Literature (all levels- Violin, Viola, & Cello)
A perfect addition to any player or teacher’s library. Think “Flesch, Galamian, and Kreutzer for contemporary players”.
A must-have for any improvising string player, this resource lays out scales commonly used in Jazz and other contemporary styles in extended range for violin, viola, and cello in all twelve keys. The introduction explains how to optimize practice to develop harmonic fluency while using this book as a visual aid and time saver.
Save hundreds of hours using this ultimate Jazz Arpeggio resource. All commonly used seventh chords are transcribed in all inversions, specifically for the ranges of violin, cello, and viola, in all twelve keys. The extensive forward written by Christian outlines how to use this book to internalize jazz arpeggios, helping any player interested in gaining harmonic fluency on your instrument to expand your vocabulary and ultimately improvise with greater comfort and ease.
The Violin Harmony Handbook includes myriad ways to visualize and internalize harmony across the fingerboard. (Think,”How a pianist would approach harmony on a violin/viola/cello.”)
Arguably one of Christian Howes' most popular resource, the 70-page Violin Harmony Handbook is packed with practical theory, practice exercises, conceptual, intuitive, and analytical tools as well as chord glossaries, and even solo violin transcriptions and charts. There is no guide more useful for beginning to advanced students of jazz violin. This version is in English.
These courses are appropriate if you’re a beginning or intermediate improviser, or a classical string teacher:
This bundle includes the Violin Harmony Handbook (text) and accompanying video course:
This special bundle includes the Violin Harmony Handbook (usually $29.95!), which is a perfect companion for this series. Many of the concepts discussed in the handbook are explained and demonstrated in these videos. When Berklee hired me, they asked me to upgrade the proficiency requirements for majors in the string department. The concepts in this curriculum are reflective of the most advanced and current proficiencies for any violinist seeking to internalize harmony on their instrument. When you can do the things in this series, you will be on par with the top improvising violin players worldwide today. The Violin Harmony Handbook is a perfect companion item for this series, as many of the concepts included are all explained and demonstrated in these videos.
Christian Howes presents a four-part tutorial series related to his arrangement of J. S. Bach's Prelude No. 1 in G Major for solo cello. Christian's version uses a looping pedal to create layers on which to improvise. This package includes 5 lesson videos and a worksheet giving you everything you need to know to start jamming. ***Please note that this series DOES contain the Bach Prelude Series Worksheet.***
Pop, Rock, R and B, Jazz, Gospel, Hip Hop, and other styles of contemporary American music (even Bluegrass) rely heavily on the Blues. If you feel like you come off a bit “too classical-sounding", this course on blues can help you hone your playing to sound more authentic within Blues-related idioms.
In the course you’ll discover:
-Blues as a literary form, and how this translates into effective melodic expression
-Harmonic, Melodic, and Rhythmic applications
-Creating harmonic tension and richness by combining two blues scales (this is a big thing many people miss out on!)
-Generating rhythmic tension through the manipulation of triplets, and how to increase fluency with this under-used rhythmic muscle.
-Bass lines & comping patterns in 12 bar blues within various grooves
This course includes five lesson videos, two MP3's, and a worksheet.
Improvisation often eludes classical musicians, mostly due to training.
This course contains five clear lesson videos so you can begin the art of improvisation, regardless of your current level of fluency in technique, harmony, and contemporary styles.
The series relies on an approach with which classical musicians can start creating their own music immediately. This process is similar to that of any three year-old who, shortly after picking up a crayon, begins to naturally develop a personal signature.
It was in this way that I first began improvising, in my late teens, unsure what kind of sound I should make. It’s been central to not only developing my signature sound as a composer in “free” realms, but also something which is critical in developing a value system for my approach to improvisation in any conventional, stylistic frameworks.
Christian Howes shows you how to teach improvisation in a clear and easy way! This series contains 7 lesson videos that show you the secrets to Christian Howes' unique approach to teaching improvisation to people of all ages. Step up your teaching game and even gain a different insight on the nature of improvisation!
Improvise to Pachelbel's Canon with the Pachelbel Canon Chord Stacks series!
This easy-to-use course includes eight instructional videos, six play-along accompaniment tracks, a worksheet including the easy-to-use "chord stacks" diagram, and instructions for completing the module.
Great for ALL levels of classically trained instrumentalists (with basic reading skills!) Through this course you will learn to improvise easily within the first five minutes!
By using the innovative "chord stacks" diagram, Christian gives you ready-made "training wheels" which allow you to glide easily through chord progressions. Connect the dots to select chord and scale tones that naturally form coherent and flawless melodies in many styles including classical, bluegrass, waltz, reggae, rock, and more!
50% off on Brazilian styles course (click below to learn more).
These are appropriate if you’re an advanced improviser
Like the Bebop, Melodic Minor/Altered, Whole Tone and Blues scales, the Diminished scale represents an essential sonic color for improvisers in modern jazz. One of the most difficult scales to master with all of its applications, Christian lays out step by step, concrete exercises to help you save time and internalize this important harmonic vocabulary more quickly, so you can more seamlessly integrate the Modern Jazz vernacular into your playing.
This bundle contains 3 extensive lesson videos, one PDF, and one mp3.
If you’d like to be able to play fast streams of 8th notes over common jazz tunes, sound authentic within the Jazz lexicon, and/or play over 2-5-1 progressions with greater ease, this course is a must. The secrets of the “bebop scale approach” are a staple of seasoned jazz musicians & Christian Howes lays them out in ultra clear step by step fashion, specifically for violinists, violists, and cellists.
- Your ear will become more familiar with Jazz melodies.
- Develop the ability to play faster over common Jazz progressions.
- Gain harmonic fluency on your instrument.
- Expand your harmonic and melodic vocabulary.
- Improvise with greater comfort and ease.
This bundle contains 3 lesson videos, transcriptions in all twelve keys, and worksheets for each video. Make this scale part of your musical vocabulary!
Melodic Minor Series
(Advanced) Are you interested in evoking the sound of Modern Jazz? The melodic minor scale is one of the essential tools used by expert jazz players to imply modern jazz vernacular, and in this series you'll quickly understand how to add this sound to your vocabulary. Master the use of the melodic minor scale as a tool for playing modern jazz with this series, consisting of four instructional videos and two practice charts.
Can’t Decide Where to Start?
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-Download all literature (to keep forever)
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More Literature and Courses:
It’s a jungle out there when it comes to amplifying, processing, and accessorizing electric bowed string instruments… This short, informative eBook cuts out the fluff and breaks down the simple basics you need to know to plug in start jamming on electric violin, viola, and cello. Whether to use Mic, Pickup, or Solid Body, to choose amplifiers or P.A.’s, and what kind of effects rig you’ll need- find out the advantages and disadvantages of all types of gear setups.
For beginning improvisers. This lesson shows how to begin improvising only by using different methods and patterns of continuous 8th notes.
For beginning improvisers. This lesson shows how to begin improvising with methods such as changing the melody to familiar songs, changing motifs in common exercises, and improvising techniques to cure technical playing problems.
For intermediate improvisers. This lesson demonstrates the importance of knowing how to arpeggiate chords from all four chord tones, the root, the third, the fifth, and the seventh
For intermediate improvisers. This lesson shows how to create fast streams of 8th notes using the bebop scale.
For advanced improvisers. A continued lesson of the first lesson of bebop scales, this video shows more advanced ways to use the bebop scale to create fast streams of 8th notes while improvising.
Jason Anick shows you useful jazz techniques you can incorporate into your personal style. Includes 4 lesson videos!
Learn the basics of improvising in the 2-5-1 progression. Creative String Player Jason Anick guides you through 3 lesson videos.
Purchase or listen to my albums here
Trail Magic (digital download) – Christian Howes & Joel Newton (2017)
Trail Magic straddles jazz and funk, with intense jams and wide-ranging moods.
Christian Howes' 14th studio album (4th with Resonance Records), "American Spirit" celebrates diverse American voices and perspectives on America, ranging from straight ahead and modern jazz to Americana, gospel and R'n'B.
This album will be MAILED to you at the address listed with your Paypal profile. Your bonus downloadable chart will be sent via email immediately upon purchase.
Christian Howes' latest release on Resonance Records. Featuring Richard Galliano, "the heir apparent to Astor Piazzola," Howes takes another unexpected turn, this time into the realm of Latin music, exploring styles from Argentina, Cuba, Spain, and Brazil. Also features Lewis Nash, Scott Colley, and Josh Nelson.
Out of the Blue (Hardcopy Only) - Christian Howes (2010)
Christian's 2010 release. Blues master guitarist Robben Ford meets virtuoso jazz violinist at the crossroads! The follow-up to the Resonance recording, Heartfelt. Also features acclaimed pianist Tamir Hendelman and drummer Joel Rosenblatt.
Song For My Daughter (Download Only) - Christian Howes (2005)
Song For My Daughter album, featuring Christian Howes, Bobby Floyd, Matt Perko, Jim Ed Cobbs, Dwayne Dolphin, Frederico Lechner, and Tony McClung!
Klazyc (Download Only)
All Star group Klazyc, featuring Christian Howes, Federico Lechner, and Pablo Martin, play classical melodies treated with a modern twist on jazz improvisation. Hear melodies of Mozart, Bach, and others spun into new jazz compositions.
Ten Yard (Download Only) - Christian Howes (1998)
1. 'S I Am
2. 'Trane's Maiden
3. Laughing Tango
4. Sock's Groove
5. Ten Yard
6. Vito's Melody
7. Ode to Sco'
8. Song For Tony
9. Laughing Song
10. Here's That Rainy Day
Jazz On Sale (Download Only) - Christian Howes (2002)
1. Amorr Case Imposible
2. Blue Monk (Part 1)
3. A Child is Born
4. Blue in Green
5. When She's Like Water
6. Jazz on Sale
7. Very Early
8. Falling Grace
9. Blue Monk (Part 2)
Jazz Fiddle REVOLUTION (Download Only) - Christian Howes and Billy Contreras (2004)
2. The Way You Look Tonight
4. Maria, Maria
5. Merchants Groove
6. Untitled blues jam
7. Fugue in G Minor for solo violin
8. It Never Entered My Mind
9. Traditional Fiddle Tune
10. The Oracle
Heartfelt (Hardcopy Only) - Christian Howes (2008)
Self-described post-bop violinist Christian Howes may shy away from comparisons to Stéphane Grappelli or Joe Venuti, but the young violinist certainly shares those artists’ melodic and lyrical gifts. On his newest outing, Heartfelt, Howes performs ten tracks with a healthy bent in the direction of mainstream accessibility, emphasizing romanticism, conventional performances, and arrangements with a pop sensibility.
Christian Howes Plays Yamaha the Silent Electric Violin (Download Only) - Christian Howes
1. On Green Dolphin Street
2. Ode to Billie Joe
3. Felonious Thunk
4. Jazz for Sale
5. Honeysuckle Rose
7. Bernie's Tune
8. We'll be Together Again
Christian Howes & The Horatio Icasto Quartet: Live in Madrid (DVD) (2008)
Among the selections included in this network quality production are Jazz classics such as “Nuages" and “I’ve Got Rhythm" and stunning originals such as “Song For My Daughter" and the scintillating “Waltz For Katherine." Featuring the Horacio Icasto Quartet (Horatio Icasto, Piano; Santiago Reyes, Guitar; Victor Merlo, Bass; and Noah Shaye, Drums), this program is guaranteed to entertain Jazz aficionados and music fans alike.
1. I’ve Found a New Baby 2. Pent Up House 3. Waltz for Katherine 4. Song for My Daughter 5. Madrid Blues 6. Nuages 7. Adios Nonino 8. I’ve Got Rhythm 9. Conejitrami
PLUS! This DVD includes a picture gallery, alternative endings, instant access to songs and solos, and more! DVD will be mailed to you.
Jazz Fiddle EVOLUTION (Download Only) - Christian Howes and Billy Contreras (2009)
1. Walking on Broadway
2. By the Bay
3. Detective H
4. Sweet Soul Music
8. Riggs in the City
Michael Jefry Stevens Charts Bundle (Download)
Download this bundle of 9 complete scores by composer Michael Jefry Stevens.
-12 Chatham Road
-In the Garden
-Today This Moment
-What About the Future?
(intermediate) Billy adapted this tune for a swing arrangement, and he takes an amazing solo. The cello alternates between walking quarter notes and playing in a two feel. The accompaniment violin/viola should be sensitive to the cello by sometimes chopping and sometimes playing legato or syncopated double stops, but always being careful to keep the groove and leave space for the soloist.
(Advanced difficulty) Get your groove on! Billy plays an amazing intro alone on this tune, showing just how funky the violin can be. Cello can try alternating pizzicato and arco and seeing what’s comfortable. Don’t be thrown off by the notated “chopping” parts in this arrangement. You might be better off simply listening to the recording and emulating the chopping as you hear it.
From the European acoustic trio’s second album, Klazyc (2004). This is another flashy, and sometimes wacky, piece to add for an encore to your set. Audiences always love it because it’s so familiar and sounds very virtuosic. The version recorded on “Klazyc” should be self-explanatory. Instead of a “free” piano solo at the end, we’ve made some motific suggestions for a “free” string quartet solo. (Please note, this arrangement is formatted for string quartet, but could be easily adapted by you for trio).
(Intermediate) This is a fun, modal tune, in 6/4 meter with straight (not swung) rhythms. The main vamp in d minor should be comfortable for everyone in the group to solo over, while more advanced soloists will want to play over the form. Billy uses a great off-beat-based, double stop accompaniment style, and the melody lies easily on violin. Watch the temptation to use too much vibrato!
It Never Entered My Mind (Download)
(Difficulty: Beginner-Intermediate) This ballad features a simple ostinato bass line in the cello, legato double stop accompaniment in the second violin (which can also be divided between viola/violin or 2nd violin/3rd violin), and a simple melody which can be interpreted by the 1st violin very broadly. This also works well with a freely improvised cello solo as an intro to the tune.
Bobby's Bad Chart (Download)
A fully transcribed chart of Christian Howes' "Bobby's Bad." Arranged by Dominic Marino.
Out Of The Blue Chart (Download)
A full transcription of Christian Howes' "Out Of The Blue." Arranged by Dominic Marino.
This arrangement of "Spain," the Chick Corea jazz standard, was arranged by James Anderson. The arrangement is for jazz violin and full orchestra.
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