Review of “Approach Note Velocity Vol. 1 Major” by Steve Neff

Are you interested in learning how to improve your ability to improvise  over static harmony such as grooves or modal songs? If you answered yes, read on.

I first learned about neighbor tones from Bert Ligon’s  “Jazz Theory Resources Volume One” book. Chapter 4 of this book contans a 6 page section entitled “Neighbor Tones”. According to Mr. Ligon most music from the Baroque period to the present is to use the diatonic upper neighbor tone and the chromatic lower neighbor tone.

Steve Neff”s “Approach Note Velocity Vol. 1 Major” book starts off with a very basic but very nice sounding example that uses neighbor tones.

UNT = Upper Neighbor Tone

CT = Chord Tone

LNT = Lower Neighbor Tone

For a C major triad (C-E-G), one pattern is UNT,LNT,CT – try this pattern with each chord tone in the C major triad.

Steve’s book starts at this point and provides 98 pages of exercises for major chords. Steve also includes a short section on the major chords so that a beginner can brush up on their major chords before proceeding through the book. Mr Neff also has a demo audio track of him using these techniques while he is improvising over a groove on his website.

I highly recommend “Approach Note Velocity Vol. 1 Major” to anyone wanting to improve their improvising over static harmony.

I have a post entitled “Major Chord Backing Tracks In All 12 Keys” that you can use with Steve’s book or you can purchase Jamey Abersolds Major and Minor Volume for your backing tracks.

You can purchase the book at the following URL:

Approach Note Velocity Vol1. Major