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Jazz Piano Instruction Books

Thank you for your support! These two classic jazz piano instruction books are now available for free download.

Melodic Studies for the Jazz Pianist

Contains over 200 lines for study & transposition!

72 pages * Triad Exercises * 7th Chord Exercises * Arpeggios * Cycles * Linear & Diatonic Chord Patterns * Scalic Based Patterns * Left Hand Patterns * Interval Exercises * The I I -V - I Progression

Free download - Melodic Studies for the Jazz PianistAs the author points out in his introduction, even veteran jazz musicians often fall back on stock licks they've developed over years of soloing, so a book like this, which returns to the basics of melodic improvisation, can be helpful to seasoned pianists as well as beginners. Agovino first presents some simple one-octave arpeggio exercises, to be played against major, minor, augmented, and diminished triads in all keys, ascending and descending. The purpose of these drills seems to be to awaken the hand of the lazy performer, to drum out the motorized clichés and get it in gear for the more interesting stuff to come. What follows is some of the most clearly presented breakdowns of jazz lines in many a moon. Rhythms are not explored too deeply, and most of the musical examples adhere to a standard II-V-I progression, but the notes do challenge the rusty chops, especially when played quickly and transposed. By the time Agovino begins sketching out longer progressions, we have started to develop a feeling for how a solo line can smoothly slide through one chord change after another. One tip the author didn't explicitly make: If many of these lines are played as chords in the right hand against the indicated left-hand chords, the structure and reason behind some full jazz harmonies come into focus. Don't rely on this 59 page handbook for advice on fostering a killer technique; this is definitely a guide for the thinking keyboardist.

Bob Doerschuk, Keyboard, September 1980


Scales & Modes for the Jazz Pianist

Contains a glossary of 240 scales & modes written out in 2 octaves with suggested fingerings. Their harmonic implications and use in improvisation are explored.

70 Pages * Modal Relationships * Chordal Scales * Scales & Modes In Improvisation * Pure Modal Improvisation

Free download - Scales & Modes for the Jazz PianistLarry Agovino digs deeper into the subject in his 61 page “Scales & Modes for the Jazz Pianist”, in which 20 different modes are laid out in all 12 keys, complete with suggested fingerings, followed by an investigation of their harmonic implications, homophonic applications, relation to seventh chord resolutions, and flexibility in improvisation. This nicely compliments Agovino's “Melodic Studies for the Jazz Pianist” reviewed in September 1980.

Bob Doerschuk, Keyboard, March 1982

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