Made-Up Bits

a personal blog, by Sven Seebeck -

Soprano Blues

To be honest, I’m mostly angry at the moment and don’t feel like sitting down to write or publish something. That I’m constantly running behind my todo-list isn’t much of a help either. Still I took a few minutes after my first student in the morning and improvised a bit on a blues with my soprano. It’s nothing special, only a short un-accompanied jam. I planned to publish, or post things like these for a while already (needless to say I never did), but I might as well start now.

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A BeBop-Scale Loop

I like to come up with looping exercise like this, because they are a quick way to learn some new material and built-up vocabulary and technique. It’s time for another looping exercise. While practicing I was looking for a way to run through BeBop-scales in all keys following the ideas/concept as described in Jeff Elwood’s e-book Developing Be-Bop Lines and came up with this little loop. The exercise follows the idea breaking down the BeBop scale into three arpeggios followed by the BeBop passing note (again check out his book, it’s worth it) and then resolves into the next chord in the cycle of 4ths.

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A Mobley Loop

“Learn to BeBop on changes like Hank Mobley first. It tells you when to stop.” Those were roughly the words one of my all-time heroes Rick Margitza said to me when I had the chance to have a lesson with him in New York. And even though more than twenty years ago, it hasn’t told me when to stop. Up to this day I enjoy working on lines. Hank is without any doubt one of the most precise players that I have heard.

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A Looping Exercise

Some of my favourite etudes that I ran into over the years are the Kröpsch Clarinet etudes, especially the first volume. The exercises are short, almost easy to remember and overall effective, challenging and fun to play. I always wished there would be something like that for Jazz saxophone studies. Last year Eric Alexander published a book with similar exercises which are fun to play and easily to be used in improvisations.

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