7 Surprising Qualities of the World’s Best Improvisers

    Wow! You’re sitting in the audience at a sold out concert and your favorite musician has just taken the stage. Flawless technique, impeccable sound, and endless creative musical lines flow from the stage and fill...Read More

    Wow! You’re sitting in the audience at a sold out concert and your favorite musician has just taken the stage. Flawless technique, impeccable sound, and endless creative musical lines flow...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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    One Brick at a Time: That’s how you build a wall

    It's a new year. I guess that means we should be making some resolutions right about now. New beginnings, a fresh start and all that other good stuff. For most people making "resolutions" translates into...Read More

    It's a new year. I guess that means we should be making some resolutions right about now. New beginnings, a fresh start and all that other good stuff. For most...Read More