Tarto’s fantastic method for jazz improvisation is finally available as a digital edition. This 100+ page book is full of exercises to get you started, then includes a long list of tunes that show you how to take an existing melody and make it your own through improv. The samples show a good selection so check them out to the left. Here is the author’s forward:
“The approach to Jazz-Blues-Swing-Rock- or Classical music is a unique one that incorporates all the “rhythmic patterns” learned during early training. The foundation and development of “Ragtime”, “Syncopation”, and “Modern-Swing” dates back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and stems from the roots of “Dixieland” music, an outgrowth of the street parades that were an every day occurrence in New Orleans. The musician who wants to IMPROVISE jazz and wants to play music exactly as written, note for note, inflection for inflection, will choose a tune, memorize it, or learn it by ear, then embellishes it with “ideas” of his own.
Some musicians will abandon the melody and will build and improvise a line using various chords, scales, and chromatic tones. He can also get ideas by listening to experienced musicians – their phrasing, rhythmic patterns, and harmonic structure. As a result of trial and error, the musician discards some, and retains others, until his own individual style starts to emerge. Each musician develops a style and a unique way of doing things his own way.”