Jazz saxophone essentials

Improve your improvisational technique and foundation

by Jasper Blom & Simon Rigter

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10 lessons

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you will have access to this course for 1 year


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Jazz saxophone essentials

By Jasper Blom and Simon Rigter 

This course deals with the essentials of jazz saxophone playing and improvisation and will bring you a selection of the main concepts as weekly taught from our Jazz saxophone faculty at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. 
The course offers both a practice method as well as improvisational, compositional and accompanying tools necessary to succeed and advance as a jazz saxophonist. 
This course covers a wide range of topics including how to melodically outline the chord changes of jazz tunes in your improvisation, connect triads in a melodic way, extend you lines, explore the possibilities over the dominant chords and how to work on era training.

You will also be introduced to many exercises and technical possibilities over the 6th diminished scale, the chromatic major, melodic and harmonic minor scales, degrees and harmonic possibilities. 

The lessons are accompanied with detailed work sheets, assignments per lesson, written material and exercises andinteractive play along tracks. 


Video's: 4 hours

Skill Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Backing Tracks: Interactive practicing fragments with embedded backing-tracks

Language: English

Get personal video feedback every week and earn a certificate from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam: Visit the Course page!

How it works

The course is a series of related video lessons, each structured around a specific topic or topics. By the end of this course, you will have developed a strong sense of direction in your daily study routine.

Weekly video lessons
after joining the course, you will be able to view a new video lesson weekly. Each video lesson consists of:

Examples that musically define the sound of the topic you are studying in each video

A study routine section in which we first discuss how to study the specific topic of each lesson. We will then play several exercises specially written to show you how to structure your daily study routine

Assignments that will help you consolidate and practice what you have learned in each video.

Weekly assignments
After each lesson, you will be asked to study, practice and then video record yourself playing an assignment which may consist of several exercises. When ready, you submit the video of your assignment. The process of having to record yourself every week, significantly helps to internalise the material discussed in this course - quickly and naturally.

Weekly feedback: This function is only available in the "course" mode.

Certificate: This function is only available in the "course" mode.

Content of this course:

Lesson 1 - The foundation
In this lesson, Simon introduces the basic scales required for improvisation. He also demonstrates ways to practice the three major scales, the three minor scales and implement it in different melodical variations.
Lesson 2 – Ornamentations
In this lesson, Simon introduces ways in which we can decorate scales using diatonics and chromatics approach notes. This comprehensive lesson will cover many different approaches possibilities to the scales discussed in lesson 1
Lesson 3 - 6th dim scales
In this lesson, Simon introduces a very practical 8 note scale which incorporates a chromatic passing note between the 5th and 6th degrees. Simon will take you through the different target notes of the scale, different combinations, chromaticism and variations.
Lesson 4 - Avoiding the augmented 2nd
In this lesson, Simon introduces a comprehensive exercise for avoiding the augmented 2nd within scale patterns. You will look at the similarities between the major and minor variations and look at possible alterations and substitutions
Lesson 5 - The Chromatic major scale
In this lesson, Simon introduces a technique to ensure that scales fall on the beat when playing 8th notes. By adding chromatic notes, starting on different degrees and exploring different possibilities you can anticipate you can ensure your target placement on the beat.
Lesson 6 - The Chromatic Major part 2, combinations
In this lesson, Simon combines exercises from the previous lessons. You will combine the chords, scales, chromatic approach notes and variations to be aware of the many different possibilities.
Lesson 7 - Triads, four notes chords, 9 and 11 arpeggios
In this lesson Jasper will show how to learn the melody of a song, outline the harmony of a song using triads, connectthe triads of a song melodically and construct simple and effective guidelines. We will look at different melodic permutations of a triad and start adding the 7th and the 9th to a triad.
Lesson 8 - Triplet figures, approach notes and playing longer phrases
In this lesson we will implement the use of triplets and approach the chord tones diatonically and chromatically. During the lesson you will play transcriptions and exercises explore creatively the single and double approach notes, mixing triplet figures and approach notes variations.
Lesson 9 - Alterations: b9 b13
This lesson will deal with 2-5-1 progressions, dominant 7th chords, integrating b9 and b13 and applying the alternations and combinations on different chords and chord sequences.
Lesson 10 - Five-notes patterns and scales
In this lesson Jasper will explore the rhythmical and melodic possibility of playing melodies being limitted to 5 notes. We will explore the 12345 melodic patterns through the changes and look at melodic permutations of the 1 2 3 4 5 patterns