1st Edition

Jazz Improvisation Using Simple Melodic Embellishment

By Mike Titlebaum Copyright 2021
    322 Pages 388 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    322 Pages 388 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Jazz Improvisation Using Simple Melodic Embellishment teaches fundamental concepts of jazz improvisation, highlighting the development of performance skills through embellishment techniques. Written with the college-level course in mind, this introductory textbook is both practical and comprehensive, ideal for the aspiring improviser, focused not on scales and chords but melodic embellishment. It assumes some basic theoretical knowledge and level of musicianship while introducing multiple techniques, mindful that improvisation is a learned skill as dependent on hard work and organized practice as it is on innate talent.

    This jargon-free textbook can be used in both self-guided study and as a course book, fortified by an array of interactive exercises and activities:

    • musical examples
    • performance exercises
    • written assignments
    • practice grids
    • resources for advanced study
    • and more!

    Nearly all musical exercises—presented throughout the text in concert pitch and transposed in the appendices for E-flat, B-flat, and bass clef instruments—are accompanied by backing audio tracks, available for download via the Routledge catalog page along with supplemental instructor resources such as a sample syllabus, PDFs of common transpositions, and tutorials for gear set-ups. With music-making at its core, Jazz Improvisation Using Simple Melodic Embellishment implores readers to grab their instruments and play, providing musicians with the simple melodic tools they need to "jazz it up."

    1. Melodic Embellishment: The Concept / 2. The Starting Point: The Melody / 3. Rhythmic and Phrasing Variation / 4. Neighbor Tones / 5. Appoggiaturas / 6. Passing Tones / 7. Blue Notes / 8. Enclosures / 9. Putting It All Together / 10. Embellishing the Blues / 11. Embellishing a Standard Chord Progression / 12. Using Improvisation to Learn Improvisation


    Mike Titlebaum is Associate Professor of Music Performance and Director of Jazz Studies at Ithaca College.