I’ve studied using saxophonist Steve Neff’s material over the years. The cool thing about working with Steve’s material is that it’s always very organized and musical.
This is the case with his latest work, Mastering the Dominant Pentatonic Sound over a Blues.
In his own words:
“Mastering the Dominant Pentatonic Sound over a Blues” is an exciting new improvisational concept I have been working on over the last few years. This book is a 444 page collection of my work on this dominant pentatonic concept and includes 52 blues exercises in all 12 keys. “
The accompanying 73-minute video is an essential part of this eBook as it explains the origin and importance of this sound for him. Besides explaining the theory part, Steve also shares how he came about this particular sound.
In a way, the video puts in context what you’re about to embark on.
As I spent time practicing the material, I got a lot of mileage out of it. For one, I learned a new pentatonic scale that I’ve never explored to this extent. In addition to that I was exposed to Steve’s systematic approach to mastering a concept.
Everything in the book is laid out clearly so that you can get the most out of your practice sessions. I don’t want to reveal too much, but let’s just say that if you dig this sound, you will certainly have more than enough practice ideas to get this into your blues soloing.
The book itself is 452 pages and everything is written out in all 12 keys so that you can just open it up to the key of your choice and start working on the material. Steve also demonstrates different ways you can get deeper with the material so that you don’t get stuck sounding mechanical. The video is key to helping you get the most from this material. I strongly recommend watching the video first before working on the material in the book.
I learned a lot from working on this and am really happy that the written range sits nicely on the guitar too. I do have to mention that since this book is written for all instruments, there is no tablature, everything is in standard notation. That being said, (for guitarists) if you do read standard music notation, you’re gonna get A LOT of good stuff for your practice sessions.
In conclusion, this is a very well written and well organized book. If you find yourself repeating the same typical blues phrases in a twelve bar blues, Steve Neff is here to both take your worries away and make it even more fun for you to improvise on a blues. This book is strongly recommended especially if you already have the more typical blues licks and language under your fingers. This is for those who want to get new ideas but still be in that blues context. Check it out!
Pros: Great material, very well organized and taught with a lot of love.
TLDR: If you want to get out from more standard approaches to the blues, this book & video set is a good way to get new ideas, shapes, patterns and sounds into your playing.
You can get the PDF digital version here: https://www.neffmusic.com/blog/product/mastering-the-dominant-pentatonic-sound-over-a-bluesdigital-pdf-book/
And you can get the printed version here.
Thanks to Steve Neff for access to a review copy of the eBook & the accompanying video.
I wrote a lot of other book, course and video reviews too.
Check out the rest here:
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