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CHORD STUDIES

Module 45


LESSON 1: Tools of the Composer – Jerome Kern’s “I’m Old Fashioned”

In this video lesson, I share my interpretation of a very powerful editing device used by Jerome Kern on the bridge of his famous standard, "I'm Old Fashioned."

Kern takes something that would have been a very ordinary scale two-note pattern in thirds and transforms it into a memorable melody by editing out one of the notes in the pattern. T

his lesson explores this editing technique and shows you how to apply the concept in your own playing. Includes PDF practice notes for C, Bb and Eb instruments.


LESSON 2: Tools of the Composer – Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “One Note Samba”

In this video lesson, I share my interpretation of Jobim's use of common tones in the melody over the first four measures of his hit song, "One Note Samba."

Jobim uses what I call "dual citizen notes" (common tones) to bring out four different flavors from the same repeated note. He achieves this effect by maintaining a repeated pitch in the melody while the chords move downward in half-steps.

I explore this sound and share my approach to transfer this very cool sound to the saxophone. Includes PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.


LESSON 3: Maj7#5 Chords w/Echo Game

In this video lesson, I share my strategy to help a student to the first two chords on the bridge of the popular Brazilian tune, The Girl From Ipanema. I use two upper structures to bring out the sound of the progression.

The first is the very familiar mi7 chord. I use the mi7 chord over the maj7, acting as a 3-5-7-9. Then, I simply lower the root of the mi7 chord to achieve a maj7#5 chord shape. I use the maj7#5 chord shape as 7-9-#11-13 over a dominant chord.

While this may sound complex, it's very easy for your ear to hear the musical logic of this approach. Includes PDF practice notes for C, Bb and Eb instruments. Echo Game starts at 7:48 into the video lesson.


LESSON 4: If You Can Hear It You Can Have It

In this video lesson, I share a story about a new Skype student who has a music degree and great reading skills, but his ability to play what he hears is not yet fully developed.

After speaking with him about his training, he revealed to me that his former teacher told him to never listen to the sounds in his head and instead, to play by memorizing numbers for the notes. This is contrary to what I learned from Joe Henderson, James Moody, Mark Colby, and all of the many incredible teachers who shared their knowledge with me.

I explain in the video that it's not just about hearing the sounds, but developing your musical memory and improving your ability to focus on the music.


approx 30 min

Module 43


LESSON 1: The Donkey

In this video lesson, I share my system to develop a strong, consistent tone when changing from the upper register to the lower register. The video lesson focuses, especially on slurred descending octaves.

I explain a common problem of aspiring saxophonists dropping their jaw to get to the low register, which causes a pitch drop to the upper note, as well as a weak sounding lower register. I call this problem, "the donkey" because the sound reminds me of a braying donkey.

This is an essential lesson for tone development. Key elements in this lesson include a discussion of jaw positioning, throat tension, and air support. ESSENTIAL FOR ALL LEVELS.


LESSON 2: TUNES

In this video lesson, I share with you the basic bebop style blues changes that my famous Chicago teacher, Joe Daley showed be when I was studying with him in the 1980s. These are what I consider to be essential blues changes for bebop era blues heads, like Billie's Bounce, Tenor Madness, Now's the Time, etc.

There are many advanced options for the blues, but this video will provide you with the essentials to get started. I play the progression slowly, with the chords in all four directions. I also take you through singing the roots of the chords while playing the changes on the keyboard. Includes PDF with these changes for C, Bb, and Eb instruments. Intermediate level.

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


LESSON 3: Mi(maj7) Chords with Echo Game in Four Directions

In this video lesson, I explain how to play minor(maj7) chords. This is one of my favorites. it has a kind of "film-noir" quality to the sound of the chord, with a dark minor third, a neutral perfect fifth, and a very bright major seventh. I often refer to this chord as the "Vertigo" chord because this sound was featured so prominently in Alfred Hitchcock's classic film "Vertigo," starring Jimmy Stewart.

This chord is also featured in songs such as: Harlem Nocturne, Nica's Dream, Chelsea Bridge, Solar, and many more. I take you through the "echo game" in all four directions, with Direction 1 at 2:16, Direction 2 at 4:00, Direction 3 at 5:36, and Direction 4 at 7:10. Starting at 8:08 I have a high-speed echo game for advanced players. At 10:48 I give suggestions for practicing with this chord.

Includes PDF for C, Bb, and Eb instruments.


LESSON 4: Addition by Subtraction

In this video lesson, I share my thoughts on transforming your playing not by adding more and more layers to what you're doing, but by subtracting things that are holding you back. This is a very powerful concept. Who would have thought you could sound so much better by simply subtracting a few things from your playing?


approx 36 min

Module 38


LESSON 1: Scale Junction Navigation

In this video lesson, I share my method for connecting various types of scales through a ii V I progression. This is a critical skill for all improvisers, as it gives you the flexibility to switch smoothly from the scale of the current chord to the scale for a new chord Many players are limited in their approach with scales because they think that they need to start each new scale from the root.

This is how scales are often taught in academic settings, but my system shows you how to easily connect the scales through voice-leading, from any note, highlighting the strongest notes in every chord. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.
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LESSON 2: Charlie Parker - Use of Bebop Ornamentation

In this video lesson, I analyze Parker’s use and application of bebop ornamentation. Bebop is an ornate style of jazz, sharing some similarities to baroque classical music in its use of ornamentation. Ornamental notes are what I describe as “sudden sixteenths” which are placed within an eighth-note line to add extra detail and sophistication to the line. In this lesson, I take a Parker phrase and break it down, removing all of the ornaments and then showing you how to use these concepts in your own lines, demonstrating with a line that I composed and then enhanced with the application of bebop ornaments in the Parker style.

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


LESSON 3: Locating the 13th of a Chord

The thirteenth is one of the most colorful notes in a chord, 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 thirteenth of any chord.

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


LESSON 4: Listening Recommendation: Mel Torme Swings Shubert Alley

One of my favorite albums! Mel Torme at the height of his powers with beautiful pitch, tone, phrasing, taste, and humor. Marty Paich, one of my favorite arrangers, has created an amazing collection of arrangements of popular standards.

I love his instrumentation and the inclusion of the tuba in this ensemble. The engineering is also incredible on this album. It’s like you’re right there in the studio with the guys. Paich is also quite humorous, having the band slyly quoting “Who’s Sorry Now” and “Easy Living” while Mel is singing the tune “Just in Time.”

The band is an all-star cast of top West Coast players at the time — Jack Sheldon on Trumpet, Frank Rosolino on trombone, Art Pepper on alto, Mel Lewis on drums…A must-have for any collection.


approx 38 min

Module 40


The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 1

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 1,” which means 1-3-5-7, ascending.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 2: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 2

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. In this video, I’m playing the chords in “Direction 2,” which means 7-5-3-1 for all 60 chords, starting with the major 7th chords, followed by dominant, minor, half-diminished and diminished seventh chords.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 3: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 3

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 3,” which means 1-3-5-7, ascending and then 7-5-3-1 descending on the next chord in the cycle.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL & ADVANCED LEVEL.


LESSON 4: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 4

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 4,” which means 7-5-3-1, descending and then 1-3-5-7, ascending on the next chord in the cycle.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL & ADVANCED LEVEL.


LESSON 4: Listening Recommendation: Brasil '66 - Equinox

One of my favorite pop/brazilian/jazzy groups of the 1960’s, Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66. This is my favorite album of theirs, though they’re all great.

This one, to me, represents an incredible combination of sophisticated writing and orchestration, great studio production, catchy, interesting tunes and a fun, light character. The time feel is so fun with this group. Nothing dark or brooding, though they do have an emotional range, from introspective, longing ballads to fun, uptempo bossa novas and sambas. If you’re not hip to Brasil ’66, this is a great place to start.

If you like this one, be sure to also pick up their first album, Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66. Great stuff!

approx 25 min

Module 40


The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 1

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 1,” which means 1-3-5-7, ascending.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 2: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 2

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. In this video, I’m playing the chords in “Direction 2,” which means 7-5-3-1 for all 60 chords, starting with the major 7th chords, followed by dominant, minor, half-diminished and diminished seventh chords.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 3: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 3

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 3,” which means 1-3-5-7, ascending and then 7-5-3-1 descending on the next chord in the cycle.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL & ADVANCED LEVEL.


LESSON 4: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 4

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 4,” which means 7-5-3-1, descending and then 1-3-5-7, ascending on the next chord in the cycle.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL & ADVANCED LEVEL.


LESSON 4: Listening Recommendation: Brasil '66 - Equinox

One of my favorite pop/brazilian/jazzy groups of the 1960’s, Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66. This is my favorite album of theirs, though they’re all great.

This one, to me, represents an incredible combination of sophisticated writing and orchestration, great studio production, catchy, interesting tunes and a fun, light character. The time feel is so fun with this group. Nothing dark or brooding, though they do have an emotional range, from introspective, longing ballads to fun, uptempo bossa novas and sambas. If you’re not hip to Brasil ’66, this is a great place to start.

If you like this one, be sure to also pick up their first album, Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66. Great stuff!

approx 25 min

Module 40


The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 1

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 1,” which means 1-3-5-7, ascending.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 2: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 2

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. In this video, I’m playing the chords in “Direction 2,” which means 7-5-3-1 for all 60 chords, starting with the major 7th chords, followed by dominant, minor, half-diminished and diminished seventh chords.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 3: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 3

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 3,” which means 1-3-5-7, ascending and then 7-5-3-1 descending on the next chord in the cycle.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL & ADVANCED LEVEL.


LESSON 4: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 4

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 4,” which means 7-5-3-1, descending and then 1-3-5-7, ascending on the next chord in the cycle.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL & ADVANCED LEVEL.


LESSON 4: Listening Recommendation: Brasil '66 - Equinox

One of my favorite pop/brazilian/jazzy groups of the 1960’s, Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66. This is my favorite album of theirs, though they’re all great.

This one, to me, represents an incredible combination of sophisticated writing and orchestration, great studio production, catchy, interesting tunes and a fun, light character. The time feel is so fun with this group. Nothing dark or brooding, though they do have an emotional range, from introspective, longing ballads to fun, uptempo bossa novas and sambas. If you’re not hip to Brasil ’66, this is a great place to start.

If you like this one, be sure to also pick up their first album, Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66. Great stuff!

approx 25 min

Module 40


The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 1

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 1,” which means 1-3-5-7, ascending.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 2: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 2

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. In this video, I’m playing the chords in “Direction 2,” which means 7-5-3-1 for all 60 chords, starting with the major 7th chords, followed by dominant, minor, half-diminished and diminished seventh chords.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 3: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 3

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 3,” which means 1-3-5-7, ascending and then 7-5-3-1 descending on the next chord in the cycle.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL & ADVANCED LEVEL.


LESSON 4: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 4

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 4,” which means 7-5-3-1, descending and then 1-3-5-7, ascending on the next chord in the cycle.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL & ADVANCED LEVEL.


LESSON 4: Listening Recommendation: Brasil '66 - Equinox

One of my favorite pop/brazilian/jazzy groups of the 1960’s, Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66. This is my favorite album of theirs, though they’re all great.

This one, to me, represents an incredible combination of sophisticated writing and orchestration, great studio production, catchy, interesting tunes and a fun, light character. The time feel is so fun with this group. Nothing dark or brooding, though they do have an emotional range, from introspective, longing ballads to fun, uptempo bossa novas and sambas. If you’re not hip to Brasil ’66, this is a great place to start.

If you like this one, be sure to also pick up their first album, Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66. Great stuff!

approx 25 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.

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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 37


LESSON 1: Rollins & Coltrane Ornaments

In this video lesson, I demonstrate two of my favorite approaches to bebop ornamentation, based on my observations of Rollins and Coltrane and the way that they dress up their lines with ornaments. Intermediate & Advanced level. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.


LESSON 2: The Jackpot 7-7-7 - Hearing a major scale over a II V I

In this video lesson, I show my technique for harmonically aligning a major scale over a ii V I. This strategic approach provides great clarity and voice leading, giving you all 3’s, 5’s, 7’s or 9’s over a ii V I while simply playing a diatonic scale.

A key factor is setting up your ear to hear the roots of the chords in relation to the starting note of the line. I demonstrate the process throughout the video lesson. Intermediate & Advanced level. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb, and C instruments.


LESSON 3: Speed Bag - Cool Minor Lick

In this video lesson, I share one of my favorite minor patterns that I used for working up my technique.

This is a short but very effective lick for improving your precision on the keys, as well as improving alignment between your articulation and fingers. ALL LEVELS. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.


LESSON 4: Greg's Philosophy of Music: Playing by Theory vs Playing by Ear

In this video lesson, I discuss the difference between playing by theory and playing by ear. I share many examples from my years as a student and later observations from the perspective of a pro player and teacher.

If you’ve been trying to figure out music theory to make up for the possibility that your ear isn’t all that developed, this video will really shed some light on the reason that the theory (as much as I enjoy it) is no substitute for a highly trained ear. I’m not saying that theory isn’t important, but when it comes to playing jazz and improvising, the ear must be first, not the intellect.


LESSON 5: Listening Recommendation: Frank Sinatra: Point of No Return

For me, Frank Sinatra was the greatest singer, ever. He had it all…perfect intonation, diction, dynamics…the way he could tell the story of the lyrics in a way that felt like he was speaking directly to the listener. And, his phrasing…the breath control…astounding.

This album isn’t one of the most popular, like Live at the Sands, or Come Fly With Me (both equally good, but different). This is a mellow, introspective Sinatra, not the ring-a-ding Sinatra. Axel Stordahl’s arrangements are great examples of beautiful, clear, uncluttered orchestration. Like all of Sinatra’s Capital album’s, the engineering is top notch, sounding like it was recorded today.


aprox 27 min

Module 35


LESSON 1: Exploring Hip Lick #9

In this video lesson, I explore Hip Lick #9, extending the lick with the same ii / V chords, as well as making the lick resolve to a I maj7 chord. I also demonstrate the effect of starting the lick in four different locations; beats 1,2,3 & 4. In addition, I also demonstrate the lick in 12 keys. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb & C instruments. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 2: Major II V I vs. minor II V I - Apples to Apples Comparison

In this video lesson, I’ll give you an “apples-to-apples” comparison of a line played over a major ii / V / I and then that same line, harmonically adapted to fit a minor ii / V / i. If you’ve ever felt unsure about the sound of the minor ii / V / I, this video will put things clearly into focus. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 3: Bebop line over the bridge of "I Got Rhythm" from Two Voice-leading Lines

In this video lesson, I show you how I constructed a Bebop eighth-note line over the bridge of “I Got Rhythm,” using two voice-leading lines to nail the changes. Next time you’re playing “Oleo,” play this line on the bridge, and you’ll hear how clearly this approach outlines the changes. In the lesson, first I’ll play the eight-measure line for you and then I’ll deconstruct it, going step-by-step through the process I used to construct the line. Some very good and practical information about using the Bebop scale in this lesson, as well. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 4: Palm Key Hand Position Exercise

In this video lesson, I share my system for fixing years of poor palm key finger positioning. Most intermediate players, or even advanced players with poor left-hand palm key technique, tend to play with flat, straight fingers when it comes to playing the palm keys.

This causes a lack of fluency when switching between the palm keys and the lower range of the horn. In order to achieve fluency of technique, you will need to keep the fingers as curved as possible while pressing the palm keys. This lesson presents a three-step approach to gaining control over the palm keys.

There are no PDF notes with this lesson, as it’s best that you watch the video and imitate the moves on your horn. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.


LESSON 5: Listening Recommendation: Stan Getz - Focus

This Stan Getz masterpiece from 1961 is simply like no other record. This was Stan’s own favorite album of all of his many wonderful recordings. It’s a suite of seven pieces with a string orchestra, composed and arranged by the great Eddie Sauter.

Stan’s part is completely improvised, and the freshness and searching quality of his improvisations make this a truly unique classic. It’s not “straight-ahead,” though. Sort of a hybrid between jazz and classical. Highly recommended.


aprox 35 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 45


LESSON 1: Tools of the Composer – Jerome Kern’s “I’m Old Fashioned”

In this video lesson, I share my interpretation of a very powerful editing device used by Jerome Kern on the bridge of his famous standard, "I'm Old Fashioned."

Kern takes something that would have been a very ordinary scale two-note pattern in thirds and transforms it into a memorable melody by editing out one of the notes in the pattern. T

his lesson explores this editing technique and shows you how to apply the concept in your own playing. Includes PDF practice notes for C, Bb and Eb instruments.


LESSON 2: Tools of the Composer – Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “One Note Samba”

In this video lesson, I share my interpretation of Jobim's use of common tones in the melody over the first four measures of his hit song, "One Note Samba."

Jobim uses what I call "dual citizen notes" (common tones) to bring out four different flavors from the same repeated note. He achieves this effect by maintaining a repeated pitch in the melody while the chords move downward in half-steps.

I explore this sound and share my approach to transfer this very cool sound to the saxophone. Includes PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.


LESSON 3: Maj7#5 Chords w/Echo Game

In this video lesson, I share my strategy to help a student to the first two chords on the bridge of the popular Brazilian tune, The Girl From Ipanema. I use two upper structures to bring out the sound of the progression.

The first is the very familiar mi7 chord. I use the mi7 chord over the maj7, acting as a 3-5-7-9. Then, I simply lower the root of the mi7 chord to achieve a maj7#5 chord shape. I use the maj7#5 chord shape as 7-9-#11-13 over a dominant chord.

While this may sound complex, it's very easy for your ear to hear the musical logic of this approach. Includes PDF practice notes for C, Bb and Eb instruments. Echo Game starts at 7:48 into the video lesson.


LESSON 4: If You Can Hear It You Can Have It

In this video lesson, I share a story about a new Skype student who has a music degree and great reading skills, but his ability to play what he hears is not yet fully developed.

After speaking with him about his training, he revealed to me that his former teacher told him to never listen to the sounds in his head and instead, to play by memorizing numbers for the notes. This is contrary to what I learned from Joe Henderson, James Moody, Mark Colby, and all of the many incredible teachers who shared their knowledge with me.

I explain in the video that it's not just about hearing the sounds, but developing your musical memory and improving your ability to focus on the music.


approx 30 min

Module 43


LESSON 1: The Donkey

In this video lesson, I share my system to develop a strong, consistent tone when changing from the upper register to the lower register. The video lesson focuses, especially on slurred descending octaves.

I explain a common problem of aspiring saxophonists dropping their jaw to get to the low register, which causes a pitch drop to the upper note, as well as a weak sounding lower register. I call this problem, "the donkey" because the sound reminds me of a braying donkey.

This is an essential lesson for tone development. Key elements in this lesson include a discussion of jaw positioning, throat tension, and air support. ESSENTIAL FOR ALL LEVELS.


LESSON 2: TUNES

In this video lesson, I share with you the basic bebop style blues changes that my famous Chicago teacher, Joe Daley showed be when I was studying with him in the 1980s. These are what I consider to be essential blues changes for bebop era blues heads, like Billie's Bounce, Tenor Madness, Now's the Time, etc.

There are many advanced options for the blues, but this video will provide you with the essentials to get started. I play the progression slowly, with the chords in all four directions. I also take you through singing the roots of the chords while playing the changes on the keyboard. Includes PDF with these changes for C, Bb, and Eb instruments. Intermediate level.

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


LESSON 3: Mi(maj7) Chords with Echo Game in Four Directions

In this video lesson, I explain how to play minor(maj7) chords. This is one of my favorites. it has a kind of "film-noir" quality to the sound of the chord, with a dark minor third, a neutral perfect fifth, and a very bright major seventh. I often refer to this chord as the "Vertigo" chord because this sound was featured so prominently in Alfred Hitchcock's classic film "Vertigo," starring Jimmy Stewart.

This chord is also featured in songs such as: Harlem Nocturne, Nica's Dream, Chelsea Bridge, Solar, and many more. I take you through the "echo game" in all four directions, with Direction 1 at 2:16, Direction 2 at 4:00, Direction 3 at 5:36, and Direction 4 at 7:10. Starting at 8:08 I have a high-speed echo game for advanced players. At 10:48 I give suggestions for practicing with this chord.

Includes PDF for C, Bb, and Eb instruments.


LESSON 4: Addition by Subtraction

In this video lesson, I share my thoughts on transforming your playing not by adding more and more layers to what you're doing, but by subtracting things that are holding you back. This is a very powerful concept. Who would have thought you could sound so much better by simply subtracting a few things from your playing?


approx 36 min

Module 38


LESSON 1: Scale Junction Navigation

In this video lesson, I share my method for connecting various types of scales through a ii V I progression. This is a critical skill for all improvisers, as it gives you the flexibility to switch smoothly from the scale of the current chord to the scale for a new chord Many players are limited in their approach with scales because they think that they need to start each new scale from the root.

This is how scales are often taught in academic settings, but my system shows you how to easily connect the scales through voice-leading, from any note, highlighting the strongest notes in every chord. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.
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LESSON 2: Charlie Parker - Use of Bebop Ornamentation

In this video lesson, I analyze Parker’s use and application of bebop ornamentation. Bebop is an ornate style of jazz, sharing some similarities to baroque classical music in its use of ornamentation. Ornamental notes are what I describe as “sudden sixteenths” which are placed within an eighth-note line to add extra detail and sophistication to the line. In this lesson, I take a Parker phrase and break it down, removing all of the ornaments and then showing you how to use these concepts in your own lines, demonstrating with a line that I composed and then enhanced with the application of bebop ornaments in the Parker style.

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


LESSON 3: Locating the 13th of a Chord

The thirteenth is one of the most colorful notes in a chord, 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 thirteenth of any chord.

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


LESSON 4: Listening Recommendation: Mel Torme Swings Shubert Alley

One of my favorite albums! Mel Torme at the height of his powers with beautiful pitch, tone, phrasing, taste, and humor. Marty Paich, one of my favorite arrangers, has created an amazing collection of arrangements of popular standards.

I love his instrumentation and the inclusion of the tuba in this ensemble. The engineering is also incredible on this album. It’s like you’re right there in the studio with the guys. Paich is also quite humorous, having the band slyly quoting “Who’s Sorry Now” and “Easy Living” while Mel is singing the tune “Just in Time.”

The band is an all-star cast of top West Coast players at the time — Jack Sheldon on Trumpet, Frank Rosolino on trombone, Art Pepper on alto, Mel Lewis on drums…A must-have for any collection.


approx 38 min

Module 40


The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 1

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 1,” which means 1-3-5-7, ascending.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 2: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 2

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. In this video, I’m playing the chords in “Direction 2,” which means 7-5-3-1 for all 60 chords, starting with the major 7th chords, followed by dominant, minor, half-diminished and diminished seventh chords.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 3: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 3

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 3,” which means 1-3-5-7, ascending and then 7-5-3-1 descending on the next chord in the cycle.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL & ADVANCED LEVEL.


LESSON 4: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 4

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 4,” which means 7-5-3-1, descending and then 1-3-5-7, ascending on the next chord in the cycle.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL & ADVANCED LEVEL.


LESSON 4: Listening Recommendation: Brasil '66 - Equinox

One of my favorite pop/brazilian/jazzy groups of the 1960’s, Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66. This is my favorite album of theirs, though they’re all great.

This one, to me, represents an incredible combination of sophisticated writing and orchestration, great studio production, catchy, interesting tunes and a fun, light character. The time feel is so fun with this group. Nothing dark or brooding, though they do have an emotional range, from introspective, longing ballads to fun, uptempo bossa novas and sambas. If you’re not hip to Brasil ’66, this is a great place to start.

If you like this one, be sure to also pick up their first album, Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66. Great stuff!

approx 25 min

Module 40


The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 1

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 1,” which means 1-3-5-7, ascending.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 2: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 2

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. In this video, I’m playing the chords in “Direction 2,” which means 7-5-3-1 for all 60 chords, starting with the major 7th chords, followed by dominant, minor, half-diminished and diminished seventh chords.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 3: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 3

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 3,” which means 1-3-5-7, ascending and then 7-5-3-1 descending on the next chord in the cycle.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL & ADVANCED LEVEL.


LESSON 4: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 4

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 4,” which means 7-5-3-1, descending and then 1-3-5-7, ascending on the next chord in the cycle.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL & ADVANCED LEVEL.


LESSON 4: Listening Recommendation: Brasil '66 - Equinox

One of my favorite pop/brazilian/jazzy groups of the 1960’s, Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66. This is my favorite album of theirs, though they’re all great.

This one, to me, represents an incredible combination of sophisticated writing and orchestration, great studio production, catchy, interesting tunes and a fun, light character. The time feel is so fun with this group. Nothing dark or brooding, though they do have an emotional range, from introspective, longing ballads to fun, uptempo bossa novas and sambas. If you’re not hip to Brasil ’66, this is a great place to start.

If you like this one, be sure to also pick up their first album, Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66. Great stuff!

approx 25 min

Module 40


The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 1

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 1,” which means 1-3-5-7, ascending.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 2: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 2

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. In this video, I’m playing the chords in “Direction 2,” which means 7-5-3-1 for all 60 chords, starting with the major 7th chords, followed by dominant, minor, half-diminished and diminished seventh chords.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 3: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 3

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 3,” which means 1-3-5-7, ascending and then 7-5-3-1 descending on the next chord in the cycle.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL & ADVANCED LEVEL.


LESSON 4: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 4

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 4,” which means 7-5-3-1, descending and then 1-3-5-7, ascending on the next chord in the cycle.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL & ADVANCED LEVEL.


LESSON 4: Listening Recommendation: Brasil '66 - Equinox

One of my favorite pop/brazilian/jazzy groups of the 1960’s, Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66. This is my favorite album of theirs, though they’re all great.

This one, to me, represents an incredible combination of sophisticated writing and orchestration, great studio production, catchy, interesting tunes and a fun, light character. The time feel is so fun with this group. Nothing dark or brooding, though they do have an emotional range, from introspective, longing ballads to fun, uptempo bossa novas and sambas. If you’re not hip to Brasil ’66, this is a great place to start.

If you like this one, be sure to also pick up their first album, Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66. Great stuff!

approx 25 min

Module 40


The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 1

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 1,” which means 1-3-5-7, ascending.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 2: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 2

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. In this video, I’m playing the chords in “Direction 2,” which means 7-5-3-1 for all 60 chords, starting with the major 7th chords, followed by dominant, minor, half-diminished and diminished seventh chords.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 3: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 3

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 3,” which means 1-3-5-7, ascending and then 7-5-3-1 descending on the next chord in the cycle.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL & ADVANCED LEVEL.


LESSON 4: The Echo Game - 60 Chords - Direction 4

In this video lesson, we’ll play what I call, “the echo game.” In this game, I arpeggiate each chord and then leave space for you to “echo” exactly what you heard. For this particular video, I play the chords in what I call “Direction 4,” which means 7-5-3-1, descending and then 1-3-5-7, ascending on the next chord in the cycle.

This is an ear-training game and there is no written PDF for this lesson (by design). Take your time and do quality work. If you need to just focus on one group of chords, such as the major or dominant, just replay that portion of the video lesson. Use this lesson often to keep your ears sharp, keep up your concentration and review all sixty of your chords, all in a matter of a few minutes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL & ADVANCED LEVEL.


LESSON 4: Listening Recommendation: Brasil '66 - Equinox

One of my favorite pop/brazilian/jazzy groups of the 1960’s, Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66. This is my favorite album of theirs, though they’re all great.

This one, to me, represents an incredible combination of sophisticated writing and orchestration, great studio production, catchy, interesting tunes and a fun, light character. The time feel is so fun with this group. Nothing dark or brooding, though they do have an emotional range, from introspective, longing ballads to fun, uptempo bossa novas and sambas. If you’re not hip to Brasil ’66, this is a great place to start.

If you like this one, be sure to also pick up their first album, Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66. Great stuff!

approx 25 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.

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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 37


LESSON 1: Rollins & Coltrane Ornaments

In this video lesson, I demonstrate two of my favorite approaches to bebop ornamentation, based on my observations of Rollins and Coltrane and the way that they dress up their lines with ornaments. Intermediate & Advanced level. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.


LESSON 2: The Jackpot 7-7-7 - Hearing a major scale over a II V I

In this video lesson, I show my technique for harmonically aligning a major scale over a ii V I. This strategic approach provides great clarity and voice leading, giving you all 3’s, 5’s, 7’s or 9’s over a ii V I while simply playing a diatonic scale.

A key factor is setting up your ear to hear the roots of the chords in relation to the starting note of the line. I demonstrate the process throughout the video lesson. Intermediate & Advanced level. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb, and C instruments.


LESSON 3: Speed Bag - Cool Minor Lick

In this video lesson, I share one of my favorite minor patterns that I used for working up my technique.

This is a short but very effective lick for improving your precision on the keys, as well as improving alignment between your articulation and fingers. ALL LEVELS. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.


LESSON 4: Greg's Philosophy of Music: Playing by Theory vs Playing by Ear

In this video lesson, I discuss the difference between playing by theory and playing by ear. I share many examples from my years as a student and later observations from the perspective of a pro player and teacher.

If you’ve been trying to figure out music theory to make up for the possibility that your ear isn’t all that developed, this video will really shed some light on the reason that the theory (as much as I enjoy it) is no substitute for a highly trained ear. I’m not saying that theory isn’t important, but when it comes to playing jazz and improvising, the ear must be first, not the intellect.


LESSON 5: Listening Recommendation: Frank Sinatra: Point of No Return

For me, Frank Sinatra was the greatest singer, ever. He had it all…perfect intonation, diction, dynamics…the way he could tell the story of the lyrics in a way that felt like he was speaking directly to the listener. And, his phrasing…the breath control…astounding.

This album isn’t one of the most popular, like Live at the Sands, or Come Fly With Me (both equally good, but different). This is a mellow, introspective Sinatra, not the ring-a-ding Sinatra. Axel Stordahl’s arrangements are great examples of beautiful, clear, uncluttered orchestration. Like all of Sinatra’s Capital album’s, the engineering is top notch, sounding like it was recorded today.


aprox 27 min

Module 35


LESSON 1: Exploring Hip Lick #9

In this video lesson, I explore Hip Lick #9, extending the lick with the same ii / V chords, as well as making the lick resolve to a I maj7 chord. I also demonstrate the effect of starting the lick in four different locations; beats 1,2,3 & 4. In addition, I also demonstrate the lick in 12 keys. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb & C instruments. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 2: Major II V I vs. minor II V I - Apples to Apples Comparison

In this video lesson, I’ll give you an “apples-to-apples” comparison of a line played over a major ii / V / I and then that same line, harmonically adapted to fit a minor ii / V / i. If you’ve ever felt unsure about the sound of the minor ii / V / I, this video will put things clearly into focus. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 3: Bebop line over the bridge of "I Got Rhythm" from Two Voice-leading Lines

In this video lesson, I show you how I constructed a Bebop eighth-note line over the bridge of “I Got Rhythm,” using two voice-leading lines to nail the changes. Next time you’re playing “Oleo,” play this line on the bridge, and you’ll hear how clearly this approach outlines the changes. In the lesson, first I’ll play the eight-measure line for you and then I’ll deconstruct it, going step-by-step through the process I used to construct the line. Some very good and practical information about using the Bebop scale in this lesson, as well. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.


LESSON 4: Palm Key Hand Position Exercise

In this video lesson, I share my system for fixing years of poor palm key finger positioning. Most intermediate players, or even advanced players with poor left-hand palm key technique, tend to play with flat, straight fingers when it comes to playing the palm keys.

This causes a lack of fluency when switching between the palm keys and the lower range of the horn. In order to achieve fluency of technique, you will need to keep the fingers as curved as possible while pressing the palm keys. This lesson presents a three-step approach to gaining control over the palm keys.

There are no PDF notes with this lesson, as it’s best that you watch the video and imitate the moves on your horn. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.


LESSON 5: Listening Recommendation: Stan Getz - Focus

This Stan Getz masterpiece from 1961 is simply like no other record. This was Stan’s own favorite album of all of his many wonderful recordings. It’s a suite of seven pieces with a string orchestra, composed and arranged by the great Eddie Sauter.

Stan’s part is completely improvised, and the freshness and searching quality of his improvisations make this a truly unique classic. It’s not “straight-ahead,” though. Sort of a hybrid between jazz and classical. Highly recommended.


aprox 35 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