Bebop Improv Concepts – a book of Jazz instruction by Hans Fahling
Those of you familiar with my columns know that I am always trying to learn more and more about the guitar, an instrument I’ve played for more than twenty-five years. So when Hans Fahling sent me a copy of his book Bebop Improv Concepts, I was an eager student.
This is not a book for someone who wants to look through it in an afternoon and then play jazz guitar that evening. Hans has come up with a very detailed step-by-step method, which involves the guitarist right from the start. It is up to you to chart your course as Hans guides you through lessons on Jazz Cadences, Chromaticism, and Melodic Development. It’s definitely a workout for both your hands and your brain and, as he points out in his introduction, patience and persistence will be your greatest allies.
Hans takes the time to go over each topic and to plot out a suggested “lesson plan,” but it is up to you to provide the brainpower. By writing out arpeggios, mapping out changes of direction per measure, learning how to add in chromatic intervals, the concepts of bebop work their way into your thinking. Then by practicing with your hands what you’ve already gone over in your head, you can feel these jazz techniques taking root.
You do have to know some theory. In fact, the more you know the easier it is to learn from this book. But Hans’ writing style and the examples he uses in both print and on the CD that comes with the book allow you to catch on fairly well to concepts that you might at first think beyond your talents.
One of the joys of working for this website is the chance to meet people from all over the world. There are a lot of guitarists whom I would never have had the pleasure of listening to otherwise. We at Guitarnoise are happy to welcome Hans to our writing staff and I hope that you enjoy his work, as a teacher, writer and musician, as much as I do.