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ARTICULATION

Module 42


LESSON 1: The Echo Game - Major Seventh Chords with Lower Neighboring Tones

In this video lesson, I play the echo game with major seventh chords, adding lower neighboring tones to the root, third, fifth or seventh. Includes directions one, two and a bonus round of direction three for advanced players.


LESSON 2: The Diminished Scale over a Cº7 Chord - New System

In this video lesson, I share a completely new approach to learning the diminished scale for use with the diminished seventh chord. This is one of the more challenging topics, as aspiring players are often unsure about the notes in between the chord tones of 1-b3-b5-bb7 when playing this scale. This new system eliminates all doubt and will help you to hear the scale with clarity.

Includes detailed PDF practice notes for C, Bb and Eb instruments.


LESSON 3: Major Scales in 3rds Shifting by Half Steps

In this video lesson, I take the familiar practice routine of playing major scales in thirds and put a new twist on it. To improve technical fluency in difficult keys, I shift the exercise both a half-step up and down. This is a great way to get over any inhibitions about playing in tricky keys.

Includes detailed PDF practice notes for C, Bb and Eb instruments.


LESSON 4: Staccato Articulation Strategy - Aka: Duck, Duck, Goose

In this video lesson, I share my unique approach to creating extremely percussive short notes similar to the style used by Stan Getz on many of his famous Bossa Nova recordings. This simple, yet effective approach will definitely transform your short notes.


LESSON 5: The Art of Listening

In this video lesson, I share my thoughts about being aware of your musical surroundings at all times. The first story is about a student with no awareness that he's playing in the wrong key with a play-along. The second story is about a pro player how he was ignoring his musical surroundings. In both cases, it was a failure to listen that hurt both performances. I discuss the importance of developing the ability to listen and play simultaneously.


 

approx 29 min

Module 39


LESSON 1: Locating the 9th of a Chord

The ninth is one of my favorite notes in a chord. To me, it always feels and sounds elegant and luxurious. And yet, many aspiring players have a difficult time locating and hearing the note. In this video lesson, I show you my system for easily hearing and locating the ninth of any chord.

This lesson includes hearing ninths over: Maj7, dom7, mi7, mi7b5, and dim7 chords. Intermediate & advanced level. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb, and C instruments.

.


LESSON 2: Hearing a Hidden Melody within an Eighth-Note Line

In this video lesson, I will take phrase of all eighth-notes and reveal to you the hidden melody within that line. I use a short phrase from my etude, “Broadway Street” and deconstruct the line, revealing the melody that I had in mind. From there, I rebuild the phrase, adding an enclosure, approach notes to reconstruct the line.

This lesson provides insights into the compositional process involved in creating melodic eighth-note lines.

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL. Includes PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.


LESSON 3: High Speed Articulation with Halsted Street

In this video lesson, I share my strategies for increasing the speed and smoothness of your articulation when playing fast, consecutive eighth-notes. I use a short phrase from my etude, “Halsted Street” to demonstrate many different approaches to articulation.

The video also includes some discussion of extended articulation techniques, such as the “dooden” tongue and a demonstration of integrating the “dooden” tongue with the “ah-tah,” and staccato tonguing, all while keeping the phrase in tempo. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED level. Includes PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.


LESSON 4: Listening Recommendation: Oscar Peterson Trio: The Sound of the Trio

This is one of my all-time favorite recordings of the legendary Oscar Peterson trio, featuring Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen. This was recorded in the late 1950s in Chicago at the famous “London House,” a jazz supper club in downtown Chicago.

Artists would be “in residence” for their gig from one to three weeks at a time, playing between five and seven nights a week. This led to a wonderfully relaxed situation, where the artists could focus on the music, well-rested, without the fatigue of playing one-niters around the country.

I can hear the energy and communication present in every note of the album. You’ll even hear glasses clinking in the background. It’s like you’re right there in the room with the group. The record is also beautifully engineered by Val Valentin, for the Verve record label. A must-have for any serious collection.


approx 36 min

Module 02


LESSON 1: Interval Study - Major 7th intervals
Intervals are one of the most overlooked practice items. However, I consider them just as important as practicing scales and chords. In this video, I demonstrate my approach to practicing major 7th intervals by playing them in the cycle, both ascending and descending.
This approach is great for the ear, and it will help you to recognize the interval when you hear it in melodies. Once you get this approach under your fingers and in your ears, we’ll take the next step with intervals and apply them to many different harmonic situations. (more videos on this subject are coming in the future).
After working with this video, review many of the melodies you like to play, and look for the presence of this interval used both ascending and descending. When you do this, your ear will start to pick up on the interval, and you’ll be hearing at a deeper level.

LESSON 2: Hearing the Location of the Root, 3rd, 5th, and 7th in Chords
This lesson demonstrates my system for hearing the location of a specific note in a chord. If you can already play your chords from the 1-3-5-7 ascending and 7-5-3-1 descending, this video will take you to the next level. This system has helped many of students reach a deeper level of hearing harmony, to the point where they can play a “C” and hear that note clearly in their mind’s ear as the Root, 3rd, 5th or 7th of any chord type.

LESSON 3: Transforming a Maj7 Chord into a Diminished (maj7) Chord
This is a common trick among pro players, temporarily transforming a maj7 chord into a dimMaj7 chord for added harmonic flavor.

LESSON 4: Six Melodic Variations on a Descending Minor 7th Chord
In this lesson, I discuss and demonstrate Six Melodic Variations on a Descending Minor 7th Chord, and the theory behind them.

LESSON 5: Sunrise/Sunset Neck Exercise
This lesson features a technique I call “Sunrise/Sunset” for improving your breath support and dynamics. I use the neck alone to produce a concert E, demonstrating some of the techniques I use to improve tone, dynamics, and breath control.

LESSON 6: The Butterfly Tongue
This lesson features a technique I call the “Butterfly Tongue.” The is a technique for slightly muting the note and changing the timbre while the tongue rests on the reed. Getz, Prez, and many of the old-school masters use this technique to achieve both ghosted 8th notes, as well as quickly repeated notes, similar in sound to double-tonguing, but much smoother. This is a challenging one, but well worth the effort!
LESSON 7: Road Tips - Location of Notes within Maj7 Chords - Part 2 of 3
In this lesson, I show you how to think of one note in four different locations within a major 7th chord. For example, C = Root of Cmaj7, but C = the 3rd of Abmaj7, C = the 5th of Fmaj7, and C = the 7th of Db maj7. The importance of enharmonic notes is also discussed in the video.

approx 40 min

Module 04


LESSON 1: Hearing Intervals from the Roots of the "Big 5" Chords
Demonstration of a system for training the ear to hear the intervals from the root to the 3rd, 5th, and 7th of what I call the “Big 5” chords; Maj7, dom7, mi7, mi7b5, and dim7 chords. Also includes instruction on hearing from the 7th of the chords down to the root. BEGINNING & INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.

LESSON 2: Major 7th Chords in Four Directions
This lesson demonstrates ways of practicing Major 7th chords in the cycle, in four directions. Essential for ALL LEVELS.

LESSON 3: Mainstream Articulation
Greg demonstrates his system for learning mainstream jazz articulation. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL with some tips at the end of the video for ADVANCED LEVEL, as well.

LESSON 4: Adding Lower Neighboring Tones to the Descending Major Scale
This lesson demonstrates a system for adding Lower Neighboring Tones to the Major Scales. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVELS.

LESSON 5: Road Tips - The C = ?
Greg shows how to keep your mind focused and sharp even when you’re away from the horn. This music theory game involves thinking of the note “C” as different degrees of major scales.

approx 30 min

Module 22


LESSON 1: 6 Essential Elements - The Six of Diamonds
In this video, I share what I consider to be the six essential elements needed to sound like a professional player. I demonstrate the elements through an original blues tune, titled “The Six of Diamonds.”
The six essential elements are: 1) Notes 2) Rhythm 3) Articulation 4) Dynamics 5) Terminal Vibrato 6) Timbral Shadings. The importance of each element is explained in the video lesson. Includes detailed PDF lesson notes in C, Bb and Eb. ALL LEVELS

LESSON 2: Breathing - Video Lesson
In this video lesson, I share my approach to breathing. If you’ve ever felt short of breath while playing or felt that your tone was a bit thin, this lesson is a must. In addition to the technique of breathing, I also discuss jaw position on the mouthpiece while breathing, as well as my thoughts on long tones. ALL LEVELS. Includes PDF text notes with bullet-point lesson summary.

LESSON 3: Getting more impact from your short notes
In this video, I share my approach for getting more impact from short notes. There is a big distinction in the way that a pro player approaches short notes in the middle of a phrase.

The issue is whether the short note is slurred into or tongued as it is played. I demonstrate the two approaches and provide examples to help train your ear to clearly hear the difference between a “low impact” and “high impact” short note. If you want pro-like short notes in your lines, this lesson is essential, and a total game-changer. ALL LEVELS. Includes PDF lesson notes.


LESSON 4: Diatonic Triads
In this video, I share my system for learning and practicing diatonic triads. These triadic chord structures often get overlooked, but they’re essential for all players.
They have a different feel than the larger seventh chords, and they’re very versatile. ALL LEVELS. Includes detailed PDF practice notes in C, Bb and Eb.

LESSON 5: Listening Recommendation: Stan Getz - Jazz Samba
In this video lesson, I share some of my thoughts about the innovative way in which Stan Getz introduced the new Bossa Nova style to the world. Also includes a short demo of Getz playing diatonic triads.

aprox 40 min

Module 30


LESSON 1: The JS Bach Effect
In this video lesson, I explore what I call the “JS Bach” effect. With this effect, Bach turns a basic triad into a melodic masterpiece.
He does this by raising the 3rd of the chord by an octave and changing the note order from 1-3-5 to 1-5-3. This may sound like a simple device, but since it involves some large intervals, it takes a little bit of practice to get comfortable playing it on the saxophone.
I first noticed this great effect when I hear the Bach Cello Suites. This effect is one of my favorites on any instrument, and it really gets your ear to hear the 3rd of any chord very clearly. I demonstrate the JS Bach effect with diatonic triads and also major and minor triads played in the cycle. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSON 2: Melodic Embellishment
In this video lesson, I demonstrate the concept of melodic embellishment, using my composition “Milwaukee Avenue” from “Jazz Phrasing for Saxophone, Volume 1.”
This is a medium tempo blues with plenty of space in the melody, similar to a “standard.” In the lesson, I’ll show you how I embellish the original melody by connecting ideas with additional notes or sequences. This is an essential skill for all improvisers. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL, Includes PDF notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSON 3: The Dexter Bb Shake
In this video lesson, I show you what I call the “Dexter Bb Shake.” I named it for Dexter Gordon because I first noticed the way that he used the effect.
Although many other tenor players also use this expressive device, I still associate it with Dexter. This is a fun lesson and it helps you work on what I call “timbral shading,” which means modifying the timbre of the note. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.
Includes PDF practice notes. Since this lesson is dependant on this exact fingering to produce the effect, the PDF is only in the tenor key. This effect will work well on alto with the same fingering, as well.

LESSSON 4: Sonny Rollins Style Articulation
In this video, I demonstrate an intense style of articulation that I learned from listening to one of my favorite players, the great Sonny Rollins. Sonny has an incredible amount of energy and power in his playing, and he’s developed an incredibly percussive style of articulation which introduces short notes in the middle of fast-moving eighth-note lines.
The video includes a demonstration comparing the smoother Sonny Stitt approach to this more percussive approach. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL. Includes PDF for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSON 5: Listening Recommendation: Sonny Rollins Plus 4
In this video, I discuss one of my favorite Sonny Rollins albums, “Sonny Rollins Plus 4.” This is on the Prestige record label, recorded in 1956.

aprox 33 min

Module 29


LESSON 1: Basic Voice leading for a ii - V - I - PART 1 of 2
In this video lesson, I share some essential voice-leading strategies which will transform your chord arpeggios, making them sound smooth and professional.
f you’re used to just arpeggiating your ii – V – I chords as 1-3-5-7, one after another, this video (in two parts) will take you to the next level! Part one of the lesson deals with major ii V I progressions. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSON 2: Basic Voice leading for a ii - V - I - PART 2 of 2
In this video lesson, I share some essential voice-leading strategies which will transform your chord arpeggios, making them sound smooth and professional.
If you’re used to just arpeggiating your ii – V – I chords as 1-3-5-7, one after another, this video (in two parts) will take you to the next level! Part two of the lesson deals with minor ii V I progressions. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSON 3: Hip Lick #49
Hip Lick #49 is based on Cmi7. It’s a two-measure lick that outlines the primary notes of the chord (7-5-3-1) while also including some popular bebop elements, such as the opening triplet rhythm on the first beat.
I demonstrate how to use dynamics to liven up the lick and I also play it in 12 keys, descending chromatically. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL. Includes PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSSON 4: Why Does My Playing Sound so Choppy (and how do I make it Smoother)?
Many students come to me with the same issue…they want to have a smooth sound when playing eighth-note lines, but no matter how slowly they practice, they still have a “choppy” sound. This is a tricky problem to correct because it has several causes.
I explore the three main reasons for the “choppy” sound issue and provide effective solutions for this frustrating issue. When I show these techniques to my students, it immediately raises their playing level, and many years of frustration go away very quickly.
While it will take some time and effort to fix the problem, with the tips from this video lesson, you’ll be sounding smoother than you ever thought possible. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL. Includes PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSON 5: Listening Recommendation: Marcos Valle - Samba 68
In this video, I discuss one of my all-time favorite albums, Marcos Valle’s “Samba ’68.” It’s deceptive because it sounds so light and fluffy and simple. Actually, it’s incredibly deep, sophisticated writing with some of the catchiest melodies I’ve ever heard.
Each tune is a masterpiece of melodic construction, performed in a charming, relaxed manner, by the composer himself, singing and playing guitar.
The lush orchestrations are by Deodato. Recorded in 1967 and released in 1968, at the tail-end of the bossa nova craze, this is a rare gem of a record.

aprox 35 min

Module 34


LESSON 1: Four Directions - Thinking Locally and Globally

I often mention practicing in four directions for gaining mastery over your scales, chords and intervals. In this video lesson, I explore and explain the four directions. I describe the difference between thinking “locally” and “globally” when playing a sequential pattern.

This is a major concept that will help you improve your ear and your ability to memorize songs and musical vocabulary. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL. Includes PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSON 2: Finding the hidden Diminished and Augmented Chords in the Chromatic Scale

In this video lesson, I show you how to use the chromatic scale to diminished chords and augmented chords. Although I demonstrate these same chords in different video lessons (playing all of them on piano), this is an alternative approach, designed to help players that find it a real challenge learning the traditional way.

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL. Includes PDF practice notes.

LESSON 3: Exploring Hip Lick #37

In this video lesson, I work with lick #37 from the book “Hip Licks for Saxophone Volume 1.” This is a two-measure C7 lick that uses part of the bebop scale, contrary motion, sequence and a diatonic enclosure.

The lesson explores the lick from many different angles, taking the first half of the lick as a stand-alone lick. I also demonstrate how to create lots of rhythmic variations on the lick, as well as how to transpose the lick not only to twelve keys but how to make the first half of the lick in one key, while transposing only the second part of the lick. Whether you’re just starting out, and intermediate player, or a seasoned pro, there’s something in this lesson for all levels.
INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED LEVEL. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSON 4: The "Dooden" Tongue

In this video lesson, I share my technique for this popular special effect tonguing used by Getz, Bird, Pres and many of the top players from the Swing/Bop era. This one is intentionally an “all-ear” lesson, so there are no practice notes on this one.

Be sure and play along with me where indicated in the portion of the lesson where we’ll trade back and forth with the rhythm on the concert G while using the dooden tonguing effect. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.

LESSON 5: Listening Recommendation: Clifford Brown • Max Roach

This amazing 1958 album has so many classics…Daahoud, Joy Spring, Jordu, Parisian Thoroughfare…all on the same album. The beauty and symmetry of Clifford’s playing throughout this album is breathtaking.

Also, check out the interaction between Max Roach and Clifford. Harold Land also is in great form on this album. One of my favorites.

aprox 39 min

Module 42


LESSON 1: The Echo Game - Major Seventh Chords with Lower Neighboring Tones

In this video lesson, I play the echo game with major seventh chords, adding lower neighboring tones to the root, third, fifth or seventh. Includes directions one, two and a bonus round of direction three for advanced players.


LESSON 2: The Diminished Scale over a Cº7 Chord - New System

In this video lesson, I share a completely new approach to learning the diminished scale for use with the diminished seventh chord. This is one of the more challenging topics, as aspiring players are often unsure about the notes in between the chord tones of 1-b3-b5-bb7 when playing this scale. This new system eliminates all doubt and will help you to hear the scale with clarity.

Includes detailed PDF practice notes for C, Bb and Eb instruments.


LESSON 3: Major Scales in 3rds Shifting by Half Steps

In this video lesson, I take the familiar practice routine of playing major scales in thirds and put a new twist on it. To improve technical fluency in difficult keys, I shift the exercise both a half-step up and down. This is a great way to get over any inhibitions about playing in tricky keys.

Includes detailed PDF practice notes for C, Bb and Eb instruments.


LESSON 4: Staccato Articulation Strategy - Aka: Duck, Duck, Goose

In this video lesson, I share my unique approach to creating extremely percussive short notes similar to the style used by Stan Getz on many of his famous Bossa Nova recordings. This simple, yet effective approach will definitely transform your short notes.


LESSON 5: The Art of Listening

In this video lesson, I share my thoughts about being aware of your musical surroundings at all times. The first story is about a student with no awareness that he's playing in the wrong key with a play-along. The second story is about a pro player how he was ignoring his musical surroundings. In both cases, it was a failure to listen that hurt both performances. I discuss the importance of developing the ability to listen and play simultaneously.


 

approx 29 min

Module 39


LESSON 1: Locating the 9th of a Chord

The ninth is one of my favorite notes in a chord. To me, it always feels and sounds elegant and luxurious. And yet, many aspiring players have a difficult time locating and hearing the note. In this video lesson, I show you my system for easily hearing and locating the ninth of any chord.

This lesson includes hearing ninths over: Maj7, dom7, mi7, mi7b5, and dim7 chords. Intermediate & advanced level. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb, and C instruments.

.


LESSON 2: Hearing a Hidden Melody within an Eighth-Note Line

In this video lesson, I will take phrase of all eighth-notes and reveal to you the hidden melody within that line. I use a short phrase from my etude, “Broadway Street” and deconstruct the line, revealing the melody that I had in mind. From there, I rebuild the phrase, adding an enclosure, approach notes to reconstruct the line.

This lesson provides insights into the compositional process involved in creating melodic eighth-note lines.

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL. Includes PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.


LESSON 3: High Speed Articulation with Halsted Street

In this video lesson, I share my strategies for increasing the speed and smoothness of your articulation when playing fast, consecutive eighth-notes. I use a short phrase from my etude, “Halsted Street” to demonstrate many different approaches to articulation.

The video also includes some discussion of extended articulation techniques, such as the “dooden” tongue and a demonstration of integrating the “dooden” tongue with the “ah-tah,” and staccato tonguing, all while keeping the phrase in tempo. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED level. Includes PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.


LESSON 4: Listening Recommendation: Oscar Peterson Trio: The Sound of the Trio

This is one of my all-time favorite recordings of the legendary Oscar Peterson trio, featuring Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen. This was recorded in the late 1950s in Chicago at the famous “London House,” a jazz supper club in downtown Chicago.

Artists would be “in residence” for their gig from one to three weeks at a time, playing between five and seven nights a week. This led to a wonderfully relaxed situation, where the artists could focus on the music, well-rested, without the fatigue of playing one-niters around the country.

I can hear the energy and communication present in every note of the album. You’ll even hear glasses clinking in the background. It’s like you’re right there in the room with the group. The record is also beautifully engineered by Val Valentin, for the Verve record label. A must-have for any serious collection.


approx 36 min

Module 02


LESSON 1: Interval Study - Major 7th intervals
Intervals are one of the most overlooked practice items. However, I consider them just as important as practicing scales and chords. In this video, I demonstrate my approach to practicing major 7th intervals by playing them in the cycle, both ascending and descending.
This approach is great for the ear, and it will help you to recognize the interval when you hear it in melodies. Once you get this approach under your fingers and in your ears, we’ll take the next step with intervals and apply them to many different harmonic situations. (more videos on this subject are coming in the future).
After working with this video, review many of the melodies you like to play, and look for the presence of this interval used both ascending and descending. When you do this, your ear will start to pick up on the interval, and you’ll be hearing at a deeper level.

LESSON 2: Hearing the Location of the Root, 3rd, 5th, and 7th in Chords
This lesson demonstrates my system for hearing the location of a specific note in a chord. If you can already play your chords from the 1-3-5-7 ascending and 7-5-3-1 descending, this video will take you to the next level. This system has helped many of students reach a deeper level of hearing harmony, to the point where they can play a “C” and hear that note clearly in their mind’s ear as the Root, 3rd, 5th or 7th of any chord type.

LESSON 3: Transforming a Maj7 Chord into a Diminished (maj7) Chord
This is a common trick among pro players, temporarily transforming a maj7 chord into a dimMaj7 chord for added harmonic flavor.

LESSON 4: Six Melodic Variations on a Descending Minor 7th Chord
In this lesson, I discuss and demonstrate Six Melodic Variations on a Descending Minor 7th Chord, and the theory behind them.

LESSON 5: Sunrise/Sunset Neck Exercise
This lesson features a technique I call “Sunrise/Sunset” for improving your breath support and dynamics. I use the neck alone to produce a concert E, demonstrating some of the techniques I use to improve tone, dynamics, and breath control.

LESSON 6: The Butterfly Tongue
This lesson features a technique I call the “Butterfly Tongue.” The is a technique for slightly muting the note and changing the timbre while the tongue rests on the reed. Getz, Prez, and many of the old-school masters use this technique to achieve both ghosted 8th notes, as well as quickly repeated notes, similar in sound to double-tonguing, but much smoother. This is a challenging one, but well worth the effort!
LESSON 7: Road Tips - Location of Notes within Maj7 Chords - Part 2 of 3
In this lesson, I show you how to think of one note in four different locations within a major 7th chord. For example, C = Root of Cmaj7, but C = the 3rd of Abmaj7, C = the 5th of Fmaj7, and C = the 7th of Db maj7. The importance of enharmonic notes is also discussed in the video.

approx 40 min

Module 04


LESSON 1: Hearing Intervals from the Roots of the "Big 5" Chords
Demonstration of a system for training the ear to hear the intervals from the root to the 3rd, 5th, and 7th of what I call the “Big 5” chords; Maj7, dom7, mi7, mi7b5, and dim7 chords. Also includes instruction on hearing from the 7th of the chords down to the root. BEGINNING & INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.

LESSON 2: Major 7th Chords in Four Directions
This lesson demonstrates ways of practicing Major 7th chords in the cycle, in four directions. Essential for ALL LEVELS.

LESSON 3: Mainstream Articulation
Greg demonstrates his system for learning mainstream jazz articulation. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL with some tips at the end of the video for ADVANCED LEVEL, as well.

LESSON 4: Adding Lower Neighboring Tones to the Descending Major Scale
This lesson demonstrates a system for adding Lower Neighboring Tones to the Major Scales. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVELS.

LESSON 5: Road Tips - The C = ?
Greg shows how to keep your mind focused and sharp even when you’re away from the horn. This music theory game involves thinking of the note “C” as different degrees of major scales.

approx 30 min

Module 22


LESSON 1: 6 Essential Elements - The Six of Diamonds
In this video, I share what I consider to be the six essential elements needed to sound like a professional player. I demonstrate the elements through an original blues tune, titled “The Six of Diamonds.”
The six essential elements are: 1) Notes 2) Rhythm 3) Articulation 4) Dynamics 5) Terminal Vibrato 6) Timbral Shadings. The importance of each element is explained in the video lesson. Includes detailed PDF lesson notes in C, Bb and Eb. ALL LEVELS

LESSON 2: Breathing - Video Lesson
In this video lesson, I share my approach to breathing. If you’ve ever felt short of breath while playing or felt that your tone was a bit thin, this lesson is a must. In addition to the technique of breathing, I also discuss jaw position on the mouthpiece while breathing, as well as my thoughts on long tones. ALL LEVELS. Includes PDF text notes with bullet-point lesson summary.

LESSON 3: Getting more impact from your short notes
In this video, I share my approach for getting more impact from short notes. There is a big distinction in the way that a pro player approaches short notes in the middle of a phrase.

The issue is whether the short note is slurred into or tongued as it is played. I demonstrate the two approaches and provide examples to help train your ear to clearly hear the difference between a “low impact” and “high impact” short note. If you want pro-like short notes in your lines, this lesson is essential, and a total game-changer. ALL LEVELS. Includes PDF lesson notes.


LESSON 4: Diatonic Triads
In this video, I share my system for learning and practicing diatonic triads. These triadic chord structures often get overlooked, but they’re essential for all players.
They have a different feel than the larger seventh chords, and they’re very versatile. ALL LEVELS. Includes detailed PDF practice notes in C, Bb and Eb.

LESSON 5: Listening Recommendation: Stan Getz - Jazz Samba
In this video lesson, I share some of my thoughts about the innovative way in which Stan Getz introduced the new Bossa Nova style to the world. Also includes a short demo of Getz playing diatonic triads.

aprox 40 min

Module 30


LESSON 1: The JS Bach Effect
In this video lesson, I explore what I call the “JS Bach” effect. With this effect, Bach turns a basic triad into a melodic masterpiece.
He does this by raising the 3rd of the chord by an octave and changing the note order from 1-3-5 to 1-5-3. This may sound like a simple device, but since it involves some large intervals, it takes a little bit of practice to get comfortable playing it on the saxophone.
I first noticed this great effect when I hear the Bach Cello Suites. This effect is one of my favorites on any instrument, and it really gets your ear to hear the 3rd of any chord very clearly. I demonstrate the JS Bach effect with diatonic triads and also major and minor triads played in the cycle. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSON 2: Melodic Embellishment
In this video lesson, I demonstrate the concept of melodic embellishment, using my composition “Milwaukee Avenue” from “Jazz Phrasing for Saxophone, Volume 1.”
This is a medium tempo blues with plenty of space in the melody, similar to a “standard.” In the lesson, I’ll show you how I embellish the original melody by connecting ideas with additional notes or sequences. This is an essential skill for all improvisers. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL, Includes PDF notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSON 3: The Dexter Bb Shake
In this video lesson, I show you what I call the “Dexter Bb Shake.” I named it for Dexter Gordon because I first noticed the way that he used the effect.
Although many other tenor players also use this expressive device, I still associate it with Dexter. This is a fun lesson and it helps you work on what I call “timbral shading,” which means modifying the timbre of the note. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.
Includes PDF practice notes. Since this lesson is dependant on this exact fingering to produce the effect, the PDF is only in the tenor key. This effect will work well on alto with the same fingering, as well.

LESSSON 4: Sonny Rollins Style Articulation
In this video, I demonstrate an intense style of articulation that I learned from listening to one of my favorite players, the great Sonny Rollins. Sonny has an incredible amount of energy and power in his playing, and he’s developed an incredibly percussive style of articulation which introduces short notes in the middle of fast-moving eighth-note lines.
The video includes a demonstration comparing the smoother Sonny Stitt approach to this more percussive approach. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL. Includes PDF for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSON 5: Listening Recommendation: Sonny Rollins Plus 4
In this video, I discuss one of my favorite Sonny Rollins albums, “Sonny Rollins Plus 4.” This is on the Prestige record label, recorded in 1956.

aprox 33 min

Module 29


LESSON 1: Basic Voice leading for a ii - V - I - PART 1 of 2
In this video lesson, I share some essential voice-leading strategies which will transform your chord arpeggios, making them sound smooth and professional.
f you’re used to just arpeggiating your ii – V – I chords as 1-3-5-7, one after another, this video (in two parts) will take you to the next level! Part one of the lesson deals with major ii V I progressions. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSON 2: Basic Voice leading for a ii - V - I - PART 2 of 2
In this video lesson, I share some essential voice-leading strategies which will transform your chord arpeggios, making them sound smooth and professional.
If you’re used to just arpeggiating your ii – V – I chords as 1-3-5-7, one after another, this video (in two parts) will take you to the next level! Part two of the lesson deals with minor ii V I progressions. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSON 3: Hip Lick #49
Hip Lick #49 is based on Cmi7. It’s a two-measure lick that outlines the primary notes of the chord (7-5-3-1) while also including some popular bebop elements, such as the opening triplet rhythm on the first beat.
I demonstrate how to use dynamics to liven up the lick and I also play it in 12 keys, descending chromatically. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL. Includes PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSSON 4: Why Does My Playing Sound so Choppy (and how do I make it Smoother)?
Many students come to me with the same issue…they want to have a smooth sound when playing eighth-note lines, but no matter how slowly they practice, they still have a “choppy” sound. This is a tricky problem to correct because it has several causes.
I explore the three main reasons for the “choppy” sound issue and provide effective solutions for this frustrating issue. When I show these techniques to my students, it immediately raises their playing level, and many years of frustration go away very quickly.
While it will take some time and effort to fix the problem, with the tips from this video lesson, you’ll be sounding smoother than you ever thought possible. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL. Includes PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSON 5: Listening Recommendation: Marcos Valle - Samba 68
In this video, I discuss one of my all-time favorite albums, Marcos Valle’s “Samba ’68.” It’s deceptive because it sounds so light and fluffy and simple. Actually, it’s incredibly deep, sophisticated writing with some of the catchiest melodies I’ve ever heard.
Each tune is a masterpiece of melodic construction, performed in a charming, relaxed manner, by the composer himself, singing and playing guitar.
The lush orchestrations are by Deodato. Recorded in 1967 and released in 1968, at the tail-end of the bossa nova craze, this is a rare gem of a record.

aprox 35 min

Module 34


LESSON 1: Four Directions - Thinking Locally and Globally

I often mention practicing in four directions for gaining mastery over your scales, chords and intervals. In this video lesson, I explore and explain the four directions. I describe the difference between thinking “locally” and “globally” when playing a sequential pattern.

This is a major concept that will help you improve your ear and your ability to memorize songs and musical vocabulary. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL. Includes PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSON 2: Finding the hidden Diminished and Augmented Chords in the Chromatic Scale

In this video lesson, I show you how to use the chromatic scale to diminished chords and augmented chords. Although I demonstrate these same chords in different video lessons (playing all of them on piano), this is an alternative approach, designed to help players that find it a real challenge learning the traditional way.

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL. Includes PDF practice notes.

LESSON 3: Exploring Hip Lick #37

In this video lesson, I work with lick #37 from the book “Hip Licks for Saxophone Volume 1.” This is a two-measure C7 lick that uses part of the bebop scale, contrary motion, sequence and a diatonic enclosure.

The lesson explores the lick from many different angles, taking the first half of the lick as a stand-alone lick. I also demonstrate how to create lots of rhythmic variations on the lick, as well as how to transpose the lick not only to twelve keys but how to make the first half of the lick in one key, while transposing only the second part of the lick. Whether you’re just starting out, and intermediate player, or a seasoned pro, there’s something in this lesson for all levels.
INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED LEVEL. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSON 4: The "Dooden" Tongue

In this video lesson, I share my technique for this popular special effect tonguing used by Getz, Bird, Pres and many of the top players from the Swing/Bop era. This one is intentionally an “all-ear” lesson, so there are no practice notes on this one.

Be sure and play along with me where indicated in the portion of the lesson where we’ll trade back and forth with the rhythm on the concert G while using the dooden tonguing effect. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.

LESSON 5: Listening Recommendation: Clifford Brown • Max Roach

This amazing 1958 album has so many classics…Daahoud, Joy Spring, Jordu, Parisian Thoroughfare…all on the same album. The beauty and symmetry of Clifford’s playing throughout this album is breathtaking.

Also, check out the interaction between Max Roach and Clifford. Harold Land also is in great form on this album. One of my favorites.

aprox 39 min