Pip Eastop, Horn player, Photographer, Trumpet player

Horn player, Photographer, Trumpet player

Posts tagged “2-5-1

Second lesson with Martin Shaw

I’ve had another amazing lesson with Martin Shaw. 

We spent quite a long time looking into what we have agreed to call “Ghost” tonguing. Having done a bit of work on it since the last lesson and got somewhere (though by no means anywhere near it yet) it’s now got a little clearer exactly what I have to do. So now I have an exercise I will put into my work-out to teach my tongue to jump in and out of that precise position on my upper incisors which damps the sound. It’s a great effect and I’m chasing after it seriously.

The second half of the lesson was spent trying to find a way of using the ghost tonguing in context. Martin wrote out a couple of little riffs for me, which would work over a 2-5-1 sequence and which contain obvious places to do the ghost notes. 

We talked quite a lot about how dificult it is for me actually to hear some of the things that Martin does (he does play really beautifully) well enough to even try to copy him. He worked through a variety of ways of slowing it down, with me listening and copying, but not getting anywhere near it. Mine always sounded clumsy and awkward – his always fresh and alive and perfect.

I think next time I’ll have to bring the minidisc recorder so I can better analyzing exactly what’s going on. I need to do this not just with the ghost notes but with many other aspects of style. 

My articulation still needs to be blunter, firmer and more immediate at the front of the notes. I still sound too much like a horn player – shaping everything. Despite this being quite a profound change in style, I’m completely confident it won’t mess up my horn playing , as it seems to me that people who learn to speak French don’t lose their Engish accent in the process. I’m sure it’s exactly the same thing. The parallel with learning a foreign language is very clear to me

Martin also said I need to listen to tons of Clifford Brown. Fantastic! I’ll try to learn some more of his solos. 


  1. Continue the chromatic runs and practise ghost tonguing as workout exercises.
  2. Practise the riffs Martin gave me. 
  3. Study “Confirmation” by Charlie Parker – from the copy Martin lent me with articulations and other useful pencil marks added. 
  4. Get hold of David Baker’s book on Clifford Brown in the Giants Of Jazz series. 
  5. Get hold of the Charlie Parker Onmibus.
  6. Tongue firmer all the time. 
  7. Listen to Clifford Brown. Listen to Clifford Brown. Listen to Clifford Brown. Listen to Clifford Brown. Listen to Clifford Brown.

All The Things You Are

I spent a bit of time over at Jim Rattigan’s house yesterday. We did some rather basic work on 2-5-1 progressions. Exactly what I needed. Then we worked a bit on “All The Things You Are”.

Here’s a lead sheet (please let me know if you find this link doesn’t work)

2nd jazz lesson

My second lesson with Ken Bartels.

Unsurprisingly, we started where we had left off and this felt like me showing him my homework – a strange feeling as it’s some 25 years since I left school. The homework was playing through the Aebersold book, “Blues in all keys”, firstly sticking exclusively to the blues scale of each key, secondly using only the given chord notes to build the tunes.

I told him I had worked on it for quite hard for a couple of weeks but then had got “sidetracked” by such exotic things as Locrian modes and diminished whole-tone scales. I was crap at my homework – which was a bit embarrassing – and the end result was that the same homework still stands for the next lesson. Groan.

For the second half of the lesson we did some keyboard work which was very interesting and my keyboard homework is to learn my 11-V-1 progressions, in all keys and in both hands. It’s a lot of work. He also recommended a couple of books, which I have ordered – John Mehegan’s “Contemporary Styles for the Jazz Pianist”, and Mark Levine’s “The Jazz Piano Book”.