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Melodic Structures Paperback – 1992
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
A ste-by-step methold for learning to play over changes for all instruments. Includes CD.
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You get two songs to work on (about 15-20 in book #1) and each song has a backing track at a slow and medium fast tempo. The cool thing is that the excercises on Lady Duck and How Low the Sun and all the other songs in the book are jazz standards. So while you practice you are also learning changes to songs that you know and love.
In the next few chapters he has you interchanging the patterns so that what you are playing is less mechanical sounding. Next he asks you to start changing rhythms but continuing to play around the patterns he has showed you.
This takes some work but he gives you a plan for progress and as you move through the book you will hear your self improving. For me this is the first time in a few years that I feel I have a chance to become a good improviser.
PS: this is the first product review that I have ever done in my life.
In this first installment, Bergonzi gives a series of methods for constructing melodies based on groupings of 4-notes. The most basic material is at the beginning and the material gradually progresses into more "outside" areas and finally concludes with an overview of how you can endlessly apply the information. While the exercises are somewhat mechanical, this material truly can be used to construct beautiful, melodic lines over any chord progression.
My problem with this book (and with the other parts of the series that I own) is that it is simply full of useless paper. Most of the books are, in fact, filled simply with transposed chord progressions for different tunes. I actually condensed all of the information in this book onto one page. But unfortunately you cannot sell books with one page of information.
So, if you can get this book from the library or from a friend I highly recommend you do so. But if not, I do recommend getting the book as this is essential information for modern jazz musicians.