Jazz Trumpet Improvisation Etude #3 by Howie Shear: Joy Spring

Howie Shear Jazz Solo Etude
Joy Spring Jazz Solo Etude for Trumpet by Howie Shear

Twice a month we will be posting a new Jazz Improvisation Etude composed by Howie Shear. Each etude will be based on the chord changes of a different jazz standard and will comprise two complete solo choruses.

These etudes will focus on different aspects of trumpet playing and jazz improvisation techniques. They can be played as stand alone exercises but, for best results, we suggest playing along with an Aebersold or another play-along track, allowing you can hear how the melodic ideas work with the chord changes.

The concepts utilized in these solos are presented in Howie Shear’s books Jazz Improvisation – Simplified and Bebop Vocabulary, which are tools that help you develop your own jazz vocabulary that you can use during improvisation. The goal of these etudes is to show how the simple ideas Howie outlines in his books can be applied and developed in a jazz solo format.

Jazz Improvisation Etude #3: “Joy Spring”

The third etude features two choruses over “Joy Spring.” This solo focuses on the following:

  • Diatonic & non-diatonic melodic ideas
  • Chordal & scalar melodic ideas
  • Chromaticism
  • Upper register melodic ideas
  • Compositional ideas
  • Technical dexterity
  • Endurance
  • Jazz phrasing and articulation
  • Use of upper harmonic extensions in melodic contexts
  • Use of modern jazz lexicon

Click Here to Download Now!

If you would like to learn more about jazz improvisation we suggest you purchase Howie Shear’s books, Jazz Improvisation – Simplified and Bebop Vocabulary, which detail the concepts he is applying in these solos.

About Howie Shear

Howie Shear received a Bachelors in Education from Fredonia State University in 1975 and a Masters in Jazz Studies from the Eastman School of Music in 1977. He received his Doctorate in Music from the University of Southern California in 2002. He studied with James F. Burke and Raymond Crisara. Howie toured with the Woody Herman Band as lead trumpet player & featured soloist in 1980. After the tour he moved to Los Angeles and worked as a studio musician and soloist. Among the extensive list of artists he has worked with are: The Chuck Mangione Orchestra, Tony Bennett, George Benson, Mel Torme, The Temptations, and The Spinners. He was the musical arranger and lead trumpet player on the Joan Rivers Late Night Show. Howie has also played various shows at the Ahmanson Theater and many jazz festivals around the world where he has held trumpet clinics. Arranger and producer of various jazz albums, Howie currently has his own jazz quartet. His classical work includes playing with brass quintets and choirs, solo church work, and solo work in the studios.

Howie Shear is professor of Jazz Trumpet at California State University: Northridge.

Missed Our Previous Posts?

#1 – There Will Never Be Another You
#2 – All The Things You Are

Frequently Asked Questions #4: Can You Reverse a Bob Reeves Valve Alignment?

So, you’ve finally decided that a Bob Reeves Valve Alignment is what you need to help your playing, but — what if you don’t like it? Can a Bob Reeves Valve Alignment be reversed?

The answer is: yes.

How far out are your valves?
How far out are your valves?

Before we do any valve alignment we take measurements of where the valves are before altering the horn. We give you this information when we finish the work and also keep a copy for our records. If you don’t like the way that your horn plays after a valve alignment, with those records, we can put it back to exactly where it was before we made any alterations.

That being said, we have only ever un-aligned trumpets in extremely exceptional situations. For example, when a trumpet’s valves are very far out, most players choose a mouthpiece that is very large to compensate for the extra resistance caused by the misalignment. And because the player’s setup is dependent on that resistance to work, removing it through the alignment completely changes how their equipment works for them. To get the familiar blow of their trumpet back, it may take a mouthpiece adjustment that would be very drastic, which some players would be averse to doing.

If you would like to learn more about the Bob Reeves valve alignment, click this link to the information page on our website. You can also contact us by phone or email — consultation is, and always will be, free.

If you have any questions you would like to see answered in this series, email them to blog@bobreeves.com and it might be featured it in a future blog post!

Jazz Trumpet Improvisation Etude #2 by Howie Shear: All The Things You Are

Howie Shear Jazz Solo Etude
Howie Shear Jazz Solo Etude for Trumpet

Twice a month we will be posting a new Jazz Improvisation Etude composed by Howie Shear. Each etude will be based on the chord changes of a different jazz standard and will comprise two complete solo choruses.

These etudes will focus on different aspects of trumpet playing and jazz improvisation techniques. They can be played as stand alone exercises but, for best results, we suggest playing along with an Aebersold or another play-along track, allowing you can hear how the melodic ideas work with the chord changes.

The concepts utilized in these solos are presented in Howie Shear’s books Jazz Improvisation – Simplified and Bebop Vocabulary, which are tools that help you develop your own jazz vocabulary that you can use during improvisation. The goal of these etudes is to show how the simple ideas Howie outlines in his books can be applied and developed in a jazz solo format.

Jazz Improvisation Etude #2: “All The Things You Are”

The  second etude features two choruses over “All The Things You Are.” This solo focuses on the following:

  • Diatonic & non-diatonic melodic ideas
  • Chordal & scalar melodic ideas
  • Chromaticism
  • Upper register melodic ideas
  • Compositional ideas
  • Technical dexterity

Click Here to Download Now!

If you would like to learn more about jazz improvisation we suggest you purchase Howie Shear’s books, Jazz Improvisation – Simplified and Bebop Vocabulary, which detail the concepts he is applying in these solos.

About Howie Shear

Howie Shear received a Bachelors in Education from Fredonia State University in 1975 and a Masters in Jazz Studies from the Eastman School of Music in 1977. He received his Doctorate in Music from the University of Southern California in 2002. He studied with James F. Burke and Raymond Crisara. Howie toured with the Woody Herman Band as lead trumpet player & featured soloist in 1980. After the tour he moved to Los Angeles and worked as a studio musician and soloist. Among the extensive list of artists he has worked with are: The Chuck Mangione Orchestra, Tony Bennett, George Benson, Mel Torme, The Temptations, and The Spinners. He was the musical arranger and lead trumpet player on the Joan Rivers Late Night Show. Howie has also played various shows at the Ahmanson Theater and many jazz festivals around the world where he has held trumpet clinics. Arranger and producer of various jazz albums, Howie currently has his own jazz quartet. His classical work includes playing with brass quintets and choirs, solo church work, and solo work in the studios.

Howie Shear is professor of Jazz Trumpet at California State University: Northridge.

Frequently Asked Questions #3: What is the Standard Throat Size in a Bob Reeves Mouthpiece?

Many players believe that all mouthpieces come with “standard” #27 drill bit size bores (or throats). Though many manufacturers still use the #27 throat as a “standard” there are many others that have begun to make variations in their “standard” designs.

So, what is the standard throat size on a Bob Reeves Mouthpiece?

The short answer: it depends.

The Long Answer:

When Bob started his business in 1968, he had no intentions of ever making a “standard” series of mouthpieces. He wanted to work with players one-on-one to find a truly custom fit that each player really needs, and he still does that to this day. But, as he worked with more and more players, he developed what has become his “standard” series of mouthpieces. Each Bob Reeves mouthpiece is balanced to play evenly from low to high and over all dynamics.  The throat size that Bob has chosen varies from cup to cup, rim to rim, and backbore to backbore. You would have to ask about a specific mouthpiece for us to tell you what throat it comes with standard.

If you have any questions you would like to see answered in this series, email them to blog@bobreeves.com and it might be featured in a future blog post!