Stop right there! Don’t Touch Your Instrument until You Do these 4 Simple Exerc …

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    All practice is not created equal. There’s the practice that's fun. You're in a room with your instrument and maybe a few friends and you just start playing. The minutes fly by, but you're not...Read More

    All practice is not created equal. There’s the practice that's fun. You're in a room with your instrument and maybe a few friends and you just start playing. The minutes...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

    Why You Should be the Worst Player in the Room

    If you’re reading this, I’m guessing that you want to be the best. You want to walk into a room with your instrument and completely smash the competition. To tackle every chord progression, every tune,...Read More

    If you’re reading this, I’m guessing that you want to be the best. You want to walk into a room with your instrument and completely smash the competition. To tackle...Read More

    6 Practice Essentials for Every Improviser

    You walk into your practice room. You sit back in your favorite chair and mentally prepare to play your first note of the day. You glance at your stack of etude books, the half transcribed...Read More

    You walk into your practice room. You sit back in your favorite chair and mentally prepare to play your first note of the day. You glance at your stack of...Read More

    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

    Why You Shouldn’t Be a Real Book Player

    Take a peek into a high school jazz band rehearsal or grab a seat at a college jazz combo concert. Better yet, walk into your local jam session or take a close look at the...Read More

    Take a peek into a high school jazz band rehearsal or grab a seat at a college jazz combo concert. Better yet, walk into your local jam session or take...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

    The Art of Teaching and Being Taught

    Acrobatics is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. The physical prowess needed to do even the most basic maneuvers is on par with that of the Incredible Hulk, while the necessary flexibility...Read More

    Acrobatics is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. The physical prowess needed to do even the most basic maneuvers is on par with that of the Incredible...Read More

    Learning Tunes Your Way

    On this site we’ve frequently written about learning tunes. This is no coincidence - learning tunes goes hand in hand with improving as an improviser. Whether you're practicing, performing, or simply listening to a few...Read More

    On this site we’ve frequently written about learning tunes. This is no coincidence - learning tunes goes hand in hand with improving as an improviser. Whether you're practicing, performing, or...Read More

    Connecting to the Music…Wherever You Are

    Music is meant to be heard live. There is no substitute for the visceral experience of sitting in an audience and soaking up a great live performance. Not only hearing the music, but feeling the...Read More

    Music is meant to be heard live. There is no substitute for the visceral experience of sitting in an audience and soaking up a great live performance. Not only hearing...Read More

    Know the Rules then Break the Rules

    You have to know the rules before you can break them. You’ve probably heard this well-intentioned phrase before. It’s as common and overused as "Practice makes perfect" or any of the countless other sayings that...Read More

    You have to know the rules before you can break them. You’ve probably heard this well-intentioned phrase before. It’s as common and overused as "Practice makes perfect" or any of...Read More

    Developing Aural Knowledge: How to Turn Music Theory into Music

    Jazz is smart people music! I first heard these words from the great pianist Harold Mabern. Walking through the practice rooms at school one day, as was usually the case, a group of eager students...Read More

    Jazz is smart people music! I first heard these words from the great pianist Harold Mabern. Walking through the practice rooms at school one day, as was usually the case,...Read More

    Applying the Pareto Principle to Learning Jazz Improvisation

    The commonly known Pareto Principle states that 80% of the effects of something, come from 20% of the causes. In terms of learning, this means: figure out where the largest gains can be made and...Read More

    The commonly known Pareto Principle states that 80% of the effects of something, come from 20% of the causes. In terms of learning, this means: figure out where the largest...Read More