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SCALE STUDIES

Module 08


LESSON 1: Dressing up a Dominant 7th Arpeggio with enclosure around the 3rd
In this lesson, I’ll show you how to go beyond a basic chord arpeggio by changing the order of the notes, switching from 1-3-5-7 to 1-5-3-7 and then adding an enclosure to the 3rd. Also includes some very cool idiomatic fingerings to fatten up the sound of some notes. PDF includes transription of the exercise in 12 keys. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.

LESSON 2: Diatonic 7th Chords
In this video, I show you how to practice diatonic seventh chords on the piano. This lesson is very important for all musicians, whether they play saxophone or trumpet…the piano is the most complete instrument, harmonically speaking, and practicing chords on the piano really took my hearing (and sax playing) to a new level. This material in this video is essnential for all levels. BEGINNING / INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.

LESSON 3: Chromatic Bebop Scales with alternating starting points
In this video lesson, I show you how to practice the bebop scale from two different starting points–the root from the top, descending, and also from the 3rd, ascending. This pattern has a very smooth sound and it will give you great control of the scale. The transition between the two scales includes an enclosure that sets up the new scale. I’ve also included special tips on sneaking in a breath during a long-phrase, as well as some optional rhythms which can be used for the ascending scale. If you have your basic bebop scale under control (starting from the root and ending on the root), you’re ready for this next step. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.

LESSSON 4: Locrian Mode – A new system for learning the scale
In this video, I show you a different approach to learning the Locrian scale. First, I review the traditional way the scale is taught. Next, I show you a different system that has worked well for me. The system involves combining two chords to form the scale. In the second half of the video, I show you a nice iimi7/V7b9/i mi line which nails the changes. Also includes a discussion of the application of the descending Harmonic Minor scale. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.

LESSON 5: Walking and Thinking in Regulated Time – Scales & Fitness
In this video lesson, I share one of my personal practice techniques of walking and practicing my scales in time, coordinated with my footsteps. This is a great way to get your scales and chords together while getting out of the practice room for some exercise and fresh air. When you come back to the horn after this type of work, you’ll be amazed at how easy it feels to play through your scales and chords. I’ve been doing this for many years, and it really works! Have fun with it.

aprox 35 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

Module 14


LESSON 1: The Domino Theory (Chromatic Scale Exercise)
In this video, I share my system for practicing the chromatic scale the full range of the saxophone. This is a fun one, and it will give you very smooth technique, as long as you have the patience to follow step by step, adding one note at a time, as I describe in the lesson. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.

LESSON 2: Diminished Scale in 3rds over a V7b9 Chord
In this video lesson, I show you how to take the diminished scale to the next level, playing it in 3rds over a V7b9 chord. This has a very cool, edgy sound which always reminds me of one of my old teachers, the great Joe Henderson. Although this may sound complex, I really break it down into simple steps in the video. The PDF lesson notes provide a very thorough practice guide for the lesson. INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED LEVEL

LESSON 3: Major 6th Intervals – Four Directions
In this video lesson, I work with lick #25 from Hip Licks for Saxophone. This is a very cool major 7th lick. I play the lick and then break it down into separate parts, making it very easy to understand. I also share a fun analogy about the importance of developing your musical memory, so that you can compare two musical phrases with very slight differences between the two versions. I also play the lick in twelve keys, descending in half-steps. At the end of the video, I share some advanced concepts for working with the lick. PDF dowload materials include detailed notes and the lick written in all twelve keys. INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED LEVEL

LESSSON 4: Hip Lick #25 Video Lesson
Many group members have asked me to create a video in which I demonstrate some of my practice techniques for working with the book, Tasting Harmony. In this video, I explain the concept of the book and demonstrate many different ways of working with the play-along tracks. The extras with this video include several pages from the book, some of the exercises from the video, plus the mp3 tracks. ALL LEVELS.

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

aprox 30 min

Module 15


LESSON 1: Tape Measure Scales® Introduction / 1 and 2 Note Version
In this video lesson, I share a concept that I developed after many years of studying the masters. I call it “Tape Measure Scales.” The idea is based on my observations that most people practice scales one octave (or more) in length, but I’ve noticed that this isn’t the way that the scales are actually used when improvising. Professional players can customize the length of any scale to fit any chord, even if the chord is only played for one or two beats. This system will teach you my approach in a step-by-step way, giving you amazing control of your scales. It will also improve your ear, your musical memory and sharpen your mental focus while playing. This is a core item in my own practice sessions. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL

LESSON 2: 3 Note Tape Measure® Scales
In this video, I demonstrate the three note tape measure scales. This is the first three notes of each major scale, played in the cycle. I play the three notes in four direcitons: 1. Up 2. Down 3. Up/Down 4. Down/Up. I also discuss and demonstrate practicing the scale slowly, for ear training, as well as a demonstration of playing the three note scale very quickly, for use as a technique workout. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.

LESSON 3: Jazz Vibrato
In this video, I share my unique approach to teaching the jazz style vibrato. This is very different from a classical style vibrato. Many classical players favor a steady, contant speed when using vibrato. However, the jazz vibrato is usually variable in speed, and it often employs a decrescendo as it speeds up. I demonstrate how to practice separating the sound of the air from the sound of the note and then put all of the parts together, playing a couple of phrases of familiar melodies, using the vibrato. INTERMEDIATE AND ADVANCED LEVEL.

LESSSON 4: Nailing a ii / V / I progression with a Descending Major Scale
In this video, I’ll show you a way to clearly bring out the sound of a ii/V/I progression using just the notes of a descending major scale. This approach works because it takes key notes in the scale and aligns them so that the 3rds and 7ths of the chords are hit at just the right time. I also show how to add the bass notes in the low register of the horn, so that you can combine the root movement with the descending scale. Great for ear training, and also a very practical way to get more musical mileage out of your major scales. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.

LESSON 5: LISTENING RECOMMENDATIONS – Nancy Wilson / Cannonball Adderley
In this video, I share a view of my personal record collection. I discuss the importance of having a high quality stereo system, as well as the importance of being able to listen to an entire album in one sitting, with no distractions of web-surfing, texting or facebook. To me, listening to an album is like listening to a set of music at a jazz club. There will be many more future album recommendation videos, but the Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley album would be at the top of any great player’s list of essential listening.

aprox 31 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 17


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.

aprox 23 min

Module 18


LESSON 1: Applying Lower and Upper Neighboring tones to a mi7 Chord
In this video lesson, Greg shares his method for applying lower and upper neighboring tones to a minor seventh chord. This approach provides a simple way to melodically enhance the chord. If you’ve been bored with the same old way of practicing your chord arpeggios, this video lesson will bring new life and energy to your practice sessions. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL. With detailed PDF lesson notes for C, Bb, and Eb instruments.

LESSON 2: Coltrane Device – Scales in 3rds with Lower Neighboring Tones
In this video, we explore a great Coltrane device for transforming a common scale pattern in thirds to a very hip jazz phrase by adding lower neighboring tones to the lower notes in the groups of thirds. Very easy to play, and a very high cool factor! INTERMEDIATE LEVEL. Includes PDF lesson notes for C, Bb, Eb Instruments.

LESSON 3: The Cycle
In this video lesson, Greg shares his unique system for teaching the Cycle (also known as “the Circle of 4ths” or “the Circle of 5ths”). Understanding the Cycle is essential for the development of all aspiring musicians. Includes Hip Lick #1 played in the Cycle in 12 keys, plus detailed PDF lesson notes for C, Bb, and Eb instruments. INTERMEDIATE / ADVANCED LEVEL.


LESSSON 4: 6 Note Tape Measure® Scales
In this video, Greg plays the six note tape measure® scales in all four directions (up, down, up/down, and down/up). He also discusses and demonstrates some of his own practice strategies, such as playing them high-speed and also playing them very slowly. Includes PDF for C, Bb, and Eb instruments. INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL.

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

aprox 46 min

Module 23


LESSON 1: Hip Lick #2 – Video Lesson

This video lesson starts with a demonstration of the lick played in several keys, followed by a step-by-step approach showing you how to create the lick.

This lesson also includes strategies for using the lick for ear training, high-speed technical practice, as well as lots of cool variations on the lick. Includes detailed PDF lesson practice notes in C, Bb and Eb. Intermediate Level.

LESSON 2: 7 Modes of Major – The Mode Sandwich
In this video lesson, I explore the traditional way the modes are taught and then demonstrate my system of playing all of the modes “sandwiched” between a low and high C.
The low and high C’s act as the top and bottom pieces of bread, with the seven different flavors of modes between the two C’s. Also includes a fun device to memorize the order of the mode names. A fun video of essentials for all players. Beginning & Intermediate level, with PDF practice notes.

LESSON 3: Interactive Metronome Practice
In this video lesson, I share an approach to working with the metronome in which the metronome is an active, rhythmic part of the solo. I have the metronome clicking on 2 & 4, and I make up a solo based on the chords of “Take the A Train.”
The solo is full of playful rhythmic twists and turns which interact with the clicks of the metronome. Includes a PDF transcription of the solo for Bb, Eb and C instruments. Intermediate & Advanced Level.

LESSON 4: Hearing the Metronome on 2 & 4
In this video lesson, I show you my technique for hearing the metronome on beats two and four.
This is an essential skill for all jazz musicians. When I hear the metronome on 2 & 4, I imagine the metronome acting as a hi-hat, since that’s where the hi-hat clicks for most swing/bop tunes in 4/4 time.
If you’ve ever had difficulty in perceiving the metronome as clicking on “2 & 4,” this video is for you.


LESSON 5: Listening Recommendation: Dexter Gordon – Go
In this video lesson, I discuss one of my favorite Dexter Gordon albums.

aprox 29 min