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RETROSTEPS - The Cycle of ASCENDING Major Thirds

An upside down & backwards reinterpretation of “Giant Steps Changes” in 12 keys

USD 9.99


"RETROSTEPS - The Cycle of ASCENDING Major Thirds" (98 pages)

RETROSTEPS - The Cycle of ASCENDING Major Thirds” is an expression of some of the relationships and subsequent ideas I've stumbled upon while coming to grips - and having fun - with the legendary John Coltrane's so called “Giant Steps Changes” (aka “Coltrane Changes”), known technically as the “Cycle of DESCENDING Major 3rds”.

Coltrane's original intention for this cycle was as a harmonic substitution device that would take him “out of the ordinary path”, meaning the common ii-V7 cadences that most standards and jazz tunes were (and are) based on.

Retrosteps is a further variation of the Major 3rd cycle – the “Cycle of ASCENDING Major 3rds” - the directional description in caps being of primary importance.

The exercises, lines, patterns and sequences in this book have been organized according to the root, 3rd, 5th, as well as the 6th, 7th & 9th of each sequence's initial Major chord as starting points, and transposed to all keys. Each key has its own chapter (see TOC).

Also included in the current edition is an etude entitled "226 Retrosteps" which is based on Coltrane's "26-2", here using the reverse Cycle.

Retrosteps – The Cycle of ASCENDING Major 3rds” is the perfect companion to “Changing 'Trane's - The Cycle of Descending Major 3rds”, also available from

The material in each of these publications should aid in broadening one's understanding, appreciation and skill level in negotiating melodic lines through both variants of the Cycle of Major 3rds.

As was John Coltrane's original intention, it will guide you “out of the ordinary path”.

Bobby Stern