The Serious Jazz Practice Book- seriously

Chuck Sher has continually put out some of the best Jazz Fake Books and Jazz educational books on the market. I remember when he first started publishing. He would takes his fakes books to the high-school and college Jazz festivals and sit at his little table wearing headphones while practicing his electric bass. Now he's catching up to Jamey.

I just got the 'Serious Jazz Practice Book' by Barry Finnerty last week. I was kind of skeptical because I've ordered so many practice books that turned out to be quite lame. It turned out to be a really great book. Here are a few endorsements that I think described the book very well:

  • "The book I've been waiting for! Barry quite logically leads you through hundreds of wonderful studies with easy to understand text relating to how each study/pattern is set up and how it relates harmonically to chords and scales. This book will keep you busy for many years and is a compelling method with the overall goal of expanding your Jazz vocabulary. It is a great book!"
Randy Brecker

  • "This is an exhaustive, yet compact guide to the fundamental of scale vocabulary, written by an accomplished musician. The section on diminished scales is outstanding."
Dave Liebman

Barry has done a fantastic job of organizing this book. He starts simple diatonic exercises in chapter one, and moves on to pentatonic and arpeggio studies in chapters two and three. The last arpeggio patterns are cool sounding diminished and augmented arpeggios. In chapters four and five Barry introduces whole-tone and diminished patterns. There is a wealth of great ideas here. The closest book I can think of to this book is Slonimski's 'Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns'. In Slonimski's book you need to really dig to find usable patterns and then figure out how to apply them to changes yourself. In the 'Serious Jazz Practice Book' everything is laid out for you, it is very clear about how to apply the patterns to improvisation.
Here is an except from the diminished chapter:

  • "But the great thing about the diminished scale is that it contains so many other kinds of triads, including major, minor and certain quartal triads. And these can all be moved around melodically in minor thirds. In fact, ANY combination of notes made from the diminished scale will transpose cleanly in increments of minor thirds. OR Tritones. The modern Jazz soloist will make good use of this convenient fact. Remember: all diminished triads can be the 3rd, 5th and the 7th of B7, D7, F7, and Ab7. And those are the tonal centers to be aware of within this particular scale. You can see them very easily in our first diminished scale exercise:"
There is also a CD included with the book that illustrates how some of the patterns sound over chord changes. The thing about the patterns in this book is that they all sound great, without being cliche.

I think that this book will be a great addition to my personal practice routine and I would highly recommend it to any musician wishing to develop a modern Jazz vocabulary.

Here are some samples from the CD:
Sample Page: Page 1

The Serious Jazz Practice Book for All Instruments: Melodic Materials for the Modern Jazz Soloist (Book & CD)

No comments: