Straight Ahead Jazz

Straight Ahead Jazz For Banjo


Starting with basic intervals, “Straight Ahead Jazz For Banjo” shows the structure of all basic chord types and chord qualities and matches these to the scales that generate them. The book’s basic concept model is to treat the five-string banjo’s potential in an inclusive technical context so that you can make logical use of open and fifth strings to create a smooth legato style.

Each of the 90+ exercises are recorded with a metronome and are downloadable online in MP3 format. Topics include functional major and minor key harmony, diminished and augmented scales and how they are used, and the integration of altered scale substitutes in the art of jazz improvisation. It concludes with 16 examples of original jazz phrases in a variety of keys. It stresses listening and learning in a logical structured manner.


The unique emphasis of the book is on the fingerings which make the instrument work for you technically and thus open up added possibilities for the development of a student’s personal style. This long-awaited volume will surely bring new focus and perspective to any banjo style and will be a classic reference for many new generations of banjoists.



An essential ingredient for jazz improvisation is ear training and musical “pre-hearing.” This practice of ear-to-hand coordination allows you to play what you hear. Straight Ahead Jazz For Banjo has the most comprehensive and original information for the development of this essential improvisational technique. The book begins with the study of basic intervals and progresses to advanced applied harmonic concepts. Even if you do not aspire to jazz improvisation, “Straight Ahead Jazz For Banjo” will give you a new persepctive on any style you now play.


Written in Tablature and Standard Music Notation

The dual format of Standard Music Notation written above tablature fingering aids in the understanding and value of both formats. Scale studies and exercises are written in straight eighth-note etudes which helps illustrate chord connection and develops sight-reading skills for greater understanding of tonal centers through melodic pattern expression.


Ten Day Practice Plan

A suggested ten day practice plan helps you to get started and organize your daily practice. It begins with the study of fret-board intervals and basic cycle exercises which help to guide you to a more practical concept of advanced music theory. All exercises are in MP3 format and can be accessed online for immediate download.   


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