Jazz Etudes

Here are various etudes that I’ve written for the study of jazz improvisation. Some address the jazz basics, others are more advanced. A few of the more advanced studies are things that I’ve been practicing lately. Each etude is usually aimed at one of two things: increasing tonal vocabulary (chords, scales, interval shapes, etc., and how they can be applied) , or developing rhythmic freedom (phrasing, polyrhythm, polymeter). Some etudes entail both of these aims. Each is available in a downloadable pdf form for free. Just click on the link below each description. Though most of these etudes are written for the easy range of the saxophone (no altissimo, unless specifically stated) they can be played by any instrument. (You of course would have to alter range where necessary and be able to read in treble clef.)

I’d appreciate any feedback you have about the etudes. Also, feel free to contact me with a particular request. I’ve been playing, studying and teaching improvisation for over thirty five years, and have lots of ideas and exercises. I’ll be adding new etudes fairly regularly, so check back if you want more.

If you like these etudes, please consider taking a look at some of my downloadable pdf jazz etude books.

Etude 1-Rootless Melodic Minor Scale In Triad Form (Minor Triad with Augmented Triad 1/2 Step Higher)

Etude 2-Triad Patterns Over ii-V-I (Major triads moving in circle of 5ths with tritone shift on Dom 7)

Etude 3-Implied Resolution To Whole Tone Scale On Major Chord (-9, +9 of v to +11 of I)

Etude 4-Polyrhythmic Study: Four Within Three (4 note rhythm patterns over triplets)

Etude 5- Major And Minor Triad Pairs Extracted From The Diminished Scale (harmonic substitution over V7 chords)

Etude 6- Hearing Scales As Harmonic Extensions (part 1: jazz melodic minor scale formed from 5th degree of V7 chord)

Etude 7- Hearing Scales As Harmonic Extensions (part 2: jazz melodic minor scale formed from the lowered 3rd of V7 chord)

Etude 8- Hearing Scales As Harmonic Extensions (part 3: jazz melodic minor scale formed from the 7th of V7 chord)

Etude 9- Hearing Scales As Harmonic Extensions (part 4: jazz melodic minor scale formed from the -9th of V7 chord)

Etude 10-Minor Triads As Harmonic Substitution Over ii-V-I (ascending in whole steps with chromatic passing tone)

Etude 11-Augmented Scales (Part 1: Introduction to scales, and diatonic triads derived from scales)

Etude 12Augmented Scales (Part 2: Melodic explorations of scalar and chordal material)

Etude 13Augmented Scales (Part 3: Resolution From Dominant To Tonic Chords)

Etude 14-7/8 Patterns Over 4/4-Melodic Minor Scales

Etude 15-Double Whole Tone Scales Derived From Melodic Minor Over ii7-V7-I

Etude 16-Wide Interval Saxophone Etude Based Upon The Chord Changes To Stella By Starlight

Etude 17Diatonic Triad Pair Combinations Over Dominant 7th Chords

Etude 18-7th Chords Inverted Into Wide Interval Patterns 

Etude 19-10 Different Ways To Use Melodic Minor Over ii7-v7-I

Etude 20Harmonic Substitution Using Symmetrical Intervals

Etude 21-The Coltrane Matrix: Major/Augmented Triad Pairs

Etude 22-Polymeter Study: 5/4 Over 4/4, Melodic Minor Scale 7th Chords

Etude 23-“Cry Me A River” Variation Over The Coltrane Matrix

Etude 24-Minor Key ii7-V7 Substitution Over The Coltrane Matrix

Etude 25-Three Pentatonic Scale Colors Over ii7-V7-I

Etude 26-Symmetrically Related 7th Chords Over V7-I 

Etude 27-Polymeter Study: 7/8 Over 4/4 Displacing 16th Notes

Etude 28-Triad Pairs Formed From Two Scales Over V7-I

Etude 29-7/8 Over 4/4 Major Scale Pattern

Etude 30-Lydian Major From Diminished Scale

Etude 31-4ths With Chromatics Over ii-V7-I

Etude 32-Polyrhythm Study: Five-Note Pattern Within Triplets

Etude 33-The Coltrane Matrix: Intuitive Melodic Line With Voice Leading

Etude 34-Major Triad And Major 7+5 From Melodic Minor

Etude 35-Symmetrically Related Triad Shapes Moving from V to I

Etude 36-Four-Note Triad Cells with Leading Tones in Major Keys

Etude 37-Four-Note Triad Cells Over ii-V7-I

Etude 38-Mystery Jazz Standard

Etude 39-Mystery Jazz Standard #2: Four-Note Diatonic Triad Cells

Etude 40-Augmented Scale Variations Over V7 to I

Etude 41-Augmented Scale Pattern in 4ths and 5ths

Etude 42-Polymetric Blues: 3/4 Over 4/4

Etude 43-Diminished Scale Diatonic Triads with Passing Tones

Etude 44-Twelve Melodic Patterns with Mixed Polymeter (2/4 and 3/4)

Etude 45-Augmented Triad Pairs with Chromatic Leading Tones

Etude 46-Symmetrically Related Triad Pairs with Leading Tones

Etude 47-Diminished Scale Organized in 7ths

Etude 48-Pentatonic Study Over the Chord Changes to “Just Friends”

Etude 49-The Coltrane Matrix: Minor/Augmented Triad Pairs to Imply Minor