Mastering Altered Pentatonics
Any serious fan of jazz has at one time or another heard a solo where the line being played made them turn towards the soloist with a look of concern. “Where were they going with this line?” “What are they thinking?” “Do they know they are playing the wrong notes?” If you have been in that seat looking at the soloist you know there is a moment where you feel some nervousness and anxiety. “Those notes are not right!” we think. Then the soloist masterfully weaves the crazy line he was just playing into sweet consonance and harmony. Our nervousness and anxiety melts away and we feel at peace with the world. Yet our heart is still pounding with excitement as if we just got off the world’s biggest roller coaster.
The great players of jazz have learned the fine art of weaving in and out of a tonality whenever they please. It has the same affect on us listeners as riding a roller coaster or watching a tightrope walker performing sixty stories above the street. Those who have ears that perceive what is going on recognize the intricate balance of dissonance and consonance being played with by the soloist. Once we recognize it we are enthralled and unable to look away.
In “Mastering Altered Pentatonics”, we are taking the most benign of scales, the pentatonic scale, through the ringer. We are working on mastering it using twenty-nine scale patterns that we then alter to create new and fresh sounds that are far from benign. At times, they sound almost dangerous in their tension and dissonance. By practicing these altered pentatonic patterns and weaving in and out of them we are practicing the fine art of balancing our lines between consonance and dissonance while we improvise. The more adept we become at this balancing act the more exciting and entertaining our lines and solos will become. Inside, we will take the pentatonic scale through eleven alterations. Each one having it’s own sound and flavor. Join me in discovering a new way to approach thinking and playing while improvising that will lead you to discover new and fresh sounding lines. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I have enjoyed working on it.
Inside, we will take the pentatonic scale through eleven alterations. Each one having it’s own sound and flavor. The book is 368 pages long and in all 12 keys. It comes with a 49 minute overview video lesson of the book where I talk about and demonstrate the concepts from the book on the tenor saxophone.
Join me in discovering a new way to approach thinking and playing your lines that will lead you to discover new and fresh sounding lines. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I have enjoyed working on it. Steve
If you are interested in the printed version of the book you can find it here at http://www.lulu.com/shop/steve-neff/...-23325598.html (There is also a preview of the book at this link under the picture of the cover. Just click on "preview")