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Buy Jazz Improv: How to Play It and Teach It from Amazon now. -- This book contains a unique method for improvising based on the tonal concept of tension and release providing students, teachers and professional musicians with important principles of improvising melodic ideas, culminating in a creative procedure for tonality, modality and bi-tonality practices. --Jimmy Amadie is recognized world-wide as a jazz musician, educator, teacher and author. His texts: "Harmonic Foundation for Jazz and Popular Music" and "Jazz Improv: How to Play It and Teach It" are used in more than 35 countries including Australia and Japan with information on the texts published in English, Italian, German, French and Japanese. Mr. Amadie has been pianist/composer in Woody Herman's Big Band, Mel Torme's personal accompanist, co-author of compositions with Steve Allen and composer/condutor for the National Football Film scores. In addition to teaching privately, he teaches at both Berklee College of Music in Boston and Villanova University for their summer programs. He is also a concert artist for Baldwin Piano Company as well as an artist/clinician for Korg Inc. -- Amadea's approach to teaching Jazz improv is a major breakthrough. The book that precedes this and which you should read first (HARMONIC FOUNDATIONS FOR JAZZ AND POP MUSIC) is incredible. It presupposes you know NOTHING, yet after you work through this book it'll be like finishing 4 years of college in 6 months and graduating MCL. - - The one drawback of JAZZ IMPROV is that it requires a lot of thinking... meaning it ain't no magic carpet ride... ya gotta be willing to work at it and stick with it. To put the book in a nutshell, you think of scale tones numerically. You then learn concepts of how to target the tones. His concept of improv is based on TENSION and RELEASE. - - WARNING: Don't think just because you've read the chapter and understand it, you're ready to go on with the next. You have to internalize it. A neat book I used in conjunction with this is BERT LIGON's CONNECTING CHORDS WITH LINEAR HARMONY. --Finally, we have someone who can teach and write about jazz. Jazz is recognized throughout the world as America's greatest art form and we who create this music owe a great deal to Jimmy Amadie for his ability to explain what we are doing and how it can be improved. His conception are exactly what is needed by student and professional to keep our music in step with the 1990's and beyond. He defies the old saying that jazz cannot be taught.
See also, Phil Seyer's free lessons on music theory.
Thanks for your interest in Music Theory and how to Improvise Music