"Erudite, witty...it's great." Pete Bibby Fiddle on Magazine
"It is a comprehensive beginner’s guide to jazz violin- a triumph!" Chris Garrick; The Strad
"an incredibly good value, comprehensive resource". Music Teacher Magazine
"an excellent broad look at playing all kinds of jazz on violin. I don't know of another book as thorough as this." -Graham Clarke, jazz violinist
"in my opinion one of the most definitive books on the subject of improvisation. Every fiddle player should have a copy even if jazz isn't your thing"-Gerard Murphy, fiddler
Jazz is one of the biggest challenges a violinist can face, with the idea of improvisation likely to strike fear into even the best classical players. This book de-mystifies the whole process, taking you step by step through everything you need to know about playing jazz violin. Chris Haigh’s style has been described as humorous, entertaining and addictive. This book is anything but dull! Key areas covered include analyzing a chord sequence; bowing; chord symbols; how to construct your own solo and how the various different branches of jazz, including gypsy jazz, bebop, modal and fusion are explored. This book is packed with ‘bite-sized’ musical portions, all explained and placed in context. As well as a treasure chest full of licks and riffs to use in your improvisations, there are sample tunes with examples of solos. The accompanying CD has 65 tracks to listen to and play along with.
1: It Don't Mean a Thing; how to swing; accents and "ghost notes"; syncopation; how to vary a phrase; chromatic and passing notes; how to play a "head"; slides, vibrato, rolls.
2: Starting to Improvise; riffs, licks and how to transpose them; filling gaps with runs and scales; bebop scales; playing by ear
3: Pentatonic Scales; pentatonic riffs; tonal centres; pentatonic finger patterns; pentatonic patterns in higher positions; other pentatonic scales.
4: The Blues; the 12-bar sequence; the minor pentatonic; the flattened third, fifth and seventh; blues licks; the minor blues; the importance of repetition.
5: Chords Part I; what is a chord?; understanding chord symbols; chords built from the major scale; chord types; II/V/I sequences and licks; minor II/V/I 's.
6: Chords Part II; the cycle of fifths; diminished and augmented chords; sus chords; chord extensions and substitutions; whole tone scales.
7: Masters of Swing; Joe Venuti; the double shuffle; yodels; parallel fifths; natural and artificial harmonics; Stuff Smith; syncopation; double stops; wide interval licks; chromatic cascades; octaves; double stopped trills; substitutions.
8: Stéphane Grappelli; the Hot Club; Grapelli's playing style 1934-9; sliding up to the flattened third; rolls, triplets and arpeggios; harmonics; Grapelli's later career; playig style post '39; step patterns; pedalling; flattened 9th licks; more harmonics.
9: Running Wild; Jean-luc Ponty; from classical to bebop to Zappa and solo jazz-fusion career; descending licks; whole tone scales; the double E riff; playing outside; chops and octaves; Didier Lockwood, Michal Urbaniak, L Shankar.
10: Other Styles, Other Players; gypsy jazz; hot club repertoire; bebop; arpeggios; chord extensions; enclosures; modal jazz; the modes; free jazz; latin jazz; claves and montunos; bossa.
11: The Big Night; how to learn and prepare a tune; using music; following an arrangement; learning the chords; preparing a solo; phrasing; taking risks; using "special effects"
12: Final Thoughts; gear; microphones, pikups, electric violins, amps, software; suggested listening and reading.
The book was written with the help of interviews with many contemporary jazz violinists including Jean-luc Ponty, Chris Garrick, Mike Piggott, Billy Thompson, Ric Sanders, Alex Yellowlees, Tim Kliphuis and Sam Bardfeld.
This jazz violin book comes with 65 tracks on CD, including all the tune examples, with and without the violin top line. There are also backing tracks to practice individual chord types, II/V/I's, and the cycle of fifths.Two bands were used to make the recording; a gypsy jazz quartet; Chris Haigh(fiddle), Stuart Blagden and Jez Cook (guitars) and Raph Mizraki (double bass); and a "modern" band; Chris Haigh (fiddle); Geoff Castle (piano), Dudley Phillips (bass guitar) and Roy Dodds (drums).
author: Chris Haigh
An introduction to jazz harmony, technique and improvisation
Publisher: Schott Music
Edition: edition with CD
Series: Schott Pop-Styles
208 Pages - Paperback/Soft Cover
Order number: ED 13351
"It's the first really relevant, comprehensive introduction to jazz violin
I've seen. Others have been mainly solo transcriptions and some
biographies, but no clear idea of how to improvise on the violin -
particularly how to swing.
The examples and backing CD make each step very clear. It also covers a
wide range of individual players' styles.
It will be very useful when I do the occasional workshop." -Mike Piggott
Exploring Jazz Violin
Reviewed by Pete Bibby; Fiddle on Magazine Spring 2011-03-04
I must admit, when I started this piece, I had a problem. Last time I reviewed a book by Chris Haigh- the excellent Fiddle Handbook- I went over the top a bit in recommending it. Having said that, I havenít been approached in dark alleys by fiddlers who bought it and were disappointed. Quite the opposite.
The trouble was that I felt exactly the same way about this new tome, Exploring Jazz Violin, when I got it. Itís great. Erudite, witty, and, unlike some jazz fiddle books, it doesnít assume any rarefied musical knowledge but starts at the basics and moves on step by step. I worried I may be accused of haighophilia (or is it hagiography?).
Then, I found something I could criticise. A minor point, a nitpicking I should be ashamed of, but Iíll use it to keep my session cred. But that comes later. First all the good bits.
And there are lots of them. After an introduction to swinging, melody improvisation and lick construction, the book goes on to the blues by way of scales (both pentatonic and bebop) and higher positions. Then it arrives at chords, two whole chapters, explaining what chords are and what they mean to fiddle players. Next come four chapters on jazz violinists and their styles, there are more of tem than you might think. After those comes a chapter on The Big Night when you swing in public for the first time which is funny and full of practical advice.
"Jazz Violin is easy- just play what you feel"; which is followed up with; " thatís perhaps the worst piece of advice youíll ever hear". And carries on to fill the book with better advice, presented in small, well-explained chunks backed up with a wealth of musical examples in fiddler-friendly keys and an example cd with 65 tracks.
And hereís my very minor niggle. There are lots of examples in the book that donít make it to the cd. And thatís a pity, because while only basic music reading is needed, it would be nice to hear how the examples should sound. Maybe theyíll turn up on Chrisís website.
Exploring Jazz Violin; reviewed by Chris Garrick in The Strad:
This robust and beautifully presented publication, complete with full-page photographs, would grace any coffee table. Chris Haigh, a London-based violinist, is extremely experienced in jazz and folk playing. He writes with clarity and good humour and takes us on a journey through myriad styles, tunes, techniques, tunes and practical matters.
Exploring Jazz Violin is loaded with ideas and instructions for the fledgling improviser.
It is clearly and concisely laid out in bite-size chunks and it climbs steadily and sure-footedly from beginner up to intermediate level.
The book is divided into two main sections. The first deals with playing, and Haigh offers guidance for tackling new physical and mental techniques. The second section focuses on the history of the art, with biographical data on the greats, from Stephane Grappelli to Stuff Smith and Jean-Luc Ponty.
The play-along CD, which contains examples and accompaniments to Haighís clearly written exercises, patterns and tunes, is indispensible. The two most typical instrumental settings for jazz violin-guitar-led ďhot clubĒ and piano trio bands- are employed as support, a judicious decision that offers the beginner the golden opportunity to experience playing with distinctive, contrasting backings.
Haigh has embraced his subject fully and coherently, touching on just about every aspect of jazz violin.
It is a comprehensive beginnerís guide to jazz violin- a triumph!
Exploring Jazz Violin; reviewed by Music Teacher
This is a serious handbook (youíll see what I mean when you pick it up) containing everything you need to know to start playing jazz. It assumes some basic knowledge of music theory and violin technique, but no previous jazz experience. In his humorous and informal style, Chris Haigh introduces the novice first of all to swing, and then to various ways to improvise using different scales and chords. This is done in a carefully graded way, with demos and backing tracks to consolidate each point. Throughout, you are given riffs or licks which you can try out immediately on the original numbers Haigh has written for the book and then store for future use
Crucially, the book introduces the masters of jazz violin, from Joe Venuti to Jean-luc Ponty, putting each player and his style into context and providing a useful list of suggested listening. Finally there is expert advice on how to approach your first gig, making this an incredibly good value, comprehensive resource.
HOW TO BUY "EXPLORING JAZZ VIOLIN"
If you're in the UK you can get it here by paypal for just £20.00 (including postage & packing)
Or you can send a cheque for £20 payable to Chris Haigh to 232 Sebert Rd, Forest Gate, London E70NP.
If you're outside the UK sorry, you'll have to buy it elsewhere.
In the US you can get it here from Hal Leonard:
Return to fiddlingaround.co.uk
Chris Haigh is a freelance fiddle player based in London. His playing covers a huge range of styles, all played with commitment and authority. He has played on over 70 albums. He has two book published by Spartan Press; "Fiddling aroud the World" and "Any fool can write Fiddle Tunes", and "The Fiddle Handbook" is published by Backbeat/Hal Leonard.