The Ultimate Obstacle Course For Jazz Players for trumpet & all 𝄞 treble clef instruments by Rich Willey (PDF)


Could you use a practice regimen designed to improve reading, key fluency, and overall musicianship for an aspiring, improvising commercial player?

This study in tricky rhythms over common chord changes presented in 12 major keys helps you become a literate, musical and competent  jazz player.

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Introducing Rich Willey’s The Ultimate Obstacle Course For Jazz Players in twelve major keys for trumpet and all treble clef instruments (originally titled “First Book of Practical Studies for Jazz Players in twelve major keys”) for attaining mastery of syncopated reading, key-fluency, chordal comprehension and making music out of jazz phrases. This book is primarily for B♭ trumpet but is easily usable by all treble clef instruments. Includes 48 downloadable play-along tracks totaling over five hours of play-along time.

Using standard chord progressions, this volume takes you through all the keys by means of a series of syncopated eight-bar phrases. These twenty-four melodic phrases, specifically designed to be tricky to play, help you smooth out your jazz concept and learn to focus on making music one phrase at a time. Each eight-bar phrase spans approximately one octave to make it more easily playable in all twelve keys; however, you are welcome to play these in different octaves than written to put them in a more comfortable (or more challenging) range for you.

The play-along tracks (two tempo settings per phrase & totaling just over five hours in length) allow you to hear the chordal foundation of all the melodies and provide you the opportunity to improve your comprehension of which notes work over the clearly printed chord symbols. Included is a link for downloading the play-along tracks as mp3s and MIDI files (for Band-In-A-Box/sequencing programs). The slower tempo is approximately 20 bpm below the brighter tempo, but people who have the right software can slow down or speed up these tracks any way they see fit. Play-along tracks contain no melody instruments, only piano, bass and drums.

As stated in the front matter, the goal of this book is threefold. First, it is essential for today’s jazz musician to be the best reader possible. Second, today’s jazz musician needs to be equally comfortable in every key; the fear of sharp keys and flat keys must be chased away. Third, today’s jazz musician needs to instantly translate the written note into music. Every page and every play-along track provide tools tailored to help you become a confident, fearless jazz musician.

Chord changes used include portions of:
• Ain’t Misbehavin’ • Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered • Brownie Speaks • Confirmation • Have You Met Miss Jones? • Honeysuckle Rose • I Got Rhythm • I’ve Got The World On A String • I’ve Never Been In Love Before • Joy Spring • My One And Only Love • Polka Dots And Moonbeams • Prelude To A Kiss • Sophisticated Lady • There Is No Greater Love • Standard Turnarounds • We’ll Be Together Again • Well You Needn’t • You Are Too Beautiful • You Took Advantage Of Me

Listen to samples of Rich playing along with a couple of the play-along tracks in a few of the keys:

View Ultimate Obstacle Course For Jazz Players Sample Page 16

Customer Comments

“Hi, Rich. I just wanted to let you know that I found a few hours to work on Exercise 1 from your new book [Ultimate Obstacle Course]. It is probably the easiest one in the book (duh), and really wasn’t that difficult to play until I started the play-along-track. Holy cow! Up to speed, it becomes more than just a finger-twister (not to mention mind-mangler with all those keys). It is also quite an endurance challenge! Thanks, Rich!” — WAYNE H. WRIGHT, trumpeter, Moore, OK



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