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    Hi Johnny,
    No sax for two weeks, so took up reading again.
    Then i realised it could be useful to have a forum, that just
    talks about or querries peoples experiences with various music books on sale and what they are getting when they buy them, or to stuff they dont understand in them.
    Could be useful for anyone wanting more info of whats in the book, without slandering the book.

    So ex, i’ve recently bought Aebersold Vol 1, and this gives a small idea of whats in the book.

    For someone new to music theory, this book can be a scary, however you can get into playing stuff in it, if you follow the learning steps in the order it describes.
    Then you realise you can step back from the theory and get on with practicing,
    as the main idea is more about playing from memory and not just staring at a sheet while playing.

    1 – Learn the 12 Major Scales, 12 Minor Scales ‘Dorian’ and the 12 Dominant 7 Scales ‘Mixolydian’ from the 1st up to the 9th note.
    The Minor ‘Dorian’ scale has the same notes as the Major Scale whose 2nd note is the same as the Root of the Dorian Scale (ex notes in Bb Major = notes in C Minor ‘Dorian’, Playing wise it can be faster to just think you are playing in Bb major.
    The Dominant 7 ‘Mixolydian’ Scale has the same notes as the Major Scale whose 5th note is the same as the Root note of the Mixolydian Scale (ex notes in F Major = notes in C Dominant 7 ‘Mixolydian’),
    Playing wise it can be faster to just think you are playing in F major.

    2 – Learn the terminology used for abbreviating Chords and Scales, so you can recognise in music sheets, what Chord/Scales they stand for.
    ex C = C major chord, C7= Dominant 7th Chord ‘Mixolydian’, C- = C Minor 7th Chord ‘Dorian’ etc

    3 – This book then gives you 8 exercises to play, so that you can master all 36 Scales.
    By the end of the 8 exercises (learn a scale a Month?) you should be able to play up to the 9th note, and be familiar with all the odd numbered notes (ie 3, 7 or 9th chords) etc.

    4 – It then has a backing track to play 20 examples, which can be played in Concert C, Eb and Bb instruments. So for the Altos, the 20 examples are just use the same three D Minor Dorian, C Minor Dorian and B Minor Dorian scales.

    5 – tracks 2 to 11, are for practicing specific chord scales, which implies you should be familiar in all 36 scales, rather than a few of them. Track 12 gives verbal instructions, and tracks 13 to 17 demo the 20 examples in step 4.

    Browsing further through this great book, theres lots of theory references about scales, chords, and lots of tips on practicing from how to learn a tune, improvising, to lists of songs to listen to.

    I like this book, as it’s got a lot of useful reference stuff to come back to over the years,
    the 8 exercises in step 3 for learning any scale is very thorough and useful for a student. The sheet music for tracks 2 to 11 is great for doing improvisation of various types (look in the book for more details, to see if it is relevant to what you need).
    Also if you have other Aebersold books, getting this book will make you more familiar with the style of the other books – there are references in this book, to other books, that go more in depth to certain topics. ex if you want to practice in Major Minor keys, then get vol 24 etc..

    In the three years of playing, this is a book that i kept putting off buying as i thought it was too difficult to grasp just by glancing at it in the shop, but when took it home and started reading it, a lot of light bulbs came on – oh i know that, i’ve done before, oh thats why they do that.

    Obviously i can’t cover the whole book, but there is stuff of use to me.
    If anyone else has or uses this book, it would be interesting to hear what they have found it useful for, or if there is a section they don’t understand.




    in step 1, if you know your cycle of fifth’s then you can use that to recall all the notes in any Dominant 7th (mixolydian) scale.
    ex in the cycle of fifths, for C7, the F follows a C in the cycle of fifths so all notes in F major are the same ones in C7 scale



    To expand further for anyone less familiar with music theory

    C – F – Bb – Eb – Ab – Db – Gb – B – E – A – D – G

    if you can remember the order of the letters in the cycle of fifths above,
    Then for any major Scale,

    to recall what notes are in a Dominant 7 Major (mixolydian) scale, use the next letter in sequence from the cycle of 5 th’s
    for Bb major scale
    to recall the notes in a Bb7 scale (Bb Dominant 7 ‘mixolydian’) scale has the same notes as in the Eb Major scale (Eb follows Bb in cycle of 5th’s)

    to recall what notes are in a Minor (Dorian) scale, use the second letter in sequence from the cycle of 5 th’s
    for Bb major scale
    to recall the notes in a Bb- (Bb Minor ‘Dorian’) scale has the same notes as in the Ab Major scale (Ab follows Eb follows Bb)

    The other alternative is
    for a Dominant 7 major scale remember to flatten the 7th.
    for a Minor (Dorian) scale remember to flatten the 3rd and the 7th.
    Which doesn’t help me as i have to stop and think which is the 3rd and which is the 7th and have to remember to flatten them when playing, whereas if i know all 12 major scales, just pretend i’m playing in another scale and ignore 3rds and 7ths.

    Don’t you just love music theory!



    Which all begs the question, why bother learning these 3 different scales?
    imho – the major chord, minor chord and the dominant chord are commonly used chords, so knowing the derived scales makes it easier to derive the chords in terms of 3 5 7 and 9 chords.

    C chord – C E G B (from C major scale)
    C7 chord – C E G Bb (from the F major scale if you use the Mixolydian scale)
    C- chord – C Eb G Bb (from the Bb major scale if you use the Dorian scale)

    ex in playing the guitar, common chords are based on the 1st, 4th and 5th.
    ie if you play a song in C major , you may come across the C chord, F chord and the G7 chord occurring (and F C & G are close together in the cycle of 5th’s IV – I – V). If you throw in the minor chords, you have a choice of D, E and A minor which could be dorian, phrygian or Aeolian scale based, a toss up between the relative A minor related to the C major scale or the D dorian minor for a jazzy preference.

    all this from reading one book.


    sxpoet – nice job on these posts!. A Book Forum would be cool.




    Mel – “Book Forum” a better choice of name.

    having to rely on sellers websites, doesn’t help much in terms of what is in a book, compared to chatting to someone who has the book and has used it.

    I’ve got several books, that i have bought, been mis-lead by the title, and realised its not exactly what i wanted, even though it may be of use to someone else.

    It can be simply at what level of player its aimed at, how clear it is in descriptions, does it just barely touch on the subject, or is it too over the top, are the exercises worth doing etc..


    Hey sorry for the lateb reply, there is a forum here already called “Sax Lesson and Books” and seems like there’s already a lot of forums so use that one.

    As for this book you mentioned it’s an excellent book. Everyone that’s serious should work out of it. I’ve been through a few Aebersold books over the years and they’re very good.



    cool, i was under the impression that forum was just for your e-books and querries related to your courses, but that should work fine, judging from the feed back it’s hardly worth the effort. lol


    Right. yes, it’s for both, my stuff but other stuff too. what usually happens is people email me direct for stuff but I wish they’d use the forum because sometimes the answers could enlighten other as well. that’s the whole point of forums after all.



    it’s useful to find out what books people work from, particularly the ones they keep going back to week by week, as it can be an indicator that they’ve found a book that works for.

    I recently looked online at customer reviews for over 60 different saxophone neck straps, and every single neck strap had something wrong with it that caused a problem with the customer. Which is great as its narrowed down the choice two straps that i want to try out, and as i play with the sax at the side and not in front of me, that makes a huge difference to the choice of strap.

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