The Sonny Stitt Playbook – His 2 Exercises to Master Minor

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What if you had Sonny Stitt’s practice journal in your hands right now? All his genius lines and exercises written out. Everything, literally everything, complete with diagrams and descriptions of what he practiced…wouldn’t that be nice?

Well, unfortunately, unless he’s your relative, chances are this will never be the case. You’ll never have those practice journals to look at, if they even exist, and you’ll never know precisely what he was thinking…

But what if I told you that you don’t actually need his practice journals to figure out what he practiced?

And that you can actually get a pretty good idea about the exercises that any jazz musician practiced by closely examining what they played in their solo – it’s just a matter of understanding how to look for clues and put the pieces together.

This is what I like to call Trace-back-transcribing, and this type of transcribing is all about tracing back the lines you find in a solo to some larger practice exercise.

Often you might use transcribing to pick up some new jazz language, or to figure out what to play over a specific chord, and that’s great! Transcribing has many purposes…

But one of the many overlooked purposes of transcribing is this: through the process, you can actually discover the larger and more complete exercises that a player worked on in the practice room, not just the small individual jazz lines that you see and hear when you transcribe a solo.

And this is exactly what we’re trying to do today. We want to get inside Sonny Stitt’s head and ask ourselves, “What specific exercises did Sonny Stitt come up with and drill in the practice room to make it so effortless for him to solo over minor chords?”

The whole point is to look at all the information you transcribe, and then to take a ...

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