Jazz Band

Jazz Essentials
A Complete Method for Interpreting Swing Music
by Zack Smith
Price: $143.00 (18 books @ $7.95 each)

Need Help Getting Your Jazz Ensemble to Swing Together?

Which notes are short?
Which notes are long?
What’s that squiggly line?


  • Guide to Swing Articulation
  • 25 Articulation Etudes for full jazz ensemble
  • Jazz Scale Warm-Up in all 12 keys
  • Plus Jazz Scale Syllabus/Mute Syllabus/Final Articulation Etude
  • and Free Sample CD of all etudes

Beginning with an explanation of the ‘rules’ of swing articulation, these exercises are designed to help players infer appropriate jazz phrasing, even when none is indicated.

“…an excellent method for teaching jazz conception for big band.  This text is exactly what is needed to help students become more familiar with jazz articulation and the ‘swing’ feel.  I highly recommend it!”
        -Will Campbell - Director of Jazz Studies UNC Charlotte (& former member of the Harry Connick Jr. Big Band)

Each etude is a 12 to 14 bar shout chorus focusing on standard phrases and markings (shakes, doits, falls, etc.) peculiar to big band writing.  Long and short indications are left off all parts except the conductor’s score so students must interpret the music themselves.

“This is the best system for teaching swing to the young jazz ensemble I have come across.  I enthusiastically recommend it”
        -Scott Boerma - Associate Professor of Conducting and Director of Michigan Marching and Athletic Bands

[More info & testimonials below.]

Listen to Excercise 2.
      or listen with your own player

Since this is a set of books with CD, only the printed sheet music ordering option is available for this selection.
(An additional shipping charge will apply.)

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The Jazz Scale Warm-Up leads the students through major, bebop, dorian, whole tone, half-whole diminished, and blues scales in each key, along with corresponding chord arpeggios.  This is an excellent tool to help with improvisation theory and facility.

“This is exactly the type of warm-up I’ve been looking for.  I find it to be extremely useful for my students.”
        -Tom Palance - Faculty member at Boston Conservatory, Salem State U, and leader of North Shore Jazz Camp
When used as part of an ensemble’s warm-up, “Jazz Essentials” is an excellent tool to work on focus, group precision, improvisation, and sight reading.

Each set contains 18 books:
• Conductor
• Alto Sax 1 & 2 (2 copies)
• Tenor Sax 1 & 2 (2 copies)
• Baritone Sax
• Trumpet 1
• Trumpet 2
• Trumpet 3 & 4 (2 copies)
• Trombone 1 & 3 (2 copies)
• Trombone 2 & 4 (2 copies)
• Piano
• Guitar
• Bass
• Drums
• Sample CD of all 26 etudes performed by professional band

Arranged for full big band, but also works well for smaller ensembles.