This is the online version of my text, A Jazz Improvisation Primer – one of the most well-known jazz education web sites in the world. Here you can find information on almost every topic relating to jazz improvisation, from jazz history to music theory to practical advice on playing in a group.
A German translation, by Edgar Lins, is online, at http://msjipde.uteedgar-lins.de. There is also a Hungarian translation at http://w3.enternet.hu/mbha/primer_hu/primer.htm, provided by Makrai Balázs. A Portuguese translation by Cláudio Brandt can be found at http://www.jazzbossa.com/sabatella/. And now there is a French version at http://outsideshore.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/primer_french.pdf. Portions of this text are available in Italian, courtesy of Roberto Betti, at http://web.archive.org/web/20040518063107/http://www.geocities.com/brittu.geo/Jip/JIPmain.html.
A Jazz Improvisation Primer is brought to you by Outside Shore Music. While this text is freely browsable, there is no downloadable version of this material. If you would like a printed copy, you can purchase the published version, A Whole Approach To Jazz Improvisation. If you would like to support the online version, consider supporting me via Patreon.
By the way, this work has been online since 1992, so if parts of it seem a bit dated, that’s why. Some day I may update it, but as it stands, it’s really a piece of Internet history – almost without doubt, the first jazz education resource ever published on the web.
NOTE: for most of 2017, this Primer was hosted on Teachable. The course was free but required enrolling, which many of you did. If you prefer that format, you are still welcome to access it that way as https://outsideshore.teachable.com/p/jazz-improvisation-primer. I would like to know how people feel about that format. If you have enjoyed the Primer on Teachable, drop me a line and let me know your thoughts on having the Primer on Teachable.
- A Brief History of Jazz
- Jazz Fundamentals
- Chord/Scale Relationships
- Applying The Theory To Improvisation
- Playing With Others
- Listening Analytically
- Breaking The Rules
- Ed Price (email@example.com), for the conversion of this resource into hypertext!
- Joe Germuska (firstname.lastname@example.org), who housed the primer on his WNUR-FM JazzWebserver until I found space for it myself.
- Gertjan van Oosten (gertjan@West.NL), for various suggestions and the circle-of-fifths image.
- Richard M. Metzger (email@example.com)
- Scott A. Lehman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Roger Chaplin (email@example.com)