May 2, 2012

Become Fluent in Improvisation & Contemporary Styles on Violin, Viola, or Cello

Become a more versatile and creative string player with these courses by Christian Howes.

Whether you’re just beginning to look beyond your classical training, you’re an intermediate improviser looking to expand, or you’re an advanced jazz player seeking more sophistication, expand your musicianship with the resources below suited to your level.  Some of these resources are especially suitable for string teachers.

Easy Tonal Improvisation (Video and Worksheet Download)
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!
Price: $24.95

Jazz Violin Harmony Fundamentals Series Bundle (Videos and Handbook - Downloads)
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.
Price: $45.00
Jazz Violin Harmony Fundamentals Series (Videos Only - Download)
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.
Price: $25.00
Blues Improvisation Series (Video and Backing Tracks Download)
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.
Price: $24.95
Free Improvisation Master Series (Video Download)
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.
Price: $25.00
Price: $14.95
Teaching Improvisation Series (Video Download)
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!
Price: $24.95
Price: $18.00
Diminished Scale Master Series (Video and MP3 Download)
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.
Price: $19.95
Bebop Scales Master Series (Video and Worksheet Download)
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!
Price: $19.95
Melodic Minor Series
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.
Price: $19.95
Price: $14.95
10 Ways to Improv (Video Download)
For beginning improvisers. This lesson shows how to begin improvising only by using different methods and patterns of continuous 8th notes.
Price: $2.99
More Improv (Video Download)
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.
Price: $2.99
Chord Inversions (Video Download)
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
Price: $2.99
Bebop Scale 1 (Video Download)
For intermediate improvisers. This lesson shows how to create fast streams of 8th notes using the bebop scale.
Price: $2.99
Bebop Scale 2 (Video Download)
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.
Price: $2.99
Jazz Techniques (Video Download)
Jason Anick shows you useful jazz techniques you can incorporate into your personal style. Includes 4 lesson videos!
Price: $14.99
2-5-1 Progression Series (Video Download)
Learn the basics of improvising in the 2-5-1 progression. Creative String Player Jason Anick guides you through 3 lesson videos.
Price: $14.99

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