LESSON 1: Hearing Your Way Down a 7th Chord
This video lesson will help you to improve your ability to play descending chords (7-5-3-1). Many aspiring players have no problem playing ascending chords (1-3-5-7), but playing that same chord backwards (descending) presents a real challenge. In this video, I explain why the descending chords can be more difficult for some players, and I share my unique approach to help you hear your way down the chords. Includes PDF lesson notes. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL
LESSON 2: 3 Four Contours of 3rds Over a ii / V / I Progression
In this video lesson, I’ll show you how to highlight the third of each chord in a ii / V / I progression to create lines with four different contours. These contours have a powerful effect on the type of melodic line you’ll create. This lesson also shares tips for creating rhythmic and melodic variations in your phrases. If you ever feel like you play good notes in your solos, but your phrases are lacking in clarity of direction, this lesson is exactly what you need to take things to the next level. Includes detailed PDF lesson notes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL
LESSON 3: Hip Lick #7 Video Lesson
In this video lesson, I’ll show you how to work with Hip Lick #7 from my book, Hip Licks for Saxophone, Volume 1. This is a ii mi7 – V7 lick. It’s a one-measure lick with a nice seven-to-three voiceleading move included. Very easy to play, and it nails the changes. Includes tips on hearing the roots of the chords while playing the lick, working the lick in 12 keys and creating a nice variation on the lick. PDF lesson notes included. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.
LESSSON 4: 4 Note Tape Measure® Scales
In this video, I demonstrate the four note tape measure scales. This is the first four notes of each major scale, played in the cycle. I play the four notes in four directions: 1. Up 2. Down 3. Up/Down 4. Down/Up. I also discuss and demonstrate some different phrasing techniques for the four note scales, as well as playing each grouping twice for a technical workout. Includes PDF Lesson notes. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.
LESSON 1: Modes of Modes – How to use Locrian over a V7 Chord
In this video lesson, I show you how to use the Locrian mode in a new setting, over a dominant chord (in addition to using it over a mi7b5 chord). I call this approach “Modes of Modes,” because it gives you the flexibility to apply any mode to a different chord by taking the entire scale and placing it on notes other than the root of the chord. If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “Why do I even need the Locrian mode…I can only use it over mi7b5 chords,” this video will immediately show you how you can use this great sounding mode overall dominant chords. It will really open up your hearing. Includes PDF lesson notes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.
LESSON 2: Ostinato Bass Figure with Solo Breaks
In this video lesson, I’ll show you how to play an ostinato bass pattern (a short, repeated theme) and take solo breaks. This is a really fun and effective way to improve your sense of time, your groove and your ability to improvise over a two or four measure solo break. This style of playing is also very effective if you ever want to play unaccompanied solo saxophone. It teaches you how to switch between performing the role of the rhythm section and the role of the soloist. Includes detailed PDF lesson notes. INTERMEDIATE / ADVANCED LEVEL.
LESSON 3: Adding a Pedal Note to Scales for “High Melodic Mileage”
In this video lesson, I’ll show how to use a device called a “pedal,” which will instantly transform your scales into very catchy, melodic phrases for use in your improvised solos. I call this approach “high melodic mileage,” because it helps you to find many more melodic uses the scales. The pedal helps to break up the monotony of the scale by highlighting lager intervals. The pedal also lends itself to naturally creating rhythmic interest in your lines. Includes PDF lesson notes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.
LESSSON 4: 5 Note Tape Measure® Scales
In this video, I demonstrate the four note tape measure scales. This is the first four notes of each major scale, played in the cycle. I play the four notes in four direcitons: 1. Up 2. Down 3. Up/Down 4. Down/Up. I also discuss and demonstrate some different phrasing techniques for the four note scales, as well as playing each grouping twice for a technical workout. Includes PDF Lesson notes. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.
LESSON 5: Road Tips – The D = ?
In this video, I demonstrate the five note tape measure scales. This is the first five notes of each major scale, played in the cycle. I play the five notes in four direcitons: 1. Up 2. Down 3. Up/Down 4. Down/Up. I play all examples in 3/4 and in 5/4. Includes detailed PDF Lesson notes. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.
LESSON 6: Using Everyday Sounds to Locate Notes on Your Instrument?
I’m constantly aware of environmental sounds. Whether I’m in my car, listening to the “ding” telling me that the car is starting, a railroad crossing bell, an elevator chime, etc. I connect those sounds with the fingerings required to produce those pitches on my instrument. This can be tricky if you play multiple instruments, so I recommend that you use fingerings for your my primary instrument. This is a fun way to reinforce the location of the sounds you hear in your mind. As you get better at locating these external sounds, you will also improve your ability to locate internal sounds, such as the ones you’re hearing in your mind.
LESSON 1: How to Play What You Hear in Your Head
In this video lesson, I share some of my techniques for getting the sounds in your head to come out on your horn.
This is an all “by ear” lesson. Includes a detailed description of the process involved in practicing to develop this unique skill. This lesson is a must for all playing levels, from beginner to advanced level
LESSON 2: Stan Getz Minor 2nd Interval placement – as the 3rd and 9th over a mi7 chord
In this video lesson, we’ll explore one of my favorite harmonic settings a minor second interval, acting as the 3rd / 9th / 3rd of a minor seventh chord. This has a very Getzian kind of sound…smooth and melodic. Includes page 22 from “Intervals in Action,” plus detailed PDF practice guide for C, Bb and Eb instruments. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL
LESSON 3: Phil Woods Turnaround Lick
In this video lesson, I explore what I call the “Phil Woods” turnaround lick. It uses two voice-leading notes to create a beautifully balanced, melodic line of eighth-notes.
We’ll work with a progression of: Emi7 A7b9 / Dmi7 G7b9 / Cmaj7 in the video, but the included PDFs have transposed parts for Eb, Bb and C instruments. Intermediate Level with some additional tips at the end of the video lesson for advanced players.
LESSSON 4: Bebop Tradition: How to Mix a Minor Triad with a Diminished 7th Chord
Part of the bebop tradition involves the usage of both upper extensions and implied harmony. The mixing of the minor triad with a diminished seventh chord adds a strong harmonic boost to any minor passage.
When you mix the diminished seventh chord in with the minor triad, the implied harmony is a temporary V7b9 chord that switches back to the i minor chord.
If this description sounds really complicated, let me just say that it’s a really cool sound, and it’s really easy to add this to your playing. You’ll definitely recognize it when you hear it. INTERMEDIATE and ADVANCED level. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb, and C instruments.
LESSON 5: Listening Recommendation: Charlie Parker with Strings
In this video, I discuss one of my all-time favorite albums, Charlie Parker’s masterpiece album, “Charlie Parker with Strings.” The album features popular standards from the Great American Songbook, arranged for the strings-plus-rhythm section. Parker at his most eloquent. One of my all-time favorites.
LESSON 1 – 4: Four part series, how to Transcribe Solos
In this four-part lesson, I’ll show you my process for transcribing solos. This lesson is really dense and packed with tips and techniques for transcribing. For the demonstration of how to transcribe, I’ve selected the first chorus of a Sonny Stitt blues called “Down With It.”
You’ll see me listen, figure out the notes and then write them on the staff paper in music notation with the correct pitches, rhythms and chords. Along the way, I’ll share many tips and suggestions about the transcription process. Includes PDF of the solo I transcribe in the video lesson for Bb, Eb and C instruments, as well as a page of blank staff paper.
To make this lesson really interactive, print out the staff paper and transcribe along with me, mirroring what I write on the sheet on screen. This will give you the very satisfying feeling of what it’s like to start with a blank page and end up with a beautiful transcribed solo.
NOTE: THE AUDIO SOFTWARE I USE IN THIS VIDEO IS CALLED “ANY TUNE.” Other similar apps are called: TRANSCRIBE, AMAZING SLOW DOWNER, AND MUSIC SPEED CHANGER. If you do a search for “10 Best Slow Down Music Apps (Android/IPhone) 2020” you’ll get a nice listing of similar apps and a brief review of their features.
In the old days, none of this technology existed, and I would transcribe from a cassette player, and then directly from a CD player (which still actually works pretty well). The main thing to remember is to be very patient while transcribing and to have lots of patience with yourself and with the process.
LESSON 5: The Chromatic Triplet Trick
In this video lesson, I’ll show you a very cool and useful pattern based on a triplet rhythm, using the chromatic scale. This pattern works incredibly well to nail the changes of a minor ii / V / i chord progression.
I’ll show you how to use this pattern from the root, third and fifth of the mi7b5 chord, and also explain how the pattern creates a very pleasing voice-leading move from the ii chord to the V7 chord. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.
LESSON 6: Listening Recommendation: Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane
In this video, I discuss one of my all-time favorite albums, the Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane album on the Prestige label. The album features lots of catchy bebop-oriented tunes plus one ballad with Coltrane duet with Kenny Burrell on guitar. Great album!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.