Review of Mastering the Minor II V Software

A few months ago I attended a jazz jam session in Austin Texas at Kickbutt Coffee. While at the jam session I heard a wonderful sax player and all around nice guy named Tony Bray.

A couple of week ago I learned that Tony was CEO of a company named “Jazz Apps Mobile LLC“. As of the date of this writing, Jazz Apps Mobile has released two applications for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Droid versions are under development.

Many beginner and intermediate players are challenged with the minor ii v i chord progression. This application was developed to help players feel confident when playing over these chord changes. The application provides an introduction of how to use the application, the theory, a nice way to learn and practice all of the scales. The application presents the Lydian Augmented scale. Tony studied with the renowned jazz player and educator Jerry Coker and brings many years of playing experience to the application. The application also includes JAM-A-long tracks to woodshed individual chords and the entire progression. The tempo can be adjusted and the music can be transposed to any key. I plug my iPhone into my home stereo so that I don’t over power the backing tracks with my tenor sax. This application can be used with any instrument.

The software can be improved by including some examples of how students can apply the knowledge of the lydian augmented scale over the changes. I have asked Tony to consider adding this capability to a future version of their software. Tony indicated examples would be added to a future version of the software. I also suggest that a user forum be added to the Jazz Apps Mobile website so that students can communicate with the Jazz Apps company as well as each other.

I endorse this application. Stay tuned because I will be reviewing their Modal application in the near future.

What do you use to help improve your ability to play over the minor ii v progression?

Improve your Sound with Audi-Graph-Part I

How often is a beginning musician asked to develop a quality sound?

A new software application has been developed by a NASA engineer and it is named Audi-Graph. It turns out that the notes on our instrument consist of a fundamental frequency and a number of harmonic frequencies. The timbre of a flute playing a particular note sounds different than a saxophone playing the same note. The harmonics are what make the instruments sound different.  If you compare a professional saxophonists sound to a beginner – you will notice a difference in sound quality. Once again the difference is the harmonics.  Prior to Audi-Graph the student would listen to a good professional sound and then try to emulate that sound. This is usually a process that is trial and error and can take many years.

Audi-Graph provides visual cue’s that can allow a student to make changes ( e.g. more pressure on the reed or opening up the throat ) and see how the changes compare to a professional’s harmonics.  Simply put – if you can match the harmonics  then you will have a professional sound. The Audi-Graph software includes an ever expanding library of classical and other musical styles artists that the student can use as a reference point and try to match harmonics.

After visiting the Audi-Graph website, I was so interested that I purchased the software. I am not a beginner but I see many potential applications that I will write about in future blog articles. In addition to greatly accelerating the time it takes to develop a professional sound, I see many other applications of this software for the developing and professional musicians.

Stay tuned for future articles.