As a player/teacher I have collected many books over the years, in fact I have two big bins in my garage full of various music books of all kinds. There are a hand full of books though that I find myself coming back to time and time again for reading studies, concepts and inspiration. One such book is Modal & Contemporary Patterns by David N. Baker.
This book is really “straight forward” and is full of studies that will get your hands and ears playing some interesting contemporary shapes and sounds. There is no tab to be found here (YEAH!!!) so it is great for sight reading studies, and it is available in both treble and bass clef editions.
The book includes studies of Fourths, pentatonics, modal scales, vertical scales used modally, tone rows and set systems, while II – V7 progressions realised in a contemporary fashion are exemplified in a variety of patterns and in modal situations. Another cool Chapter includes “Coltrane changes” with examples based on Countdown and Giant Steps. I really dig the Diminished & whole tone studies, Baker does a fantastic job of taking symmetrical scales and making them musical and less “pattern” sounding.
All in all I highly recommend this book if you don’t already have it. It is a very valuable resource to have and a great source for inspiration.
It is a little hard to find… you can get it from Jamey Aebersold Jazz’s web site.
Let me know what you think and also what music books do you find invaluable? Leave a comment below.