Speaking Jazz: The Natural Way to Jazz Improvisation

Transcribed Solos

About Peter Hata
(bio and playing samples)

Speaking Jazz Endorsements:
"Peter Hata has provided the global music community with a book that thoroughly and clearly outlines the tasks involved in the art of harmonic jazz improvisation. The examples are beautifully constructed and to the point, and the text is straightforward and unfettered by technical jargon. Speaking Jazz deserves to be at the top of any improviser's method book list."
-Larry Koonse, Instructor of Jazz Guitar at California Institute of the Arts

"I have studied music theory for many years and have shelves filled with jazz books and reprints from the internet. I just have to write and tell you that Speaking Jazz is the very best--the very best--of its kind in my entire collection. You put a lot of time and personal dedication into creating this, and I want to let you know that it was all for the benefit of those who love the art of jazz. I have made huge strides in my playing. I'm in a weekly jazz workshop with a number of players at the Eastman School here in Rochester, NY, and I can already hear a new approach in my solos. This is like finding the holy grail. Thanks for the inspiration."
Phil St.George, NY

"I just wanted to take a moment and let you know that I got my book and I am very happy with it. I just wish that I had this book a long time ago and I would be better because of it. Through the years I have bought so many very good Bebop and Jazz books and it didn't take long to find out that Speaking Jazz stands way out front and center and way beyond all of these books put together. It is well worth much more than the $34.95. Thank You Peter for all of your hard work and dedication that you put into this very rare and wonderful book called Speaking Jazz."
Rick Coker, TX

"This book has helped me more than any other book I have...This book has shown me how to keep the chord tones on the downbeats and how to connect arpeggios, intervals, scales along with enclosure, deflection, and forward motion (paying off the V7 chord over a static minor II7 vamp). I now have a better understanding of how Benson and Martino play those long flowing runs that never seem to end."
Lee Woods, CA

I received the book today and literally spent 5 hours going through it. I have tons of books on jazz guitar improvising, but this is an incredible book. Maybe for some beginners the book may go over their head and they won't realize the beauty of how you laid it all out. It wasn't until I took your short lines and started developing and adding and pre-hearing the lines that my playing started sounding not just like random noodling on the blues scale and mixolydian. Also, for years, practicing the modes had confused me. But the clarity of your book opened a door of deeper understanding. I know if I put in the time and effort, with this book I'm going to finally crack the jazz code.
Willie Stephens, IL

(Peter Hata's Southern California Teaching Info)

Member, California Alliance for Jazz

Member, College Music Society

About Peter Hata
• B.A., Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA
• M.M., California State University, Los Angeles, CA
• Played professionally with Hiroshima 10 years (incl. Grammy nomination, 1981)
• Teaching jazz improvisation and guitar since 1994
• Adjunct Professor of Music at California State University, Los Angeles
• Studied jazz improvisation with:
-guitarist Jack Wilkins at the Stanford Jazz Residency and in New York City
-guitarist Tom Hynes
-saxophonist Dr. Jeff Benedict, at Cal State University, Los Angeles
-percussionist Dr. Jon Nathan at Cal State University Los Angeles
-saxophonist Kim Richmond and pianist Dr. Rick Helzer at Fresno State Summer Arts

Examples of my own playing (mp3):
These show that these phrases can blend with many styles!

Bb Blues (uptempo bebop)

There Will Never Be Another You (uptempo bebop)

Here's That Rainy Day (solo guitar chord melody)

The Days of Wine and Roses (jazz guitar trio)

Nardis (contemporary jazz)

All the Things You Are (contemporary jazz)

Autumn Leaves (jazz fusion)

Charlie Rose Theme (jazz fusion)

Some Pics:

Above, Peter Hata poses with guitarist Jack Wilkins after an intense week of jazz study, practice and performance at the week-long Stanford Jazz Residency. The combo performed tunes like Sonny Rollins' "Pent Up House" and Wayne Shorter's "Speak No Evil."

Peter Hata jamming at the Coffee Cartel with Taiji Miyagawa on acoustic bass and John Scarpulla on drums (the song probably was "Silver's Serenade").

Peter rehearsing with Hiroshima for a gig at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles (Peter's guitars at center stage)...

...and performing at a Hiroshima Christmas Concert (Peter is at left). The band did some jazzy versions of "White Christmas," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," and "Winter Wonderland."

Above, Peter Hata poses backstage with Jeff Benedict (sax), Jon Nathan (drums), Veronica Arroyo (vocals) and Chris Coulter (bass) after a Jazz Combo Concert at Cal State University, Los Angeles. The set list included "Stablemates," "Summertime" (in 5/4), "On A Clear Day," "If You Never Come To Me," "Teen Town," and "Over Big Top" (John Scofield).

Here's a pic from a late-night jam session at the "Complete Jazz Musician" workshop, a two-week, comprehensive study of theory, advanced improv, and combo performance, which was part of Cal State University Fresno's Summer Arts Program (the song was Cole Porter's "What Is This Thing Called Love?")
Best Wishes,
Peter Hata

© 2001-2023 Peter K. Hata