Approach Notes the study of bebop and jazz melodic patterns by bruce arnold for

Approach Notes

Status: In stock, Digital book is available for immediate access.

Approach Notes! Muse Eek’s Best Selling Book of all Times!

Within 24 hours of its release in June of 2018 this course became the best selling book by Muse Eek Publishing. This important composition and improvisation concept has been hidden for so many years. Great teachers like Jerry Bergonzi and Charlie Banacos taught this information as far back as the mid-20th century but no one ever made this important concept into a book. This is due partially to the task of covering such a huge subject. The download of this course is 12 gigs with thousands of exercises, études and 35 minutes of videos. But the main book is 97 pages which explains the main concepts then you can branch off to the exercises, études or videos. Personally, approach notes is the most important technique I every learned about composition and improvisation. So even if you are currently working on another task. Read this book! It will explain 80% of all those melodies that you just didn’t understand from Bach to Modern Jazz. Then as you dig into the course, it will revolutionize your musicianship. A must own course! Both a treble clef and bass clef version are included with this download.

Approach Notes

If someone was to ask me what are the most important techniques have you have learned about music in your life. I would say, ear training, approach notes, pitch class set improvisation, being sensitive to other musicians when I play with them and knowing when to use silence.

If you are a guitarist we also highly recommend that you also work with the Guitar Technique and Physiology Course so that you learn Approach Notes with the proper technique.  There are videos showing the exact technique to use with this course.

Approach Note Overview

Approach notes are best thought of as a completely separate technique for improvising. True, approaches can be combined with other techniques, but you could also play an entire solo solely with approach notes, and not play any scales, arpeggios or other common patterns. While that isn’t the usual use of approach notes, it is important to point out that they are a force within themselves. Historically, approach notes have been used for hundreds of years, but starting in the mid-twentieth century jazz musicians began using approach notes in abundance. It quickly developed as a technique that in some circles has gone on to become the signature sound of a jazz melody.

What are Approach Notes?

Approach notes are chromatic and/or diatonic notes which lead into a target note. These target notes are typically a chord tone but could be many other things depending on the technique being used. Below are some common directions that an approach tones can lead into:

  • Chord Tones.
  • Tensions.
  • Notes that make up other structures such as a chordal superimposition.
  • Other approach notes.
  • Approaches as embellishments.

Approach Notes Techniques Covered in this Course

Let’s first concentrate on a practice regimen to develop technical skill with the 12 chromatic and diatonic approach note patterns. There are many ways to work on this concept but developing the skill to target chord tones will be the first focus. We will then branch out into 24 applications of approach note patterns. Any of these techniques can be combined with one another, so it becomes a vast quantity of possibilities.

Approaching Chord Tones

The reason for first focusing on approaches into chord tones is this technique not only requires you to have knowledge of the approach note patterns and arpeggios, but also the ability to approach notes of an arpeggio on specific beats within a measure. For most musicians forcing a place in time where an approach needs to be played is a technique that takes lots of practice. The most common pattern is to approach chord tones on beats one and three. This technique is one of the defining sounds of jazz improvisation or more specifically bebop and is one of the core concepts of “playing over the changes.” From Charlie Parker on, you see an abundant use of approach note patterns being used by most jazz musicians. You also see musicians expanding the ways in which approach notes can be used and that is why there are 24 concepts presented in this book. Creative musicians are always inventing new and interesting ways to change music and approach notes are one of the main tools that improvisers have used to develop new techniques.

What to expect from this course?

Approach notes are a big subject so it’s easy to get lost and not know where to begin or when to move on. First I’d like to stress the technical side of playing approach notes. The process of learning the fingerings and finding all the information on your instrument, and making it second nature so that you can improvise freely with the information, is daunting. If nothing else, studying approach notes seriously points out your weaknesses whether it is in music theory, knowledge of scales and arpeggios or rhythmic deficiencies. These will all surface, because approach notes demand that all your musicianship skills be in top shape. Another way to look at approach notes study is that it makes you get all of these musicianship skills together all at once, which of course is a good thing

A Long History of Teaching This Subject

I’ve taught approach note theory for over 30 years and the transformation that takes place with students who patiently work their way through this material is really amazing. One student once told me when he had finished the chromatic approaches that he could “eat chord changes for breakfast.” He was no longer afraid of any chord progression in any key. That is the kind of confidence you need to go out there, and be a great musician. The next two pages will show you how I’ve taught approach notes and the steps you need to take to master this concept.  But don’t just take my word for all of this.   Read this review of the course by Az Bin Abd Samad.   I think it will give you a good idea of the breadth of the course.

Are There any Prerequisites to Studying This Course?

To play approaches effectively does take a lot of knowledge of scales and arpeggios. But this course lays out what scales and chords to learn. If even gives you fingerings for the nine arpeggios that you use to work through the technical side of this concept. The course has a balance between technical exercises and real music application. It is recommended that you have some Jam Tracks to use to apply the approach note ideas. We of course recommend one our jam tracks packages because each track is played in all 12 keys.

The Table of Contents of the Book Says it ALL!

Below is a drop down menu showing the audio and video tracks that are included with the Audio and Video edition of this course.

Why are Approach Notes important?

Approach notes can be thought of in many ways. First you could think of them as embellishments to any melody you play. Learning and applying them gives your melodies a more expressive and musical sound. They are the backbone of jazz melodies so if you have any interest in playing jazz or “making the changes” in any style approach notes are a must learn. They also help to change up your phrasing because approach notes anticipate the next chord change or even a scale pattern. Over time this helps you phrasing be more driving which keeps people interested as you solo because they feel a forward momentum. This makes the importance of studying them obvious. They also help you to create new types of embellishments in your playing. If you just applied approach notes to every melody you already know your playing would be transformed into a much more robust collection of ideas. If you following the directions in the course though you can become one of the greatest improvisors alive. That how powerful these little approach note melodies are. So transform you playing and take it to a new level with approach notes.

Approach Notes

Status: In stock, Digital book is available for immediate access.

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About Muse Eek

Muse-Eek Publishing Company is a publishing house with a broad focus on music education. Muse-Eek also publishes fine art and poetry books, and has its own record label, Muse-Eek Records. Our online presence, specializes in the publication of music workbooks, video courses and sound and video recordings that teach the foundation of good musicianship through groundbreaking and innovative methods along with traditional methods that have been taught for centuries. These historic methods date back through centuries of great musicians and educators. To see these interesting relationship please see Bruce Arnold's Music Education Genealogy Chart which tells you a lot about the where many of his educational ideas took root and some of the educational pillars that are evident throughout the books you find on this website. The Muse-Eek Records catalogue contains a diverse selection of music much of it by Bruce Arnold in collaboration with some of today's best players in classical, jazz, rock and avant-garde music. These are available in CD, DVD and mp3 formats. We believe in a working relationship with our music education customers; they are free to interact with the author after purchasing a book to help them through any material they don’t understand or which they need further clarification. We also have a member's area which contains a wealth of free information to help a student understand music at a deeper level and access additional files for our books. Many of our books offer cutting edge ideas regarding ear training, guitar technique, rhythm and time. These methods have a proven track record. Our main author Bruce Arnold has taught at some of the most prestigious music schools in the world, including Princeton, Dartmouth, Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, The New School and NYU. Along with Mr. Arnold's publications on the website he has also written books and appeared in educational DVDs for MelBay and Truefire. Over the years Mr Arnold has used his experiences with his students to develop a program that can elevate a musician's ability to world class caliber. If you have questions about any of our books or recordings please send us an email. Along with general questions about either our record label or our publishing company we also welcome questions to help a student choose the proper materials to reach their goals. We have over 300 products to help you learn any style of music and to develop your musicianship to its peak. We also make recommendations for practice schedules for students who use our methods to get the most out of their study time. This, along with personal interaction with Bruce through email, nurtures the student's ability through a closely monitored situation, ensuring there is no wasted time or misunderstanding.