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Approach Note Velocity Major (PDF Book)
Approach Note Velocity Volume 1: Major
A number of years ago, I was frustrated with my playing over static major and minor grooves. It seemed like I always ran out of ideas and the ideas I had were stale and unoriginal. At that time, although I could play in all keys, more often than not I was held back to the same old diatonic patterns and licks I had studied as a kid. Besides this frustration, I felt like there were many keys with which I wasn’t comfortable. As a solution, I decided to come up with a comprehensive method using approach notes that I could use to systematically solve these perceived weaknesses in my playing. I started by writing out every approach I could think of in every key. For about 4-5 months, I worked on these approaches while playing along to Jamey Aebersold’s Volume 24 “Major and Minor” CD. As I worked on, and added to, my collection of approaches, I saw the positive results in my performances. Not only was I able to play faster over tunes, but I was feeling a confidence that I could start an idea on any note and find a way to resolve it and make it sound good. As I worked on them in depth, I began to notice that my confidence in every key was improving. Also, the method I was using was helping my ear to more easily hear key centers, and something cool was happening to my time concept. I was starting to play ideas in odd meters against 4. I wasn’t tied down to the 1,2,3,4 groove, but was playing across the bar lines. I really believe that working on these exercises has helped my playing immensely. I hope that you get as much out of these exercises as I have and that they will improve your performances. Thanks, Steve
Click here for a sound sample of part of the book.
This book is a 86 page pdf file in trble clef and contains 49 approach note patterns in all 12 major keys using Finale. You can print this file and get to work immediately.
If you're interested in a printed copy of the book, I have combined both Volume 1 & 2 into one book. Click here to see it and some sample pages!
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Reviewed by CMarcolino
December 24, 2011
Very good material. Fresh ideas for licks dealing with approach notes. Several licks in all keys. Highly recommended. I bought the printed version from Lulu and packaging was great too. Nicely done, Steve!
This one's a keeper!
Reviewed by anonymous
August 26, 2009
I just ordered and received Steve's new book a couple of days ago; I had the time to play 3 keys out of the "Approach Note Velocity" book today and I'm delighted! This book's fun! Steve took the time to do what I've been meaning to do for quite a while, (Hat's off to ya man, I'm too lazy!). He did a great job with this book. The problem of making a line over static harmony interesting is one we saxophonists all encounter, so this book is truly useful. The constant suspension and resolution of the approach note exercises swings like crazy! I've been looking for a jazz book with an interesting concept that's fun to read for quite a while and this one's a keeper; thanks man
Thank you Steve!
Reviewed by anonymous
August 24, 2009
Thank you Steve!
I beieve that the time I have invested in your method has paid off ten-fold.
Steve, I am a trauma surgeon with very limited time who is learning to play jazz guitar. I have purchased all of your books ( The Best II-V-I Patterns, Approach Note Velocity or Mastering the Dominant Bebop Scale) and have found them invaluable in giving me an insight into modern improvising. The Mastering the Dominant Bebop Scale is much clearer and user-friendly than the Baker books thtat I had been using (How to Pay Bebop). Instead of just a single riff, you provide building blocks that allow the student to really internalize the Bebop scales and actually make music with them. I am also using Approach Note Velocity in combination with the New York Guitar Method to master the use of chromatics in my playing. I have taken your advice and worked with the Aebersold Major & Minor CDs, and I beieve that the time I have invested in your method has paid off ten-fold. Like you, I have noticed that I am now "playing over the barline" and intuitively using polyrhythms in my playing. Thank you so much for taking the time to develop these books, and please let me know when you develop a new product!
I just wish I had access to something like this about 35 years ago.
I have been working regularly with both Steve's II-V-I patterns (major and minor) and his Approach Note Velocity books. Instead of going from front to back on these, I concentrated on the keys that I use the most and gradually started delving in to the other keys. After ove 40 years of playing, I have never worked through anything that has opened me up to new ideas and gotten me out of a playing "rut" faster than these books. I am hearing new things in my playing and so are others and I am constantly getting more comfortable playing in any key. I am by no means finished working with these books and consider them a "lifetime" project. Who says you can't teach an "old dog" new tricks? I just wish I had access to something like this about 35 years ago. Steve can expect that I will be adding his Mastering the Dominant Bebop Scale book to my arsenal very soon.
These really work!
I have been using Steve's II-V-I patterns, Approach Note Velocity, and
Maybe this book.......will do the same magic for me!
This is what was missing in my playing.
I just wanted to let you know that your velocity series was just what I needed. This kind of thing seems to be what was missing in my playing. Not that I would use these patterns all of the time, but they sure do make a cool addition to what I already do. I have read many books "Velocity Patterns", "Jazz Rock Progressions" By David Chesky, the Bob Mintzer books, Sam Most etc.... These book are cool, however they really do not "break it down" and put the excercises into the hands of the player like your excercises do.
Approach Note Freedom Lesson 9 (Video & Audio)Approach Note Velocity Minor (PDF Book)