Bach Shapes II is the third book in the Bach Shapes series by Brooklyn based saxophonist and composer Jon De Lucia. I previously reviewed his first book Bach Shapes & the recent Bach Shapes: The Etudes.
In this book, Jon continues to explore different diatonic shapes by Bach and provides a framework for practicing these ideas. This time around, Jon also includes 2 of his own composed ideas in addition to the nine chosen from different Bach compositions. The addition of articulation suggestions in this volume is valuable. Sometimes we forget the different possibilities of playing melodies so seeing how to phrase the shapes helped me play them more musically.
The book continues with further explorations with shapes for minor chords, diminished chords and also through different resolutions and standard tune chord progressions. The more I practiced the lines, the more I felt that I could hear my lines (and shapes) even clearer than before.
All in all, this is a book with many applications. This could be a great book for private instructors (of any instrument) to guide their students develop strong technique via melodically (and harmonically) strong diatonic shapes.
As a tool to develop melodic improvisation chops, this book provides more than just a “licks” based approach but goes into the possibilities of melodic and thematic development.
Jon is a musical improvisor and a dedicated educator and you can see his love for this topic in this book.
For me, I foresee assigning this book to some of my private lesson students to help them get their skills beyond standard interval exercises (diatonic thirds, fourths etc) to go into strong distinctive melodic shapes. Every time I work on any of the exercises in the book, I get a lot of milleage from it.
In conclusion, if you’re interested in developing your melodic improvisational chops, this book by Jon De Lucia is a good investment. This is great stuff, high quality and well thought of.
Pros: Great book, A LOT of material for practice, well organized.
TLDR: Want to improvise stronger melodic lines? Get everything that Jon De Lucia has released and spend your time in the woodshed now.
You can buy this book here: https://www.jondelucia.com/product-category/books/
I wrote a lot of other book, course and video reviews too.
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