If you’re reading this, it’s because you decided to get on board with this course for beginning improvisation for wind instruments.
Congratulations for taking the plunge. My hope is that if you’re just starting out learning to play by ear and to improvise, you’ll find a good beginning foundation in this course.
I created this e-book to go with the course to give you a general idea of what is perhaps common between this course and other courses you can find elsewhere on the web.
But just as important, I wanted to draw your attention to some features I hope you’ll find unique to my course, and why I think it is a better option for many people than most of what I’ve run into out there.
SO, WHY THE PENTATONIC SCALE AS THE BASIS FOR THIS COURSE?
As you (should) know by now, this improvisation course is based on something called the “pentatonic scale.” It is pretty common knowledge in musical theory but if you’ve not studied it before or heard the term, it’s a simple concept.
“Penta” means “five.” And the pentatonic scale is a collection of 5 notes that are found in both the major and minor scales. They are also the notes in those scales that tend to be the more “foundational” notes in the scales.
There is a module in the package that outlines that. And I hope you’ll find it easy to understand. That module is about a half hour and details what it is we are talking about here, why it is important and how we will be making this a core part of what you’ll get out of the course.
REMEMBER THAT THIS COURSE IS ABOUT PLAYING BY EAR
And for that reason, I don’t want you to get too overwhelmed with theory. There is a place for that, and as you progress in your musical journey, you will perhaps want to dive deeper into it. But for right now, I want you to learn to play by ear and by feel.
The pentatonic scale is the perfect balance between theory and application for a beginning improviser.
Before you get into the videos, I wanted to give you some general points.
THIS COURSE IS DESIGNED TO GIVE YOU CONFIDENCE.
You see, your “musicality” is not measured merely by how well you read music but by how well you can play by ear and improvise.
But sometimes, knowing where to start is the trick. If you’ve never played solos before because you’re too scared or embarrassed to try it in public, then rest easy.
This course will help you own a core set of notes that are very useful for playing good solos when you don’t really know what to play.
Practice isn’t enough. DISCIPLINED practice is key.
This program is designed to give you a bit of a track to run on to develop a familiarity with the pentatonic scale and “note collection” to develop a solid core for soloing.
DON’T GET BOGGED DOWN IN TOO MUCH THEORY AS A BEGINNER
I personally know many a jazz musician who would CRINGE if they heard me say that. But I stand by it, after many years of dealing with musicians who learned to be comfortable soloing by not getting too distracted by the theory.
This course is designed to help you navigate the concept of soloing with a “reduced set of notes” so that you find a basis that is familiar and can adapt to any style of music in any major or minor key.
This course is more oriented to feel.
I see a lot of beginners get overwhelmed trying to solo by following a chord chart. But there is a tremendous amount of brain power and mental dexterity involved in doing that quickly and comfortably, on the fly. And following some of those changes takes a while to learn what those chords are.
If you don’t FEEL the idea in the theory of the chord changes, you’ll not be able to communicate the feel. So although I think there is a good place for the musical theory, it’s more important to bloom at the level you’re planted well and not worry so much about getting bogged down yet. That will come.
So let’s DIVE IN.
Learn this pentatonic scale and its notes well by following along in the lessons. Let’s see how far we can go in getting you comfortable with this set of notes that can be the core of a beginning soloist’s musical toolkit.