The Lost Art of Looking for Nuance

    Let's face it. As improvising musicians, we've become obsessed with notes. Obsessed with harmony, chords, and scales. Which scales to use over which chord progressions, which diminished scales to play over dominant chords, how to...Read More

    Let's face it. As improvising musicians, we've become obsessed with notes. Obsessed with harmony, chords, and scales. Which scales to use over which chord progressions, which diminished scales to play...Read More

    Hearing in Color: Chord tones in context

    Every chord tone has its own unique sound, its own unique color. Learning to hear these colors brings these sounds to life. This crucial ear training is often overlooked or even talked about. Take your...Read More

    Every chord tone has its own unique sound, its own unique color. Learning to hear these colors brings these sounds to life. This crucial ear training is often overlooked or...Read More

    Basic Bebop Reharmonization

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    If you took a quick survey and asked a few people to describe the components of bebop, you might come up with some answers like: "fast tempos, lots of notes, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, b9's,...Read More

    If you took a quick survey and asked a few people to describe the components of bebop, you might come up with some answers like: "fast tempos, lots of notes,...Read More

    Exploring Space

    Music is the space between the notes - Claude Debussy. The use of space is what defines our lines. Learning how to control our use of space allows us to define our lines precisely how...Read More

    Music is the space between the notes - Claude Debussy. The use of space is what defines our lines. Learning how to control our use of space allows us to...Read More

    Dizzy Gillespie’s Prerequisites for Successful Jazz Musicians

    Over the years, in learning this music and working on improvisation, I've encountered a lot of educational information: how to learn, how to practice, which scales to use, how to learn bebop in a week,...Read More

    Over the years, in learning this music and working on improvisation, I've encountered a lot of educational information: how to learn, how to practice, which scales to use, how to...Read More

    Concept Application: a Framework for Practicing Tunes

    We often talk about jazz language and how a primary way to integrate it into your playing is by applying that language to specific parts of tunes. By forcing yourself to use some piece of...Read More

    We often talk about jazz language and how a primary way to integrate it into your playing is by applying that language to specific parts of tunes. By forcing yourself...Read More

    Building Your Repertoire Part II: 10 Key Tunes

    In a recent post: A Blueprint for Building Your Repertoire, I outlined some ideas to ponder while creating a repertoire of tunes. Concepts like how to learn, listen to, and how to approach the Great...Read More

    In a recent post: A Blueprint for Building Your Repertoire, I outlined some ideas to ponder while creating a repertoire of tunes. Concepts like how to learn, listen to, and...Read More

    Learning to Be Your Own Teacher

    The difference between many subjects and jazz improvisation is that the latter has no single correct and well-defined path. Every person takes a different route depending how they learn, how they hear, what they want...Read More

    The difference between many subjects and jazz improvisation is that the latter has no single correct and well-defined path. Every person takes a different route depending how they learn, how...Read More

    3 Steps to Freedom In All 12 Keys

    The ability to play fluently in all 12 keys is essential for every improviser. Initially, it may seem like you rarely play in certain keys or even that it's just not necessary to play in...Read More

    The ability to play fluently in all 12 keys is essential for every improviser. Initially, it may seem like you rarely play in certain keys or even that it's just...Read More

    A Blueprint for Building Your Repertoire

    Learning tunes. Memorizing standards. Building a solid repertoire that continues to grow. These ideas are always hovering at the back of an improviser's mind. We make lists of tunes, print out lead sheets to study,...Read More

    Learning tunes. Memorizing standards. Building a solid repertoire that continues to grow. These ideas are always hovering at the back of an improviser's mind. We make lists of tunes, print...Read More

    Integrating New Rhythms Into Your Playing

    Rhythm is often thrown to the wayside, in favor of working on harmony and melody. Perhaps this disregard is caused by a lack of understanding about how to approach this aspect of improvisation. Here's...Read More

    Rhythm is often thrown to the wayside, in favor of working on harmony and melody. Perhaps this disregard is caused by a lack of understanding about how to approach this...Read More

    Piano Basics: Necessary Skills for the Non-Pianist

    At some point in your musical journey, regardless of what instrument you play, you'll find yourself in front of that 88-keyed beast we call a piano. This can be a daunting task for many musicians....Read More

    At some point in your musical journey, regardless of what instrument you play, you'll find yourself in front of that 88-keyed beast we call a piano. This can be a...Read More

    Combating The Enemies of Progress

    We have met the enemy and he is us - Pogo We all want to get better and we always will. There's never a point where a musician thinks, "Well, I think I'm good enough...Read More

    We have met the enemy and he is us - Pogo We all want to get better and we always will. There's never a point where a musician thinks, "Well,...Read More

    5 Essential Skills for the Performing Improviser

    Many times we forget about the musical skills that we should be developing until it's way too late. Right in the middle of a gig you're put on the spot and in a moment of...Read More

    Many times we forget about the musical skills that we should be developing until it's way too late. Right in the middle of a gig you're put on the spot...Read More

    Fundamental Ear Training: Seventh Chords

    In our first article of Fundamental Ear Training Exercises, we covered how to choose an ear training partner, the correct mindset to approach ear training with, and  exercises about singing & hearing intervals, harmonic intervals,...Read More

    In our first article of Fundamental Ear Training Exercises, we covered how to choose an ear training partner, the correct mindset to approach ear training with, and  exercises about singing...Read More

    The Path to Finding Your Own Voice

    The notion of being original and innovative goes hand-in-hand with the idea of improvisation. The inspired act of being in the moment, creating on the fly with others in a group setting, and ultimately developing...Read More

    The notion of being original and innovative goes hand-in-hand with the idea of improvisation. The inspired act of being in the moment, creating on the fly with others in a...Read More