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Part three of Erik’s most popular series, The Jazz Articulation Big Books, has arrived. This book includes transcriptions & swing studies, along with all of the audio files needed to hear how the best jazz players in our history interpret articulations in the jazz style.
The book includes 15 bop solo transcriptions from artists like Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Tadd Dameron, Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard, and more. This is followed by 20 Swing Studies composed by Erik himself, each presented in two different ways. Once with suggested articulations, and once without (as you are more likely to find the music presented on a gig).
If you want to get better at playing jazz, the advice from experienced players is pretty consistent: listen closely to great recordings and try to copy what you hear. It’s a bit like learning a language – you listen, repeat, and soon enough, you not only speak the language but also pick up the local way of talking.
In jazz, how you play the music, known as “articulation,” can change based on when the music was made. But in this book, we’re going to focus on the way jazz players, especially Charlie Parker, did it back in the day. Interestingly, many jazz players still use the same style today.
To kick things off, Erik Veldkamp transcribed some famous bop themes from Charlie Parker and others. Parker was a big deal in changing how people played jazz. Before him, guys like Louis Armstrong and Roy Eldridge were all about emphasizing the downbeats, but Parker turned the spotlight on the upbeats in his playing. You can hear it better when you check out the bop themes closely.
Erik transcribed the music exactly as they played it. Sometimes it’s tricky to figure out if they slurred, tongued, or played a “ghost note” (kind of like faking a note). Pay attention to how they play the themes – which notes are slurred, accented (target notes), or ghosted (like pretending to play a note). I marked those ghost notes with an ‘x’. After a while, you might notice a pattern – top notes in a phrase usually get an accent, while the lowest notes are sometimes ghosted.
There are a bunch more cool jazz standards from that time and later for you to practice. My suggestion is to pick themes with lots of 8-note phrases. Listen to the included original recordings, jot down how they played each note, and then try playing it yourself, with or without the original recording. Start slow and gradually speed up until you match the original tempo.
After the 15 transcriptions in this book, you’ll find 20 Swing Studies to help you practice your articulation. Erik included them both with and without phrasing slurs. I recommend starting with the added slurs and practicing slowly. Once you feel comfortable, try playing them without the slurs. This is how you’ll find them in the Real Book, and you’ll need to add your own articulation.
If you check out Erik’s other books on Jazz Articulation, you’ll find more transcriptions of famous jazz players, all with their unique articulation styles.
Included in your purchase is the PDF of The Jazz Articulation Big Book 3, and a folder of audio excerpts of the pieces included (with the up-tempo numbers including multiple files at reduced speeds so you can build up your velocity gradually).
Click to the left for samples then grab an immediate digital download above.
Listen to Hot House (Original Tempo)
Listen to Hot House (75% Tempo)
Listen to Hot House (50% Tempo)
Erik Veldkamp’s Big Book Series
The Jazz Articulation Big Books
The Flexibility Big Books
The Improvisation Big Books