Hands-on jazz exercise: Basic patterns with free sheet music and audio

This is a free trombone lesson about improvising over basic tonic chords in all keys. It features downloadable sheet music and audio files.

I am in the making of a new trombone book with patterns for jazz improvising. Since I insist of doing it thoroughly, it is taking me forever, so I decided that it is about time to share some of the content. And the best way to not get paid, is giving it away for free, so that is what I do.

Playing simple “inside” phrases

I have heard too many jazz students (and pros) play advanced upper structure phrases, turning complicated scales inside out and moving complex patterns around. Being able to do so is great, but there is one big BUT involved.

Continue reading

    Premiere: new series of books with solos over famous jazz standards – Jazzld.com

    Do you like to play jazz solos, but need new inspiration? Or are you not yet a skilled improviser, but want to get started with jazz soloing right away? Then I hope I have come up with the solution for you:

    After month of work, I can finally present my new venture, Jazzld.com where you will find jazz books with written solos based on famous jazz standards. There are currently three books available; Jazz’ld Vol. 1, Jazz’ld Vol. 2 and (surprise!) Jazz’ld Vol. 3. Each book is written to match a selected Aebersold play-along recording, so if you have access to one of those already, you will get even more out of the books.

    Jazz'ld vol. 1-3

    Based on famous jazz standards

    The Jazz’ld Jazz Solos books will let you play great jazz solos over the chord progressions from famous jazz standards. You don’t need any improvising experience to get started.

    The books consist of jazz solos, written over the chord progressions from famous jazz standards. You will find solos based on the chord progressions from “Summertime,” “Watermelon Man,” “Autumn Leaves,” “Have You Met Miss Jones,” “My Favourite Things,” “Scrapple from the Apple” and many other well-known jazz standards. Each solo consists of several choruses, gradually getting more and more challenging. See the full list of featured jazz standards here.

    The books are made to be playable on virtually any instrument, but being a bone player myself, I can assure that they are an excellent match for trombone.

    Who are you?

    I had a number of different categories of musicians in mind when writing the books. Does any of these descriptions fit on you?

    • Trombone student entering the world of jazz
    • Advanced jazz trombone player
    • Amateur musician
    • Trombone educator
    • Professional jazz player
    • Classical trombone player

    Jazz’ld with Aebersold play-along albums

    Have you ever practiced using Jamey Aebersold play-along albums? Although they can’t give you the same experience as when you interact with musicians in person, the Aebersold tracks are still a great tool for learning and practicing jazz standards.

    The Jazz’ld books are written as a complement to carefully selected Aebersold albums. If you have one of them already, the Jazz’ld solos will let you rediscover it in a new and fun way. Each Jazz’ld solo will match the form, key and tempo of the equivalent Aebersold play-along track.

    The books

    Jazz’ld Solos Vol. 1 is perfect for aspiring jazz players with solos based on Canataloupe Island and other easy tunes. SUITABLE FOR JAMEY AEBERSOLD VOL. 54 – MAIDEN VOYAGE  (NOT INCLUDED)

    jazzld-and-Aebersold-covers-vol1

     

    Jazz’ld Solos Vol. 2 is based on a selection of timeless classics, including Have You Met Miss Jones and My Foolish HeartSUITABLE FOR JAMEY AEBERSOLD VOL. 25 – ALL TIME STANDARDS (NOT INCLUDED)

    jazzld-and-Aebersold-covers-vol2

    Jazz’ld Solos Vol. 3
    lets you play bebop solos over the chords from Charlie Parker tunes like Donna Lee and Yardbird Suite right away. SUITABLE FOR JAMEY AEBERSOLD VOL. 6 – CHARLIE PARKER (NOT INCLUDED)

    jazzld-and-Aebersold-covers-vol3

    Transcribed jazz solos

    One of the best ways to learn jazz is to play transcribed solos. Transcribing solos yourself is great ear training, but it is a time consuming task. If you want to get started right away, the Jazz’ld series will let you start playing high-quality jazz solos right away.

    Playing transcribed jazz solos as played by jazz masters are often technically challenging. Jazz’ll gives you get the same experience, but you are able to choose the level of difficulty since each jazz etude gets more challenging for each chorus.

    I use the solos for my students on many different levels, as well as play them myself as etudes. Great for sight reading and building up chops!

    I hope you like the concept and the books. There is a free sample from the books waiting for you at Jazzld.com

    Play on!

    Anders Larson
    founder of digitaltrombone.com and (finally) jazzld.com

    Anders-JAZZLD-logo-tagline-no-clef-small

      Trombone lesson: Pentatonic licks for 2013

      Christmas is over, and we have now entered 2013. For me that mean picking up the trombone again and get back in the practice room. To get back in shape, I tried to come up with something to challenge myself with, and the result are these pentatonic trombone licks. It is basically just a three note lick, but it moves around in all twelve keys, following the circle of fourths.

      For me, a good trombone lesson learned is when I forgot about the horn and just play music. This exercise help me do just that – shift focus away from the trombone, embouchure, breathing and other technical aspects, and rather just try to get the right notes in the right place. Continue reading

        Trombone lesson: GROOVE MERCHANT SAX CHORUS

        How come the saxes always get to play all the fun parts in big bands? Cool, beautiful and hip melody lines, accompanied by an occasional “bap” or “do-bauw” from the brass section. Ok, it is not the whole truth, but there are some fun sax parts that are (reasonably) playable on trombone as well. Do I need to say how good it will sound when played on trombone?

        Thad Jones is known for his brilliant music for big band, and Groove Merchant is one of my favorites. Especially the sax chorus is amazing. Full-fat super-hip lines with intense voicings, this is Thad at his best! And even better, it is actually quite suited for trombone. Admitted, it is a bit technically challenging, but the range is spot on – when playing it an octave below the lead soprano. I wrote out the harmony as well, it´s a fun piece to solo on. Continue reading

          trombone lesson: Improvisation as a daily routine

          It does´t matter if you are a jazz or classical player, you still want to make music. And you should still make music in your practice room. A really good way to get some music into your daily routine at an early stage, is to play some free improvisation. Again, it does not matter what genre you play, as a matter of fact, if you are a non-improviser I would say that this tip is even more important!

          Here is what I want you to do:
          Find a simple warm up exercise and play it for a few minutes, just to get some air through the horn. Then you play a totally free improvisation for five minutes. Just play, and see where it takes you! Don´t worry about stiff lips, bad sound ore any other detail that probably would distract you if you where playing your standard 4 pages of flexibility exercises.

          “But I have never learned how to improvise!” No problem. Here is the key: Continue reading

            Trombone lesson: Mike Stern lick in all keys

            I stole this phrase from a Mike Stern recording a few years ago because I liked the sound of it. And bored on a rainy day, I decided to write it down in all keys and work on it on the trombone. It turned out to be a quite hard but rewarding technical trombone exercise. Try to play it as written, and you´ll get a good high range work out!

            Enjoy…
            Continue reading

              Trombone lesson: maj7 and maj7#5 patterns in jazz improvisation

              Are you a jazz improviser? Do you know all the maj7 (major seven) and maj7#5 (major seven sharp five) patterns in all keys by heart? If not, I strongly recommend that you get started! They are extremely useful in when you improvise since they set the mood of a chord very clearly, and most of them are quite well suited for trombone as well.

              The reason that I bring up the maj7 and the maj7#5 patterns at the same time, is because Continue reading

                Transcribed jazz trombone solos

                There is a lot of good music out there that has already been played! As a jazz player, you can take advantage of that and learn from the masters. Transcribing jazz trombone players is a good place to start.

                Transcribing solos played on your own instrument is smart, even if there might be some technically challenges, you know that it is playable on the instrument. Many times, you will find that what sounds really hip or challenging, is quite logical on the instrument it is played on.

                Continue reading

                  Trombone lesson: Doodle Tonguing – Part 4

                  DOODLE TONGUING IN A JAZZ CONTEXT

                  In the previous articles in this series, I have talked about the fundamental of doodle tonguing, basic and advanced exercises. Doodle tongue is the perfect solution for all jazz trombone players who want to be able to play fast and precise legato lines.

                  This time I want to share some patterns and exercises that I have found to be very useful. This is stuff that I use a lot when I play improvised jazz solos. Let´s get started! Continue reading

                    Trombone lesson: Pentatonic scales – how and why

                    Do you know your minor pentatonic scales? And I mean really know them, up and down and inside out? I recommend that you spend some time with those five tones in all keys. It is a great way to build up your technical skills on the instrument and learn to find your way around the instrument.

                    Pentatonic scale or blues scale? There´s a important difference. The blues scale is identical to the pentatonic scale, but it also consists of the b5 (or #11). So pentatonic scale has five notes and the blues scale has six. This post is about the pentatonic scale, and how to use it. I´ll get back to the blues scale later on.
                    Continue reading