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ELEMENTS OF STYLE

Module 31


LESSON 1: Ogden Avenue (Take the A Train) – Melodic Embellishment
In this video lesson, I demonstrate the concept of melodic embellishment, using my composition “Ogden Avenue” from “Jazz Phrasing for Saxophone, Volume 1.”
This is a medium tempo swing piece based on chords similar to “Take the A Train.” 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 2: Cake, Frosting & Sprinkles – Part 1 of 3 – Lower & Upper Neighboring Tones on Triads
This is part one of a three part in-depth lesson on the usage of lower and upper neighboring tones.
I use the fun analogy of cake, frosting, and sprinkles to show you how to apply lower and upper neighboring tones on major and minor chords. The upper and lower neighboring tones are an essential part of the musical language.
Once you’ve learned how to apply these concepts, your playing will have a new level of fluency and polish. Includes extensive practice PDF notes for each of the three videos. Includes parts of Bb, Eb and C instruments. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.

LESSON 3: Cake, Frosting & Sprinkles – Part 2 of 3 – Lower & Upper Neighboring Tones on Triads
This is part two of a three part in-depth lesson on the usage of lower and upper neighboring tones. I use the fun analogy of cake, frosting, and sprinkles to show you how to apply lower and upper neighboring tones on major and minor chords.
The upper and lower neighboring tones are an essential part of the musical language. Once you’ve learned how to apply these concepts, your playing will have a new level of fluency and polish.
Includes extensive practice PDF notes for each of the three videos. Includes parts of Bb, Eb and C instruments. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL. Part two focuses specifically on the usage of the upper neighboring tones.

LESSON 4: Cake, Frosting & Sprinkles – Part 3 of 3 – Lower & Upper Neighboring Tones on Triads
This is part three of a three part in-depth lesson on the usage of lower and upper neighboring tones. I use the fun analogy of cake, frosting, and sprinkles to show you how to apply lower and upper neighboring tones on major and minor chords.
The upper and lower neighboring tones are an essential part of the musical language. Once you’ve learned how to apply these concepts, your playing will have a new level of fluency and polish. Includes extensive practice PDF notes for each of the three videos.
Includes parts of Bb, Eb and C instruments. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL. Part three focuses on combining the lower and upper neighboring tones, how to apply both upper and lower neighboring tones to minor chords, and includes extensive playing examples.

LESSON 5: Listening Recommendation: Count Basie – E=MC2
One of my all-time favorite Count Basie albums, E=MC2. Neal Hefti arrangements. The band is just smokin’ on this one. I love the close miking, as well. Feels like we’re in the same room with the band. The Basie band conveys such power, but it’s never forced. Beautiful buoyancy to the feel. Great solos. A great addition to any serious jazz collection.

aprox 35 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 27


LESSON 1: Double-time Passage from Ravenswood Avenue
In this video lesson, you’ll observe me working with my Skype student Ritchie Graham (in Scotland). Over the years, many students have struggled with this double-time passage that I composed for my etude “Ravenswood Avenue.”
I share some unique practice techniques for gaining control over this tricky passage. Rather than just playing the phrase myself, I felt that it would be very instructive for our group members to observe how quickly Ritchie improves his command of the phrase by simply following my unique practice approach. Includes PDF of the phrase in Bb, Eb and C.
INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.

LESSON 2: Confirmation Changes / Hyde Park Blvd w/Aebersold
In this video lesson, I’ll show you how to nail the changes on Confirmation through good voice-leading, demonstrated in my contrafact for Confirmation, titled “Hyde Park Boulevard.”

This video includes me playing along with the fantastic Jamey Aebersold Volume 6 “All Bird” featuring Kenny Barron, Ron Carter and Ben Riley. I also play an improvised solo, demonstrating what I call “first gear,” which is a very melodic way of navigating the changes.
The lesson includes a full PDF transcription of my improvised solo, as well as written out voice-leading lines over the chords for the A section of Confirmation. PDFs are for C, Bb, and Eb instruments. Intermediate and Advanced level.

LESSON 3: Lifting Weights – The Importance of Daily Practice
In this video, I read the first chapter of my book, “The Lobster Theory.” This chapter is called “Lifting Weights,” and it’s about the importance of practicing each day.

LESSON 4: Sonny Stitt Triplets
In this video lesson, I’ll show you a very cool Sonny Stitt triplet pattern that works great over a ii mi7 / V7 progression.
Features analysis of chord tones used in the lick, as well as ear training advice on hearing the lick over the chords. Includes detailed PDF practice notes plus the lick written out in 12 keys for Bb, Eb and C instruments. Intermediate Level.

LESSON 5: Listening Recommendation: Wes Montgomery – Tequila
In this video, I discuss one of my all-time favorite albums, guitarist Wes Montgomery’s 1966 Verve album, “Tequila.”
The album features Wes on guitar plus Ron Carter on bass and Grady Tate on drums. The album features spectacular playing by the group, plus beautiful string writing by Claus Ogerman. One of my all-time favorites.

aprox 27 min