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How to Play Bebop, Volume 2: For All Instruments Format Kindle
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Ok, first of all, what these books aren't:
Though excellent, they are NOT a comprehensive approach to jazz improv, nor are they for beginners.
Nascent improvisors would do better to get Levine's Jazz Theory book (a must for anyone interested in playing this music) along with something like Coker's Patterns For Jazz. After you get a handle on the concepts in them, get your scales together, understand basic chord/scale relationships, etc, THEN would be the time to move onto to this series from Baker.
All three are really great, and any one would be a worthy addition to one's education library.
Since it's not entirely clear what the differences are from just reading the cover, I'll provide some more detail here:
Vol. 1: Primarily focuses on bebop scales (which I guess is a term Baker coined) and how to embellish basic scale choices with chromaticism. Tons of examples ("licks) to learn, mostly over static harmony. Yes, the examples are only written in one key, as they should be. It's up to the student to then learn them in all 12.
Vol. 2: Consists mostly of "licks" culled from the jazz canon, with each chapter focusing on a different chord progression. Each chapter has ~100 or so examples, so there's a LOT of stuff here. The chapter/topic breakdown is as follows:
1. II V7
2. III VI II V
3. The major chord (somewhat similar to what's in Vol.1)
4. The Minor II V7
5. Various patterns to play through the cycle of 4ths
7. Other common progressions
8. Bass lines
Did I mention that there's a TON of stuff in here?
Vol. 3: This one's a bit of a departure from the other two, as it doesn't have much in the way of patterns and the like. Rather, it's full of great ideas for how to practice and learn tunes. And not only learn them, but lots of other stuff to help open them up from a creative standpoint as well. I've been playing jazz for some 20 odd years and there were a bunch of approaches in here I never would've thought of. It's really helped me open up new approaches to tunes I already know as well as tunes I still need to learn. Doing even a fraction of the stuff Baker lists here on a tune and you will OWN it.
All 'n all, for ~35 bucks or whatever, you'd be hard pressed to find a better value than these three books. I'd maybe recommend getting Vol. 1&3 to start with, then adding Vol.2 after working through Vol.1.
Regardless of order, however, they're all highly recommended.
Look, you need this thing to become a fluent bebop player, but you have to supply the work.
I got this on the recommendation of my teacher. It is helpful for giving me tons of licks and 2-5-1's to
work on. They are in concert C and you need to transpose them into the other 11 keys yourself. That's good mental work.
You have to do the millions of repetitions on the licks to build muscle memory. Total grut work, but there is no
alternative. For the intended purpose, this book will get you there if you put in the work. Happy woodshedding.
Well writen and great theory examples and exercises.
I am very happy with this book.
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