Music Education Monday: Learning jazz violin with Christian Howes, and more


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Although there have been jazz violinists ever since the music began, formal jazz education programs in schools usually are set up to cater mostly to trumpets, trombones, saxophones and rhythm sections, leaving many aspiring string improvisors to forge their own musical paths.

Fortunately, there seem to be plenty of instructional materials available to help chart that pathway, both for purchase and for free online.

And since pointing out free music education resources available on the internet is the stated premise of Music Education Monday, today's installment spotlights a few useful videos and articles that are readily accessible to any violinist who wants to learn jazz:
  • The well-known jazz violinist Christian Howes offers lessons online and has written several books you can buy on how to play jazz violin, but he's also shared some materials for free on YouTube.
  • At the end of this post, you'll find embeds of five short video lessons by Howes, covering “How to play Jazz Violin"; “Blues for Jazz Violin"; “Improvisation for Beginning to Intermediate String Players"; “Arpeggios for Jazz Violin, Cello, and Viola"; and “How to use Modes on violin from Light to Dark".
  • Jazz violinist Regina Carter was interviewed last year by the “string blog" for two articles offering “some advice on exploring the genre."
  • For more ideas about violin improvisation, check out the “how to" articles by Tracy Silverman of the Turtle Island String Quartet; UK violinist Chris Haigh; and violinist Martin Norgaard, an assistant professor at Georgia State University who's written ten jazz string method books for Mel Bay Publishing.
  • For further reading, you can peruse “A Guide to Pedagogical Resources for Improvisation on Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass", a 101-page PDF put together by a doctoral of musical arts student that serves as a handy guide to the commercially available materials that are available for string players who want to learn jazz.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved.

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