Who else want to learn the secrets of improvising -- making up music as you play?


7 Months From Today You Could Be Improvising Freely -- Making Up Your Own Music On The Spot!


Dear Friend:

     I'm about to tell you a true story. If you believe me, you will be well rewarded. In fact, it could change your piano-playing life. If you don't believe me, I will make it worth your while to change your mind.

     Let me explain:

     When I was in the 8th grade, there were lots of kids who could play piano better than I. For example, there was this guy named Scott who had the same piano teacher I did, and at the annual recital he played "Kitten On The Keys" -- a jazzy up tempo  novelty song with lots of frills that really got the audience going. I played right after him, and my song was "Minuet in G" -- hardly an exciting song, and much easier than "Kitten On The Keys". It was embarrassing, because he was my age, and had only taken piano lessons a year longer than I had.

     Now fast forward 3 years. We are in our 3rd year of high school at Placer High in Auburn, California. I had gotten interested in jazz a couple years earlier and had sent off for a "Chord Chart" in the mail. As I recall, it cost me two bucks. Working all by myself with that chord chart I had learned a dozen or so of the most-used chords. Then I went to a jazz concert at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento where I saw the great Erroll Garner play a solo concert. I had no idea that a piano could sound like that, and I perceived that what he was doing was breaking up chords in some complex ways I didn't understand at the time -- but wanted desperately to find out.

     So I immediately bought some of his records and started playing along with them, running my hands up and down the keyboard as I heard him get higher and lower, pretending that I was the one making those incredible sounds. I did that by the hour -- not only at home, but also in the practice rooms in the music building at Placer High.

                         One day as I was doing this, Scott happened to walk by

                          the practice room I was in and noticed what I was doing.

                           "What in the world do you think you're doing, Shinn?

                            That sounds terrible!"

     He was right, of course. It did sound terrible, but that wasn't the point. The point was -- I was gradually learning which chords Garner was using, and how he was breaking them up and moving so deftly between them.

     Now fast forward another 2 years. We are in our first year of college at Sierra Junior College, and I am playing in the college dance combo. Scott sees me playing and comes over to the bandstand and stares at my hands for a long time. Finally he shrugs and says "I can't believe it. I actually used to be better than you, Shinn. Now all I can do is play what's in front of me, and you can improvise all over the place."

     I tell you this story not to brag, but to demonstrate that it is possible to learn to improvise -- even by yourself, with no one to help you but a chord chart and some recordings.

     But YOU don't have to learn by yourself. You can take advantage of all that I have learned about  improvising over the past umpteen years since that happened. Instead of sweating by yourself, trying to figure out "how they do that", you can stand on my shoulders and learn improvisation correctly right from the start.

     Here's how the program works:

     I'm going to take you on a 7-month journey into improvisation. Each month for seven solid months you'll receive a new book from me, along with a cassette tape on which I play and explain and demonstrate everything in the book, so you can hear how it sounds as well as see what it looks like!

     The 1st month we will lay the foundation for improvisation, including the 12-bar blues. You'll improvise right along with me as we go through the blues sequence many, many times, until you get the "feel" of it. You will work out of a 28 page book that goes hand-in-hand with my cassette tape, so you will HEAR every note, every chord, every progression at the same time you SEE them in the book. That makes learning fast and secure.

     The 2nd month we will learn how to create a "motif" -- also known as a theme, for our improvisations, then develop that motif. We will also cover "razzles" on various beats of the measure. (This will also help your rhythm -- an added bonus!)

     During the 3rd month we will learn how to play popular ballads, using an arpeggio pattern in our left hand. Of course, I'll play every single example shown in the book, so you can hear exactly how it should sound. You'll play a half-dozen beautiful ballads, and learn to improvise on each one.

     The 4th month we will learn chord substitutions, how to apply triplets to improvisation, how to use inversions -- all the stuff that makes for exciting, lush arrangements!

     The 5th month we will work with 7th chord improvising and various accent patterns. (And don't forget -- you get a new book to work out of EACH month, including this month!)

     During the 6th month we will drill on the arpeggiated bass using 6th chords, the altered 9th chord, and what to do when 3 or more chords are in the same measure.

     The 7th month we will learn and work through the blues scale (which notes to flat to create a "bluesy" sound) and mixed up motifs, and we'll put it all together so you can see how everything relates.

     So there you have it.

     Seven months from now you'll be improvising -- and understanding what you're doing! You'll be making up your own melodies (made out of 2 or more motifs you learned back in month #2). You'll be playing exciting chord progressions based on the blues scale (which you learned in month #7). You'll be creating moods. Playing the blues. Playing ballads. And many other improvisational styles.

    Sign up now, and get started on your seven month journey to improvising!



P.S. I know the tuition for this course is embarrassingly low for a course of this magnitude. The same material at a conservatory or university (IF you could find such a course) would cost many times this amount -- (if you have attended college recently, you know about this!) But this is first-class material using seven excellent books and cassettes that illustrate and demonstrate each improvisation technique. So even though it's extremely low-cost, it is the highest quality course you could possibly take!


Course #V-7:

" Seven Month Course In Improvisation!"

Seven-Month Course -- One Book & One Cassette

each month for 7-months!

Plus you get a big binder to keep all your books in, plus a book of lead sheet songs (a lead sheet shows just the tune and the chord symbols) so you can rehearse what you've learned.


Combo # V-7:

" Seven Month Course In Improvisation!"

Same as V-7, except Duane personally critiques

each monthly lesson for 7 months.