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Guestspot books

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
Hi everybody

Does anybody have any of these books, I own a few. I recommend the guest spot jazz book. Try and find them on www.musicroom.com they are great!

Lewis;}
Hello Lewis,

Welcome back, I've one or two Guest Spots, well six actually! They're quite good fun but I will probably be moving over to the Hal Leonard Jazz Play Alongs as they are geared more towards improvisation which is something I'd love to be able to do. The 'By Special Arrangements' have been good fun as well but also quite challenging.

All the best,

Chris
 

Howard Long

Member
Messages
51
Location
London
I just counted - I have 19 of them - uh oh! I agree, Classic Blues is probably my favourite of the lot, followed by Great Ballads.

Personally, I found the Jazz, Jazz Solos and Swing quite disappointing. In contrast the "Take the Lead" series Swing is much better (if you're more into songs your friends will know).

One thing I found with these series is that in general there's a lot more selection for alto than tenor. However all is not lost if you are a tenor player: I have a some Trumpet Take the Lead/Guest Spots that work very well on the tenor.

You can use Goldwave or Audacity to transpose the CD backing tracks from alto to tenor. One other note about Goldwave (and I assume Audacity too) is that you can also slow down the tempo of tracks without changing the pitch for any difficult bits.

Cheers, Howard
 

AndyG

Member
Messages
326
Location
Derby
I have Guest spot classic hits, take the lead and Hal leonard Soul hits, the latter probably being my favourite.
I agree, they are great fun, and quality backing tracks.
 
OP
Lewis.S

Lewis.S

Member
Messages
118
Location
Hertfordshire, England
Yea, they are good
I have six so far. I quite enjoy the Jazz playalong and I am working my way through the Jazz solos improvisation. The chords are hard! I quite the classical favourites to!

Who would have thought. A twelve yearold who likes classical and Jazz, not rap (by the way I detest it)

Lewis;}
 

Pee Dee

Member
Messages
425
Location
Dorset
Mmmm, I got a few books, with playalong/backing tracks. If you add it all up it could get a bit expensive.
Sometimes I wonder if it is just as good to get the basic tune, without the twiddly bits, learn to play it as near perfect as you can get, then try jazzing it up, or swinging it if you want.
I listen to my favourite cd's and then pick one or two good tunes, and download the music, then transpose it if necessary to the key the artist is playing it in on the recording, and then try and copy.
I find Houston Person ideal for most of his numbers, if that is your musical taste, as he keeps mainly to the basic tune, with the addition of a few extra notes to jazz it up a little, and a bit of improvisation in the middle and end. If you listen to the tune while following it with the music, you can learn a lot about improvisation.
Improvisation music can give you a few ideas, but I think good impro comes from the heart.
I'm not too sure about all these blues and jazz scales either, does it matter what scale you improvise in, long as it doesn't clash with the backing music. Do you have to have a scale at all for impro, why not improvise using the same scale as the music?
You can add as many sharps and flats as you like, 'long as it sounds good.
Just my opinion>:)
 

saxnik

Member
Messages
381
Location
Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom
Sometimes I wonder if it is just as good to get the basic tune, without the twiddly bits, learn to play it as near perfect as you can get, then try jazzing it up, or swinging it if you want.
Agreed!

Improvisation music can give you a few ideas, but I think good impro comes from the heart.
With you on this too...

I'm not too sure about all these blues and jazz scales either, does it matter what scale you improvise in, long as it doesn't clash with the backing music. Do you have to have a scale at all for impro, why not improvise using the same scale as the music?
You can add as many sharps and flats as you like, 'long as it sounds good.
Just my opinion>:)
Now here I still agree, but would like to put in my two pen'orth:
Blues scales (the first ones to practice) were devised intentionally not to clash with the backing music. Also, notes from the Blues scale make up some great-sounding licks. I use lots of licks to punctuate between melodic ideas - yes, I use whatever scale fits to create those ideas.

Learning scales of all types get your fingers accustomed to patterns of notes that happen in music - learning scales frees up your thinking to concentrate on tone, intonation, dynamics and performance, so you have got to do it!

Good improv does come from the heart, but sounds best if filtered through a lot of practice!!

Nick
 

Pee Dee

Member
Messages
425
Location
Dorset
Learning scales of all types get your fingers accustomed to patterns of notes that happen in music - learning scales frees up your thinking to concentrate on tone, intonation, dynamics and performance, so you have got to do it!

Nick
Ok, ok I'll learn some scales, BUT.........!

Scales go up and down.... the scales...which ain't like much music Ive seen. Wouldn't it be better to practice a few easy or complex tunes in different scales to get one's ''fingers accustomed to patterns of notes"?
Now you can shoot me down:shocked:
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,240
Location
The Blue Ridge Mountains
I have a few too...

so why don't we all list what we have and make them available to each other, The CD's aren't protected at all so the whole deal becomes much cheaper
I don't think this would be possible here on the forum, as it would inevitably involve copyright infringement. (Against the rules)
 

saxnik

Member
Messages
381
Location
Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom
Better to do both!!

If you're going to learn 'a few tunes' to practice the patterns, the most beneficial way to do it would be to do it in all the keys and in all the registers - scales are actually a shortcut to this since you (should) play from the bottom to the top of the instrument and back in all keys. This necessarily means that your fingers can find the adjacent notes in whatever key you're playing in, at whatever pitch.
Throw in arpeggios in all keys and you've got all the 3rds and 4ths too (which are a bit like 5ths and 6ths upside down).

Don't mean to 'shoot you down' :( but it's hard graft that really pays off. I recommend to the kids I teach that they do a 'five minute plan' of scales as a warmup each time they practice, and then they can forget about them for the rest of the session.
Choose five scales, spend a minute on each, and mark them according to your success rate - move on from 'perfect's and 'good's, and work on the 'messy' and 'don't know's again tomorrow.

Oh, and you will find that melodies use scales, or they wouldn't be melodies..! ;}

Nick

Ok, ok I'll learn some scales, BUT.........!

Scales go up and down.... the scales...which ain't like much music Ive seen. Wouldn't it be better to practice a few easy or complex tunes in different scales to get one's ''fingers accustomed to patterns of notes"?
Now you can shoot me down:shocked:
 

Pee Dee

Member
Messages
425
Location
Dorset
Better to do both!!

If you're going to learn 'a few tunes' to practice the patterns, the most beneficial way to do it would be to do it in all the keys and in all the registers - scales are actually a shortcut to this since you (should) play from the bottom to the top of the instrument and back in all keys. This necessarily means that your fingers can find the adjacent notes in whatever key you're playing in, at whatever pitch.
Throw in arpeggios in all keys and you've got all the 3rds and 4ths too (which are a bit like 5ths and 6ths upside down).

Don't mean to 'shoot you down' :( but it's hard graft that really pays off. I recommend to the kids I teach that they do a 'five minute plan' of scales as a warmup each time they practice, and then they can forget about them for the rest of the session.
Choose five scales, spend a minute on each, and mark them according to your success rate - move on from 'perfect's and 'good's, and work on the 'messy' and 'don't know's again tomorrow.

Oh, and you will find that melodies use scales, or they wouldn't be melodies..! ;}

Nick
Ok boss, point taken. Actually I have questioned the benefit of scale practice before, and you have given the first acceptable, to me, reason to do it. So, scales it is!

Pee Dee
 

Pee Dee

Member
Messages
425
Location
Dorset
Someone posted this Youtube link a while ago Pete which I thought was very useful for scale practice. All I have to do now is practice what he preaches >:)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7kZN4FP-sM
Yeah cheers, quite an interesting way to do it, I suppose you can mix up your scales and arpeggios in many different ways. Good way to relieve the boredom;}
Been using Kellie Santin's 'Creative Saxophone Workbook', bought it a year ago, but got put off by hard work, and soon reverted back to playing tunes again:(
I'm too old for all this hard graft:D
 

Howard Long

Member
Messages
51
Location
London
Learning scales of all types get your fingers accustomed to patterns of notes that happen in music - learning scales frees up your thinking to concentrate on tone, intonation, dynamics and performance, so you have got to do it!
Although a PITA at first, I have recently seen the light with scales. In fact, I've found that doing scales, especially difficult ones, are not only a good achievement barometer, but riffs that I've previously found impossible to play without full conscious thought and at 1/4 speed or less now become a lot easier. And that instant gratification of noticeable improvement didn't take very long to happen.

I started off about two months ago with Pete's "scales from a torture chamber", some of which are here, but I do all twelve keys from the Taming the Saxophone vol 3 book. Although I still don't profess to be able to do them faultlessly all the way through from beginning to end (if I make a mistake I now start the current key from the beginning until it's perfect), I am sooo much better than when I started, and I find that playing previously difficult pieces (including those in the GuestSpot series) now is weirdly much, much easier.

In particular, dealing with accidentals and keys with loads of sharps and flats becomes much more second nature, your fingers don't have to think anymore. I'm pretty confident that in another couple of months I'll be faultless running through all those 12 "scales of the unexpected" and will be gagging for some more difficult stuff, and there's plenty there in that book.

In fact already as well as doing blues scales (what a revelation for improvisation!), I recently also started the long notes excercises from the same text.

Cheers, Howard
 
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Lewis.S

Lewis.S

Member
Messages
118
Location
Hertfordshire, England
Wow

Hi

All this over a thread on guespot books!? My goodness!

Anyways, can anyone help me with jazz impro with chords. I have the Jazz solos book and it has chords writen in, but how does it work? I think I have an idea... but...

Lewis;}
 
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