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Welcome To Jazz Riffs

If you are a musician looking to increase your jazz vocabulary and find riffs to improve your playing, you have come to the right place. Today we are so fortunate to have access to a wide range of jazz education products that can help any player improve their capabilities.

This site looks to provide musicians with access to a wide variety of jazz riffs, scales, and improvisational tools.

There are no doubt a large number of products out there so it can be difficult knowing where to start.

Must Have Resources

If you do not know where to start. Begin by looking at some of the products in this list.

Volume 1 - How To Play Jazz & Improvise by Jamey Aebersold

The #1 must have resource for any beginning jazz musician is Jamey Aebersold's How to Play Jazz & Improvise Volume 1. Even if you have been improving for a while, you owe it to yourself to go ahead and work through this book if you have never done so. It's not just for beginners as much as it provides a great foundation for anyone wanting to learn to play jazz.

The book contains exercises and jazz riffs that work with the included play along CD. Because the CD is in stereo, piano players and bass players can practice by playing only one of the tracks. The quality of the recordings are excellent.

Volume 2 - Nothin' But Blues

This is a beginning to intermediate play along book and CD set that is also a must have for any jazz musicians. Since the 1920's, Blues has had a profound influence on American culture and is the very essence of the foundation of jazz. When a player masters the blues you are able to create great sounding licks that audiences will really connect with. The Blues have had the very essence of the jazz sound since the 1920s.

The rhythm section on the CD is absolutely amazing. Simply pick any of the 11 different varieties of Blues melodies. The tempos are not too fast so you can really get a chance to practice hitting the changes and creating riffs that really bring it home. The tracks are also in a variety of keys with a variety of moods from slow to rock. RHYTHM SECTION IS: Dan Haerle, Piano; Rufus Reid, Bass; Mike Hyman, Drums.

Quick Tip for improvising

Coming up with good sounding riffs is not always easy. One trick that can help some players when they get stuck, is to pick one note that fits in the chord progression you are working over. Spend several minutes articulating that one note. Try different rhythms and textures. Then slowly, begin to add a few leading notes to the patterns. Often players can tend to run scales and feel pressured from moving from one note to the next. This exercise will help you uncover an amazing number of cool riffs and patterns you never knew were there.

The importance of listening

Take time each day to listen to the great jazz artists that have defined Jazz and the Blues. As you listen, try and identify each instrument how they fit in with the overal progression of the song. What is the time signature? Is it swing, latin, a waltz or some other style? Does the song have primarily a major sound or a minor sound? Each time you listen try and uncover something new you haven't heard before.

Transcribing to build riffs

As your listening skills improve, you can begin to develop the skill of transcribing. Transcribing is basically the process of listening to a piece of music, and then writing it out in musical score. Begin with a very simple jazz song that you know. Begin by identifying the chord progressions and overall structure of the song. As you transcribe you will be refining and building on your listening skills. It maybe slow going at first, but if you keep at it you will find that your speed will increase dramatically.

Donate to

We appreciate you taking the time to come and visit our website. Over the next few weeks we intend to add more content. It is our hope to dedicate more of our time to identifying quality jazz resources and putting up exciting new jazz riffs on a regular basis. Your donation can help us make that happen!