Chord/Scales and Diagrammed Approaches for Improvisation
Chord/Scales and Diagrammed Approaches for Improvisation
Perfect Bound Softcover
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Chord/Scales and Diagrammed Approaches for Improvisation is a must for the serious improviser aspiring to play music at its highest level. This book is a compilation of personal research on the art of improvisation acquired through years of classroom study, private study, music workshops, jam sessions and countless hours of experimentation. It is comprised of essential chord/scales, techniques, and playing patterns necessary for the development of musicianship and virtuosity. Diagrams are included as visual aids for developing strategies for quick recall and coherent improvisation. In addition, musical examples are transposed to all keys for precise learning.

Chord/Scales and Diagrammed Approaches for Improvisation will greatly facilitate improvisers in developing a multidimensional approach to performance. Whatever anyone gleans from this book will help him or her to become a better musician.


     Welcome to Chord/Scales and Diagrammed Approaches for Improvisation.  This manual is compiled from notes and ideas on improvisation, continued studies and experimentation.  The purpose of this work is to present melodic and harmonic materials essential to the repertoire of aspiring improvisers.  It will serve as a guide to supplement ongoing studies in the art of improvisation.  

     Improvisation involves playing spontaneously using information that has been stored in one’s memory.  The process of spontaneous playing occurs most naturally when the player’s thought process is kept simple as possible.  The player must process information and integrate it with other data to produce a total work that flows smoothly and is not encumbered by complexity.  Therefore, materials in this manual are organized in a schematic manner to assist memory retention and recall.  The intent is to enable musicians to process information that can be readily accessed for quick execution during performance.  Efforts have been made to give the most convenient spellings for chords and scales.  In addition, several studies have been transposed to aid visual learners.  

     Students should memorize all chord/scales in chapter one.  These are the essential harmonic and melodic elements for all improvisers.  Other scales and playing patterns throughout this manual will prove to be quite helpful as well when used as a base to create.

     Diagrams are included to increase acuity as students work through certain chapters.  All diagrams should be studied until students can readily visualize them while practicing.  Students can then begin to freely explore endless possibilities for creating solos.

     Chord/Scales and Diagrammed Approaches for Improvisation will serve students well.     It is recommended that this manual be used in conjunction with play-a-long recordings and that students continue to listen to recordings of great improvisers.

John High, jazz saxophonist and music educator, holds a B.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.M. degree from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and Master of Music Education from Vander Cook College of Music of Chicago, Illinois. 

High received much of his jazz training under the direction of Jimmy Cheatham, Richard Davis, Tony King, Manty Ellis, Berkeley Fudge and William ‘Buddy’ Collette.  High has participated in jazz workshops presented by Barry Harris, Dizzy Gillespie, Mary Lou Williams, James Moody, Richard Davis, Bunky Green and other notable jazz artists.

During his Conservatory Training, High was a member of the jazz honors combo.  The jazz honors combo won numerous awards from the University of Notre Dame-Indiana, Elmhurst College-Illinois and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Jazz Festivals.

High has appeared with Barry Harris, Jimmy Heath, Jimmy and Jeannie Cheatham, Jesse Hauck, Manty Ellis and Berkeley Fudge.  John has also toured nationally and internationally with gospel music productions and US Army Bands.

John currently teaches instrumental music for the Wauwatosa School District of Wisconsin.  He is the Senior Pastor of No Middle Ground Worship Center –Milwaukee, Wisconsin and co-owner and recording artist with Highest Praise Records Inc.  

Great for quick learning!
John high 
when I first received this book and began looking through the first two chapters, I thought to myself, "great... yet another book but takes a few scales and runs them through every single key". as a guitar player, I don't need this kind of exercise; the fingerings apply anywhere. Then I got to chapter 3... I can tell you that this chapter alone is worth the price of the book. Honestly, there's enough info here to keep me busy for some time. As far as the actual diagrams go, they are completly understandable and memorable. Chapters 4 and 5 lay out a lot of pentatonic applications and a relative way to access that info! If you want to be able to improvise intelligently, Mr. High gives you more than enough material to move your playing to the next level. I would recommend this material to anyone wishing to better understand how and what to play over chords and changes.

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Perfect Bound Softcover
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