As jazz musicians, we have our hands full with stuff to practice. Jazz can often require a lot of different skills; great ears, jazz language, and extensive harmonic knowledge just to name a few. But over and above studying jazz itself, we need to have a strong command of our instruments.
Technique is so important for jazz musicians to practice. Too often, technical ability can hold one back from truly playing what he or she wants to play. Each instrument has different approaches to practicing technique, but one practice that can be beneficial for all instruments is practicing patterns.
Patterns can help improve control over your instrument and play intervals with better accuracy. If practiced consistently and in different variations, patterns can really help you open up your playing and boost possibilities in your solos.
Here are 6 patterns for major scales. These patterns can be applied to any scale, but we are using major scales as a starting point.
- Practice the patterns in all 12 keys. Practicing in all 12 keys will ensure that you have control over them, and help you apply them in any musical situation.
- Practice at different tempos. Practice with a metronome starting slow and gradually increasing speed. This will help to increase your ability to play these at any tempo.
For treble clef instruments here is the pdf: 6 Patterns For Major Scales (Treble Clef)
For bass clef instruments here is the pdf: 6 Patterns For Major Scales (Bass Clef)
I also want to suggest a great book for a further study of patterns. I used this book as one of my references for these six patterns, and I think it’s a great resource! Check out, Patterns For Jazz by Jerry Coker, James Casale, Gary Campbell, Jerry Greene.