Jazz musicians, educators, students and improvisors are always looking for new ideas to incorporate into their melodic language. I personally am constantly looking for new books and resources for my own practice routine and also to recommend to my students.
I discovered this book by Tim Lin after reading a few of his Facebook updates including a recent one addressing his thoughts on jazz education. That post is a good read but that’s a different story. Let’s check out this book that he released back in 2016.
My first thought when I saw this book was how the cover shares a similar aesthetic to the old Ramon Ricker books (specifically Pentatonic Scales for Jazz Improvisation and Technique Development in Fourths for Jazz Improvisation).
Putting the visual look aside, this book basically collects 100 different jazz lines/licks/melodic shapes that is divided into six sections:
- Two Bar II-V-I in Major Key
- Four Bar II-V-I in Major Key
- Two Bar II-V-I in Minor Key
- Four Bar II-V-I in Major Key
- Two Bar Diminished in Major Key
- Four Bar Diminished in Major Key
Every line is written out in all 12 keys going through the circle of fifths (or cycle 4, if you’re familiar with Mick Goodrick’s terminology – key of C, key of F etc.)
The best thing about the lines are that these are a mix of the familiar and more interesting resolutions. Sometimes books only put in very cliched licks or lines that are too outside or weird. Not the case here!
This book is definitely written by performers as the lines are good solid lines that can extend your hearing and chops.
I particularly enjoyed reading through the introductory section of the book where they share the purpose, application and how to practice the materials in the book. Although it seems obvious or straightforward, the tips given actually helped me internalize the lines much faster.
There are also a few pages explaining the symmetrical diminished scales, use of chromaticism in jazz/bebop and half diminished chords. These are also valuable reminders for any improvisor.
In conclusion, I got a lot out of this book and find myself virtually bookmarking my copy of the eBook for some lines that I want to shed. With 100 lines in here, there’s actually a lot to practice! If you’re looking for some quality jazz lines for your practice sessions, do consider this book.
Pros: Good lines, well organized.
TLDR: Need new ideas for jazz lines? Prefer to sight read sometimes instead of transcribing some licks? Get this book.
You can get the physical and digital copies of the book here:
I wrote a lot of other book, course and video reviews too.
Check out the rest here:
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NOTE: All reviews reflect my honest personal opinion so be aware that I will point out both cool Pros and Cons that I see in the work. You dig?