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Mel Bay presents Jazz Pentatonics: Advanced Improvising Concepts for Guitar (Mel Bays Private Lessons) Paperback – January 1, 2004


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Mel Bay presents Jazz Pentatonics: Advanced Improvising Concepts for Guitar (Mel Bays Private Lessons) + Symmetric Solutions: The Whole Tone Workbook Book/CD Set + Mel Bay's Modern Blues Private Lessons Series
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Mel Bay Publications, Inc.; Pap/Com edition (January 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078667167X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786671670
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,186,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Louis W. Arnold on March 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book gives the student (we're all students aren't we?)a very balanced approach to broadening his or her mastery of pentatonics in a jazz context. Bruce Saunders explains the many applications of familiar pentatonic scales in a really concise way and lays out very musical illustrations in notation and tab with recorded examples. I like the recorded tracks because they are played in a swinging relaxed style by some really happening players who make a living playing jazz in New York. Bruce has been a teacher at Berklee College since the 1980's and a working musician for a long time. I've found that good focused work on this material has opened my ears and fingerboard awareness. While the book begins with the familiar minor seventh pentatonics, Bruce shows how to use them in new ways and then gives us other less familiar but really important pentatonic scales with applications and recorded examples. There's lots to work on here but I believe it's just the right amount of material - not overwhelming and that's important.

Jazz improvisation is a life long pursuit and no one teacher or book will make a student a great improviser over night. This book is one of the really useful ones due to its balanced content, the quiet competence of the author, solid musicality and straight ahead playing by the musicians on the included CD.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jason Q on November 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this is a well thought out, well organized presentation of pentatonics for jazz. Bruce Saunders is a great teacher and player. this book includes plenty of conceptual information as well as exercises for getting the scales under your fingers and into your improvising. check out his other ones too, they're all great.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jimmy B. on July 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good book that takes the penatonic scales beyond blues and rock.
Should help to open up new improv ideas for the guitarist interested in applying the penatonic scales to jazz.
Not for the beginner. Would be helful if the guitarist had a background in the 2-5-1 chord patterns and chord subsitutions, along with knowing the notes of chords.
With a little imagination and practice you should be able to pick up some good solo ideas from the examples and apply them to your playing when improvising on a 2-5-1 chord pattern, or playing on on a static chord,
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This workbook on Jazz Pentatonics is an excellent tool in understanding how to use existing knowledge of pentatonics and introduces the reader to new concepts as well. It starts with minor pentatonic, which most every guitarist knows, or should know. The author shows how to use minor pentatonics in such a way that it doesn't sound like a riff or a lick, but actual jazz lines. Chapter 1 alone is worth the price of the book. I was particularly excited when I learned how to use the minor pentatonic scale over dominant chords and altered dominant chords. Very cool stuff.

The author also takes the minor pentatonic scale and changes a note to make the minor 7b5 pentatonic scale. He then explores this scale over a variety of chords. He does the same with the dominant pentatonic and major b6 pentatonic. While it's challenging to learn some of the scales, they offer awesome tonal variations that you can't get with the traditional pentatonic scale.

This book is not the "be all end all" on pentatonics; and I understand that there are other books that go into even greater depth on this subject. What makes this book particularly good is that it takes you from the simple minor pentatonic scale and builds on that until you learn how to use the scales over a variety of jazz progressions. The cd even includes backing tracks, which are excellently crafted.

I will probably spend between 6months to 1year delving into this book to really get to know things. So, I won't be buying any more books for a little while, but Saunders also has a book out on the diminished scale and the wholetone scale. Both books, I would love to get after I master this one. Definite 5 stars.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steve B. on September 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
Not a book for beginners need to have a good grasp of Jazz theory and improve, but if you do you will enjoy really exploring the diminish scale and how gain control of how and when to use it. Lots of examples to play and get your ear tuned into the sound. I highly recommend.
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