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Jazz Practice Routine

A Modern Jazz Trumpet Practice Routine & Play Along

Jazz Practice Routine

A Modern Jazz Practice Routine & Play - Along


You need to work on technique, but are bored with the same routine?

One of the benefits I had while working on my undergraduate degree was playing a Bill Adam - styled routine with another trumpet player. That allowed us to rest at least as long as we played. This one element alone helps out your chops (embouchure) and build endurance. 


That routine covered all of the important aspects of playing any brass player needs to be a successful musician: rhythm, tone, articulation/tonguing, slurring, range, endurance, dynamics, scales, arpeggios, etc.

The Problem:

It's made for legit (classical/orchestral) trumpet players in mind. Probably like you, my focus was on Jazz/commercial music.

The Solution:

Adapt it to make it fit your needs. I did this intuitively many years ago. But, others needed a little help so I created the Modern Jazz Trumpet Practice Routine and Play-Along.

What's In It?


The type of exercises inside are probably familiar to most trumpet players: Clarke studies, flexibilities, range studies, Arban style arpeggios etc. All things that are good for your technique. But, this is different because each exercise has been adapted with a Jazz Practice Routine focus for you that also features elements from the Jazz Targeting Method.


It's a great way for students to transition from their standard practice routines into one that prepares you for improvisation while still working on your technique. 


The play-along feature allows a player to hear and watch an exercise example at a moderate tempo and then play it immediately afterwards. While every good teacher preaches having good time; this play-along has another sweet benefit:

A boring metronome?

You don't need another one of those. You probably have one on your phone that never gets used.

A basic metronome is boring. Tick..Tick...Tick...Tick. It can be torture.

DrumGenius:

This play along uses a fabulous app (that's been reviewed on this blog here) that features realistic swing drum patterns that function like a metronome. Incredible practice with a virtual drummer!

How to use it:

1

Download the Jazz Practice Routine...For FREE

There's a form underneath the videos below that will take 10 seconds to fill out and an email will be sent to you with the PDF sheet music.

2

Play-along with the 'A' Day

This play-along will take you on a ride through a Jazz-focused routine that highlights major key areas.

3

Play-along with the 'B' Day

This play-along will take you on a ride through a Jazz-focused routine that highlights minor key areas.

visualizing pentatonic targets

Visualizing the Pentatonic and Targets

2020 Update –

It’s been years since I’ve done the Improvisation Thursday Facebook Live. It’s had a number of variations (i.e. YouTube’s Lick of the Day, What To Do With These Licks, etc.). You can still view the videos, but if you’d like the most up-to-date info; I would invite you to visit my online school where you can dive into visualizing pentatonic targets a little more.

Visualizing the Pentatonic Scale and Their Targets

 

Have you been following along on the Improvisation Thursday Facebook Live events? If not, you can click HERE to check out the previous week’s videos highlighting who they’re for, how I believe they can help you, and where to start. If you came to check out the visuals you can scroll to the bottom. But, if need a quick synopsis of what we’ve discussed-here you go:

  • They’re for beginner Jazz improvisation students
  • They’re for any level of improvisors that have been frustrated with their progress up to this point and want a different perspective
  • They’re for educators looking for a better way to start out their students

What is Targeting?

  • Targeting = aiming at a goal note with purpose. This can be on a micro scale (from chord to chord and guide-tone to guide-tone) or on a macro scale (key areas and longer phrases).

What makes good targets?

  • When thinking micro: the guide-tones. Traditionally the 3rds and 7ths of chords because they help define the quality of the chord. However, these can be expanded to include the root, 5th, and extensions
  • When thinking macro: they key center’s 1, 3, and 5. For example, if we have a progression (or part of one) in the key of C; our target notes would be C, E, and G (1st, 3rd, and 5th of the key). I prefer to teach the macro approach to beginners because it’s easier to find and hear. This also gets the beginner thinking horizontally (melodically) instead of vertically (harmonically). Those targets also end up being other guide tones as well.

Caught Up? Great!

Visualizing the Pentatonic Scale

As I mentioned in the Facebook Live video, it may benefit you to visualize the pentatonic scale less like a scale and more like a collection of pitches. While working with a student recently (thanks for letting me share Noah!) we found that this can help get you out of thinking in terms of dots on a page and more towards the letter association. If numbers work for you too…go for it! Here’s how we’re visualizing it:

visualizing pentatonic targets

If you “stretch out” the scale to the full range of your instrument it might look like this:

visualizing pentatonic targets

If it helps to think of where your octaves are than we can include a line also:

visualizing pentatonic targets

This is where visualizing the layout and having the targets marked was helpful for Noah:

This will prove even more helpful as we start to expand our tools to get to our targets AND keeping the pentatonic as a melodic “home base.”

Key of C Pentatonic Target Examples

– 2020 Update –

It’s been years since I’ve done the Improvisation Thursday Facebook Live. It’s had a number of variations (i.e. YouTube’s Lick of the Day, What To Do With These Licks, etc.). You can still view the video, but if you’d like the most up-to-date info; I would invite you to visit my online school.

How Can I Use the Pentatonic Scale to Target?

Have you been following along on the Improvisation Thursday Facebook Live events? If not, you can click HERE to check out the previous week’s videos highlighting who they’re for, how I believe they can help you, and where to start. If you have and just want the free examples you can scroll to the bottom. But, if need a quick synopsis of what we’ve discussed-here you go:

  • They’re for beginner Jazz improvisation students
  • They’re for any level of improvisors that have been frustrated with their progress up to this point and want a different perspective
  • They’re for educators looking for a better way to start out their students

 

What is Targeting?

  • Targeting = aiming at a goal note with purpose. This can be on a micro scale (from chord to chord and guide-tone to guide-tone) or on a macro scale (key areas and longer phrases).

What makes good targets?

  • When thinking micro: the guide-tones. Traditionally the 3rds and 7ths of chords because they help define the quality of the chord. However, these can be expanded to include the root, 5th, and extensions
  • When thinking macro: they key center’s 1, 3, and 5. For example, if we have a progression (or part of one) in the key of C; our target notes would be C, E, and G (1st, 3rd, and 5th of the key). I prefer to teach the macro approach to beginners because it’s easier to find and hear. This also gets the beginner thinking horizontally (melodically) instead of vertically (harmonically). Those targets also end up being other guide tones as well.

What tools can I use to get to the targets?

We can use the pentatonic scale as a source of melodic content as well as using it as a tool to get to our targets. I like to use them for both as each line we play should have the end-note (target) in mind. The below examples are in the key of C, but notice how each line ends on either the 1st (C), 3rd (E), or 5th (G) of the key. It’s a free pdf file that you can use to start getting some ideas in your ear and under your fingers.

***Key of C Pentatonic Target Examples*** (download here)

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