"Patterns For Jazz" by Jerry Coker.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Alan Vorse, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. A great sax player reccomended this book to me. Anybody have any experience with it?
  2. Alan, I'm seven years late... but, this is a great book (1970) - essential for jazz musicians. I just bought it this year and it is helpful and instructive. A college level book, it is logically ordered and available in bass clef. I hope this thread gets rejuvenated...

    What would we do without Coker or Aebersold? This book offered a solid answer when organizing my practice routine. There's years of work in here, but I'll take it slow and enjoy the journey. It's helpful to me as a bassist in playing jazz lines and I practice the melodic patterns to ensure that I won't be speechless when improvising over changes.

    I don't think the patterns replace basic scale sequences, but the more than 400 scale and chord patterns in this book are designed to take one to the next level. At the very least, a source of warm-up drills or an aid to reading, which is handy when learning jazz or to become more in demand. Reading is very helpful here, but much can be gained from using interval numbers, such as 1 2 3 5 to represent C D E G, and continuing that sequence/pattern through all keys. The exercises, digital patterns and motifs are helping me develop my musical vocabulary and gain a solid foundation in chord use applicable to all musical styles, Also to play more creative runs.

    Each pattern is progressed chromatically, by whole steps, minor thirds and in fourths. This book is meant to be played rather than read, in order to train the ears and fingers to execute melodic lines. As a bass player, I've found it very useful for improvising/composing bass lines on BG and DB. In addition to helping one play their instrument more effectively, the patterns are more pertinent to a jazz musician than the standard, classical scale work and exercises available.
    Even when the exercises become boring, I got through them anyway, as you never know which key will be called out on the stand. At first it progressed slowly and seemed overwhelming, but like all good texts, I think this book provides excellent results for the diligent.

    Contents include:
    Major and Minor Chords: triads, 6ths, 7ths, 9ths, altered 9ths, polychords
    Scales: major, natural minor, harmonic minor
    Symmetric Scales: whole tone, diminished, chromatic
    Modes: mixolydian, dorian, lydian augmented
    Changes: 251 progressions, turnarounds

    It would be interesting to hear from other bassists using "Patterns for Jazz", to share how and why they use this book.
  3. Rosebud


    Jan 3, 2007
    Loved his blues changes I had a photocopy of at some point...back in high school. I was lucky like that
  4. FantasticFour


    Dec 14, 2013
    I just started using this book and I really love it. Smart warmups galore.
    Spin Doctor likes this.
  5. MixBass

    MixBass Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2006
    L.A. Harbor
    Co-founder. GrabAxe
    Great book and I suspect all Coker books are worth the time and $.
  6. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    I transpose over to scale degree numbers all the time.... The little I can see from Amazon's "look inside" it does look like the chord's are listed with 1-3-5-7, or 1-b3-5-b7 scale degree numbers? If so this is would be right up my alley. Is that the case?

    Thanks for the link.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016
  7. Groove Master

    Groove Master

    Apr 22, 2011
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    I own that book for more then 20 years. It's ok but not great for bassists I find. Too many exercises and very little explanations on how to use those patterns and how to apply them especially on a bass.

    Make sure that you make your own practice routines and find ways to play them musically and not just play the patterns "as is".