Why Melody is the Secret to Playing Better Jazz Solos

    Ask  any musician or teacher what you should practice to develop exceptional jazz improvisation skills, and you usually hear words like "Scales" and "Modes" or  "Guide-tone lines." Sometimes even "Transcribing"... This is all useful information....Read More

    Ask  any musician or teacher what you should practice to develop exceptional jazz improvisation skills, and you usually hear words like "Scales" and "Modes" or  "Guide-tone lines." Sometimes even "Transcribing"... ...Read More

    How To Turn Frustration With Your Practice Into Musical Progress

    We all have those days in the practice room…days where you can't seem to get anything right. Where you're fighting your instrument and you want to scream... I'm sure you know the feeling of a...Read More

    We all have those days in the practice room…days where you can't seem to get anything right. Where you're fighting your instrument and you want to scream... I'm sure you...Read More

    Why The Fastest Way To Build Your Jazz Skills Doesn’t Require Scales or Chords

    When you think about the things that'll make you a better improviser, your mind probably goes right to music theory...The scales, the chords, the diminished patterns & the ii-V licks. If only you knew more of...Read More

    When you think about the things that'll make you a better improviser, your mind probably goes right to music theory...The scales, the chords, the diminished patterns & the ii-V licks. If...Read More

    The Definitive Guide to Phrygian & Sus Flat 9 Chords

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    After you’ve been improvising jazz for a while, most chords are pretty familiar. You're used to major, minor, dominant, and half diminished…but just as you thought you were getting a handle on things, a chord...Read More

    After you’ve been improvising jazz for a while, most chords are pretty familiar. You're used to major, minor, dominant, and half diminished…but just as you thought you were getting a...Read More

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

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    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

    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

    5 Solutions to Improvisation That Are Hidden In Plain Sight

    Let's face it, improvisation is hard enough as it is, even when we do spend the time in the practice room. But however much we study or practice, there are some key factors that can...Read More

    Let's face it, improvisation is hard enough as it is, even when we do spend the time in the practice room. But however much we study or practice, there are...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

    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

    Scales Are Not the Secret Short-Cut to Jazz Improvisation

    When you first began learning how to improvise,  chances are the first thing you encountered were scales. Memorizing lists of scales from Major and minor to diminished and octatonic. Knowing which scales work with which...Read More

    When you first began learning how to improvise,  chances are the first thing you encountered were scales. Memorizing lists of scales from Major and minor to diminished and octatonic. Knowing...Read More

    How Thoughtful Off Time Can Help You Become The Player You Wish To Be

    Daily practice is the key to growing into the player you wish to become. Everyday, building upon the knowledge you learned the previous day, moving forward, getting closer and closer...that's the goal. But what if...Read More

    Daily practice is the key to growing into the player you wish to become. Everyday, building upon the knowledge you learned the previous day, moving forward, getting closer and closer...that's...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

    Clark Terry’s 3 Steps to Learning Improvisation

    Clark Terry is one of the  legends of this music. He's played with every big name in jazz over the last half-century from the likes of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson, to Ella...Read More

    Clark Terry is one of the  legends of this music. He's played with every big name in jazz over the last half-century from the likes of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Thelonious...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

    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

    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