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Jazz Starters are the tools that help students become better improvisers. Jazz Starters teach the big four jazz scales: Major, Mixolydian, Dorian, and Blues. Each of these scales is presented on the same tonic. The first four scales are all built on concert Bb (Bb Major, Bb Mixolydian, Bb Dorian, and Bb Blues). The next four are built on concert Eb, and the last four are built on concert F. By learning all scales on a common tonic students are able to relate them to their parallel major scale, making the scales much easier to learn and retain.
Jazz Starter A - Scale
Jazz Starters B1-B4 - Pitch Sets
Pitch Sets isolate different pitches of the scale. This allows for more focused practice and fully internalizes the different notes of the scale. For beginning soloists, improvising with limited scales tones is a great way to get started. For more advanced soloists, improvising with limited tones is a wonderful practice technique.
As with all of the exercises in First Place for Jazz, all of the Pitch Sets are recorded for listening, play-a-long, and study purposes. Students hear THEIR OWN INSTRUMENT demonstrate the exercises!
Jazz Starter C - Chord
Scales and chords go together, and Jazz Starter C teaches the chord that is most commonly associated with the given scale. The chord is used learning scale degrees. Students read the chord, write it, listen to it, and play it. Focusing on a single chord at a time prepares students to learn to play chord changes and progressions later on.
Jazz Starters D1-D5 - Rhythm Figures
Understanding and interpreting jazz rhythms is critical to a successful performance. These rhythm figures are taken from the full jazz ensemble charts and they can be used as a basis for improvisation just like the scales and chords can. Rehearsing figures like this in unison is also a great way to tighten up the sound of the ensemble. Students listen to the rhythm sung and played, and then THEY sing and play. This fully internalizes the sound and feel of the rhythm.
Improvisation Practice is where all of the skills and techniques can be brought together. This track presents the solo section of the big band chart, played two times. Students can apply what they have practiced in the rest of the Jazz Starters, and will be ready for performance!