The Art of Jazz Improvisation: For All Instruments

by Lloyd Abrams

About the Book

This text is a concise, easily understood, and comprehensive investigation of the theoretical material essential in understanding the construction of jazz and jazz improvisation.

Structured to accommodate the three most-prevalent avenues of learning:

A) In the classroom: as a text book resource for a three-year course of study when used with the included student practice assignments.
Year 1 – Embracing all the essential materials leading up to the construction, and use of four-part chords with accompanying exercises.
Year 2 – Coverage of core subjects, plus the construction and use of chords up to and including seven-part chords, with accompanying examples and exercises.
Year 3 – The study of melodic inharmonics, substitute and chromatic chords, with guidance on how to recognize and use them. A further section focuses on harmonic and melodic analysis of tunes, with exercises and examples.

B) Private instruction: the “one-on-one” teacher-pupil relationship which forms the second avenue of learning. Private teachers with aspiring jazz students will find this text provides key information in an easily understood and logical progression which eliminates the “skip and jump” method of teaching. The teacher will easily be able to guide the student, providing practice work and tunes that demonstrate the course of study.

C) Self-education: at last a text book, that is useful as a course of self-study in jazz. The book will develop, in the student, an orderly step-by-step understanding of the theory of jazz and jazz improvisation.

Student exercises included with this book are written for all instruments (“C,” “Bb,” and “Eb”) to provide meaningful examples and practice assignments for each topic covered in The Art of Jazz Improvisation For All Instruments.

About the Author

Lloyd Abrams began playing professionally while in High School. To pursue additional theoretical and technical knowledge, he later moved to Toronto where he spent three years at the Toronto Conservatory of Music in the study of Jazz Theory, Composition and Orchestration with the eminent Gordon Delamont, and classical piano with John Covert. Working gigs with various groups in the region helped pay the bills.

To further his professional knowledge and experience, Lloyd moved to Hollywood California in 1959, where he continued his Theory and
Piano studies with Dick Grove. After three years he returned home to continue playing and to pursue a teaching career.

In 1964 he was invited to form an all-star band comprised of music students from local high schools. In successive years the band was invited to stage performances at school concerts and teacher conventions. The band project has been recognized as instrumental in exposing educators to the Jazz idiom, and introducing the study of jazz into regional school musical programs.

Retired from professional performance since the mid 1980’s Lloyd has turned his full attention to education of the individual performer.

His pupils and graduate pupils are performing professionally as studio musicians, entertainers, and as educators, working in North America, Europe and Asia.