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Jazz Theory books

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by JazZ-A-LoT, Apr 13, 2003.

  1. JazZ-A-LoT


    Jan 5, 2003
    I am currently lacking a bass teacher and have been learning solely on books(almost as pricey as a teacher). I was wondering if you guys could give me some good recomendations of jazz books for walking and improvisation? thx alot

  2. James S

    James S

    Apr 17, 2002
    New Hampshire
  3. JazZ-A-LoT


    Jan 5, 2003
    You're right there are endless books out there hopefully the fine people here at talkbass can narrow it down to the best. Thanks for your suggestion looks good :)
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    For jazz theory, maybe the gold standard would be "The Jazz Theory Book" by Mark Levine published by Sher Music. I warn you, though, that it is comprehensive and exhaustive.

    Chuck Sher has a book callled "The Improvisor's Bass Method" which is also thorough.

    Jamey Abersold Jazz has mountains of jazz books.
    Check www.jazzbooks.com. While there, request a catolog. By the way, I believe the two books I mentioned above are available at that web site. I just checked the site and they are featuring a new book callled "Clear Solutions for Jazz Improvisation" that sounds very interesting, but I don't own it, so I can't say with assurance that it is good.

    For walking lines, Ed Friedland has two excellent book/CD sets: "Building Walking Bass Lines" and "Expanding Walking Bass Lines."
  5. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    Jazz Harmony by Andy Jaffe(Advance Music)
    If you have the Mark Levine book stated above and this book you're more than well covered,you have to listen to alot of jazz as well,jazz is an aural music,it's not on the page,the "roadmap" is but the music is'nt.
  6. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    ...Great timing, Bop, my copy arrived today! :cool:

    Unexpectedly early, as it came all the way from the states - and Amazon's expected delivery date was in May!!

    Pleasant surprise when I came home from work :)

    And "comprehensive & exhaustive" is exactly what I want from a Jazz theory book, so it's all good...
  7. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Moley, I know you'll spend many happy hours working your way through that wonderful book. I know it was well worth the wait to get it and I'm glad it came even sooner than you expected.
  8. James S

    James S

    Apr 17, 2002
    New Hampshire

    Ed hit the nail on the head.

    Very clearly and concisely said.
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I don't want to appear to be arguing for the sake of it ;) or to be contradicting Ed who knows far more about this stuff than me - but :

    The thing I found about Mark Levine's Jazz Theory Book was this it was very good as "a progressive series of exercise that will integrate your conception, understanding and execution" - so it starts from the simpler Jazz theory concepts and works up to more complex(difficult) ideas with examples from Jazz tunes to play and work on.

    So, it works for me as a programme that you can study at home in conjunction with whatever else you are doing. I bought it about 3 year ago and started off working through it systematicaly with a keyboard until I couldn't play the examples - but I find that I go back and dip into it as I encounter the concepts in other things I'm doing - Jazz classes or playing one of the tunes mentioned....
  10. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    As time permits (not enough I'm sorry to say) I've been taking Rufus Reid's advice to heart and learn some piano. I like Mark Levine's 'Jazz Piano' book. Compliments his theory book nicely, is progressive, and does not assume massive piano chops to start.
  11. lcook


    Mar 20, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    You also might want to look into Shelton Berg's 'The Goal Note Method'. It focuses heavily on jazz harmonic and melodic formulas and comes with a nice play along cd. It's pretty easy to read, not intimidating at all for a beginner, and its not extremely long, yet it still manages to cover most aspects of improvisation.


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