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Sage Wisdom

"Good improvisation communicates harmonic progression melodically. Effective melodies manipulate harmonic content through the use of guide tones and preparatory gravity notes, masterfully woven in systematic tension, release, and transparent harmonic definition."

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November 29, 2012 | Aebersold on iTunes

We've mentioned opportunities for practicing with backing tracks before. Ralph Patt has some terrific audio on his instructional site. Of course you can also use "Band in the Box" software popular in the 90's, and its more modern incarnation, iPhone or Android based iRealB on your phone or tablet. These are great for their versatility in changing keys or modifying the tune's tempo.

The only drawback with the MIDI based accompaniments is they tend to be somewhat sterile. We've enjoyed playing through many of the popular Jamey Abersold "Play along" series books and their package CDs not only because the recording quality is so good, but the musicians themselves are superb. The nuance of a live player (even recorded) is inspiring. That said, it can be an expensive proposition to acquire all the books in the series, and if you already have a RealBook, you might not need all the songs in a particular collection.

This is where the beauty of iTunes comes in, the capability of cherry picking single song tracks rather than a whole album. You can go through the entire library of Aebersold tunes, pick and chose cafeteria style the audio for individual songs. Say you only wanted a couple tracks of Jobim or Coltrane, you could only spend a few dollars rather than purchase the whole book's audio.


Purchase Jamey Aebersold Jazz on iTunes
Purchase Jamey Aebersold Jazz on Amazon MP3

Posted by Ted at November 29, 2012 8:22 AM

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