Anyone interested in improving their jazz playing should be aware of the Jamey Aebersold series of play-along books. These books cover all styles of jazz and give you the chance to practice your improvisation along with some great musicians.
A particular favourite of mine is the very first one How to play jazz and improvise.
Perhaps less well known is the website Jazzbooks.com that is the online home for this series of books.
As well as selling all the play-along books, the site has some great free downloads including the ‘Red Book‘.
In addition to some great general background on playing jazz, this free PDF also has some really good information on how to practice jazz:
- Page 4 – Soloing. Includes advice on how to practice your improvisation.
- Page 6 – Transcribing. How to do it and how to think about it.
- Page 9 – Tips for learning new tunes and how to practice scales and memorisation.
- Page 21 – How to train your ears
- Page 25 – Practice advice and reading lists
In addition the book has extensive information on scales, their construction and application, recommended listening by instrument, sample exercises, charts, recommended reading, blues and bebop styles, worksheets and more.
If you play jazz you have to get this book. Even if you don’t you will learn a lot by reading it.