eBooks

I wrote these PDF eBooks to provide succinct answers to common improvisation questions I often hear from teachers. Topics to be added soon include voicings, jazz/blues scales, comping, and more. What is your question? Propose a topic and I’ll write it.

Make as many copies as you want! All improvisation aids PDF eBooks include an unlimited reproduction license for life. This means you can copy and print the info in the book as much as you want for yourself or your students. Brilliant! Under this license, not only can you copy the music, you can scan it and upload to your iPad for reference (still not currently legal under other copyright licenses).

PDFs download available upon purchase within your account.
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  • Preparing Pianists for Jazz Band - eBook - PDF ()
    How does a pianist move from practicing alone to playing in a jazz band? This 35 page PDF eBook explains and demonstrates the skills needed to play in the rhythm section of a larger jazz ensemble including how to voice chords, what scales to play when improvising, and stock accompaniments and grooves for the main jazz styles.
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    $12.99
  • Understanding Chord Symbols - eBook - PDF ()
    Best Seller!

    This eBook provides a straightforward explanation of the principles, common practices, and variations in contemporary pop/jazz chord nomenclature. Use it as a reference for teaching or interpreting popular arrangements, lead sheets and chord charts. Large images are designed for easy reading on a screen.

    20 page PDF with large images designed for easy reading on a tablet or printout. Includes an unlimited reproduction license for life.
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    $12.99
  • Going Further with Lead Sheets - eBook - PDF ()
    So you can play the chords and melody on a lead sheet. Now what? This 29 page eBook shows you how to expand Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star from a simple tune to a full sounding professional arrangement by “faking” the rest of the details including accompaniment styles, embellishment, and Improvisation.

    Customer Comments:

    "In this book, you review/learn: chords in lead-sheet format; chord inversions; accompaniment styles; basic improvisation techniques using chord tones, pentatonic scale, and scale fragments; intro and outro possiblities; and possible combinations to complete all the reviewed concepts. All of these concepts presented in a deliciously appetizing sequence!

    For "dessert," the bonus section presents some tastes of more advanced styles of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" including Latin, Swing (comp/walking bass), more lyrical styles in 3/4 and 4/4, boogie, ballad, and others using chord substitutions or rootless shell voicings (3-7 voicings).

    This book is excellent for many levels. For beginning students, the teacher could discuss Theme and Variations, using the RH melody with repeated notes, neighbor notes, fill notes, and combining them. For young students, the C major pentatonic scale could be separated into both hands to create their own variation while the teacher accompanies. Intermediate-level students could focus on the chords, inversions, basic accompaniment styles, while trying the pentatonic scales and chord tones with classical ornaments. More advanced students with some improvisation experience could improvise using combinations of pentatonic and the complete C major scale while experimenting with the more advanced accompaniment patterns and styles included.

    As an easy-to-use reference that provides extra creativity ideas using a familiar song, the teacher can apply this step-by-step approach to other songs. Consequently, the student can learn to express himself (or herself) by embellishing, improvising, and enhancing other pieces, while having fun.
    " - Bronwyn
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    $12.99
  • Scaling the Chords - eBook - PDF ()
    This eBook is all about making scales, and chord drills more fun to practice and more relevant to actual music through improvisation.
    • Practice scales more logically
    • Become more “chord fluent”
    • Combine scales and chords creatively
    34 page PDF with large images designed for easy reading on a screen. Includes an unlimited reproduction license for life.
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    $12.99
  • Drumming for Teachers cover
    Drumming for Teachers - PDF download ()

    Music teachers:
    Have fun supporting your students with a hand drum!

    • Are you looking for better ways to help your students keep a steady beat?
    • Do you sometimes feel a little bored while your students are playing their pieces?
    This 9-page document shows you how to accompany your students on a hand drum by playing easy clearly-notated patterns. No previous drumming experience is necessary.

    Benefits

    Student musicians who regularly play with others learn to:
    •    Share a common pulse.
    •    Start anywhere in a piece.
    •    Receive count-ins and cue others.
    •    Communicate with their bodies.
    •    Shrug off mistakes since everyone makes them. 
    •    How to stay with the group despite mistakes.

    Advantages for Teachers
    •    Save lesson time – No more searching for and twiddling with the metronome.
    •    Model musicality without so much “teacher talk.”
    •    Avoid burnout - It’s more fun to play along than just sitting there.
    •    Work on their own musicianship - It’s like sneaking in a little practice.
    •    Emphasize cadences and form - improvised fills and body language teach phrasing.

    Add to Cart
    $12.99
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