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.
LESSON 1: Enclosures
In this video, I demonstrate the enclosure, one of the most common elements of the bebop language. An enclosure consists of a targeted note preceded by upper and lower neighboring tones. Includes several practice strategies for working with the enclosures.
LESSON 2: Hip Lick #157 Tutorial – Working with Moving 7ths
In this video, I break down Hip Lick #157 into component parts and show you how the lick is built. Getz, Stitt, Coltrane, Rollins…they all use this fantastic device, which provides great harmonic color through voice-leading on the minor chord in a ii / V or ii / V / I.
LESSON 3: Halsted Street Etude – ALTO
Ideas and exercises for practicing, and getting the most out of this original jazz Etude with your ALTO sax.
LESSON 4: Halsted Street Etude – TENOR
Ideas and exercises for practicing, and getting the most out of this original jazz Etude with your TENOR sax.
LESSON 5: Road Tips – Location of Notes within Maj7 Chords – Part 3 of 3
In this lesson, I’ll 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.
LESSON 1: Voice Leading 101 – Part 1 of 2
In this two-part video lesson, I take you through the essentials of voice leading, introducing you to the concept from the keyboard, making it very easy for your ear to follow along.
I cover four essential voice-leading moves over a ii / V / I. Incorporating these moves into your playing will make your playing sound smooth and connected. Every pro player uses these moves. I use a special vocal sound patch on the keyboard, which really makes it easy to hear the voice leading lines in the demonstration.
I break the lesson down to that even non-pianists will be able to get the essence of the concept and put it on their horns. Includes PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments. Intermediate Level.
LESSON 2: Voice Leading 101 – Part 2 of 2
This video lesson continues where part 1 left off, showing you how to take the individual voice leading lines and combine them to form melodies.
I include strategies to create two-part, three-part and four-part melodies based on the voice leading lines. PDF practice materials include very detailed notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments. Intermediate & Advanced Level.
LESSON 3: Chicago Ave (Satin Doll) – Melodic Embellishment
In this video lesson, I demonstrate the concept of melodic embellishment, using my composition “Chicago Avenue” from “Jazz Phrasing for Saxophone, Volume 1.” This is a medium tempo swing piece based on chords similar to “Satin Doll.” In the lesson, I’ll show you how I embellish the original melody of Chicago Avenue by connecting new notes to the original melody.
I demonstrate approaches using arpeggios, fills and melodic variations as I take you through the piece. This is an essential skill for all improvisers. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL, Includes PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.
LESSON 4: Listening Recommendation: The Hi Lo’s: And All That Jazz
Recorded in 1958, this masterpiece by the Hi-Lo’s is one of my favorite vocal jazz albums. The Hi-Lo’s, comprised of four male vocalists: Clark Burroughs, Gene Puerling, Bob Strasen and Bob Morse.
They were one of the first (and best IMHO) jazz vocal groups to incorporate modern jazz harmony, complete with chord clusters including b9/#9, #11, etc. They had impeccable timing and intonation. This album teams them up with one of my favorite arrangers, the great Mary Paich, with an all-star cast of jazz players including: Jack Sheldon, Mel Lewis, Herb Geller and Bud Shank. Listening to their beautiful harmonizations is a lesson in voice leading and great for ear training. Also, they just have so much fun when they sing, it’s always a pleasant listening experience. Some of their stuff can range from ultra sophisticated to a bit tongue-in-cheek corny, but with a sort of wink….they’re just having fun with all of it. You’ll hear that on the tune “Lady in Red.” This is a long time favorite album for me. I hope that you enjoy it.
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.