The PDF file for this lesson is here:
I’ve always had a private musical infatuation with Tenor saxophonists. Don’t get me wrong-I think every musician should have a healthy relationship with their instrument and the masters that play it. There’s just something about the tenor saxophone that I find appealing. Maybe it’s the fact that I relate to it as I would my own voice? I did sing in the tenor section of a college choir for 4 semesters. Anyway, since the age of 18 I’ve gone out of my way to see all the major Tenor players I could. Dave Liebman, Michael Brecker, Bob Berg, Branford Marsalis, Joshua Redman, Sonny Rollins, George Garzone, John Tchicai, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, and Dewey Redman are a few names that come to mind.
By far, the best tenor saxophonist I have ever seen live is Jerry Bergonzi. Luckily, I was able to see him not once but quite a few times during my time in Boston, Ma. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to study with him formally because he was at the New England Conservatory and I wasn’t a student there. Luckily, I have his records and books to draw from. I rarely suggest books to people but I must say that I can confidently recommend Jerry Bergonzi’s volume on Pentatonics:
In lesson #5, I have taken some of his pentatonic sequences and applied them to the 5 positions of the guitar. Just to reiterate some of the points I made in the video:
1) Make sure you know all of your pentatonic scales before attempting these sequences. Most people like to pretend they have them down because they know a box or two. I’m talking all positions, in all 12 keys, with out hesitation. You should also be able to apply both a major or minor pentatonic on top of any chord with out thinking about it.
2) Spend a great deal of time learning each position’s pattern in one key. Like I said, once you are able to burn through one key, the rest will easily fall under your fingers.
3) Time. Time seems to be everybody’s Achilles heel. The first time you try to try to play a line using these patterns, you’ll more than likely start dragging the tempo a bit. Again, this is due to the seemingly awkward nature of the lines that you’ll end up creating. Just remember, a line full of dotted 8th notes picked in a staccato fashion isn’t jazz (assuming that’s what you’re going for.) Try to play even 8th notes in succession without being restricted by the bar line.