Scenes, Songs & Solos: Saxophonist, educator (Manhattan School of Music), composer and arrange Steve Slagle has recently published Scenes, Songs & Solos—A Composition Workbook for the Creative Musician. The book is “an original guide to tapping into the creative spark for composition and improvisation.” The book also draws upon Slagle’s many years of experience that he shares within the introduction, five chapters, illustrations, songs and arrangements within the book.

The recent Schaffner Press release reads as follows:

“In a highly personal and insightful style, Slagle reveals the underlying components to songwriting, providing candid advice on the mechanics of composition. Using his own musical creations as examples, Slagle demystifies the art of songwriting, and explains in detail the inner workings of each piece in terms of its melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and structural components.

The workbook, he says, is an instruction manual for “what a composer taps into," designed to lead someone down their own path by providing the nuts and bolts of the creative process. Slagle demonstrates that it is only through the complete absorption of the song in all its aspects that the musician will find the key that opens the door to original composition and improvisation.”

After a brief read of this comprehensive text, this reviewer quickly realized further examination would be needed. The five chapters entitled The Blues, Melody Rules, People Music, Songs Over Standards and Free Songs are thoroughly explained, well laid out pages of musical information. The “Tips” included draw from Slagle’s own experiences and are informational and entertaining at the same time.

Personally, I look forward to spending more time to read and use Scenes, Songs & Solos: A Composition and Improvisation Workbook for the Creative Musician by Steve Slagle. It is clearly a great source for inspiration and new direction for the creative musician.

You can find out more about Scenes, Songs & Solos: A Composition and Improvisation Workbook for the Creative Musician by Steve Slagle  at