Exercises

Major Scale Patterns

For building technique & enhanced understanding of major scale  harmony.  

PDF

Diminished Scale Patterns

This PDF lesson includes a number of diminished scale patterns along with a discussion of the theory needed to understand the application of diminished scale material.

Long Tones for Saxophone

This  lesson includes four pages of exercises & instruction for building a better saxophone sound & improving intonation.

PDF

What's Up With ll-v-1's?

An Introduction to the JAZZ Language"

What' s Up With II-V-I's: An Introduction to the Jazz Language" offers instruction in understanding, recognizing,E and practicing the basic components of II-V-I chord progression.

   PDF         MP3

Etude to Improv

Becoming an effective jazz improviser requires developing the technical skills, working knowledge of harmony, and creative ability needed to simultaneously compose and perform. Writing an etude, or musical study, affords the student an opportunity to shape a simulated improvisation using harmonic & technical concepts that are being explored in other aspects of practice.

   PDF    MP3

"Blues By The Step" Pt. 1

A Lesson In Chord Change Playing

Blues By The Step MP3

B Flat PDF     E Flat PDF

 Bass Clef PDF     Concert PDF

Melodic Interpretation Of A Jazz Standard

PDF

Rhythm Changes Etudes

In this developing series, I’m restricting my vocabulary to include the components shown in the subtitles. Writing etudes and practicing within limited parameters is a great way to learn to assemble your musical vocabulary.

 ETUDE 1     ETUDE 2

       Have a
  JAZZ Question?

 

 

ask

RANDY!

"Using The Mind's Ear"

An Article/Exercise On Learning To Play By Ear

I recently received an email from an adult student of the saxophone with a question regarding transferring his musical ideas to his instrument. He seemed frustrated because he felt that while he was able to whistle or scat his musical ideas, he was unable to locate these sounds on his instrument.

 

In reality I believe that many students are capable of hearing ideas in the mind's ear that they may or may not have the musical vocabulary to reproduce on their instruments. So, my suggestion for these individuals is to experiment with what they know they can play.

 

I've developed an exercise designed to help students make the connection between the mind's ear and their instruments. By working with this exercise, players with a vocabulary of just a few major scales can begin to establish that link between their ears and instruments.

 

Here's the exercise:

 

Play a major scale...one that you know very well and can play freely up and down your instrument. Next, learn to sing the same scale. Take your time, making certain to match the pitches exactly. You may wish to play and sing the scale several times to assure accuracy.

 

Beginning with a simple passage, vocally improvise a phrase using only tones from this scale. Next, locate your starting tone with your instrument and play the phrase. If you have difficulty locating your starting tone, try again by first establishing a starting tone with your instrument.

 

As you progress, try starting on different tones. You should also experiment with ascending and descending passages, note length and varying intervals.

 

Continue using this process as your musical vocabulary grows to include different kinds of scales (i.e. pentatonic, blues, minor, etc.). With a little creativity, you can even use this exercise as an aid in learning to hear and play chord changes.

 

Students often experience difficulty bridging musical the gap between the mind and instrument. Hopefully this exercise will provide students with a method for using their existing instrumental vocabulary to get in touch with the mind's ear.

 

 

Randy Hunter is an Atlanta-based freelance saxophonist and long term private instructor. He self publishes a series of educational jazz books entitled "Complete Jazz Styles." His series of etude and duet books have been endorsed by Joe Lovano, Randy Brecker, John Fedchock and a number of other world renowned jazz artist and educators.

HOME

© 2002 Randy Hunter Jazz