A Jazz Etude Based on the Jamey Aebersold Tune “Round About”

Lacking access to a rhythm section with whom I can play whenever I want, I practice quite a bit with Jamey Aebersold CDs.  One of my favorites for hashing out ideas and building technique is Aebersold’s volume 84, Dominant Seventh Workout. The 2-CD set provides a thorough exploration of dominant seventh harmony.

Volume 2, track 15, consists of a tune written by Jamey Aebersold titled “Round About.” I play the piece often, both because it’s a great opportunity to experiment with altered dominant chords and also because I simply like the tune. It’s moody, pretty, and fun to play.

To your right is an etude I’ve written based on “Round About.” Written in the style of an improvised solo, it contains a lot of the ideas I’ve been working with recently: augmented scale, diminished whole tone, pentatonic scale, side-slipping, and more. Click on the image to enlarge it.

The etude works fine as a stand-alone technique builder, but to really get the sound of it–and hence, to make better aural sense of it–I highly recommend that you play the exercise along with the Aebersold CD.

Note that, me being an alto player, I’ve written the etude for Eb instruments. If you play a Bb instrument such as tenor sax or trumpet, or a C instrument such as flute, you’ll have to transpose, at least for now. Stay tuned, though–I will be posting a Bb edition soon, and perhaps a concert pitch edition as well.

Eb players, have fun! And if you enjoy this exercise, check out my jazz page, where you’ll find many more articles, exercises, and solo transcriptions.

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