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A Guide to Jazz Improvisation Key of Bb Paperback – April 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 90 pages
  • Publisher: Berklee Press Publications (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0634007629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0634007620
  • Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 8.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,001,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "coolea" on January 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
There are many books on learning improv. I have several of them. This book begins by working on listening and developing an ear for tonality and jazz phrasing. This is a feature I have not found in other tutors, and I think it works very well. Another feature is a homework section where the student is encouraged to work with others in the call and response process - again this is a feature missing in many other texts. The lessons are parsed out so that one can learn something well before going on, and the CD backing tracks are at a reasonable tempo for the beginning learner.
While there should be other books in a learner's tool bag, I give Laporta's high marks.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By frankp93 VINE VOICE on April 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
Available in both horn and concert pitch editions, LaPorta's approach is nevertheless geared towards horn players reading ensemble charts, combining written lines with improvisatory passages.

However this makes the book especially valuable for plucked string players: guitarists, mandolinists, and electric bassists who may not have have extensive ensemble/improvising experience. The emphasis on articulating phrases and interpreting dynamics is not normally found in the jazz literature for these instruments but is essential to musicianship regardless of what type of setting you perform in.

The book is divided into lessons, each one based around a tune, various rhythmic abstractions and forms of melodic development to be emulated and imitated.

LaPorta's three part work maxim is stated as "Memorize, compose, improvise". Don't be scared by the "compose" part.

In this context think of composing as "slowed down improvisation, allowing for corrections and refinements".

The melodic material is based on major and mixolydian pentatonic scales. For many players new to jazz, this is likely to

be the vocabulary they've already internalized from playing rock, blues or various forms of folk music. That's important because it's easy to become overwhelmed studying improvisation with so many new ideas and so much material to absorb. It's also easy to lose perspective and focus obsessively on the materials themselves (scales, arpeggios) rather than their use, namely making music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rodrigo Fernandez on December 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
I'm really enjoying following this improvisation method.
I like the fact that all lessons end up with a real song to play and improvise with.
My only wish would be to have more CD tracks that would give more examples of some improvisations you could play with the songs so I could copy the ideas.
Besides this, it has been a great help.

Rodrigo Fernandez
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am an experienced saxophone player, but not in jazz. I've taken a basic course in music theory and recently joined a swing/jazz Big Band. This book is too advanced for me. It requires writing musical notation, which I've never done.
The CD is mostly rhythm accompaniment alone. There is inadequate synchronization and instruction to correlate the CD with the book. The solos that are played on the CD are few, and many do not have notation to follow. The book is not oriented to helping to read jazz/swing music. There are rhythm patterns, but many of them are either audio without notation to follow, or notation without audio to follow.
I'm returning the book and CD and will look for something else to help me advance my proficiency.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very basic, good for a novice in jazz improvisation like me. Yet the choices of songs in it are very stimulating and you realize how well this textbook is organized for training.
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