Jazz Arranging Techniques


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Click here for the PDF and Audio resources for the book.

From Quartet to Big Band, Jazz Arranging Techniques presents all the tools and techniques of jazz arranging in an efficient and comprehensive format.

This textbook, which can be studied either individually or in a classroom environment, includes a compendium of resources available online with sixty-one audio examples corresponding to scores in the book, as well as separate PDF files of all the assignments. Jazz Theory and Harmony, principles of jazz voice leading, voicing techniques, rules governing music calligraphy, chord symbol nomenclature, and jazz notation and articulation are presented in a very systematic, step by step approach.  Attention is given to the function of each instrument in the ensemble, including their range, register, transposition, dynamic capabilities, and idiomatic characteristics.

Theories of balance and blend are provided with multiple recordings and scores.The most unique feature in Jazz Arranging Techniques is the way in which the many techniques are examined and applied.

Jazz Arranging Techniques provides examples of techniques used in small and large ensembles and further explains in detail how to work and create voicings for the most popular settings in Jazz music:

  • Four to six mixed horns (Brass and Reeds)
  • Five Saxophones
  • Four Trombones
  • Four Trumpets
  • Eight Brass
  • Full Ensemble (Brass and Reeds combined)

Over fifty scoring examples and four complete arrangements with recordings provide a wealth of material supporting the techniques examined in the text. Parts notation for rhythm-section is covered in great detail as well as methods of articulating horn lines, adjusting the balance and blend, amongst other valuable idiomatic instrument techniques.

Jazz Arranging Techniques includes a vast amount of resources in
PDF and Audio format to facilitate learning the principles discussed in the book. Click here to access these resources!


Jim McNeely

Jazz Composer/Arranger and Recording Artist (Pianist)

“Jazz Arranging Techniques is full of very useful information. The musical examples are clear and instructive and the exercises are really useful…  I’m going to put it on my ‘highly recommended’ list for my students.”


Maria Schneider

Jazz Composer/Arranger and Conductor

“Gary Lindsay’s Jazz Arranging Techniques fills a very big hole in educational material on arranging. I’ll never forget the day that the light FINALLY went on for me about writing closed and drop-2 voicings as I sat in Gary’s arranging class many years ago. Gary has a knack for making ‘seemingly’ mysterious things very accessible.

Leaving no stone unturned, his book covers advanced voicing techniques of all kinds going in depth on everything from upper structure triads to quartal voicings and clusters. Gary makes clear the often confusing task of notating for rhythm section. The PC/Mac CD Rom includes audio tracks of the examples and scores in the book plus PDF files of all the homework assignments.

I fully expect that Jazz Arranging Techniques will become the textbook of choice in college courses on arranging and for people who wish to study on their own…

I highly recommend this book. There is nothing else like it. Ten stars!”


Bob Mintzer

Jazz Composer/Arranger and Recording Artist (Saxophonist)

Gary Lindsay has come up with a comprehensive text that covers all pertinent information pertaining to arranging for various size jazz ensembles… Jazz Arranging Techniques is one of the most comprehensive books on the subject. It really is a cool book.


Denis DiBlasio - Director of the Jazz program and Executive Director of The Maynard Ferguson Institute of Jazz at Rowan University

Schools Using Jazz Arranging Techniques

  • University of Miami
    Miami, Florida
  • Florida International University
    Miami, Florida
  • New World School of the Arts (High School)
    Miami, Florida
  • University of Missouri at Kansas City
    Kansas City, Missouri
  • University of Oregon
    Eugene, Oregon
  • Southwestern Community College
    Creston, Iowa
  • University of Northern Iowa
    Cedar Falls, Iowa
  • University of Denver
    Denver, Colorado
  • Saddleback College
    Mission Viejo, California
  • Fullerton College
    Fullerton, California
  • Kennesaw State University
    Kennesaw, GA
  • University of Nevada
    Reno, Nevada
  • Middle Tennessee State University
    Murfreesboro, Tennessee
  • Elmhurst College
    Elmhurst, Illinois
  • University of Illinois
    Champaign, Illinois
  • Southern Illinois University
    Edwardsville, Illinois
  • Eastern Washington University
    Cheney, Washington State
  • Moravian College
    Bethlehem, Pennsylvania | Contoocook, New Hampshire
  • Mohawk College
    Hamilton, Ontario
  • Konservatoria Wieh, Musikschule
    Vienna, Austria
  • Guildhall School of Music and Drama
  • Rowan University
    New Jersey
  • Adelaide University
    Adelaide, Australia | Auckland, New Zealand | Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Sidney Conservatorium
    Sidney, Australia
  • University of North Florida
    Jacksonville, Florida
  • New York University
    New York, NY
  • Miami Dade College, North Campus
    Miami, Florida
  • Tennessee State University
    Nashville, TN
  • University of Northern Colorado
    Greeley, CO
  • California State University, Long Beach
    Long Beach CA
  • Tiffin University
    Tiffin, OH
  • Truman State University
    Kirksville, MO

About the Author

Professor Gary Lindsay is an arranger/composer, performer, educator and author. His degrees include a bachelors in Music Education from the University of Rhode Island and a Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance from the University of Miami where he is a full-time professor. As an arranger and composer, Gary has worked with Maynard Ferguson, Michael Brecker, Pat Metheny, Jose Feliciano, Natalie Cole, Gloria Estefan, Arturo Sandoval, The Florida Philharmonic, The Airmen of Note, The South Florida Jazz Orchestra, The Atlantean Driftwood Band, The Miami Saxophone Quartet, etc.

Gary composes, arranges and performs on Alto saxophone with the Miami Saxophone Quartet and the South Florida Jazz Orchestra. He is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts award, a Chamber Music America grant from the Doris Duke Foundation and received a Grammy nomination in arranging for “Cherokee” from the Arturo Sandoval CD I Remember Clifford.

Professor Lindsay is the Director of the Master’s in Music program in Studio/Jazz Writing and the Doctoral program in Jazz Composition in the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, where he has been teaching since 1980.