If I Could Only Practice ONE Thing… It Would Be THIS

YouTube video


Do you want to be able to shred on the saxophone like your heroes? Of course you do, who doesn’t? One of my absolute favorite saxophone players for many years now is Eric Alexander.

I want to share with you a lesson that comes directly from Eric’s brand new BetterSax course called Double Diminished Dominance. In this course he explains how easy it is to play killer lines that sound modern, hip, and resolve perfectly.

Double Diminished Scale

Eric shares that if he were forced to pick one harmonic concept to practice for the rest of his life that would enable him to stay hip and play most of the altered or expansive type sounds in modern Jazz, it would be the double diminished scale.

It’s oddly one of the easiest things to wrap your brain, your ear, and your fingers around because of its symmetry. And because of the preponderance of patterns and common practice material that relies on the double diminished scale. The fact that it represents absolutely perfectly what we call a tritone substitution.

For the rest of your life you could construct quality solos with this limited amount of information because the information is good, it’s easily manipulated and disguised, and it’s actually mathematically pure. Being able to play things that people haven’t really heard before but sound resonant.

Melodic Ideas

The first and second melodic idea is a double diminished scale, run stepwise descending from the root of the dominant in question or ascending from the root of the 2 Minor 7 in question.

The double diminished scale descending in quarter notes from the root of what is the five chord and then ascending in quarter notes from what is the root of the 2 minor 7th chord. In both cases we end up with a very nice resolution.

In the first instance you arrive at C which is the fifth of F major and in the ascending version you arrive at the ninth of F major which is G. What I did once I get to my F major is play something to show the world that I know where I am. To identify that F major chord because this is fundamentally important musically speaking.

Why This Concept Works

In your practice techniques the diminished scale is so symmetrical and works for so many different chords and different chord progressions. You have to make it a priority to identify to yourself and to others that you know where you’ve hit home. If you don’t know what your tonic major or minor tonality is that you’ve just arrived at then you’ve kind of wasted all the good diminished ideas.

Just those two really simple lines that anyone can play will transform the context of how you improvise over standard jazz chord progressions. The material in this course will make things that seemed really complicated so simple you’re going to wonder how it’s possible nobody ever told you this stuff before. You want to get all those hip notes in your soloing but have them make sense and sound good right? Eric shows us how.

Building Harmonic Tension

You want to build harmonic tension when you play without just playing randomly “out”? This course gives you the exact formula in an easy to understand and consume, package. You want to finally nail the tritone substitution sound then you absolutely must take this course.

You will literally be able to play some of this stuff with confidence in solos on the very first day you start and it’s going to sound awesome when you do. In the video, Eric demonstrates how he would use these double diminished melodic lines in a solo over a standard chord progression.

What’s Included in the Double Diminished Dominance Course

Not only are these solo examples transcribed as part of the course but Eric analyzes them for us in real time so you know exactly what his thought process is while he’s improvising. Eric Alexander’s newest BetterSax course Double Diminished Dominance is now available to purchase.

You get 25 video lessons, the PDF book, recordings of Eric’s demonstration solos, transcriptions of those solos transposed for your instrument, backing tracks to practice with and a bonus live masterclass with Eric Alexander. All for a fraction of what this content would normally cost if you somehow were able to study with him privately. The Double Diminished Dominance full course is a one-time purchase for Lifetime access. There are no recurring payments so you can go through the content as slowly as you please and as many times as you want or need to.

It is such a privilege for me to get to work with one of my favorite saxophonists and educators. Eric has a natural ability to break things down into easily understandable concepts. At the same time he represents the Vanguard of modern jazz saxophone playing while maintaining a deep understanding of the tradition it’s built on. You can enroll in Double Diminished Dominance here and take advantage of our limited time launch discount code DDD40 to save 40%.

More Posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Add your first comment to this post



filter by difficulty using the tabs

  • All
  • Advanced
  • Beginner
  • Bundle
  • Free
  • Intermediate
  • All
  • Advanced
  • Beginner
  • Bundle
  • Free
  • Intermediate

Play Sax By Ear Crash Course


Double Diminished Dominance


Two, Five, Win!


Little Leaps and Sounds Christmas Etudes

Scroll to Top