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 Solo Transcriptions
Below is a partial list of the solo transcriptions that contributed to Speaking Jazz; several have links to audio examples. Note that in all cases, though they may sound like the original recording, these are actually recordings of a MIDI playback. In other words, the notes were transcribed by ear to a MIDI file, which was then played by a synthesizer and recorded. Please note that these transcriptions are listed only to demonstrate the authentic sources of the phrases included in Speaking Jazz; the book does not include transcriptions. In my opinion, transcriptions mainly benefit the person doing the transcribing. Their "ears" were opened by their effort. In addition, having taught jazz improvisation both privately and on the college campus, my experience is that it is difficult to "work backwards" from a solo transcription and teach improvisation to students. However, the phrases included in Speaking Jazz are in many ways more valuable than transcriptions, especially to those new to jazz improvisation. As is mentioned on the homepage, these are actual phrases used by the jazz greats over and over again. And so, just as the greats themselves have done, once these phrases are internalized—the "words" of the jazz language—they can be used like "building blocks" to create long, complex lines and of course, entire solos. Essentially, what the book has done is to "decode" how jazz improvisers "speak" over specific rhythmic and harmonic contexts. When we internalize their language, we can also "sound like" those improvisers--on any tune that uses similar rhythms and chord progressions. This "decoding" is at the core of Speaking Jazz. However, the point is not to be a copy of the jazz greats, but to learn from them through emulation. All the greats themselves learned from their predecessors in the same way.

Of course, solo transcriptions are of great benefit; in order to reach the highest levels of the jazz improvisation artform, transcribing is crucial. Therefore, the Appendix of the book offers detailed advice on how to transcribe even the most virtuosic bop solos—like many of the mp3 samples below. Also, you will find that the harmonic system the book lays out in the Diatonic, Bebop-Dorian, Melodic Minor, and Diminished chapters makes it much easier to transcribe even the most difficult solos...and to benefit from studying them.

Solo Transcriptions That Contributed to Speaking Jazz:
As is mentioned above, the instructional method and phrase-based content of Speaking Jazz derived directly from the study of transcribed solos. As a example, here is a transcription of a classic hard bop-based solo on a well-known jazz standard:
George Benson's solo on "All The Things You Are" (mp3, 500k):
This example is an audio recording of the first chorus (of several choruses) of a MIDI transcription, played through a standard synth module.

Here is a partial list of the solo transcriptions that contributed to Speaking Jazz, and several have links to audio examples. These are not the original recordings, but are MIDI playbacks of transcriptions.

Charlie Parker: "Bloomdido"
Charlie Parker: "Just Friends"
Charlie Parker: "Love For Sale"
Charlie Parker: "Yardbird Suite"
Clifford Brown: "Joy Spring"
John Coltrane: "Oleo"
John Coltrane: "Evidence" (w/Monk)
John Coltrane: "Nutty" (w/Monk)
John Coltrane: "Moment's Notice"
John Coltrane: "Locomotion"
John Coltrane: "Giant Steps"
Wayne Shorter: "Night in Tunisia"
Wes Montgomery: "Days of Wine and Roses"
Wes Montgomery: "Round Midnight"
Wes Montgomery: "Canadian Sunset"
Wes Montgomery: "Watch What Happens"
Wes Montgomery: "Four on Six" (Verve version)
Wes Montgomery: "Four on Six" (Riverside version)
Wes Montgomery: "Mr. Walker"
Wes Montgomery: "Unit Seven"
Wes Montgomery: "Eleanor Rigby"
Freddie Hubbard: "Caravan"
Freddie Hubbard: "Manha de Carnival"
Joe Henderson: "Invitation"
Kenny Burrell: "Moon and Sand"
Grant Green: "Mr. Kenyatta"
Grant Green: "Cantaloupe Island"
Grant Green: "Minor League"
Jim Hall: "Scrapple From The Apple"
Jim Hall: "Round Midnight"
Joe Pass: "Stompin' At the Savoy"
George Benson: "Affirmation"
George Benson: "Blue Bossa"
George Benson: "There Will Never Be Another You"
George Benson: "Love For Sale"
George Benson: "Sugar"
George Benson: "All The Things You Are"
George Benson" "Semi-Tough"
George Benson: "Brazilian Stomp"
Hubert Laws: "Circle"
Pat Martino: "Impressions"
Pat Martino: "Oleo"
Pat Martino: "Alone Together"
Pat Martino: "Days of Wine and Roses"
Pat Martino: "Footprints"
Pat Martino: "Mac Tough"
Pat Martino: "Lazy Bird"
Pat Martino: "How Insensitive"
Pat Martino: "Road Song"
Rene Toledo: "Night in Tunisia"
Earl Klugh: "Mimosa"
Earl Klugh: "Dr. Macumba"
Earl Klugh: "Twinkle"
Earl Klugh: "Right From the Start"
Grover Washington: "Let It Flow"
Grover Washington: "Next Exit"
George Coleman: "Maiden Voyage"
Rippingtons: "Weekend in Monaco"
Bob Mintzer/Yellowjackets: "Claire's Song"
Paul Chambers: "Blues By Five"
Jaco Pastorius: "Continuum"
Pat Metheny: "Giant Steps"
Pat Metheny: "Elucidation"
Pat Metheny: "Proof"
Pat Metheny: "Gathering Sky"
Pat Metheny: "On Her Way"
John Scofield: "Wabash III"
John Scofield: "Over Big Top"
Mike Brecker: "Loxodrome"
Mike Stern: "Chromozone"
Mike Stern: "Giant Steps"
David Sanborn: "Sugar"
Jonathan Kreisberg (Larry Grenadier bass solo): "Summertime"
Jonathan Kreisberg: "All of You"
Adam Rogers: "Long Ago and Far Away"
Adam Rodgers: "Bobo"

Best Wishes,
Peter Hata
© 2001-2023 Peter K. Hata