Author: David Becker,
Mel Bay Publications 2005, 64 pages
Reviewed by Lee Prosser
The CD fascinates! Why? Because it has 89 selections that explain musically for the ear what improvising is all about! David Becker excels on the CD. A fine jazz guitarist and recording artist, his style is precise and exact.
An interesting biography of the author is included. As a reference book, this spiral paperback is top-notch and something to rely on for the study of items related to improvising.
Following the introduction are thirteen chapters. Each chapter approaches a different aspect of improvising. These chapters give reliable information, and it is a hands-on approach for the guitarist. Some of the topics covered include dispersed chord scale, altered dominants, a well-presented section on fragments, augmented triads, connecting shapes with chromatics, and progressions. There is much to learn from this book on improvising. David Becker shares some great information!
Enjoy the fine art of improvising with a master of the medium. Becker is a genuine jazz poet of the guitar, and the leader of the David Becker Tribune, a jazz group that has performed in over fifteen countries.
This wonderful project focuses on the use of chord shapes (mainly triads) in
building a single line solo. It also opens up some of the mystery of the fretboard
by showing exactly how the fretboard relates to diatonic harmony without using
single note scales. Not only will new lines appear easier, but new and usable
chord voicings will also appear. These chords will be related to the lines being
played. It also will help move away from position playing and open up the neck,
removing any black holes. There is also a look at phrasing and how rhythmic understanding
is important to the improving harmonic and melodic development.
Companion CD included.
Product Number: 20607BCD
Format: Book/CD Set
Publisher: Mel Bay Publications, Inc.
David Becker is also very active in music education, performing master classes
and workshops around the world, including Strathclyde University in Glasgow, the
Conservatroium in Maastricht, the Hochschule in Koeln, Music Tech College in St.Paul,
Guitar Summer Workshop in Freiburg, Acadamy of Contemporary Music in Zurich, and
the Musicians Institute in Hollywood. From 2000-2004 he was a guest lecturer at the USC
Thornton School of Music.
University of North Texas, Denton, TX
University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
University of Louisville – Louisville, KY
USC Thornton School of Music – Los Angeles, CA
Music Tech College - St. Paul, MN
Cal State University Northridge – Northridge, CA
Musicians Institute - Hollywood, CA
Las Vegas Academy of the Performing Arts – Las Vegas, NV
Long Beach Polytechnic High School – Long Beach, CA
Grove School of Music – Van Nuys, CA
National Guitar Summer Workshop - Lakeside, CT
Strathclyde University - Glasgow, Scotland
The London Music School – London, UK
Musik Conservatorium, Maastricht, The Netherlands
BORG Kunst Hochschule – Linz, Austria
Musik Hochschule – Bremen, Germany
Musik Hochschule - Köln, Germany
Jazz & Rock Schule – Freiburg, Germany
The Future Music School - Aschaffenburg, Germany
Academy of Contemporary Music - Zurich, Switzerland
CMCN – Nancy, France
Musikk Instrument Akademiet - Sarpsborg, Norway
Escuela Música – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Educacion Musical – La Plata, Argentina
Collegium Cordoba – Cordoba, Argentina