“Live” Approach Note Patterns on R&B

Back about 10 years ago, I decided to work on my approach note patterns.  I had been taught a few of these patterns in lessons with Jerry Bergonzi and wanted to really get them down.  As I started to really work on the approaches in every key I found myself finding others to add to my list.  I also discovered some great ways to link all these approaches together.

This is a clip I found  the other day on my hard drive where I am playing a sax solo on “This Love” by Maroon 5.  This isn’t normally a clip I would post but for some reason that day I was into using a bunch of approaches on that solo.  These lines sound killer on R&B when you want to morph into some fast runs during your solo.  On this clip I’m using my Lamberson J7 tenor mouthpiece.

In the Approach Note Velocity books I outline all the approaches and the different combinations that I practiced them in.  Besides that, I have included them in all 12 keys for your benefit.

Approach Note Velocity-Major-PDF Download

Approach Note Velocity-Minor-PDF Download

Approach Note Velocity (Printed)

If you wish to purchase the book  you can get them here in either print form or downloadable.

Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 30 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site Neffmusic.com.


  1. Fantastic playing Steve!!

  2. These Approaches really do sound incredible in the R&B setting. Your playing is “killer” Steve !!

  3. Despite 15 years of web browsing experience, some sites still confuse me!
    I cannot find any of the video clips referred to on this site… Which is a shame..
    Have they been taken down..? Am i missing something?

    • Are you looking at the site from an iPad or iPhone? The video
      Clips use flash which only works on computers. Let me know what your experiencing and on which page and I’ll
      try to help.

  4. Avatar Kevin Ledbetter says

    Steve that is such a great solo over that material!!!
    I have listened to it a bunch of times and love it each time.
    Why don’t you make a lesson out of how you used the Approach Notes,
    and what you were thinking in developing the solo.

    • Hi Kevin, I can work on a lesson on this. No Problem. It’s basically a mix of minor approach note lines with the blues scale. Add a few altissimo notes and licks to ramp up the energy level and there you go…………. Steve

Speak Your Mind