More backing tracks for use with “250 Jazz Patterns” by Evan Tate

I have recently created more backing tracks for use with Evan Tate’s 250 Jazz Patterns book. Be sure to practice 250 Jazz Patterns on the new Major Chord backing tracks in all 12 keys post.

You can purchase Evan’s book at the following url:

250 Jazz Patterns

Super Offer on Sax and Jazz from Evan Tate

I have written several articles that refer to Evan Tate and his publications and podcasts. To date, I have purchased Evan’s “250 Jazz Patterns” and also his “Blues and Rhythm Changes in All 12 Keys” books.  My website has several backing tracks to practice on using Evan’s books. These are excellent books. I have also subscribed to Evan’s monthly online lessons. I plan to write a formal review of his lessons after I have received a couple of them.

Please checkout the following offer from Evan – this is a super good deal:

Super Deal from Evan Tate

Digital Patterns in Jazz Improvisation

Dr. David Baker is credited with originating the phrase “Digital Patterns” .  Many great jazz improvisors use digital patterns in their solo’s.

Digital patterns are groups of notes usually numbering four to eight notes.  A digital pattern is constructed  by assigning a number to each note of a scale.

A good digital pattern to begin with is a 1235 pattern.

The 1235 pattern for a C major chord would be:

CDEFGAB

1234567

The first note is C, the second note is D, the third note is E and the fifth note is G so the 1235 pattern for a C major chord would be C-D-E-G

The 1235 pattern for a C minor chord would be C-D-Eb-G.

Here are some additional patterns you can work on:

5-3-2-1

3-5-2-1

5-6-7-9

1-3-5-3

You should also create your own digital patterns.  As always practice the digital patterns in all 12 keys. You can use my jazz standard workout in 12 keys post to practice your digital patterns. In the future I will post a bebop tune for you to practice over that will be a much faster tempo and shorter chord durations.

John Coltrane’s Giant Steps and Countdown songs are full of digital patterns.

Giant Steps (LP Version)

Countdown (LP Version)

Have fun with “Digital Patterns”!

Minor II-V-I Pattern 1 Based Upon Harmonic Minor Scale

There are numerous jazz resources that provide some nice patterns for II-V progressions that have a one measure duration. Many standards have II-V-I progressions that occur over 4 measures. Once such song is “All Of Me”.  Measures 5 and six are a B7 ( if you are playing tenor or soprano ) and 7 and 8 are an E-.  We can take the two measures of B7 and substitute F#m7(b5) and then B7(b9) . The harmonic minor scale lends itself to this type of progression.  Be sure to download the pattern and try it out on “All Of Me”. You can also use another harmonic minor pattern from the download beginning on measures 9-12.

Harmonic Minor Pattern 1 Free Download (1744)

D Major Scale Exercise

In order to improve our musicianship it is critical to improve our technique on the saxophone. Today I am providing you  with a D major scale exercise that you can download.  As you work through the scale exercise be sure to use a metronome. Record your progress as you increase the speed of the metronome. Do not increase the speed of the metronome until until you can play the exercise completely without error. It is also good to practice your jazz articulation ( please see my jazz articulation post ) on this exercise. This exercise includes an altissimo G. If you cant play the altissimo note just insert a rest for that note.

D Major Scale Exercise Download (1397)

C Major Scale Exercise

In order to improve our musicianship it is critical to improve our technique on the saxophone. We begin with a C major scale exercise that you can download.  As you work through the scale exercise be sure to use a metronome. Record your progress as you increase the speed of the metronome. Do not increase the speed of the metronome until until you can play the exercise completely without error. It is also good to practice your jazz articulation ( please see my jazz articulation post ) on this exercise.

C Major Scale Exercise (1301)

Jazz Articulation

Master saxophonist and educator Jacob Lampe provides the following comments on proper jazz articulation:

“Tongue the upbeats and slur into the downbeats.   The upbeats whether swing (uneven) or straight can be lightly accented / tongued and you slur into the beats for the jazz style. dat would be more of an ending note, or short note… like  do-da-do-dat!

do being slured/unaccented
da being light tongue accent
dat – strong accent”

In chapter 2 of “Jazz Theory Resources Volume One” by Bert Ligon, Bert has a nice section on “Accents and Articulations”.

In the JAN/FEB 2009 issue of the Saxophone Journal, Greg Fishman has a good jazz articulation article entitled  “The Art OF Jazz Articulation,Part 1”.

Fishman calls the articulation of sluring into downbeats and tonguing the upbeats as “Mainstream Tonguing”. Sonny Stitt is an excellent example of a wonderful player that uses “Mainstream Tonguing”.

There are countless variations of jazz articulation but this should get you started.

What type of articulation do you use?

Practice your musical instrument!

If you don’t practice for a day you know the difference, two days and your friends know the difference, three days and everyone knows the difference!

While you are sleeping the competition is practicing!

Set aside time each day with clearly defined objectives and protect the time slot.

Make practice fun!

Transcription Software

An important part of learning the jazz language is transcribing the music of those that have gone before us as well as those that are still with us. It is important to not only figure out the notes and rhythms but to also to figure out the articulations, pitch bends and other nuances.

We happen to be fortunate to live in an age of technology that provides us with wonderful tools to simplify the transcription process. In the past, transcribers would slow down the speed of phonographs in order to determine the notes. Although this would slow down the music – the pitch would also be lowered and in many cases the music would be “muddy” and difficult to “play along with”.

I have evaluated several different transcription software packages and prefer Transcribe!

Transcribe is available from the following URL:

http://www.seventhstring.com/

The software runs on mac, PC and Linux.

Do you use any transcribing software? If yes, what are you using?

What is a contrafact?

Wikopedia defines a contrafact as follows:

“A contrafact is a new musical composition built out of an already existing one, most of a new melody overlaid on a familiar harmonic structure. As a compositional device, it was of particular importance in the 1930s/1940s development of bop, since it allowed jazz musicians to create new pieces for performance and recording on which they could immediately improvise, without having to seek permission or pay publisher fees for copyrighted materials (while melodies can be copyrighted, the underlying harmonic structure cannot be).”

The song “Donna Lee”  is a contrafact of  “Back Home in Indiana”.

We will be using contrafacts to communicate and illustrate various jazz aids.