they've been assimilated subconsciously.

I'll say the same for Joe Viola's books. Certain things in his books have stuck with me for years after I stopped working out of them.
 

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I will say, however, that I got a lot out of picking a few specific phrases from that book and taking them through all the keys. I think that's the kind of book that you'll get more of by spending more time on a few specific things than trying to hack through the whole thing as fast as you can.
I agree. I, too, have used this book with varying degrees of intensity for the better part of 15 years in the manner described above. By now I've found the patterns I dig, and I've chosen a few based on the fact that they didn't feel natural to me - either to my ear or under my fingers. This is one of the few times when I advocate for "learning in all 12 keys." Occasionally I use the book as part of my warm-up routine.

That said, some of the players I went to school with worked the book cover-to-cover and (seemingly) mastered all the patterns in all 12 keys. But, keep in mind, these are just patterns. They're not ideas, and the idea is to expand your facility and your ears so that you can create and convey musical ideas.
 

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I've been using this book for a while now. About half way now. I do agree that some of the exercises are mentally challenging and can be exhausting to get all 12 keys. I start slowly and get it right. Once the exercise is mastered it feels really good. My teacher says it is all about chords. not to spend too much effort on it. But I like the challenge of learning.
 

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I'd use mine more if it were spiral bound...
 
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