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Jazz Improvisation Primer

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Marc Sabatella has released an online version of his text, A Jazz Improvisation Primer. Here you can find information on almost every topic relating to jazz improvisation, from jazz history to music theory to practical advice on playing in a group.

You can check out the jazz primer at Outside Shore Music The topics are listed below:



A Brief History Of Jazz

Early Jazz

Big Band Jazz and Swing


Cool Jazz

Hard Bop

Post Bop

Free Jazz and the Avant Garde


Post Modern Jazz

The Present

Jazz Fundamentals




Practicing Swing


The Creative Process


Chord/Scale Relationships

Basic Theory


Major And Minor Scales


The Circle Of Fifths

Major Scale Harmony

Major Scale

Dorian Mode

Phrygian Mode

Lydian Mode

Mixolydian Mode

Minor Scale

Locrian Mode

Melodic Minor Harmony

Phrygian #6

Lydian Augmented

Lydian Dominant

Fifth Mode

Locrian #2

Altered Scale

Symmetric Scales

Whole Tone Scale

The Diminished Scales

Pentatonic Scales

Derived Scales

The Blues Scale

Minor Scales

Bebop Scales

Synthetic Scales

Chord/Scale Chart

Applying The Theory To Improvisation

Melodic Development


Phrase Construction

Playing Changes


Major Keys

Minor Keys


Rhythm Changes

Coltrane Changes

Modal Improvisation


Non-tonal Improvisation

Free Improvisation


Chordal Instruments

Chord Voicings

3/7 Voicings

Quartal Voicings

Polychord and Upper Structure Voicings

Close Position and Drop Voicings

Other Scale Based Voicings


Comping Rhythms


Walking Bass Lines

Pedal Point


Other Bass Patterns


Other Instruments

Playing With Others


Dealing With Problems

Listening Analytically

Breaking The Rules

Annotated Bibliography


Instructional Books

History And Biography

Annotated Discography

Basic Recommendations


Jazz Standards

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