Re: [Harp-L] Free Jazz Handbook & all that jazz

See you later alligator, after while crocodile ...

All seriousness aside, harp fans, it's important to point out that this 
booklet has been available for several years from Jamey Aebersold in a hard copy (I 
got mine years ago) but it will probably have little interest for most 
harmonica players :-( -- mainly because you have to read music to make any sense of 

It is not written in harmonica tablature; it's written in real music notation 
-- which is a form of tablature that works for all instruments. (The piano 
keyboard was designed to play music notation; so owning even a cheap keyboard 
can be a great help in understanding music. The musical scale is seven notes: 
play a note, skip a note -- except for E&F and B&C the two sets of white notes 
adjacent to each other.)

For those who do not read music: The musical staff, also known as the treble 
clef, G clef, which consists of five lines and four spaces is easy to figure 
out. As every schoolboy knows, the lines can be remembered by the expression: 
Every Good Boy Does Fine. The spaces spell the word F A C E. For the notes 
"outside" the musical staff, simply follow the alphabet up or down in the same 

To convert the musical staff to harmonica tablature; simply purchase a Mel 
Bay (or anybody else's) harmonica book that includes musical notation AND 
tablature   to make your own conversion card. 

Basically, you will come up a chart that shows that middle C (off the staff 
and one space and one line below the staff) is Blow 1, D (the space below the 
staff) is Draw 1, E (the first line on the staff) is Blow 2 and G (the 2nd line 
of the staff) is Blow 3.

Once you understand this tiny bit of musical information, you can easily 
convert hundreds of tunes written in the key of C to harmonica tab very easily.

So what the hat has this got to do with the free-of-charge Aebersold Jazz 

Like I said, if you can read music -- that is look at the musical note, 
decide that it is on the first line and yep, that must be an E and I need to play 
-- (quick look at your homemade card) --   Blow 2 on a C harmonica.

If you keep this up for a few hours or weeks, you will shortly be able to 
skip the translation phase and simply see that E note on the first line and KNOW 
where to play it. Remember folks: on the C harmonica the C E G are always blow 

The other great thing about the Jazz Handbook is that it can be downloaded by 
sections. Say ALL you really want to know right now is the blues scale. Just 
download that and use your handy little homemade chart to translate it into 
harmonica tab.

Or you can order your own personal copy of the Mel Bay publication C 
Harmonica Book by James Major in the Complete 10-Hole diatonic Harmonica Series. 

This book has one of the most complete -- if not the MOST complete -- 
explanation of how the harmonica works and how music works and how you put it all 
together to make it work for you. And the book only costs $7.95 for the 48-page 

Remember, you don't have to dig jazz to get some good tips -- that you can 
use -- out of the Jamey Aebersold material. 

For those of you who never heard of this guy, he has more than 100 playalong 
recordings of jazz (and blues) and pop standards that are available on CD. He 
is also the director of week-long summer jazz workshops for players of all 
levels of ability that have been offered for the past 30 years.

Many music schools use the music of Bach to teach students because the music 
is interesting to play -- it is not just a bunch of dull exercises -- and it 
appeals to a wide variety of musical students without favoring any one genre.

Jamey has a DVD called "Anyone Can Improvise" ($14 for 2-hours) aimed at all 
instruments that can give you a quick introduction to how to improvise and how 
music works in general. I own a VHS copy and found it very interesting.

Like I said, you don't have to be a jazz fan to profit from Jamey Aebersold, 
the ideas you learn from Jamey can be applied to all music -- pick your 

But it just so happens that he provides some of the best learning material 

I have loads of his material -- maybe 20 books -- I have collected over the 
years. Some of it have looked and much of I have not. But it makes me a better 
person just knowing that I have the stuff on my shelf when I get the urge to 
pursue it.

Phil Lloyd


In a message dated 6/8/07 9:41:08 AM, garry@xxxxxxxxxxxx writes:

> "Tim Moyer" <wmharps@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > If it has a "handbook" it's almost NOT free jazz by definition! 
> > It's a JOKE! 
> oh.  well, i guess that went completely over my head.
> pardon me while i go wash this egg off my face.
> ----
> Garry Hodgson, Senior Software Geek, AT&T CSO
> nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something.
> do something.
> _______________________________________________
> Harp-L is sponsored by SPAH,
> Harp-L@xxxxxxxxxx

 See what's free at

This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.