Review of “The Ultimate II-V-I Primer” by Steve Neff

“The Ultimate II-V-I Primer” is another excellent publication from Steve Neff. This book targets the beginning improvisor but the material is beneficial to any aspiring jazz improvisor.

The book begins with an introduction and a few test progressions. If you can’t play through all of the test progressions, you need to take time to work through all exercises and internalize them.

The exercises are well conceived. The exercises begin with ultra simple exercises and then add rhythmic variety.  One of the goals is to be able to play through the progressions and not lose your place. As the book progresses you are asked to improvise over changes limiting your note selection. For example only use the 1, 3 and 5 of each chord. As the book progresses the parameters are expanded thus providing you with more tools to choose from.

The book is targeted to beginners but many intermediate improvisors could also benefit by learning their chords inside out in all 12 keys. Benefits are also gained on how to connect the notes from one chord to another in a smooth flowing manner.

I highly recommend this book. It can be purchased from Neff Music.

This website has backing tracks that work well with the exercises in the book

Long Sequence Major II-V-I Backing Tracks in All 12 Keys

You can also use the techniques you learn in this book and apply them to the following:

Jazz Standard Workout in All 12 Keys – Backing Tracks

You can also use the techniques in this book to improvise over much faster jazz backing tracks such as the following:

Bebop – Anthropaulogy ( Anthropology contrafact ) in All 12 Keys – Backing Tracks

Have fun improvising!

Bebop Workout on Anthropaulogy in All 12 keys with Charts and Tracks

Next to the blues, the chord changes to “I Got Rhythm” appear in more jazz songs than any other harmonic structure. The importance of learning how to play over these changes cannot be over emphasized.

I am providing a bebop workout on Anthropaulogy ( Anthropology ) in all 12 keys. Be sure to try Evan Tate’s 250 Jazz Patterns and Steve Neff’s Dominant Bebop Scale ideas over this bebop tune in all 12 keys. The quarter note is 250 on the backing tracks.

I am including a player for all of the backing music. The backing tracks are all in Concert key. For example, if you play the tenor saxophone and select a backing track in the key of C – you will use a pdf chart in the key of D.

Have fun working through all 12 keys!

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Anthropaulogy in the Key of C follows:

Anthropaulogy in the Key of Db follows:

Anthropaulogy in the Key of D follows:

Anthropaulogy in the Key of Eb follows:

Anthropaulogy in the Key of E follows:

Anthropaulogy in the Key of F follows:

Anthropaulogy in the Key of Fsharp follows:

Anthropaulogy in the Key of G follows:

Anthropaulogy in the Key of Ab follows:

Anthropaulogy in the Key of A follows:

Anthropaulogy in the Key of Bb follows:

Anthropaulogy in the Key of B follows:

Review of “Mastering The Dominant Bebop Scale” by Steve Neff

I recently learned about the website of Steve Neff from Jacob Lampe. I visited his site and purchased a pdf book entitled “Mastering The Dominant Bebop Scale.

The book covers the bebop dominant scale in all 12 keys. After Steve provides you with a number of suggestions and exercises in a particular key – he introduces bebop scale links. These links are very powerful and cool sounding and really help you to use the bebop scale without sounding like a scale exercise. Steve also demonstrates the use of the bebop scale in the blues. Since the dominant chords prevail in the blues – the blues are an excellent way to practice the bebop scale and linking patterns.

This is a very good book that you should work through if you desire to play bebop.

Steve Neff webite

Review of “How To Play Bebop 3” by David Baker

This post is the third in a series of my posts that review David Baker’s “How To Play Bebop” series. I am reviewing the third volume in this post.

This volume is all about techniques for learning and utilizing bebop tunes. This book consists of the following eight chapters:

  1. The Contrafact
  2. A Technique for Learning Tunes
  3. A Technique for Learning and Internalizing a Composition Using Bebop Tunes
  4. Using Bebop Compositions and Arrangements As a Means of Learning to Play Bebop
  5. The Use of Quotation in Bebop Solos
  6. An Approach to Developing Thematic Fluency Using the “Piggyback” Technique
  7. Another Approach to Learning to Improvise on The Blues
  8. An Approach to Improvising on “Rhythm” Tunes

The author also includes “A List of Essential Bebop Tunes for Memorization” in the appendix.

Chapter 1 provides a definition and historical perspective of the contrafact and then lists 15 bebop songs and other songs that are contrafacts of those songs. The most important thing to take of from this description is that next to the blues there are more bebop songs that are contrafacts of “I Got Rhythm” than any other bebop song. The author lists 48 bebop songs that are contrafacts of the “Rhythm” changes. This explains the importance of spending a great deal of time on the “Rhythm” changes.

Chapter 2 provides a detailed method for learning tunes. Guide tones and example exercises are provided.

Chapter 3 describes ways to internalize bebop tunes. For example learn the melody, learn the roots, use of root-based digital patterns.

Chapter 4 provides a list of tunes that will aid in the learning of bebop.

Chapter 5 discusses the use of quotes from other songs in bebop.

Chapter 6 discusses constructing lines that have a smooth flow.

Chapter 7 disccuses a different approach to improvising on the blues. The author provides a list of riff blues and asks that you learn them in all keys. Examples are provided.

Chapter 8 provides an approach to improvising on the “I Got Rhythm” tunes. Different variations are provided along with some model lines.

David Bakers bebop books are well written. In my opinion this series is best approached by an intermediate or higher level jazz improvisor.

How to Play Bebop – Volume 3

Review of “How To Play Bebop 2” by David Baker

David Baker has written three books on how to play bebop. This review will take a look at volume two.

The book begins with a preface that traces the beginning of bebop.

The book is divided into the following 8 chapters:

  1. The Use of the II,V7 Progression in Bebop
  2. The III, VI, II, V Progression in Bebop
  3. The Major Chord
  4. The II, V7 Progression in Minor
  5. The Cycle in Bebop
  6. The Use of the Turnback in Bebop
  7. Other Important Formulae in Bebop
  8. A New Approach To Constructing Bass Lines Based on the Bebop Scales

Chapter 8 is followed by an appendix entitled “A List of Essential Bebop Tunes for Memorization”.

The author includes a 101 bebop era II, V7 patterns in chapter 1.

Chapter 2 consists of a list of songs that contain the III,VI,II,V patterns followed by 100 III,VI,II,V patterns.

Chapter 3 contains 101 major patterns.

Chapter 4 provides a number of II,V7 patterns in Minor.

Chapter 5 provides a number of Cycle patterns.

Chapter 6 includes a number of turnback ( or turnaround ) patterns.

Chapter 8 begins by stating that the blues and “I Got Rhythm” chord changes occur most often in bebop and perhaps in all of jazz. The chapter lists several different formula and a list of songs that use the same formulae.

Chapter 9  provides a discussion on constructing bass lines using the bebop scale.

If you are serious about the bebop scale – this book should be in your library.

David Baker’s How to Play Bebop 2 for All Instruments – Learning the Bebop Language: Patterns, Formulae and Other Linking Materials