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I have been playing mostly straight ahead jazz for years. I've played of the melody and chords most of the time. After a 1 year layoff I got the chance to join a fusion/funk band and that's breaking new ground for me. I'm trying to get a new practice regime going and decided to use bergonzis books as a part of it, I decided to start on book one and throw in the pentatonics book later. I get the general idea of it, but how do you guys use his books? I find it kinda boring to practice the four-note segments as they are laid out.
 

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As you advance it suggest that you edit your note output so you put in more rests and upbeats. I think bergonzi books need little explanation, they are progressive and explanations are clear.
In volume 1 its all about been capable of delineating the changes first, and learn to visualize chords and the digital patterns inside them. So you learn chord tones and extensions and playing changes.
As you are joining a fusion band chances are that you are going to play and think different than when playing standards for example. So you are going to find more modal type playing with longer durations, or funk grooves over a bass ostinato. This maybe require a different strategy for improvising.

Any of the bergonzi books is great, but maybe i would choose volume 6(more complete and different exercises) and the rhythm one, which i don´t remember what volume is. In volume 6 you have everything from scales, to chord tones and extensions, chromatic approach, patterns,....to a second part where he gives you lot of ideas to develop harmonic, rhythmic and melodic tools to use.
The pentatonics is also good but i bet you would be bored too in the beginning.
 

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I LOVE these books- they've really helped me with the intervallic stuff because those jumps aren't intuitive to me and it's helped me to see and read them. I've worked on memorizing them and changing them up and they're great for the style you're doing I think.
 

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With Band in a Box.......make a practice background in different styles and tempos.

I have been playing mostly straight ahead jazz for years. I've played of the melody and chords most of the time. After a 1 year layoff I got the chance to join a fusion/funk band and that's breaking new ground for me. I'm trying to get a new practice regime going and decided to use bergonzis books as a part of it, I decided to start on book one and throw in the pentatonics book later. I get the general idea of it, but how do you guys use his books? I find it kinda boring to practice the four-note segments as they are laid out.
 

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I have been playing mostly straight ahead jazz for years. I've played of the melody and chords most of the time. After a 1 year layoff I got the chance to join a fusion/funk band and that's breaking new ground for me. I'm trying to get a new practice regime going and decided to use bergonzis books as a part of it, I decided to start on book one and throw in the pentatonics book later. I get the general idea of it, but how do you guys use his books? I find it kinda boring to practice the four-note segments as they are laid out.
I studied with Bergonzi and remember feeling really bored with that 1235 material also. It does pay off in spades as you are mastering the different note choices over a given chord but the process can be a bit laborious and boring. The trick is messing with the rhythms so that the creative part of the brain is not checking out while you are running number patterns. When I do that I find I am more engaged because there is part of me that is still creating and improvising even within the context of those number patterns.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the replies. I will check out the later books as well, are they made to be followed one after the other or do all books stand by themselves?
I used to jam with a really great guitar player who I think really was more into fusion but he was a monster player. And he swore by the Bergonzi books.
 

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I love Bergonzi's approach and have all his books and have had them for maybe 15 years...Vol. 1 through 6. Vol. 4 Melodic Rhythms is by far my favorite. I tended to use his books to develop my time feel. I would play two bars, rest for one or 4 bars rest for one to create 3 or 5 bar phrases. The odd phrases helped me feel larger chunks of time. For as long as I have studied those books, his melodic concepts only slightly crept into my playing. His rhythmic concepts had a much bigger impact on my playing.

At the time, I too was leaning towards fusion (Bob Malach, Dave Weckl...who am I kidding I still love fusion!) As much as I loved the Bergonzi books...nothing impacted my playing as much (and as fast) as with Steve Neff's (Nefertiti) "Approach Note Velocity book." His books have a Bergonzi vibe to them but are another step up in terms of real life usefulness for mere mortals. I worked out of his book maybe 10 years ago after some time in the Bergonzi books and wished I started with the Approach Notes book first. His concept really shows up under your fingers on gigs surprisingly fast. The best part is he has a lot of videos available as if your taking private lessons directly from the author.
 
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