Mastering Essential Chord Progressions: The I to IV Relationship

    When it comes to improving as an improviser, there are only so many tunes you can memorize. Only so many chord symbols and progressions you can force into your brain… After a certain point you...Read More

    When it comes to improving as an improviser, there are only so many tunes you can memorize. Only so many chord symbols and progressions you can force into your brain…...Read More

    5 mistakes you’re making with major chords you have to fix now

    Premium Only

    Major chords are the easiest type of chord, right? We learn our major scales on Day #1 and from then on, soloing over a major chord is a piece of cake…or so we thought. One...Read More

    Major chords are the easiest type of chord, right? We learn our major scales on Day #1 and from then on, soloing over a major chord is a piece of...Read More

    Kenny Dorham. Not Just Another Trumpet Player

    Kenny Dorham was one of the first trumpet players that I checked out when I was starting to listen to jazz and after years of studying the music he is still one of my favorite...Read More

    Kenny Dorham was one of the first trumpet players that I checked out when I was starting to listen to jazz and after years of studying the music he is...Read More

    5 Simple Ways to Escape the ‘Diatonic Trap’ in Your Jazz Solos

    You want to play exciting solos. Ones that will make the audience sit on the edge of their seats, that'll make you stand out from every other musician in the room. But when you improvise...Read More

    You want to play exciting solos. Ones that will make the audience sit on the edge of their seats, that'll make you stand out from every other musician in 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

    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

    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

    Thoughts On Learning Tunes

    We practice long tones. We work on two-five progressions until our fingers bleed. We work on new ideas and concepts. The work is mostly enjoyable, sometimes frustrating, and hopefully productive... But what is all this...Read More

    We practice long tones. We work on two-five progressions until our fingers bleed. We work on new ideas and concepts. The work is mostly enjoyable, sometimes frustrating, and hopefully productive... ...Read More

    Time Management for the Improviser

    One of the most frequently asked questions that we get concerns finding time to practice or improving with a limited amount of practice time. "What should I do if I don't have enough time to...Read More

    One of the most frequently asked questions that we get concerns finding time to practice or improving with a limited amount of practice time. "What should I do if I...Read More

    3 Simple Steps Toward Playing What You Hear

    You've heard it time and time again...PLAY WHAT YOU HEAR!! But when it comes to improvising jazz, how do you actually go about playing what you're hearing? And how do you mentally hear the beautiful...Read More

    You've heard it time and time again...PLAY WHAT YOU HEAR!! But when it comes to improvising jazz, how do you actually go about playing what you're hearing? And how do...Read More

    Fast Tempos Made Easy

    Here's a recent question from a reader struggling with fast tempos: "Hi, I'm a saxophone player in Toronto. What might you recommend in terms of practice techniques to play on blistering fast tempos?" When it...Read More

    Here's a recent question from a reader struggling with fast tempos: "Hi, I'm a saxophone player in Toronto. What might you recommend in terms of practice techniques to play on...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

    Listening to the Words of the Wise

    Learning improvisation can be a curious process. Every now and then as we endeavor to educate ourselves musically, we hear bits of advice and pick up words of wisdom from master classes, videos, books, and...Read More

    Learning improvisation can be a curious process. Every now and then as we endeavor to educate ourselves musically, we hear bits of advice and pick up words of wisdom from...Read More

    Finding a Fresh Approach to Playing the Same Old Tunes

    Premium Only

    Repetition. It's one part of learning to improvise that's par for the course. We practice scales over and over again until the technique is securely in our fingers, we spend hours repeatedly working out ii-V7...Read More

    Repetition. It's one part of learning to improvise that's par for the course. We practice scales over and over again until the technique is securely in our fingers, we spend...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

    The Power of One

    It's the time of year again when we make ambitious lists of resolutions and let me tell you, this year is shaping up to be different. Seriously…all those other years were just practice runs, this...Read More

    It's the time of year again when we make ambitious lists of resolutions and let me tell you, this year is shaping up to be different. Seriously…all those other years...Read More