Practicing & Mastering the Sounds of Jazz: In Theory & By Ear

Course Progression

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Type of Class:
Pre-recorded Zoom Sessions.

Target Audience:
Open to all musicians. Any instrument. Any skill level (except absolute instrument beginner). Students should be able to read music and have basic command of the instrument

Two levels: 

  • Entry
  • Experienced
  • Students enrolled in one level of the class are welcome to peruse the recordings of the other class

For some people learning to play jazz by studying chords, scales, & intervals has gotten a bad rap. Chords, scales, and intervals are simply different ways to organize, think about, discuss, and practice the various melodic and harmonic resources that make up The Sounds of Jazz. In this class we will discuss how the sounds of jazz can be organized into scales and chords. Pat will discuss, demonstrate, and engage the participants in various practice activities that will develop mastery of jazz theory, instrumental technique, and the musical ear in a way that unites the three aspects. Every great musician plays by ear 100% of the time, but the ability to do that has to be earned through investing in “sweat equity.”

We will practice the sounds of jazz in two different ways:

  • Daily immersion in one chord/scale/sound for an extended period using a recorded drone
  • Application in every session to the chord progressions of commonly played jazz and standard tunes
  • Sessions will incorporate the approach of: “I do. We do. You do.”
  • Pat will be available for a limited number of questions during each session
    • Other questions can be submitted to the instructor via email between sessions
    • If any email questions seem relevant to all, they will be addressed in the following group session
    • If someone submits a great many questions, it will be recommended that they arrange a lesson with the instructor (for an additional fee)
    • Sessions with more experienced students will include practice approaches to break free from the tyranny of chord tones and learn to develop lines through changes instead of playing on the sound of each individual chord
    • Repertoire covered will include:
      • Blues in F & Bb
      • Lady Bird
      • Blue Bossa
      • Autumn Leaves (G minor)
      • Tune Up
      • “Rhythm” changes
      • Confirmation (advanced group)
      • Countdown (advanced group)