Which Jazz theory practice book to start with?

When Looking for jazz improvisation literature people will walk into a sheet music department and sometimes be astounded at the prices of the theory and practice books. A concise quality book that contains all of the essential information and is well written and easy to follow can start anywhere from $30 to $150 plus for the Lydian Chromatic Concept!

So I have whittled it down to 3 books. [I am sure there are some other very well written books out there that is not on my list] but any of these three books will hold you in good stead when you are starting out.

The first 2 books are “Inexpensive” and contain a mountain of material.

 

BOOK 1: JAZZ SOLOS BY LES WISE. THIS BOOK IS IDEAL FOR GUITARISTS BECAUSE IT HAS TABLATURE

JAZZ SOLOS BY LES WISE

BOOK 2: JAZZOLOGY BY ROBERT RAWLINGS AND NOR EDDINE BAHHA

JAZZOLOGY BY ROBERT RAWLINGS AND NOR EDDINE BAHHA

BOOK3: A BIT MORE EXPENSIVE BUT IT IS A COMPLETE ENCYCLOPEDIA BY MARK LEVINE CALLED “THE JAZZ THEORY BOOK”

MARK LEVINE  "THE JAZZ THEORY BOOK"

As I state in the video you can get these books secondhand on Amazon [CLICK LOGO/LINK BELOW] even cheaper or you can try your local library. But, I would suggest owning a copy of one of them in order to pencil in your own thoughts, directions and favourite exercises etc.

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John Mclaughlin Jazz Fusion Line Breakdown

There are two parts to this. The second lesson is a variation. The dominant chord in this 2 5 1 is altered.

This creates a nice way to create flow with the fingering when alternate picking in the style of John Mclaughlin. As you play through the Notation/Tab [below] this will become apparent very quickly.

 

John Mclaughlin guitar lesson finishing with a D flat Triad for G7 alt

 

John Mclaughlin Jazz Improvisation guitar lesson jazzimproviser

LINE BREAKDOWN: Breaking down the line into 4 note cells [Tetrachords]

TETRACHORD 1

jazzimproviser

TETRACHORD 2

this is the way I do it

TETRACHORD 3

this is the way I do it

TETRACHORD 4

This is the way I do it

TETRACHORD 5

Mclaughlin this is the way I do it

TETRACHORD 6

This is the way I do it

TETRACHORD 7

This is the way I do it John Mclaughlin

TETRACHORD 8

This is the way I do it

VARIATION of the John Mclaughlin jazz fusion improvisation guitar lesson finishing with an E flat Triad for the G7 alt

John Mclaughlin Jazz Improvisation guitar lesson. Altered scales

For more info John Mclaughlin has a DVD:

John Mclaughlin This is the way I do it

Jazz/fusion improvisation Altered scale Theory Lesson

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Today we will look at a John Mclaughlin alternate picking Jazz/Fusion improvisation cadence employing the altered dominant chord! Please watch the video below and then try it out yourself.

As you will see this cadence employs the Altered scale. It is a 2 [minor 7 flat 5] going to 5 [ “Altered Dominant”] 1 [major 7th]. This being Dm7 flat 5  G7 altered resolving to C major7.

I also employ a flat 5 substitution on the Dm7 flat 5. All of this resolves though and slips nicely into the altered dominant 5 chord. I also use pentatonics within the altered scale for rhythmic flow. Please look at the TAB/MUSIC below and play through it yourself to see and feel how it all “Naturally” unfolds. I employ alternate picking the same as John Mclaughlin.

John Mclaughlin alternate picking altered scale line Music/Tab

John Mclaughlin Alternate picking Altered scale jazz improviser line

VARIATION With an A flat Pentatonic shape replacing A flat minor/Major Arpeggio for the flat 5 substitution.

 

Altered scale jazz improvisation, jazz improviser lesson

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