National Jazz Workshop - A Summer Jazz Camp at Shenandoah University

Free Stuff

This page contains a variety of educational materials that are offered here free of charge.

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Play-Along Recordings

Note: these recordings and chord sheets do not violate any copyrights.

Type of Playalong Description Link to Folder
Static Major These play-alongs stay on one major chord for an extended period of time. There are 12 in all, one for each major key. You may find these play-alongs useful for practicing major scales, major pentatonic scales, diatonic triads or other exercises.
Static Minor These play-alongs stay on one minor chord for an extended period of time. There are 12 in all, one for each minor key. You may find these play-alongs useful for practicing minor scales, minor pentatonic scales, blues scales or other exercises.
Static Dominant These play-alongs stay on one dominant chord for an extended period of time. There are 12 in all, one for each key. You may find these play-alongs useful for practicing bebop scales, licks or patterns.
The Major
ii-V7-I Progression
Each of these play-alongs is just a repeating ii-V7-I progressions. The ii chord last for one measure, the V chord lasts for one measure, and the I chord lasts for two measures to make a four-bar phrase. There are 12 files here, one for each of the 12 major keys.
The Minor
ii-V7-i Progression
These play-alongs are just like the other set of ii-V7-I play-alongs, except these are in minor. Therefore, the ii chord will be half-diminished (also known as Minor 7 with a flat five). The V7 chord will have a flat ninth, and the i chord of course will be a minor chord. There are 12 files here, one for each of the 12 minor keys.
Blues in All Keys Each of these play-alongs is a medium-tempo blues. There are 12 recordings here, one for each key, as well as a chord sheet for Blues in F and Blues in B Flat.
Jazz Tunes These play-alongs are chord progressions very similar to commonly played jazz tunes. Each tune has an accompanying chord sheet which has the chord changes of that tune in concert, B flat and E flat.

Educational Materials from Bert Ligon

Pianist and jazz educator Bert Ligon leads the Jazz Studies department at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. He is the author of several jazz theory books published by Hal Leonard such as Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony, Comprehensive Technique for Jazz Musicians: For All Instruments, Jazz Theory Resources: Volume 1 and Jazz Theory Resources: Volume 2 The materials presented here are used with permission from the copyright holder.

Topic Description Link to PDF File
ii-V7-I Outlines The ii-V7-I progression is perhaps the most common and important chord progression in jazz music. Everyone improvises over this progerssion, but most ii-V7-I licks and patterns can be boiled down to a few basic outlines. In this handout, Bert Ligon describes these outlines and show you how to practice them to improve your own improvisation skills. You could practice these patterns with the ii-V7-I play-along recordings offered on this page.
ii-V7-I Outlines A more detailed presentation of the ii-V7-I outline material.
Improvising Over Chord Progressions In this handout, Bert Ligon discusses several ways to approach improvising over a set of chord changes.
Turnarounds This handout contains musical examples of how to play over turnarounds.
How to Practice In this handout, Bert Ligon covers some different ways to approach practicing a jazz tune.
Scales This handout shows the various modes of the major scale, harmonic minor scale, melodic minor scale (ascending), and even some less traditional scales.
Blues Licks This handout shows musical examples of some of the most common licks and patterns based on the blues scale.
Jazz Guitar This handout discusses various rhythms and voicings used in jazz guitar playing.
Piano Voicings This handout covers some basic piano voicings.
Piano Voicings This handout shows some two-hand piano voicings.
Piano Voicings This handout shows piano voicings for playing the Blues in F and the Blues in B flat.
Bass Lines In this handout, Bert Ligon shares some basic concepts of constructing good jazz bass lines.
Bass Lines In this handout, Bert Ligon shows many different possibilities for improvising bass lines on a Blues in F.
Bass Lines In this handout, Bert Ligon shows many different possibilities for improvising bass lines on a Blues in B flat.
Bass Lines This handout contains several choruses of written out basslines for Blues in B flat.
Bass Lines This handout contains two choruses of written out bass lines for chord changes to "There Will Never Be Another You."

Educational Materials from Steve Fidyk

Drummer and jazz educator Steve Fidyk teaches drum set at Temple University, and plays drums in the U.S. Army Blues. He has toured and recorded with artists such as Maureen McGovern and New York Voices. Steve has also written several drum books published by Mel Bay such as Inside the Big Band Drum Chart, The Drum Set SMART Book, Jazz Drum Set Independence and Mel Bay's Modern Drum Method Grade 1. The materials presented here are used with permission from the copyright holder.

Topic Description Link to PDF File
Big Band Drumming In this handout, excerpted from his book Inside the Big Band Drum Chart, Steve Fidyk discusses some fundamental techniques of big band drumming.
Learning and Developing on the Drum Set In this handout, Steve discusses how to get better on the drum set.
Drum Set History This handout covers the history and development of the drum set.
Transcribing Drum Solos In this handout, Steve talks about how to transcribe drum solos and how to use them to grow musically.
Style Analysis This handout covers the various styles of grooves that today's drummers must know such as swing, pop, funk, Brazillian, and Afro-Cuban.
Wire Brush Technique This handout covers many of the fundamentals of playing the drum set with wire brushes.

Educational Materials from Joseph Henson

Saxophonist Joseph Henson studied with Bert Ligon at the University of South Carolina as an undergraduate, and then completed his graduate studies at the University of North Texas where he played in the One O'Clock Lab Band for three years (1994-1997). He now plays tenor saxophone in the U.S. Army Blues, and leads his own small group that plays acoustic and electric jazz. He is working on a forthcoming book called Jazz Patterns for Improvisation and Technical Development.

Topic Description Link to PDF File
ii-V7-I Outlines In this handout, excerpted from the forthcoming book Jazz Patterns for Improvisation and Technical Development, Joseph Henson shares some good patterns for students learning to play over a ii-V7-I chord progression. You could practice these patterns with the play-along recordings offered on this same page.

Educational Materials from Kenny Rittenhouse

Trumpeter Kenny Rittenhouse did graduate work at The Eastman School of Music and Duquesne University before finishing his Masters degree in Jazz Performance at the University of Maryland. In addition to playing with the U.S. Army Blues and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, he has led his own jazz quartet for the past 14 years, performing in and around the Washington, DC area. He currently teaches trumpet at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Topic Description Link to PDF File
ii-V7-I Outlines In this handout, Kenny demonstrates some ways to use the bebop scale over a ii-V7-I progression. You could practice these patterns with the play-along recordings offered on this page.

Educational Materials from Craig Freaedrich

Craig Fraedrich plays trumpet in the Army Blues and has taught Jazz Studies at Shenandoah University since 1989. He is also a prolific composer and arranger for big bands and small groups.

Topic Description Link to PDF File
Minor Pentatonic Exercises (Treble Clef) This handout contains exercises and patterns to help you use the minor pentatonic scale in your solos.
Minor Pentatonic Exercises (Bass Clef) This handout contains exercises and pattens to help you use the minor pentatonic scale in your solos.