Free Video Lesson on Approach Note Velocity Book

I decided to offer a free video lesson on my book “Approach Note Velocity Volume 1 & 2” for everyone. I have sold many of these books over the years and really want to make sure that everyone is getting the most out of them that they can.  You can consider this an  “overview” lesson on the book. (This is a new lesson and different than the Overview lesson found in the member’s area)  I cover topics such as:

  • What approach notes are
  • Why they sound good
  • How to practice them
  • How to use them
  • Demonstrating different lines over a standard
  • How to get the most out of the book

When I started recording the lesson I had the intention to make it a quick lesson………but wouldn’t you know that once I got into it and started teaching it turned into a 27 minute lesson…………….You will need my Approach Note Velocity Volume 1 & 2 to get the most out of this video lesson. (PDF Versions to download or the printed version)

I demonstrate using the material over “There is No Greater Love” and a standard ii7-V7-I-VI7 progression so you can hear how to use the lines in context……….

Approach Note Velocity Overview Lesson Part 1

Approach Note Velocity Overview Lesson Part 2

And here’s a live clip where I’m using some of the Approach Note Patterns on a pop solo:

Approach Note Solo on Pop Tune

I hope you enjoy the lesson and find it useful.  There are 550+ more lessons in my Neffmusic store on a variety of subjects to check out.  If this lesson stirs your curiosity in the Approach Note Books you can get them below:

Approach Note Velocity Volume 1-Major


 Approach Note Velocity Volume 2-Minor

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


  1. In the lesson, I didn’t talk about the “combination” lines in the books. Those are just examples of what I talked about in the lesson when I said that you should practice each approach by itself and then add another approach to it. As you play through the combination lines you will see that there are many combinations and possibilities for all of the lines and approaches. I only wrote out 19 combination lines but you could come up with hundreds depending on how you combine all the approaches. The sky is the limit.

  2. The other thing I started working on is approaching other notes besides the chord tones to create outside lines. These sound really cool. I made two lessons on this concept so far:

    If you check out the two lessons above, there is a video sample from each lesson demonstrating this outside approach. It’s pretty cool and by combining approaches you can come up with a 8+ note approach until you get to the resolution note………

  3. Avatar peter gelhard says

    hi steve, what is a “key a cee” (Approach Note Velocity Overview Lesson Part 1, 12:49 ´ f) I can´t understand. -peter

  4. Hi Steve,
    once again your posts are very interesting and very instructive.
    I was fascinated by how great you sounded on those approach notes and your book was my first purchase from I pretty quickly saw that this book was beyond my level at that time, I did not master the triads enough. Thanks to you I realized how powerful triads were and how important it was to master them.
    I think I should go back to your book now because I have been working hard on triads since then on based some of your lessons and some other stuff.



  5. Avatar harold pizer says

    Hi Steve, great stuff and wonderful ability to communicate your ideas both verbally and musically. The room that you are in has a wonderful echo effect. I was wondering if you had the room acoustically engineered to produce that effect? Also can you tell me if all of your pdf books also come in printed paperback form? I believe there are eight books to date, is that correct?

    • Hi Harold,
      All my books come in printed form except the II-V-I Primer. If you look on my site and mouse over “store” the first menu item is printed books. Click on that and you can see them. Thanks, Steve

  6. I had a few people ask…….I’m using the Ken Okutsu Traditional tenor mouthpiece in this clip. Steve

  7. Avatar Jerry Pritchard says

    Thanks for putting up this demo lesson explaining your approach to using the approach tones. It really make more sense to me now, though I still marvel at the fluidity of your use of the patterns/fragments.

  8. Avatar Antonino says

    Hello Steve,I just subscribed. I also bought’bluesliks. Will I receive it by mail or web? How do I start lessons on cordes? Thank You. You play absolutely great. Sincerely Anthony

    • Antonino,
      I’m not sure what blues licks you bought. If it is the printed books those come by mail. The PDF book come by email. Steve

  9. There are times in life when you have a block, a blind spot, a missing link that’s probably staring you in the face. For me, it was how to construct long jazz lines. Then, last night I listened to this lesson, and wham…epiphany…. I had all these great lines I’d developed and it never occurred to me to find musical ways to LINK them. So the idea of having a short segment, and building outwards in both directions, has allowed me to find ‘missing links’ between everything I already know. The cool thing is I’m a guitar player, but I stumbled on Steve in my quest for good ideas, and well, he’s just the best music teacher on the web, and I thank him immensely.

  10. so I should get the Abersold vol.24 play along to go with this book “approach”

  11. Avatar Jason Andrews says

    Just saying Thank you for all your work.

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