The Secret Behind Every Solo that You Can’t Afford to Miss

    There’s a secret hidden in every great solo. You'll find it in those old records of Louis Armstrong and those videos of Bird and Diz that you watch on YouTube. You can even hear it...Read More

    There’s a secret hidden in every great solo. You'll find it in those old records of Louis Armstrong and those videos of Bird and Diz that you watch on YouTube....Read More

    7 Crucial Lessons from History’s Greatest Improvisers

    I'm guessing you've heard of Miles Davis. That you know Louis Armstrong and have listened to Charlie Parker and John Coltrane. But have you ever stopped and wondered why you know these names? Some of...Read More

    I'm guessing you've heard of Miles Davis. That you know Louis Armstrong and have listened to Charlie Parker and John Coltrane. But have you ever stopped and wondered why you...Read More

    3 Essential Improvisation Tools that You Need to Know

    Imagine that you’re a construction worker. You’ve just pulled yourself out of bed at 4 a.m. and slipped on your steel-toed boots. As you stretch your tired legs you let out a sigh as another...Read More

    Imagine that you’re a construction worker. You’ve just pulled yourself out of bed at 4 a.m. and slipped on your steel-toed boots. As you stretch your tired legs you let...Read More

    7 Reasons you’re not getting to the next level and what to do about it

    When you begin something new, there’s so much to learn. Improvement is quick and often, practice is exploratory and fun. But after doing anything for a while, you settle into a routine and your once...Read More

    When you begin something new, there’s so much to learn. Improvement is quick and often, practice is exploratory and fun. But after doing anything for a while, you settle into...Read More

    3 Easy-to-Fix Mistakes that are Making Your Solos Suffer

    Uggh…ouch...Have you ever made these sounds when you’ve listened to a solo? You know, one of those solos where you hear a couple of unsavory phrases and that’s it...no more! For the love of God,...Read More

    Uggh…ouch...Have you ever made these sounds when you’ve listened to a solo? You know, one of those solos where you hear a couple of unsavory phrases and that’s it...no more!...Read More

    Why You Should Be Hearing Music in Your Mind

    I have a vivid memory of the first time I tried to play in an early jazz group. I was in school and was asked to play the trumpet part in an ensemble that met...Read More

    I have a vivid memory of the first time I tried to play in an early jazz group. I was in school and was asked to play the trumpet part...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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Jazz Contrafacts and Reharmonization: A Creative Approach to Jazz Standards

    Creativity in its most basic form is simply the act of taking something old and making it new. Whether you're a novelist, an architect, an engineer or an improviser, artistic creation stems from a desire...Read More

    Creativity in its most basic form is simply the act of taking something old and making it new. Whether you're a novelist, an architect, an engineer or an improviser, artistic...Read More

    8 Improvisation Improvement Projects That Will Change Your Playing

    Practice is an essential part of your journey as a musician. We all do it every day…or at least we try our best to, however daily practice doesn't always guarantee improvement. Why? Simply because not...Read More

    Practice is an essential part of your journey as a musician. We all do it every day…or at least we try our best to, however daily practice doesn't always guarantee...Read More

    6 Common Chord Relationships that You Need to Know Now

    How do I connect chords when I'm soloing? You're asking yourself this question in the practice room and you're frustrated when there doesn't seem to be an easy answer. But you're not alone. This is...Read More

    How do I connect chords when I'm soloing? You're asking yourself this question in the practice room and you're frustrated when there doesn't seem to be an easy answer. But...Read More