Learning to improvise better is exactly what I want to try to accomplish this year. I have been playing alto on and off for about 15 years. I would say only 10 of those years, I really had time to be serious. I would say that I am an intermediate level. Thanks for the suggestions. I will take a look.Books are aimed at different levels of players, so without knowing your level it's hard to know what to suggest. Also, what is the purpose of learning "as many scales as [you] can"? Assuming your effort is part of a program of learning to improvise jazz (and granting you the debatable point that this is a reasonable approach to this goal), a few you might consider are:
Mel Bay Encyclopedia of Scales, Modes and Melodic Patterns - Arnie Berle
Thesaurus Of Scales And Melodic Patterns - Nicolas Slonimsky
Repository of Scales and Melodic Patterns - Yusef A. Lateef
Scales for Jazz Improvisation - Dan Haerle
I'll also suggest a book such as Bert Ligon's Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony to get you started on putting scales together in a sensible way.Learning to improvise better is exactly what I want to try to accomplish this year. I have been playing alto on and off for about 15 years. I would say only 10 of those years, I really had time to be serious. I would say that I am an intermediate level. Thanks for the suggestions. I will take a look.
Yes, but don't despair. It takes a long time to get really comfortable with this, and there are some exercises that can help you do it in a reasonable amount of time if you work at it.Inquiring minds would like to know:
When I see a chord written on my sheet music I am obviously supposed to play(or land on) the notes of that chord. With a relatively normal chord like say a "C" those notes are not too difficult to remember. When I see a chord written that has alphabet soup behind the root chord name, am I supposed to know all of the relevant notes in that structure?
Pretty much all of them. There are a couple exceptions who are more "ear" players, but they are invariably so good at playing by ear that they nail all the changes anyway. It's not a safe bet to go that route expecting work, though. There's so much stuff you'd have to turn down because of not reading adequately... it's best just to shed it until you get it!Or, to put it another way; how many of the decent players that gig for a living, can play these complex chords right off the page.
EVERYBODY is more comfortable with things they've played before. That doesn't change as you get better, you just A) are better at sounding good the first time, and B) you've practiced and played so many tunes and changes that in reality MOST things become "things you've played before."Or, is there a trick to playing the first time through and then adding more notes as you study the piece a little.
I'll also suggest a book such as Bert Ligon's Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony to get you started on putting scales together in a sensible way.
I had used them many years ago.Both are great books and it is worthy to spend time on them.Just for scales and scale studies, the book that was best for me was "Technique of The Saxophone, Volume I: Scale Studies," by Joe Viola.