Tag Archives: Technique

Long Tone Exercise – Obrigado Hermeto Pascoal

I’ve been listening to a lot of Cuban and Brazilian music lately and one of the artists that I’m really, really hooked on is Hermeto Pascoal. As I was driving home to Las Vegas on Monday from a gig in Long Beach, CA, I was listening to the Festa Dos Deuses album. On the very last track, there was a little melody Hermeto sings in the background:

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I couldn’t get that line out of my head and I decided to learn it on the horn. It wasn’t very difficult and after I figured it out in the original key, I played it in the other 11 keys. I’ve been using this as part of my tone practice the last couple days. Tone exercises can get boring sometimes and it can help to add some melodic material to these exercises. The written exercise is a simplified version of what Hermeto sings on the track. The exercise is only written out in the lower octave, but you can, of course, move it all around the horn. Play the melody slowly and freely, making sure to hold the last note as long as possible. Relax, take a big breath, and play the exercise in the next key.

Check it out: jazzadvice.com

I came across this site a couple weeks ago and have been reading it voraciously since. Jazzadvice.com is written by Forrest and Eric, two graduates of the master’s program at William Paterson University. If you aren’t familiar with the program, it is world class and is led by Mulgrew Miller (One of my favorite saxophonists on the planet, Rich Perry, also teaches there). Both guys write posts that have a lot of great information that describe different processes and techniques for learning jazz. They also encourage readers to submit questions and a good deal of the posts are a result of Forrest and Eric addressing these questions. I’ve been finding this site to be a great tool and I hope that you do, too.

ii-V of the day: Mike Stern – 9.14.10

This is the first ii-V I’ve posted on the blog. I probably won’t be able to put up a new one every single day, but I will as often as I can. Today’s ii-V is taken from Mike Stern‘s Autumn Leaves solo on Bob Berg’s In The Shadows album.

The line is simple and sounds great. It outlines the chords well and would stand on its own without any accompaniment. You even get a brief outline of a tritone substitution in the 2nd measure (the Db triad over the G7). Please note that I will be giving the ii-Vs in the key of C. This ii-V was played in Bb on the album.

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Click to enlarge.