ROBIN STOWELL Groove Connection:
44PP ISBN 9783702473891
UNIVERSAL EDITION fl 3.99
There is a huge repository of useful informacion in Klaus Dickbauer’s second, more advanced introduction to improvisation. This is his ‘black
book’, aiming at 13- to 18-year-old players, which follows on from the 2014 white volume, which is more for 10- to 13-year-olds. The ‘white
book’ , easier than the black but still requiring familiarity with third position, introduced the patterns of scales and arpeggios with a jazzy
accompaniment on CD by a range of instruments including synthesiser and drums. All quavers were swung and, for example, a scraightforward C
major scale, wich altered rhythm and the addition of bass, immediately became fun and banished the pupil’s perception of scales as ‘boring’.
In this black volume, the pupil is introduced to the Dorian, Mixolydian, pentatonic and bluesscales. There are easy-to-follow graphs, and scales written out to
support the explanations. Then, for example, the first exercise alternates between D Dorian and G Mixolydian scales, and the book
continues by exploring different parts of the scales. There is an introduction to building an improvisation on the related chords (Dm7 for Dorian, G7
for Mixolydian and so on). Then the pentatonic scale and improvisations are brought in. Finally, the techniques so far introduced are combined in
various pieces. The teacher trying to maintain the interest of a pupil who is pulling away from classical music (and we’ve all had these, don’t pretend) will fall
on this book and its predecessor with gratitude. This could be a shared learning experience for teacher and pupil, as teachers are presented with
ideas about how to make scales and technical exercises more relevant to the thinking of the older student. (Not all teachers understand how to
create an improvisatory environment, and here you have the techniques in a nutshell.) l’ve also experienced a shift away from an understanding of
scales, wich fewer teenagers wishing to learn them or realising the need to do so – and some exam boards have reflected this to prevent ‘quitting’ .
Both the black and the white volumes would help enormously in conveying the basics of scales, and in introducing useful jazz techniques.
There are supporting videos online, and slower versions of pieces are available as downloads. The scale ‘tunes’ would make great concert
pieces for a large mixed group.