Progressive transcriptions for the novice jazz saxophonist: a starting point for developing improvisational skills and style
There are many great pedagogical texts and method books that deal with the subject of jazz improvisation and style. These resources range from volumes of play-a-longs, to collections of improvised solo transcriptions, to analyses that explain idiomatic jazz formulae and how to navigate them. However, most of these materials are geared towards the advanced music student. The authors and editors assume of the reader a considerable level of technical facility or a rather advanced theoretical knowledge. There are materials that do cater to the novice jazz improvisor, but they often lack an explanation of how and why certain decisions may have been made by the soloist. Furthermore, those that focus on style often rely on composed etudes that remove the improvisational component altogether. Therefore, there is a need for materials related to jazz improvisation and style designed for the novice jazz student that actually use improvised solos as a starting point and that have accompanying analyses to help the student understand what they are hearing/playing. This document remedies this deficiency in the pedagogical literature by providing transcriptions and analyses of recorded improvised jazz solos chosen for their simplicity, both of required technical facility and music-theoretical knowledge. This document should serve as a starting point for novice jazz students looking to develop their own jazz style and improvisational skills. Students can take the concepts learned from studying these transcriptions and analyses, and begin to apply them in creating convincing and stylistically correct solos in the jazz idiom.