Bach to Bebop: New Bach Shapes Article out for Best Sax Site Ever

Hi! I have a new article out today on the Best Saxophone Website Ever that analyzes one of the etudes from my book, Bach Shapes: The Etudes. Check it out! Pick up the books below and get to practicing.

Bach Shapes Etudes ebook up for Preorder Now!

In my first year of Berklee, there was an eccentric piano player that lived down the hall in the dorms who was obsessed with Bach. I didn’t get it at the time, and I remember saying to him that “Bach just sounds like a bunch of predictable sequences” or something like that. 20 years later I’m putting out a bunch of books on Bach sequences. Anyway!

The new book covers are almost done,

and the books are up for preorder now at You can also still buy the original Bach Shapes print edition for only $10, though you may have to purchase them separately from any preorders, due to the way the system is set up. The Etudes books are going to be officially out on Bach’s (updated) birthday of March 31st. It will be his 336th birthday, 3+3+6 = 12 etudes. They include playalong audio, recorded by a great NYC band, that will be linked to once you download the book.

There are 7 pages of analysis, breaking down which shapes were used to construct the etudes.

10 of the 12 are based on standard progressions. They are:

  • All The The Things You Are
  • Just You, Just Me
  • Autumn Leaves
  • Love Me or Leave Me
  • Gone With The Wind
  • Just Friends
  • All of Me
  • How Deep is the Ocean?
  • Lady Bird
  • Indiana (Donna Lee)

Some preliminary feedback:

“I really like these!”

“the chord outlining in the melody and the way leaps between octaves are incorporated, make it super helpful for practicing finger evenness and center-of-pitch clarity”

“yeah man”

And some recent performances by friends:

Preorder here:

Zoom Workshop Friday February 12th!

I’m going to do my first Zoom workshop on Friday February 12th at 11am. I’ll be talking a bit about Bach Shapes, my books, and also on learning tunes and how those two things go together. Since it’s Lunar New Year I think we’ll go with a moon theme, maybe you can decide which tunes we work on:

Blue Moon
I Wished On the Moon
Moonlight in Vermont
What A Little Moonlight Can do

We’ll see how to navigate chords as a monophonic instrument, how to find the right recordings and scores to learn from, and how to use the melody as our skeleton to hang everything on as we improvise. You can register for free below to confirm your slot and I’ll send the link as we get closer. The workshop will be a suggested donation of $10-20, and will run 1.5 hours. Looking very much forward to it!


Bach Shapes – The Jazz Etudes Special Release

So I’ve decided to put out a separate mini-book of all of the jazz etudes from the upcoming book, previous book, and some unique to this release. This will be done in C for flute, Eb, Bb Tenor, Bb Trumpet and bass clef! Pretty exciting stuff.

Bach Shapes Jazz Etudes Cover
Jazz Etudes from Bach Shapes

The best part is that I’m currently recording backing tracks for all of the etudes with great NYC musicians! You’ll be able to hear me play the etudes and then try it yourself with or without me. There will be a variety of grooves and feels, really looking forward to this!

For a taste of what’s to come, I’ve compiled some of the etudes posted so far here. These are NOT the backing tracks, just the recordings I made when I first wrote the etudes. There will be about 12 tunes total. Some stay very close to the original Bach Shapes they are based on, others are more freely inspired by Bach’s sensibilities. This will be a great tool for classical musicians hoping to bridge the gap between the melodies they know and playing jazz.

This will be out in the next 2 months so stay tuned!

Thanks and remember you can get the current books here in my shop, or on Amazon!

Bach Shapes Book(PRINT): Diatonic Sequences from the Music of JS Bach

(1 customer review)


Diatonic Sequences derived from the music of J. S. Bach, for saxophone. Includes 4 jazz etudes, an explanatory introduction and the Shapes transposed into all keys. More information at

48 in stock (can be backordered)



The first Bach Shapes book of sequences derived from J.S. Bach, for saxophone and all treble clef instruments.

“Jazz musicians have naturally gravitated towards the music of JS Bach for years, so a book like this one has been a long time coming. Jon has done a wonderful job capturing various snapshots of Bach’s seemingly infinite musical language, organizing these shapes in a setting that could be very useful to improvisers. A truly interesting and enjoyable book that will hopefully lead to more volumes in the future.”

Miguel Zenon, International Touring Artist

A unique approach to scale/interval practice, Bach Shapes is the music of J.S. Bach distilled to its basic elements: beautiful melodic shapes. These can be studied as technical exercises, or used as building blocks for jazz improvisation. Suitable for any instrument and currently being used by guitarists, oboists, clarinetists and more. The studies are drawn from Bach’s violin, cello, flute and keyboard music and ordered by difficulty, transposed into all keys. Learn to stretch your range and play intervals more evenly with these musical studies. At the end are four etudes based on jazz standards. The cover and interior has been beautifully designed by Chrissy Kurpeski. “I really dig this book, there are so many musical ideas that one can find in Bach’s music. It’s about time someone like Jon comes along to organize it to be practiced by jazz musicians. It’s good both for the chops, vocabulary and knowledge of harmony. You really have to know what you’re doing when you utilize his devices.” Dmitry Baevsky, NYC Saxophonist “This book is great for practicing and learning really nice sounding passages from Bach in a more focused manner. All passages are transposed as well so you can focus on a particular key that needs work. The engraving is very clear and spacing very well done, its been on my music stand for a while now and has really been fun!” –Andrew Hadro, NYC Freelance Saxophonist   More info on Check out the Bach Shapes Etudes now for sale too!
Bach Shapes Etudes ebook up for Preorder Now!

Additional information

Weight .8 lbs
Dimensions 9 × 12 × 2 in

1 review for Bach Shapes Book(PRINT): Diatonic Sequences from the Music of JS Bach

  1. Everette Macy Colquette

    LOVE this book. I actually use it for flute. I start every practice by turning on a drone of whatever note I’ll start with, then I run through the exercises. For fun, I practice different modes with the exercises 🙂 Great book for a beginner like me that has significantly improved my expression, my tone, and my speed.

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Bach Shapes Bass Clef now available in print!

On January 19 the print edition of Bach Shapes for bass clef will be released here and on Amazon.

This includes a brand new intro from bassist Lincoln Goines, a new cover design and bonus pages from Bach Shapes II. The kindle edition will be available the same day on Amazon.

Order now through my shop and the book will ship to you on 1/25/21.

I have also updated the PDF ebook here.

If you already purchased the older version of the ebook, send me an email and I’ll send the new one along for free!

Otherwise you can order from Amazon next week! Excited about this, next up Bach Shapes II for Treble and Bass instruments.

Original Press Release

At the prompting of the Berklee College of Music Bass Department and other institutions, Jon De Lucia has rewritten the successful book of saxophone studies for bass instruments. In addition, there is bonus material presented from the upcoming Bach Shapes Two, which will be released in volumes starting Summer 2020.

“Who doesn’t love some Bach?! Jon has done a great job in researching the Bach vocabulary and finding phrases that fit in the jazz idiom. Great melodic snippets that can be applied to common standards and in any contemporary music style. And also great reading material, from the intermediate to the advanced player, with enough variations to keep focused on the page.” –Sandro Scoccia, Assistant Chair of the Berklee Bass Department.

“This is a great book for reading and diatonic fingerboard dexterity.” – Lincoln Goines, Faculty at Berklee College of Music, played with Dizzy Gillespie, Michael Brecker, Sonny Rollins.

“Jazz musicians have naturally gravitated towards the music of JS Bach for years, so a book like this one has been a long time coming. Jon has done a wonderful job capturing various snapshots of Bach’s seemingly infinite musical language, organizing these shapes in a setting that could be very useful to improvisers. A truly interesting and enjoyable book that will hopefully lead to more volumes in the future.” –Miguel Zenon, International Touring Artist

“Excellent. Beautiful presentation and great content.” –Walt Weiskopf, Freelancer and Educator/Author

The book presents four original etudes on jazz standards, along with many unique patterns taken directly from the music of J.S. Bach and presented in all 12 keys.

These sequences can form a strong foundation for melodic invention. The range is from E below the bass clef up to B middle of the treble staff. There are numerous articles written by De Lucia available at that further expand on the material. Videos and masterclasses are presented on the Jon De Lucia Youtube channel.