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· Registered
344 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings All
Have returned to the horn after a long hiatus, I am taking lessons, and digging into the hard work that is ahead of me. I was hoping that ten years of previously playing the horn would come flooding back to me but apparently its going to take some work. Luckily Im getting a good sound and can remember the fingerings at least.

So Im relearning the major scales and blues scales which are simple enough. I had those down when I put the horn down, and at that time was learning some other stuff as well as just starting to get into some real theory.

My current instructor is having me play some technical stuff out of an exercise book, but is also having me play along with BIAB and iRealbook to get into the "Alpha mind" as soon as possible which he thinks is important (I agree).

For an older guy hes very much into the technology but doesnt like a lot of the books that are out there currently. He is open to suggestions which is why I am here asking.

He wants me to start working out of Cokers Patterns For Jazz soon, but Id like to find something newer and shorter that can give me some of the basics, some patterns etc before diving into that larger body of work. Id like to get an elementary grasp of the relationship of chords, modes, and scales as well.

Now I understand that improv isnt just memorizing a lot of patterns, and I am listening to a couple of guys I really like (Lacy and Desmond mostly), but Id like to approach it from both angles so I can become a fluent and reasonably well educated player which Im not.

When I was a kid, I played horns in a state wide competitive wind ensemble, and a stage band. I was very good at sight reading back then, and did take solos as a tenor player. But didnt ever really get into true improv unfortunately.

As a drummer for 25 years I did, and approached it from two directions: Some nights I would play from the belly and just let whatever came out of me come out of me; and other times I had a group of "suites" I had constructed from my drum corps and orchestra days. People that appreciated my playing and followed the bands I was in liked both.

I dont want to use constructed solos at all playing horn, but I guess my point with the previous was I do have some level of creativity inside, and some amount of spontonaity, but no real theortical foundation to use.

I hear things in my head, but I cant just yet get them out.

I love this Parker quote:
"I realized by using the high notes of the chords as a melodic line, and by the right harmonic progression, I could play what I heard inside me. That's when I was born."

That gives me hope, that with a lage enough volume of practice and experience, as well as some education that I can reach down into myself and get it out into the horn.

I guess that was a longwinded way of requesting advice for a book. But any and all suggestions will be much appreciated then run by my instructor-

PS Great forum BTW with some world class advice!

· Distinguished SOTW Member
3,851 Posts
Well, what kind of book are you looking for exactly? Just a book of patterns? The Coker book starts off simply enough. The Aebersold Vol. 3 - ii-V-I book has patterns that start very simply and then build on those simple patterns.

· Registered
1,554 Posts
Well... This may or may not answer your question.
I heard from a teacher (at Jamey's camp), that before he started working with Patterns, that he made his OWN patterns. It sounds complicated at first, but it's really not.
I started off, without the written page doing simple things. For example... 1 2 3 5 going around a circle in 4th, 5th, b3s, up the whole tones, chromatically, etc.

I began to like things (mostly for a warm up) like these, another being 1 3 5 8, Then moving up a half step coming down, 8 5 3 1... So C E G C C# G# E# C#. This might help you get into it, and perhaps you won't be having to look at the actual sheet music.

Good luck
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