How to Create the Perfect Practice Environment

    Here's something that I don't tell many people...I’ve practiced my instrument huddled inside a closet, surrounded by dirty laundry. I’ve worked out scales after dark sitting in the back seat of my car. I’ve practiced...Read More

    Here's something that I don't tell many people...I’ve practiced my instrument huddled inside a closet, surrounded by dirty laundry. I’ve worked out scales after dark sitting in the back seat...Read More

    Reality Check: Motivating Yourself to Better Musicianship

    It's been a few weeks since the new year when we posted articles on setting goals and making musical resolutions. Did you make some resolutions this year? If so, how are they holding up? Maybe...Read More

    It's been a few weeks since the new year when we posted articles on setting goals and making musical resolutions. Did you make some resolutions this year? If so, how...Read More

    10 Easy Options for Expanding Your Dominant 7th Vocabulary

    What’s the most important chord progression that you need to know as a musician? Well that's a good question...In the past we've explored some common chord relationships that you’ll encounter as an improviser, but there...Read More

    What’s the most important chord progression that you need to know as a musician? Well that's a good question...In the past we've explored some common chord relationships that you’ll encounter...Read More

    Happy New Year! 8 Musical Resolutions That Will Change Your Playing

    A new year is the perfect time to look back at what you've accomplished in the practice room and to look forward  to what you still wish to achieve as a musician. It's also a...Read More

    A new year is the perfect time to look back at what you've accomplished in the practice room and to look forward  to what you still wish to achieve as...Read More

    Hitting the Target: How to Accomplish Your Goals in Music and Anything Else

    On this site, we often talk about the specifics of learning improvisation: ear training, transcribing, chord progressions, language... But what about the big picture? How do you accomplish what you want to as a musician? ...Read More

    On this site, we often talk about the specifics of learning improvisation: ear training, transcribing, chord progressions, language... But what about the big picture? How do you accomplish what you...Read More

    What to do when You Crash and Burn on a Tune

    Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar:You walk into a jam session ready to play a tune that you've been sounding great on. As the band finishes up a set you gather up your courage,...Read More

    Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar:You walk into a jam session ready to play a tune that you've been sounding great on. As the band finishes up a set...Read More

    Overcoming Mental Limitations in Music

    I can’t. We’ve all said these fateful words at one point or another. Fill in the blank for your own situation. “I can’t (____)”...draw, run long distances, wake up early, stop eating cheesecake. Every day...Read More

    I can’t. We’ve all said these fateful words at one point or another. Fill in the blank for your own situation. “I can’t (____)”...draw, run long distances, wake up early,...Read More

    Write Jazz Tunes Like a Pop Star

    Ilove John Mayer. There, I said it. My secret is out. I'd totally go to one of his concerts if I could stomach being one of many in a herd of screaming fourteen year old...Read More

    Ilove John Mayer. There, I said it. My secret is out. I'd totally go to one of his concerts if I could stomach being one of many in a herd...Read More

    The Philosophy of Learning Jazz Improvisation: Thinking like a Composer

    Composition is selective improvisation - Igor Stravinsky. In 15 seconds the difference between composition and improvisation is that in composition you have all the time you want to decide what to say in 15 seconds,...Read More

    Composition is selective improvisation - Igor Stravinsky. In 15 seconds the difference between composition and improvisation is that in composition you have all the time you want to decide what...Read More

    10 Exercises to Practice When You’ve Run Out of Ideas

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    We often get a ton of great questions from our readers about what to practice. These inquiries range from players that are stuck in a daily musical rut to aspiring improvisers that simply don’t know...Read More

    We often get a ton of great questions from our readers about what to practice. These inquiries range from players that are stuck in a daily musical rut to aspiring...Read More

    How to Use Pop Tunes to Improve Your Ear

    Admit it. You listen to pop tunes. You probably even like them. But hold on a second, aren’t you’re supposed to be a serious musician? It’s OK, everyone listens to pop tunes. Just because you...Read More

    Admit it. You listen to pop tunes. You probably even like them. But hold on a second, aren’t you’re supposed to be a serious musician? It’s OK, everyone listens to...Read More

    The Anatomy of a Sound: Overcoming the Barrier of Music Theory

    From the moment we are born, the world tends to have a container already built for us to fit inside: A social security number, a gender, a race, a profession, an I.Q. I ponder if...Read More

    From the moment we are born, the world tends to have a container already built for us to fit inside: A social security number, a gender, a race, a profession,...Read More

    Becoming a Musical Character

    Have you ever seen a movie where a certain character stuck with you long after the film was over? Or what about a piece of artwork that kept popping up in your mind's eye? Maybe...Read More

    Have you ever seen a movie where a certain character stuck with you long after the film was over? Or what about a piece of artwork that kept popping up...Read More

    How One Note Can Change Your Ears and Spark Your Creativity

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    Can one note really change your ears and improve your musical creativity? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. But let me explain...A few years ago I took a lesson with the great trumpet player, improviser and...Read More

    Can one note really change your ears and improve your musical creativity? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. But let me explain...A few years ago I took a lesson with the...Read More

    How to Learn Jazz Standards with the Piano

    Learning tunes should be fun. If ever there was a secret to expanding your repertoire of tunes this would be it. You’re more likely to pursue an activity that’s exciting, interesting, and challenging rather than...Read More

    Learning tunes should be fun. If ever there was a secret to expanding your repertoire of tunes this would be it. You’re more likely to pursue an activity that’s exciting,...Read More

    The Improviser’s Tipping Point

    When exactly do I become good at improvising? Is there a single point that occurs where I can finally play like I want to? These are questions that inevitably pop up and hover at the...Read More

    When exactly do I become good at improvising? Is there a single point that occurs where I can finally play like I want to? These are questions that inevitably pop...Read More