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

    What Most Players Are Missing When They Transcribe Solos…

    The typical jazz transcription process usually goes something like this...you start with a solo, you listen to the recording a few times, maybe even slowing it down a bit, then you figure out the notes...Read More

    The typical jazz transcription process usually goes something like this...you start with a solo, you listen to the recording a few times, maybe even slowing it down a bit, then...Read More

    9 Jazz Standards That’ll Boost Your Melodic Skills

    You know the routine…You pick out a new tune, read through the melody, and start to work on a solo. You've got a few ideas, throw in a couple of your favorite licks, and follow...Read More

    You know the routine…You pick out a new tune, read through the melody, and start to work on a solo. You've got a few ideas, throw in a couple of...Read More

    5 Tips to Use Sequences like Paul Desmond

    Paul Desmond plays the alto saxophone unlike any other…sweet, melodic, and precise, always leading the listener through a clear story from one musical idea to the next - It’s as if every single idea he...Read More

    Paul Desmond plays the alto saxophone unlike any other…sweet, melodic, and precise, always leading the listener through a clear story from one musical idea to the next - It’s as...Read More

    8 Steps to Finding Your Voice as an Improviser

    There aren't many things that we can all agree on when it comes to discussing the history of jazz, but one thing that we can come to a consensus on is that all the masters...Read More

    There aren't many things that we can all agree on when it comes to discussing the history of jazz, but one thing that we can come to a consensus on...Read More

    Why You Still Suck At Half Diminished Chords

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    Half-diminished chords are difficult, but they don't have to be. In How to Not Suck At Half-diminished Chords, I presented a simple way to start to improve at these often neglected chords and if you...Read More

    Half-diminished chords are difficult, but they don't have to be. In How to Not Suck At Half-diminished Chords, I presented a simple way to start to improve at these often...Read More

    Transcribing for Technique: Improving Musicianship Through Transcription

    After hours spent practicing technique: endless articulation, tone, range, and fingering exercises, are you still not matching up to what you're hearing on your favorite records? Are those same étude books and exercises you've been...Read More

    After hours spent practicing technique: endless articulation, tone, range, and fingering exercises, are you still not matching up to what you're hearing on your favorite records? Are those same étude...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

    5 Powerful Storytelling Tactics for Your Next Jazz Solo

    Think of a jazz standard that you often play. One that you've been working on in the  practice room. Picture the chord progression in your mind and imagine yourself getting ready to play the first...Read More

    Think of a jazz standard that you often play. One that you've been working on in the  practice room. Picture the chord progression in your mind and imagine yourself getting...Read More

    How Rock Climbing Taught Me How to Approach Improvisation

    The torrential rain won't stop. Day after day it pours, keeping us inside. After an epic winter, the weather lightens up and the sun soaks up the moisture on the rocks. Finally, rock climbing season...Read More

    The torrential rain won't stop. Day after day it pours, keeping us inside. After an epic winter, the weather lightens up and the sun soaks up the moisture on the...Read More

    The Transcribing Mindset: Learn to transcribe with purpose

    Transcribing can be beneficial no matter how you do it. Often when I go to transcribe, I like to have a specific goal in mind of what I am aiming to accomplish, making for rapid...Read More

    Transcribing can be beneficial no matter how you do it. Often when I go to transcribe, I like to have a specific goal in mind of what I am aiming...Read More

    The Jazz Musician’s Most Important Tool: How To Strengthen Your Musical Memory

    What is a jazz musician's most important tool? Is it their ear? Their technique? The concepts at their disposal? All of these are extremely important, but without this one specific tool, they’re all useless… The...Read More

    What is a jazz musician's most important tool? Is it their ear? Their technique? The concepts at their disposal? All of these are extremely important, but without this one specific...Read More

    How to Think Like a Pro Jazz Musician: Michael Brecker and The Power of Simplicity

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    It sounds so complex. So difficult. So advanced. Great jazz musicians sound as though they're implementing highly complex and difficult concepts that mere mortals could never hope to access, but in reality, professionals think simpler...Read More

    It sounds so complex. So difficult. So advanced. Great jazz musicians sound as though they're implementing highly complex and difficult concepts that mere mortals could never hope to access, but...Read More

    Planting the Seeds of a Great Solo

    Great solos don't come from nowhere. The ability to apply innovative harmonic concepts, flawless instrumental technique, and appropriate musical language doesn't just materialize out of thin air. These prized aspects of excellent musicianship have to...Read More

    Great solos don't come from nowhere. The ability to apply innovative harmonic concepts, flawless instrumental technique, and appropriate musical language doesn't just materialize out of thin air. These prized aspects...Read More

    4 Steps to Mastering the Solo Break: A Lesson With Clifford Brown

    Improvising over any chord progression can be a challenge. But the true test of your skills as an improviser comes in those moments when the band drops out and you're forced to improvise alone, without...Read More

    Improvising over any chord progression can be a challenge. But the true test of your skills as an improviser comes in those moments when the band drops out and you're...Read More

    Harness the Power Of Opposites

    Things are not always what they appear to be. Sometimes the standard advice does not get you where you want to go. Here's an idea: approach what you're trying to achieve by doing the opposite....Read More

    Things are not always what they appear to be. Sometimes the standard advice does not get you where you want to go. Here's an idea: approach what you're trying to...Read More