This book is the latest in Cecil Alexander’s many educational product releases. Fresh off releasing his first single Shug, (reviewed here) Cecil has his second collaboration with Chad LB’s Jazz Lesson Videos website. This book is interesting because it puts Cecil’s musical vocabulary in the context of 20 jazz standards.
These etudes including Cecil’s take on standard chord progressions that have been named creatively. If you’ve played jazz standards before, the song titles should be obvious from the names.
- After You’ve Left
- All of Myself
- All The Things That Are
- Autumn Branches
- Blues (Jazz)
- Confirmed Nation
- Days of Drinks and Flowers
- Don Lee
- Giant Leaps
- It Could Happen To Me
- Just Enemies
- Lady Beetle
- On The Green Porpoise Highway
- Out of Somewhere
- Rhythm Changes
- Stella By Star Sight
- What is this Feeling Entitled Desire
Most of the etudes are a chorus long, with Blues (Jazz) being a two chorus solo.
Cecil’s etudes provide a variety of bebop based language from double time lines, approach note patterns, syncopated phrases, substitutions, motivic development and a wide range of rhythms from quarter note, 8th note, triplet and 16th note lines.
Although saying that sounds like it obviously should (have all those devices + rhythmic variety), some OTHER etude books only do running 8th note lines throughout.
With this release, you get the vocabulary in context both from the note choices & rhythms.
You also get not just an eBook, but also videos of every etude performed by Cecil, audio versions of each etude & backing tracks as well.
If you’re someone who wants to get more bebop into your lines, this book is a good one to get.
As someone who has previously studied through Cecil’s other releases, I gotta say that this book (especially during the launch period now) is great value for money.
All in all, I would recommend this for intermediate to advanced guitarists who want to learn more bebop language in context. The accompanying videos help out a lot to hear Cecil’s swing feel and phrasing. I strongly suggest working through the etudes while listening to the recordings to get the most benefit from this release.
Pros: Great bebop etudes, good variety of lines & ideas to incorporate into your guitar playing.
Cons: No articulation or picking indications in the transcriptions.
TLDR: If you want to get more bebop vocabulary into your playing, this is a good book to study.
Get the concert key version of the book (with tab) here: https://www.jazzlessonvideos.com/product-page/concert-20-bebop-etudes
Also… if you enjoyed this review and want to read my past reviews, do check out my review of the 50 ii-V-I Licks by Cecil Alexander book, his excellent Picking Masterclass and reviews on his musical exercises (Pentatonic Licks (Static Harmony) & Pentatonic Licks (II-V-I) by Cecil Alexander and Assorted Licks & Minor II-V Lines by Cecil Alexander.
I wrote a lot of other book, course and video reviews too.
Check out the rest here:
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