Saturday, January 23, 2016

New Sher Music books for 2016

We're very happy to add four new books to our catalog as of the beginning of this year.
In no particular order, they are:

a) "Wisdom of the Hand: A Guide to the Jazz Pentatonic Scales" by Seattle pianist, educator and composer, Marius "Butch" Nordal. This is, dare I say, a revolutionary approach to fingering the pentatonic scales on piano. The wider intervals of the pentatonic and blues scales calls for a different approach than the traditional, Western "thumb under"  approach. This book opens up a new and better approach to this condundrum all pianists face. But don't take my word for it - check out the sample pages at and see for yourself.

b) Also for pianists is Jeb Patton second book for Sher Music, "An Approach to Comping, Vol.2: Advanced Concepts and Techniques." Endorsed by Kenny Barron, David Hazeltine, Harold Mabern, etc., Jeb's second book is a masterful and thorough look at the comping of Bud Powell, Bill Evans, Hank Jones, Barry Harris, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner and others. As a bassist, I know that the pianist's comping is one of the most crucial elements in creating forward motion in a band and Jeb's books are the definitive word on the subject. Webpage is

c) "Rhythm First!: A Beginner's Guide to Jazz Improvisation" by Tom Kamp is designed for K-12 music students and their teachers. His basic stance is that kids can easily be turned off to music by having to learn and practice a bunch of scales and chords before they can even start to make music. But in this book, Tom has them enjoying the feeling of playing jazz right away by getting them to play rhythms first, before concerning them selves with note choices. "Rhythm First!" then provides a systematic way to learn all the basic rhythmic figures they are likely to need for years, while slowly introducing the notes of the Blues Scale. This is also a revolutionary and long-overdue approach to teaching jazz that we hope will be widely utilized by elementary, middle school and high school teachers. Sample pages and the Table of Contents can be found at

d) Lastly, Randy Vincent has turned his last guitar book ("The Cellular Approach") into a method book for any instrument, entitled "Building Solo Lines from Cells." This book came into being because Jamey Aebersold found himself practicing out of "The Cellular Approach" one day soon after its release last year and wrote us the following: "This book is good for ALL instruments. The patterns and exercises are excellent! There is much food for thought in here." So, of course, we decided that Jamey had a point and that was the genesis of "Building Solo Lines from Cells." Again, take a look at and see for yourself.

 Also, stay tuned for two unique books for drummers (by George Marsh) and percussionists (by Michael Spiro) that we will release in March of this year (I hope!), as well as a "Digital Standards Songbook," featuring 170+ individual songs, downloadable in any key, from the best of Cole Porter, Gershwin, Rodgers & Hart, Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer, Henry Mancini, etc. etc. All are pristine Sher Music lead sheets---the gold standard in jazz charts. Thanks for supporting our labors of love, and keep swinging! - Chuck Sher

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