This new-styled serie of play-along CDs with accompanying text book is characterized, above all, by the spontaneous pleasure it offers from the first moment on. The second volume of this series is designed for the advanced player. Though there are two tunes that can be easily learned by beginners: “It’s Funk Time!” and “Caribbean Tune”. The pieces “It’s Funk Time!”, “Blue Monday” and “Gospel Song” are best for blues orientated players. There are two tunes with a lot of II-V-I progressions, which is why I recommend “Remember” and “Swing No. 251” to all players who would like to learn and practice these progressions. “Tuning In”, “It’s Funk Time!” and “Caribbean Tune” are good tunes for training how to play and improvise by ear. There are seven different styles presented to you on the CD, which are–in order of appearance - Rubato, Funk, Bossa Nova, SlowBlues, Swing, Jazz Calypso and Gospel/Rhythm &Blues.
You simply switch on the CD and play along with it from thes tart. Anyone with a bit of musical background will quickly find his or her way and perhaps not even need the sheet music and information the book offers. You might even view it as a challenge to proceed without any assistance from the book and just play by ear.
Every song on the CD is presentedin4different versions.
1. The first version is the only one without a melody. The drum and bass tracks are mixed to the middle while the guitar and piano tracks are panned hard right and left respectively. Using the balance knob (or by turning off or unplugging one of the speakers) you can mute the guitar (left channel) or the piano (right channel) in the first version of every song. In this way you can either decide which accompanying instrument you would like to hear, or you can simply play the missing comping part yourself.
2. The song’s second version has no drums. The other instruments and the melody are spread out normally through the stereo field. This version is primarily meant for drummers and percussionists to play along with.
3. The third version is mixed without the bass track. Bass players are meant to supply the missing part with either a double or electric bass. Also keyboard and piano players can use this version to practice playing bass lines with their left hand.
4. The fourth and last version of each song is a complete mix with all tracks. Here you can listen to the arrangement of the song as a whole, or you can play along to learn the melody, as well as improvise with the band using the full stereo mix.
All the songs have been kept as simple and transparent as possible. The song forms are short and are thus easily and quickly learned by heart. The general idea is not to present complicated sequences, but more to emphasize the simplicity of musical structures.
All the songs are here to be improvised on. The necessary info on improvisation can be found in the “General Comments” section. But of course you can also ignore this information and simply improvise by ear. In addition, each chapter has in-depth recommendations on improvising under the heading “Improvisation Tip”.
In the sheet music for the songs, all instruments are notated individually. In addition to the customary part in C (e.g., for flute, violin, guitar, piano, accordion), there are parts in Bb (e.g., for trumpet or for soprano and tenor saxophone), parts in Eb (e.g., for alto saxophone) and a version in bass clef (e.g., for bassists and trombonists). The main information relevant to improvisation is also included in transposed form.
The C Parts are notated for guitar, which means that they are written an octave higher than usual. It is therefore possible that some parts may sound too high. In these cases you should simply play them an octave lower. These passages may also occur in the other parts. Please feel free to transpose them an octave lower or higher to improve the sound or the playability.
I will be amply rewarded if this carefully selected practice material inspires all the enthusiastic music fans out there to try out these pieces in their respective bands.
And I wish all readers, musicians, students and teachers a lot of fun!