Pip Eastop, Horn player, Photographer, Trumpet player

Horn player, Photographer, Trumpet player

“Intermediate Jazz Improvisation”, by George Bouchard

After a long period of fairly intense study I’m now having something of a lull in the trumpet practise due to being busy every day recording from dawn to dusk at Abbey Road Studio One, the film score of Troy, playing the bigger, curlier thing in F. This does not mean total cessation, though. Far from it; I am lugging around with me a new book by George Bouchard: “Intermediate Jazz Improvisation”.

I’ve been studying this on my fingers and in my head in the studio and on underground trains and have found some very intrigueing stuff about use of what Bouchard calls the “Altered Pentatonic” scale. The notes of this scale, if it starts on C, are C, D, Eb, G ,A. This doesn’t look like much but it’s a huge chunk of learning. I want to learn them in all keys, first of all, and then learn use them out of their root keys in the clever way Bouchard describes for use over dominant, altered and half-diminished chords. For example the C pentatonic shown above will sound great played over B7+9 or over Aø.

This is poing to be a big job for me, particlarly as I’ll have to learn to play a scale with a C “feel” over a B “feel” harmony. I haven’t tried this yet but I as can’t hear the damn thing in my head yet I know it’s going to be problematic. A very good challenge, though, and Bouchard is pretty insistent that it sounds great.

Anyway, I feel great about being “intermediate”. It’s a such a great leap up from being a beginner.

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