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

    Critical Vs Creative Thinking: How Initial Judgments Can Cripple Your Learning

    That's really good. And that's bad. That's ugly. And that's pretty. I like that. But I hate that. That sucks. But that's great. Our first instinct upon experiencing something, whether it's hearing something, seeing something,...Read More

    That's really good. And that's bad. That's ugly. And that's pretty. I like that. But I hate that. That sucks. But that's great. Our first instinct upon experiencing something, whether...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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    5 Secrets to Learning Tunes

    Learning jazz standards is a crucial part of every jazz musician's practice routine. After all, as a jazz musician, the entire goal is to perform tunes, so it totally makes sense that they should be...Read More

    Learning jazz standards is a crucial part of every jazz musician's practice routine. After all, as a jazz musician, the entire goal is to perform tunes, so it totally makes...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

    Quadruple Your Jazz Language in 10 Minutes

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    Learning jazz language is vital to your success as an improvisor. Without it you're truly lost. You may know a scale, a chord, a concept...but without the fundamental ideas of what to do with these...Read More

    Learning jazz language is vital to your success as an improvisor. Without it you're truly lost. You may know a scale, a chord, a concept...but without the fundamental ideas of...Read More

    Thinking About Musical Phrasing for Improvisation

    Recently I’ve been studying and transcribing a lot of Miles from around 1956-1957. Albums like Cookin', Relaxin', and Workin'. More than the notes or the harmonic devices in his solos, the one thing that sticks...Read More

    Recently I’ve been studying and transcribing a lot of Miles from around 1956-1957. Albums like Cookin', Relaxin', and Workin'. More than the notes or the harmonic devices in his solos,...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