Beginning Jazz Improvisation

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Beginning Jazz Improvisation

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Overview & Registration



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 – The Blues Scale and using Bass Lines to learn tunes and develop material (Basic Blues: Sonnymoon for Two)

Week 2 – Playing “Changes” with Diatonic Melodic Cells, Rhythmic Variation (Basic Blues, continued)

Week 3 – Scale Patterns and basic approaches to playing over the ii-V-I progression (St. Thomas)

Week 4 – Minor Melodic Cells and playing over Minor Blues. (Mr. PC)

Week 5 – The ii-V-I Progression and mastering ii-V-I Phrases to train our ears. (Cherokee, St. Thomas)

Week 6 – Ballads, tunes with a lot of changes! (Darn That Dream)

Week 7 – Basic Bebop, Bebop Scales, Enclosures, and Bird Blues (Blues for Alice)

Week 8 – Transcribing! Why and How?

Week 9 – Modes and Modal Playing, Chromatic Melodic Cells (So What)

Week 10 –  Intro to Pentatonics, Playing in various styles (funk, claves, R&B) (The Chicken, Blue Bossa)


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Tony Peebles (saxophone)

MM Jazz Performance (Saxophone), University of the Arts in Philadelphia; BA Music (Theory), University of Pennsylvania. Featured soloist on Grammy-winning album “PMO” by Pacific Mambo Orchestra. Performed with Fred Wesley, Lenny Williams, Tommy Igoe, Karl Perazzo, Kenny Washington, John Lee Hooker Jr., Doc Severinson. Toured Europe, Africa, South America, and Australia with reggae legend Don Carlos and New Zealand’s Katchafire.