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Beginning Jazz Improvisation


A friendly, supportive atmosphere in which to practice the basics of jazz improvisation. Start with the blues then progress to jazz standards, learning essential scales and chords, playing at every session, trading licks, learning patterns and building solos. Ideal for classical players or anyone aspiring to jam or perform with a jazz ensemble. Prerequisites: Facility on an instrument and ability to play all major scales from memory.

Thursdays 6:30 – 8 pm
1/10 – 3/14 (10 weeks)
Sam Priven • $415

Week 1: Blues fundamentals – Modes, Chord Structures, Voice leading and Pentatonics (Tenor Madness)

Week 2: Blues continued – Motifs, focusing on rhythm and additional ii – V – I’s (Sonnymoon for Two)

Week 3: ii – V – 1s Maj and Min continued (What Is This Thing Called Love)

Week 4: Playing communicatively! Ear training intro (What Is This Thing and Blues revisited)

Week 5: Getting theoretical – analyzing famous standards (There Will Never Be Another You, All The Things You Are, I Mean You)

Week 6: Transcribing! Why and how?

Week 7: Modal playing (Impressions)

Week 8: Tunes with a lot of changes (Skylark)

Week 9: Complicated blues! (Blues for Alice)

Week 10: Putting it all together – What am I saying? (St. Thomas)


Sam Priven (saxophone)

B.M. from the University of Miami, Frost School of Music. Student of Martin Bejerano, Jamie Oehlers, Ben Goldberg, Dann Zinn, John Daversa and Mark Small. Performed or recorded in over ten countries at festivals such as the Montreux, North Sea, Umbria and Monterey Jazz Festivals. Performed with notable musicians such as Bruce Hornsby, Barry Manilow, Danilo Perez, Chris Potter, and Brian Lynch. As an educator, Sam co-taught a class at Stanford called coming back to your senses.


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