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Reference Materials for the Improvising Musician

Here you can find books and websites that will majorly improve your skills. Each book or site is Dave-approved, and you all know how important that is!

Literature (Jazz Studies and Theory)

Patterns for Jazz (Coker, et al.) (the Bible) (buy it by clicking here)
Theory and Harmony for the Contemporary Musician (Berle) (a LOT of useful information in a fairly small book) (buy it by clicking here)
A Whole Approach to Jazz Improvisation (Sabatella) (Short but very thorough text on improv) (buy it by clicking here)
The Jazz Theory Book (Levine) (a very complete jazz theory text) (buy it by clicking here)
The Real Book (Volumes 1 and 2). Many many tunes to learn. Beware that this book is not 100% accurate. LISTEN to versions of these tunes as well as reading them from the book (buy it by clicking here)
Effortless Mastery (Werner). The best work on the mental aspects of practice and performance. A MUST. (buy it by clicking here)

Useful Websites

All of these sites will open in new windows

Jamey Aebersold's site (a lifetime of information, plus much material for download or purchase)
Direct link to the aebersold jazz handbook (you NEED this)
www.teoria.com (Theory and ear training lessons. MUCH important FREE information here)
www.youtube.com (You know it, you love it. Next time you go there, type in the name of a jazz musician you like or have heard of. You will be surprised at the amount of music you can find here.
metronomeonline.com (the name explains it all)
www.emusic.com (great music here from the glory days of jazz)

Computer Software

Band In A Box (A must for learning improvisation. You type in the chords and the program generates backing tracks for you)
Finale Notepad (It's free, and it's a great first music notation program)
Transribe! (Transcription program. You can slow down audio tracks, isolate small segments, very useful for figuring out what your heros are playing)


A fully functioning clean instrument in good repair
Metronome (or use metronomeonline.com)
Chromatic tuner
Tape or digital recorder so that you can record yourself and listen back



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