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“You can swing more on a violin than on any instrument ever made.” – Stuff Smith
Violin players (as well as musicians on any instrument) will gain enormous benefit from this dynamic, interactive course, developed with the early-intermediate player in mind. Matt Glaser stresses that “you don’t have to be scared of the word jazz. If you’ve played bluegrass, folk music or other popular styles and want to try improvising in the jazz idiom, this would be a good place to do it.” With relaxed good humor, he fills his lesson with music theory, technical tips and fascinating information on all aspects of swing/jazz music.
Matt immediately gets you playing along with him on some simple swinging ideas, trading four-bar phrases as you imitate his riffs in a call-and-response session. This method, with the help of Larry Baione on rhythm guitar, is repeated several times throughout the tape, showing how you can build up increasingly complex phrases. By starting with a simple motif, you’ll learn how to let an idea “develop itself,” making use of the vast capabilities of the violin.
As you play along with Matt, you’ll learn basics of musical theory: how to play the circle of fifths, improvise around dominant 7th chords, use symmetrical structures (diminished, augmented and whole tone scales), rhythmic accenting and articulation, bowing patterns, phrasing and — most important of all — how to swing!
Matt teaches three seminal violin solos, breaking them down phrase by phrase and analyzing them for the learning player. They include Claude “Fiddler” Williams’ “You’ve Got to See Your Mama Every Night (or You Can’t See Your Mama At All),” two of Stephane Grappelli’s most famous solos on a standard, re-named “Stephane Be Good,” and Matt’s own take on another standard, which he calls “There is No Greater Lunch.” By working through these pieces you’ll learn to incorporate riff-based swinging phrases into an improvised solo and become a creative and spontaneous player.