Jazz Workshop‎ > ‎

Resources and Recommendations

Start by listening to great jazz artists. Don't skip this step, it is the most important thing to do as a jazz musician! Check out the Blues Licks page and the Great Jazz Melodies pages, and just listen to the songs. Download the "Jazz Melodies" pdf at the bottom of this page for a list of tuneful jazz melodies that young listeners will enjoy.


The US Army Field Band's "Jazz Ambassadors" from Washington, D.C. provide this terrific jazz resource for all students:

Here's my list of Recommended Books to help you learn to read and interpret jazz notation.

Beginning Jazz Students 6th/7th Grade
Jazz Phrasing Studies by Greg Fishman is the best way to get started learning jazz. This is for melodic instruments only, such as trumpet, trombone, saxophone, vibes.

Piano, Bass and Drum students should start with Standard of Excellence Jazz Ensemble Method by Dean Sorenson & Bruce Pearson, published by Kjos Music - This book has excellent descriptions of how the rhythm section works together to create a groove in the major styles of swing, rock and bossa nova.  This is the text we use for the Lincoln Jazz Band.

Essential App for learning Jazz Tunes and Improvisation
iReal Pro is a practice tool that provides piano, bass and drum accompaniments. Tempo can be altered, and songs can be transposed to any key. Use this to practice song melodies and solos. I consider it to be an essential practice tool for every level of jazz study. It's about $13 for iPhone and Android, about $20 for a Mac computer. This is the practice app that pros and college level jazz students are now using. Time magazine included this app in the "50 best inventions of 2010."

7th/8th Grade

Easy Jazz Conception by Jim Snidero, published by Advance Music ILMEA Jr. High Jazz audition etudes are taken from this book.

8th/9th Grade

The Power of Two - Duets by Doug Beach & George Shutack - Kendor Music, Inc. Play along with the pros on these recordings to learn the nuances of style, phrasing and articulation to drastically improve your playing.

Intermediate Jazz Conception by Jim Snidero, published by Advance Music

Standard of Excellence Advanced Jazz Ensemble Method by Dean Sorenson & Bruce Pearson, published by Kjos Music - This is the text we use for the Maine South Jazz Band

Wind/Melodic Instrument Players - If You're Really Serious, It's time to build your library of Jamey Aebersold Play-Along Recordings

While helping at a jazz workshop in Connecticut in 1966, one student asked Jamey Aebersold to record a reel-to-reel tape of piano accompaniment and send it to him so he could have something to practice with. Instead, Jamey hired some of the best musicians in the jazz world to record rhythm section accompaniments (piano, bass and drums) to several standard jazz tunes. This lead to a series of jazz play-along recordings that have become extremely popular among beginners and professionals alike. As of May, 2016, there are over 133 volumes in the Aebersold Play-Along series. Each volume features the music of a specific artist, or a particular playing technique. Here is my recommended learning sequence.

 Foundation Exercises & Performance Skills Tunes Selected by Category or Artist
 
Volume 24 - Major & Minor
This is a great starting place. Beginners can practice playing scales with good intonation and rhythmic timing, and advanced students can challenge their improvisation skills in the most challenging keys.
 
This collection of standard jazz tunes is a good starting place for beginners due to the simplicity of the chord progressions. They are recorded at slower tempi for the beginning jazz student. Supplemental books are available for this volume to aid the beginning jazz player, such as exact transcriptions of the piano and bass parts, a drum book with recordings that isolate the drum part so that drummers can play along with the bass and piano recordings, and written solos to provide insights and ideas for developing students. This volume includes the song "Tootsie," which is the audition requirement for the ILMEA Junior High Jazz Band.
Lots of revisions over the years, this set remains a good starting place for learning to improvise over basic chord progressions.
 
Volume 70 - Killer Joe
This volume is also intended for the new jazz student, with the same supplemental resources as Volume 54. "Lady Bird" from this volume is the advanced improvisation requirement for the ILMEA High School Jazz Band every three years - 2018, 2021, 2014.
  
You know that you are a serious jazz student when you practice this chord progression in every major and minor key.
 
Volume 6 - Charlie Parker
This volume includes advanced bebop jazz tunes and two CDs, one recorded at slower tempi for the developing student. Start by learning the melodies - bebop melodies provide GREAT source material for future solos. Advanced middle school students should strive to learn these tunes. "Billies Bounce" is the required F-Blues improvisation track for the ILMEA High School Jazz Band every year.
Great practice material to learn how to handle many chord and scale structures.
 
Volume 43 - Groovin' High
Great jazz standards at reasonable tempi. "All The Things You Are" is the advanced improvisation requirement for the ILMEA High School Jazz Band every three years - 2017, 2020, 2023
 
"Solar" is the advanced improvisation requirement for the ILMEA High School Jazz Band every three years  - 2016, 2019, 2022
 
Volume 12 - Duke Ellington

Great, great, great jazz standards by the master, playable by beginning/intermediate students.

High School/College

Jazz Conception by Jim Snidero, published by Advance Music  ILMEA High School Jazz audition etudes are taken from this book.

Jazz Improvisation Online Classes - Two excellent courses are offered by Jim Snidero and Walt Weiskopf - Jazz Saxophone Workshop and Jazz Improvisation, both are terrific. 

Jazz Piano Lessons - Several free introductory lessons are offered. 

Ċ
Brian Jacobi,
Aug 17, 2014, 6:41 AM