In the Improv Pathways method you can explore nine different ways to develop jazz improvisation skills. Each pathway features unique learning activities to keep you and your students engaged and motivated. Most of the pathways shown below feature a sample track from the Improv Pathways CDs. Grab your horn before you click, because most audio tracks allow you to play along and get you sounding more and more like a pro!
Practice and memorize 15 progressive levels of jazz patterns, including multi-chord patterns. This pathway also provides some guide tone patterns over chord progressions, helping you learn to improvise as the chords change from one to another.
Learn jazz accompaniment concepts and skills through whole-band "comping" exercises. This primarily benefits the rhythm section members, but everyone learns together and everyone benefits!
You've GOT to have the chance to show off what you have learned, and Improv Pathways includes 6 exciting head charts to perform as your improv skills mature. Big-band arrangements of the six charts are also available, allowing your band members to play killer solos over chords they have studied in-depth at concerts and festivals!
Experience the unique jazz styles of different eras through interactive lessons, and become acquainted with influential players on each instrument. Styles covered include Dixieland, Swing, Be Bop, and Jazz Fusion.
Explore ways to play expressively, such as bending notes, growling, and adding grace notes. The goal is to make your instrument sound more like the human voice, and less like a mechanical hunk of metal, wood, or plastic.
Opportunities are provided to transcribe patterns and genuine improvised solos through a simple system of writing numbers on transcribing worksheets. These exercises start small and simple with answer keys, and help you develop the skills to transcribe longer, more complex solos.
Play in small groups with 3 complementary, harmonized jazz patterns. After learning the patterns you can improvise by altering the rhythms and adding passing and neighboring tones. The group improv exercises are fun and motivating, and help young musicians experience what it feels like to improvise successfully.
Practice improvising with specific note choices and explore different ways to build a solo. Most improvisation methods do not address this issue, but in Improv Pathways you will learn about quoting melodies, using a single pattern to build a solo, telling a story with your instrument, fixing mistakes, and trading fours.
Become well-versed in key words and concepts through student-friendly language. Most vocabulary words offer opportunities to experience them through active playing, so that you learn the concepts more completely.