JK Chang's excellent site

JK Chang is a composer and visual artist living in Taiwan who has a beautiful website with a lot of great Jazz resources. In the Bebop Cookbook of his site he has a lot of interesting articles on Charlie Parker, but what be even more interesting for you is all of the PDF downloads his has available. Chang's PDF books include: II-V-I Bebop Lines,  II-V-I Coltrane Lines, Jazz Lines in Fourths, Sight-Reading Etudes for Saxophone and more. This site is well put together. You will need to complete a quick registration form in order to download the PDFs.

JK Chang's website


lungdonor said...

In my opinion those lines are too long. I prefer the "Bergonzi" approach as described in the 6th volume: short 1 bar lines that the student has to ingrain deeply by using displacement, changin rythm, combining lines. I personnaly can't sound spontaneous at all playing a 4 bar phrase composed by someone else.

David Carlos Valdez said...

Good point, but free is free and they may be helpful just to give you new ideas.

There was recently a long debate on SOTW that was sparked by an earlier blog post of mine on the topic of learning lines in all twelve keys:


In my post I put forth the argument that if you learned long lines in all 12 keys you were likely to start repeating yourself, better to learn thing like melodic minor licks and then practice them over many different chord types. This way each line you learned would be able to be applied over 7 different chords, so if you learn 3 melodic minor lines in 3 keys you are effectively learning 63 different lines. Just better results in less time.

I never said that learning to transpose things in to every key wasn't a good skill to have, just that practicing every line you learn in every key all the time wasn't the best way to build vocabulary because it's slower and you end up repeating yourself when you improvise.

Part of the problem with the way many students learn Jazz is that memorize long two or even four bar phrases, like Chang's PDFs, instead of learning shorter licks that can be more easily interchangeable. Better to have smaller melodic cells that you can put together in many different ways than to have a bunch of long lines to work with.