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JAZZ LANGUAGE

Module 49


LESSON 1: Creating a melody from Three Voice Leading Lines

In this video lesson, I demonstrate how to construct a melody from three voice leading lines. This is a great way to make your playing sound both melodic and harmonically accurate.
Harmonically, this approach covers you because you’re using voice leading from three locations in each chord, leading to three new locations in the upcoming chord. Melodically, you’re covered because this approach has built-in sequencing when you switch between the three voices.
Includes PDF practice notes for Eb, Bb and C instruments.


LESSON 2: Exploring Hip Lick #3

In this video lesson, I explore Hip Lick #3 from Hip Licks for Saxophone, Volume 1. The lick highlights a iimi7 V7 chord progression, starting on the 9th of the iimi7 chord.
The video explores strategies for hearing the root movement, 7-3 voice leading and hearing how to easily locate the first note of the lick, which is the 9th of the iimi7 chord. For advanced players, I demonstrate some ways of extending the lick into a two measure
phrase. Includes PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.


LESSON 3: The High Tide Approach to Scale Practice

In this video lesson, I share my concept called “High Tide” for scale practice. This approach will improve your technical facility on the saxophone while also improving your musical memory.
This approach adds one new note each time you ascend the scale from the root. If you’ve been playing your scales the same-old-way for many years, this new approach will add extra freshness for your ears and your fingers.


LESSON 4: The Surfer Analogy & Thinking in Reverse

In This video lesson I share two key concepts that will help to give you smooth technique through efficiency of motion, minimizing any wasted finger movement while
playing the saxophone. In the surfer analogy, your fingers are the surfers, the keys are the surfboards and the keys moving up and down on the horn are the waves of water.
The “thinking in reverse” concept is something that i developed in my 30’s when exploring ways to improve my technical accuracy on the horn. I found that instead of thinking about the finger pressing the note being played, my technique improved if I focused on the keys not being pressed. Implementing these two concepts will greatly improve your technique on the saxophone.


LESSON 5: Road Tips – Location of Notes within Dominant 7th Chords

In this lesson, I show you how to think of one note in four different locations within a Dominant 7th chord. For example, C = Root of C7, but C = the 3rd of Ab7, C = the 5th of F7, and C = the 7th of D7. The importance of enharmonic notes is also discussed in the video. The first part of the video is at an easy pace.
At the end of the video I do a “speed round” for advanced players. This is a fun way to review and sharpen up your chord spelling skills.


approx 30 min

Module 48


LESSON 1: Steak & Parsley aka: Evolution of a Lick

In this video lesson, I show you a concept that I call “The Steak and the Parsley.” I explain the difference between the main notes of a lick (the steak) and the ornamental notes of the lick (the parsley). I

present the lick in a step-by-step manner that shows the evolution of the phrase.

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


LESSON 2: Hearing Like a Piano Player – Cycle with 7-3

In this video lesson, I share my strategy for hearing like a piano player.

A jazz pianist is always at a harmonic advantage over a horn player because they can use their left hand to play the bass notes (or full chords) to provide harmonic context for anything they play in their right hand.

I developed my own way to approximate this pianistic approach to hearing in context by playing a bass note in the low register of the horn and then jumping into the high register of the horn with the voice-leading notes.

This is a fun way to train your ear and also gain incredible flexibility on the horn with large register skips.

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


LESSON 3: The Cat Water Fountain – Ear Training Echo Game

In this video lesson, I use one of my teaching analogies that I call the “cat water fountain.”

Think about a d versus a cat. A dog is happy with water that has been sitting in the same bowl all day.

A cat wants freshwater, which lead to the popularity of cat water fountains which recirculate the water, making the water mo appealing to the cat.

The ear is like the cat. It can get tired of hearing the chords played in the same way t many times.

This lesson shows you how I keep things fresh for my ear with some unusual variations to my usual chord practice routine.


LESSON 4: The Rabbit Hole of Misinformation

In this video, I share my thoughts about what I call the “rabbit hole of misinformation.”

When I started teaching in the 1980’s, people studied with a teacher and took their advice about what to practice and how to practice. There was no internet and no YouTube.

In a way, this was a good thing, because the students would stay on-track with a good teacher’s guidance. However, in today’s society, there’s YouTube, and anyone can create their own channel with their own teaching videos.

Some of the videos are excellent, made by fine teachers and players, but many are made by unqualified people who are simply sharing their uninformed opinions.

The trick is to be able to tell the difference between the useful videos and the videos that will lead you down the rabbit hole of misinformation.


approx 29 min

Module 47


LESSON 1: Idiomatic Front F Lick

During a Skype lesson, one of my students was having trouble using his front F key on the saxophone. He couldn’t get comfortable with it. I created this lick to show him how I often access the key.

I refer to this as an “idiomatic” lick because it lays so well on the horn. This is not the only way to use the key, but it’s a good introduction to get comfortable with the unique hand position required for front F.

Includes PDF practice notes.


LESSON 2: Major Seventh Chord Inversions

In this video lesson, I play the major seventh chords in all inversions with what I call the “top margin” of my “C” on tenor, with all notes descending: C B G E (Cmaj7), C Ab G Eb (Abmaj7), C A F E (Fmaj7), and C Ab F Db (Dbmaj7).

Playing the inversions in this manner really highlights the interval structures of the chords and improves the accuracy of the ear. This is a great practice approach for ear training and improved control of your major seventh chords.

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


LESSON 3: Getz Double Note Articulation Effect

In this video lesson, I demonstrate a specialized type of articulation that I call the “Getz Double Note Articulation Effect.”

This is a device that I first heard on an album called “Stan Getz Plays.” It gives the illusion of double-tonguing, but it’s single tonguing with very strategically placed slurs.

Learning to use this effect has really improved my control and speed for articulation. This is a great tool to have in your “special effects” bag of tricks to add something unique to your solos.

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


LESSON 4: The Blues Scale – Part 1 of 2

In this video lesson, I explore the blues scale. This part one video teaches scale construction and application of the blues scale over a dominant and a minor chord.

I share my thoughts on using the scale over the full range of the horn and demonstrate some popular techniques used by the masters with this scale, including sequencing and repetition.

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


LESSON 5: The Blues Scale – Part 2 of 2

This video lesson continues where part one ended, exploring options for adding extra chromatic notes to the scale.

Includes many examples in which I play some of my favorite phrases using the scale with the extra notes.

I also share my thoughts on the overuse of this scale by beginning players and explain why I look at this scale as a sort of musical spice, used to enhance the flavor of a chord progression.

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


approx 44 min

Module 09


LESSON 1: Cry Me A River Lick (Rosetta Stone of Licks) Sax Version
In this video lesson, I teach eight applications of the famous CMAR lick (Based on the first few notes of “Cry Me A River”). I call this the “Rosetta Stone” of licks, because it can fit in 96 different places. I apply the lick to: mi7, altered dominant, mi7b5, maj7#11, straight dominant, mi13, maj7 and sus7b9 chords. Be sure to also watch the companion video in which I demonstrate this same material at the piano. In that video, I have additional commentary about the changing “mood” of the lick as it is applied to the various settings. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.

LESSON 2: Cry Me A River Lick (Rosetta Stone of Licks) – Piano Version
In this video, I demonstrate eight different harmonic settings for the “Cry Me A River” (CMAR) lick. I call this the “Rosetta Stone” of licks, because it works over so many different types of chords. This video is different than the saxophone version–In this video. Toward the end of the lesson, I mention my interpretation of the “moods” implied by each of the different harmonic settings. Also, this version lets you hear the lick against a chord voicing,, with all of the notes sounding together, while the sax version features a chord arpeggio, followed by the lick. Both videos are fun and packed with essential materials. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.

LESSON 3: Dominant 7th Chords – Piano Accompaniment
In this video lesson, I play the piano to accompany your practicing the dominant 7th chords in all four directions: 1. UP 2. DOWN 3. UP/DOWN ALTERNATING and 4. DOWN/UP ALTERNATING. Play your saxophone along with this piano accompaniment and match the pitch and time of the piano. This is excellent training for the chords, and it will drastically improve your tone, pitch and time. Everything is played at a comfortable eighty-eight beats per quarter note, so it will not present a technical challenge. I have included full notation of the entire exercise for Concert, Eb Alto and Bb Tenor. To ensure your success as an improvising musician, it is absolutely essential that you learn these chords by memory and practice them daily. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.

LESSSON 4: Major 7th Chords – Piano Accompaniment
In this video lesson, I play the piano to accompany your practicing the major 7th chords in all four directions: 1. UP 2. DOWN 3. UP/DOWN ALTERNATING and 4. DOWN/UP ALTERNATING. Play your saxophone along with this piano accompaniment and match the pitch and time of the piano. This is excellent training for the chords, and it will drastically improve your tone, pitch and time. Everything is played at a comfortable eighty-eight beats per quarter note, so it will not present a technical challenge. I have included full notation of the entire exercise for Concert, Eb Alto and Bb Tenor. To ensure your success as an improvising musician, it is absolutely essential that you learn these chords by memory and practice them daily. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.

LESSON 5: Minor 7th Chords – Piano Accompaniment
In this video lesson, I play the piano to accompany your practicing the minor 7th chords in all four directions: 1. UP 2. DOWN 3. UP/DOWN ALTERNATING and 4. DOWN/UP ALTERNATING. Play your saxophone along with this piano accompaniment and match the pitch and time of the piano. This is excellent training for the chords, and it will drastically improve your tone, pitch and time. Everything is played at a comfortable eighty-eight beats per quarter note, so it will not present a technical challenge. I have included full notation of the entire exercise for Concert, Eb Alto and Bb Tenor. To ensure your success as an improvising musician, it is absolutely essential that you learn these chords by memory and practice them daily. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.
LESSON 6: Road Tips – The Ab = ?
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 “Ab” as different degrees of major scales.

aprox 35 min

Module 05


LESSON 1: Hip Lick #4 (aka The Honeysuckle Rose Lick)
Hip Lick #4 (from Hip Licks for Saxophone Volume 1) is analyzed from a melodic and harmonic standpoint. Includes exercises to improve your ear through the addition of chord arpeggios added to the lick. Also features a section on using the lick to improve your high-speed chops with a technique called the “Speed Bag.” Greg also demonstrates various ways of playing the lick in different keys, as well as placing the lick in songs. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.

LESSON 2: The Three Middle D’s of the Saxophone
One of the ways that the master players customize their sound is to use alternate fingerings, adding or subtracting weight to certain notes. This approach adds incredible detail to your lines. In this video, Greg demonstrates the three fingerings for middle D and also explains the musical reasons for choosing one fingering over another. PDF notes for this lesson include fingerings and written examples of the lines played in the video. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.

LESSON 3: State Street ALTO
Greg gives a detailed analysis of “State Street” from Jazz Saxophone Etudes Volume 1. Includes tips on high speed playing, note groupings, chord substitution and moving sevenths. ADVANCED LEVEL.

LESSON 4: State Street TENORGreg gives a detailed analysis of “State Street” from Jazz Saxophone Etudes Volume 1. Includes tips on high speed playing, note groupings, chord substitution and moving sevenths. ADVANCED LEVEL.

LESSON 5: Road Tips – The F = ?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 “F” as different degrees of major scales.

aprox 45 min

Module 16


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.


aprox 37 min

Module 25


LESSON 1: Hip Lick #8 – Video Lesson
In this video lesson, I’ll show you how to work with Hip Lick #8 from my book, Hip Licks for Saxophone, Volume 1.
This is a popular ii mi7 – V7 lick that starts on the 7th of the mi7 chord. Also includes a brief theory discussion about ii / V chords. PDF includes detailed practice notes as well as the lick written out in all 12 keys plus. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.

LESSON 2: Embracing the 4th of the chord
In this video lesson, I demonstrate how I like to use the 4th of the scale or chord to create tension and then resolve the note to the 3rd or 5th. Many aspiring players have been told that the 4th is an “avoid note.” This is very bad advice because all players need to know how to deal with this note when it comes up. You can’t just ignore it or avoid it.
I recall that I was given this advice in school, only to put on a Sonny Stitt record and hear him using the 4th extensively, especially over dominant chords. Includes detailed PDF lesson notes for C, Bb and Eb instruments. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.

LESSON 3: How to get a full tone on the Palm Keys
Many group members have written to me, asking for a video lesson teaching them how to get a big, powerful sound on their palm keys. In this video, I share my unique approach to getting a full, big tone on the palm keys.
The video features a demonstration of the “pro” approach and the “amateur” approach to the palm keys. In this lesson, I explain and explore the reasons for the thin, pinched sound of the aspiring player, and I show you how to fix these problems by shifting your tongue and throat position and changing your air support.

If you’ve ever had trouble getting a nice sound on your palm keys, this video will be transformative. Includes PDF lesson notes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL


LESSSON 4: The Coltrane Triplets
In this video lesson, I share what I call the “Coltrane Triplets.” This is a way of practicing your chord arpeggios with triplets.
It’s great for your technique, and it also provides a nice rhythmic feel to your chord practice. Includes detailed PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.
CLICK HERE to download PDF lesson materials

LESSON 5: Listening Recommendation: Dave Brubeck – Time Out
In this video, I discuss one of my all-time favorite albums, Dave Brubeck’s monumental 1959 recording, “Time Out,” featuring the great Paul Desmond on alto.

aprox 33 min

Module 34


LESSON 1: Four Directions – Thinking Locally and Globally

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

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

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

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

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL. Includes PDF practice notes.

LESSON 3: Exploring Hip Lick #37

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

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

LESSON 4: The “Dooden” Tongue

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

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

LESSON 5: Listening Recommendation: Clifford Brown • Max Roach

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

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

aprox 39 min

Module 46


LESSON 1: Introduction to Major Seventh Chord Inversions

In this video lesson, I share my technique for hearing all inversions of a major seventh chord.

I explain why this unique approach helps the ear to hear the differences between the intervallic structures of root position, first inversion, second inversion and third inversions of the major seventh chord.

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


LESSON 2: Major Seventh Chord Inversions Echo Game

In this video lesson, I play the major seventh chords in all inversions with what I call the “bottom margin” of my “C” on tenor: C-E-G-B (Cmaj7), C Eb G Ab (Abmaj7), C E F A (Fmaj7), and C Db F Ab (Dbmaj7), followed by the remaining eleven notes in the cycle acting as the “bottom margin notes.”

Playing the inversions in this manner really highlights the interval structure and improves the accuracy of the ear.

This is a great practice approach for ear training and improved control of your major seventh chords. Advanced level.


LESSON 3: Hip Lick #73

In this video lesson, I explore Hip Lick #73 and demonstrate how I adapt the lick to change it from a Bossa Nova style lick into a Swing style lick, with extra notes and less syncopation.

Hip Lick #73 is based on a popular chord progression known as “Parallel Major to Minor.” This means that the chord changes from Cmaj7 to Cmi7. Many of the old standard songs, including Green Dolphin Street, I’ll Remember April, How High The Moon, I’m Glad there Is You, etc., use this chord progression.

The video concludes with and ECHO GAME of the lick in all twelve keys, played in the cycle. Includes PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments. Intermediate Level.


LESSON 4: Echo Game with Random Chord Types

I’ve had many member requests for a video in which I play the “big five” chords in the cycle, but randomize the chord types instead of just playing them in a preset order.

In this video lesson, the first half is designed for intermediate players and I reveal each chord type after I leave space for you to echo the chord arpeggio that I have played. The second part of the video is slightly more challenging.

I randomize the chords again through the cycle, but this time I don’t reveal the type played. The final part of this echo game is for more advanced players, with the randomized chords descending from the seventh.

This is an excellent way to improve your ear and your ability to focus on the unique sound of the “big five” chord types: maj7, dominant 7, minor 7, half-diminished and diminished chords. Intermediate & Advanced level.


approx 30 min

Module 12


LESSON 1: 1 Lick in 12 Keys vs. 12 Licks in 1 Key
Two Great Approaches to Fluency in All Keys – In this video lesson, I’ll share a practice concept which has been great for the development of my playing fluently in all twelve keys. Many are familiar with what I call the “1 in 12 approach.” With this approach to practicing in twelve keys, you take one lick, pattern or song, and play it in 12 keys. However, the “12 in 1 approach” is the reverse…You take twelve different licks and put them all into just one key. This gives you a LOT of material under your fingers in one particular key, and it really improves your hearing in a particular key center. Both approaches are vital, but this 12 in 1 approach is new for most players. Give it a try! I’ve included PDF’s with the 12 in 1 approach for all keys for the first 12 licks of Hip Licks. However, do try them by ear for the best results! INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.

LESSON 2: Application of the Diminished Scale over a II-7/V7/Imaj7
In this video lesson, I’ll show you how to apply the diminished scale over the V7 chord in a ii-7/V7/Imaj7. This is a great video to watch if you’ve always wondered just how to implement the diminished scale in a moving phrase. First, I’ll play the idea diatonically, using just the notes of the major key. Next, I’ll explain and demonstrate, how to use the notes of the diminished scale in the phrase. In this video, I teach the lesson while playing the examples on the VIBRAPHONE. The vibraphone is great for this type of training, because it’s visual, making it easy to see what I’m doing as I give harmonic analysis. The vibes are also great for working on your saxophone intonation. When you play along with the vibes in the video, you can easily hear if you’re out of tune, because the sound of the vibes is such a pure tone. In addition, the vibes, allow you to hear multiple notes at once, which is great for hearing in harmonic context. PDF NOTES include transposed examples for all C, Bb and Eb instruments. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.

LESSON 3: The Four Middle Eb’s of the Saxophone
In this video lesson, I explore four different fingerings for middle Eb on the saxophone. The old-school players like Dexter, Stitt, Getz, Coltrane, Etc., liked to customize the timbre of their notes. Developing the ability to customize the weight and timbre of your notes will add a pro-level touch of detail to everything you play. If you’re not taking advantage of these four middle Eb options every time you play your horn, you’ve been missing out. Join in the fun with these cool sounds! INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.

LESSSON 4: Major 7th Intervals as 3rds & #9ths on V7 Chords
In this video lesson, I’ll show you how to apply the major 7th interval to one of my favorite harmonic settings, using the notes of the interval as the 3rd and #9th on a dominant seventh chord. While this is not technically difficult to play, harmonically speaking, for some players, it will take the ear a little bit of time to get used to the sound. In the video, I demonstrate the sound several different ways, so that it’s easy for your ear to hear the interval in this new setting. I first heard Sonny Stitt use this sound when I was learning to play, and have used it ever since. This sound will add a very nice harmonic edge to your playing. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.

LESSON 5: Road Tips – The B = ?
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 “B” as different degrees of major scales.

aprox 30 min