Overview to The Jazzmaster Workout

The Jazzmaster Workout method has two main components: The Theory Text, and the Jazzmaster Workout Practice Method (optionally including play-along CDs). Each part addresses a key aspect of jazz improvisation—conceptial understanding of musical structures, practical application of these concepts on a particular instrument, and the ability to hear and respond to the language of jazz. The two parts are available in a single book called The Jazzmaster Cookbook.

The Jazzmaster Workout Theory Text is a detailed discussion of the major principles of mainstream jazz harmony and improvisation. It begins with the major scale and proceeds logically through intervals, chords, voicings, scales, diatonic harmony, basic melody, blues, mainstream functional harmony (minor key, extended and secondary dominants, tritone substitution, modal interchange, subdominant minor, diminished), line clichés, modulation, substitution, reharmonization, bebop, modal styles, pentatonics, non-functional harmony, jazz melodic styles, tune analysis, patterns and many other related topics. Comprehensive written examples are used to illustrate concepts in their most familiar musical setting. Useful appendixes are also included.

The Jazzmaster Workout Practice Method is a practical, thorough, and efficient routine that will help you master the essential improvisational concepts covered in the theory section. It is your guide to speaking the language of music fluently. This section outlines a unique series of exercises that can be played along with the accompaniment on the optional Jazzmaster Workout CDs. Each exercise will familiarize you with a particular technique or principle—a scale, a chord, a chord progression—and enable you get it into your ears and under your fingers. You'll then be able to use these tools to create your own melodies over the same accompaniment. The practice method includes a Key Reference section to be gradually filled in as you learn new concepts and provides a very complete 12 key reference bridging the gap between the theory and the practice.

The Jazzmaster Workout CDs are 12, one-hour practice CDs (one for each key) featuring a rhythm section background for the entire Jazzmaster Workout routine. These accompaniment CDs invite the beginner to improvise early in the learning process in a fun and easy manner. Playing with the background rhythm section will strengthen your sense of time, intonation and phrasing. Advanced players will also find a thorough framework for practicing more sophisticated melodic and harmonic techniques.