Home Forums Major Scale Improvisation Course Major Scale Improvisation Course Coming Soon

This topic contains 22 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by saxjohnny saxjohnny 1 year, 9 months ago.

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    I started putting this course together a few months ago but because of a few side projects getting in the way, I’m finally starting to work on it again. It’s still not possible to give an expected date but am trying to get it finished now.
    This will show you several different techniques, all based from a simple major scale, that will enable you to improvise over a ton of different music.

    If you’re interested in this you can get a jump on it by learning modes and chords… and the major scales of course!
    This will be a huge “eye-opener” for many people that have thought about, or even started to dabble in improvisation.


    Hey Johnny. It’s very exciting to see the course up in lights on the course page and we all wait with great anticipation for it’s launch. In the meantime I have been reading some jazz sites (which get way to technical for me) that talk about modes, which i understand what they are but the names confuse me, and playing them over chords however it makes me think about the pentatonic scales and wonder why they exist in their own right. If you avoid the fourth note in the pentatonics why then can you play it in the modal approach over a song. Why does it fit there but not while playing the pentatonic scale, or can it. I am not sure of what theory is covered in your course but I hope I haven’t confused myself and you with the question. This is probably where a teacher could help me so perhaps I can take that approach with teachers and stick to theory with them. Food for thought.


    yes, this is what I cover. people make the modes waayyy more complicated than they have to be.
    I spend a whole lesson covering modes and how to apply them for improvising. modes are easy, you won’t fret about it trust me.

    Michael Bishop
    Michael Bishop

    Hats off you Johnny…..just from your intro to your course there’s no question in my mind that you’re going to answer many, MANY questions that I’ve had and I’m sure that I’m by no means the only one who feels this way, and that’s just from reading posts members have been making. Before jumping into your new course, just give me the chance to finish what I started with Killer Blues.
    I read Jake’s comment about your new course somewhere here on the forum this morning….he got booked for his first gig! πŸ™‚ I think that if anyone of us ever wants to play on a band-I would love to eventually–I don’t think there’s any getting around Improvising. Who’s gonna want a Sax player on a band who can’t Improvise? You really stepped up to fill a “void” for everyone. Everything I’ve found on youtube is full of scales and what and they all just leave it that…they don’t show anyone how/what to do with it. I did manage to find one video on youtube a few months back about Improvising and I sent the guy a question. He responded and said that, quote, “It’s a secret”. I responded and asked him if it’s such a secret, why the H-LL are you making a video on this subject in the first place then?!? He never answered back…I’m not paying anyone my hard earned $ with that kind of attitude, who would?



    Thanks for doing this Course Johnny!

    I’m currently halfway through a
    music theory course that i paid
    for and lasts a year which roughly
    covers 3 years of normal theory work.

    I’m in the chord/harmony/tonal area of theory now, so i am familiar with all the stuff theory wise that you require!

    But the best thing is your course
    will be demonstrating how to use
    all this stuff to improvise!

    Your Daily Improvisation Course – has helped bring on my Tone 99%,
    this is an area that teachers don’t spend a lot of time on,
    Its like Chess, its easy to learn the rules from a teacher, but takes years of practice to become a good player! Discipline yourself to do your 30 min routine as a warm up religously – is all it takes! I’ve now replaced it with the 1st 2 lessons of your altissimo course which takes it up a notch!

    After playing for 12 months, i started getting into the dynamics
    side of sax playing in january – this has brought a lot more expession into my tone!

    It would be great if you could also do an equivalent daily practice routine say around 30 mins of exercises, some simple
    routine exercises just to improve
    dynamics, with a demo of how to
    do it!



    Hi Johnny, looking Forward for the Major scale course.
    I’m starting more and more with improvisations, this course might Comes at the right time for me.
    Cheers, Klaus



    hi Johnny – just listened to both of your demo’s – i know both of your
    sax’s are in tune with the backing tracks, but why is it that to me
    the sax in the chord demo sounds more in tune? is that just the nature
    of the beast?


    JB, I take it you’re talking about the 2 little clips I have on the new Major Improv info page?
    If so, I’m not sure…But here are my excuses! I will admit that I rarely touch the alto. I don’t own one and the one I use there is a $200 Chinese one my friend left in hopes I would take it to the sax shop and have the guys look at it. It’s possible that I’m not on 100% with the alto because I’m not used to paying it like I am the tenor. If I bought a nice one for myself I would definately put in some work there. But to be honest, it sounds alright to me, if it didn’t I would have redone it.

    Michael Bishop
    Michael Bishop

    There’s nothing’s wrong with Johnny’s Alto Sax playing..sounds just fine. There’s no question about it that the Tenor/Alto, even though they’re both Saxophones, have a few differences to contend with. I am a big, big Alto Sax fan and I really appreciate you putting in the extra work Johnny in your courses to bring the Alto into play. I look at your videos of Take Five, Baker Street, Careless Whisper…amazing. You’re on the Tenor all the time and to see you play like you do on those videos with the Alto is just fabulous. I think some folks may look at your playing and think that unless they have a Tenor then they’re not going to sound good—what a mistake. Yes, I just bought a new Tenor too—but remember that a new Tenor was not in my original plans and my first choice was the Alto! πŸ™‚ Some locals feel that, because I put in a few thousand $ with my new Trevor James Alto that it was “a waste”….that doesn’t bother me because I love the Alto….hopefully the next few uploads to your blog coming from me will show how much fun I have on the Alto. In fact, today was my Alto Saxophone practice and, as you know Johnny, I’m working on analyzing–not just memorizing only–the Brown Sugar Sax solo…..you won’t believe how good that solo sounds on the Alto! And to prove it; I will be uploading not just the Brown Sugar Sax solo but some others stuff I’ve been working on applying what I’ve learned in Killer Blues with my Alto so you can provide insights/critique. Even though I’m really excited about your new course, I need to “finish what I started” with Killer Blues first before moving on to your next course…..if that’s okay. But I do plan to buy your new course as soon as I can; probably sometime now in May. I also think it would be fantastic too, Johnny, if you could plans some more stuff on the Alto for future releases to buy in your Song Selection. Below is a link that Johnny posted in his blog about the Alto sometime ago–very good points made in this article:




    Johnny – Thanks for giving me your feedback on the 2 demo’s!

    This is something that has annoyed
    me. I’ll explain why :

    i went to a student concert put on
    by my teacher, for his teenagers to showcase some of their songs
    to their parents!

    When i listened to different students some sounded in tune,
    some sounded slightly off tune.

    I asked my teacher about it, and
    he assured me that before the concert he checked everyone to
    make sure they were in tune.

    I know, that you also would have
    tuned both your instruments.

    I can recall years ago when i went
    to buy a piano for my daughter, i
    went round a room with about 50
    pianos in it, all of them were in
    tune, but a lot of them sounded different in tone. Some sounded
    dull, some sounded lively, 1st impressions some sounded slightly
    out if tune with others.

    It must be all down to timbre of each instrument, acoustic guitars are the same more noticeably.

    I know the setup plays the biggest percentage of a sax sound, but i’ve always been convinced that the quality of the sax material
    make up does to me bring out a better sound – ie sax’s in the low end of the market just can’t compete.

    This is important to me, as in a
    few years time i want to upgrade my sax, and i will experience the
    same problem when i try them out
    in the shop! I expect to be trying
    out some that i won’t like the sound.. but thats my problem!

    Once again Johnny thanks for helping me out with this!


    Hey JB, do you have perfect pitch? Serioulsy, when someone truly has perfect pitch these little things can really bother them. I guess there’s pros and cons. When I was in college there was a guy in our improv class that had perfect pitch…he was the drummer! I used to tell him all the time, what a waste. Just kidding him, but really, I wish I had it instead.

    @ Michael…please keep forging ahead at your own pace. I hope everyone does that! Most of us can only handle so many things at a time…especially when we’re adults with so much going on. When I first started studying the sax in my late teens, my teacher used to tell me “practice as much as you can now because as life goes on you’ll have less and less time to do it”. Boy was he right.



    i tried a online distorted pitch test, and got 26/26 correct!

    i did an online perfect pitch
    test and got 1/10 correct, after
    a few attempts got 10/10!

    no i’m not pitch perfect, if
    i play the mouthpiece on its own
    i can pick out the correct note.

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