How to Not Suck at Half-Diminished Chords

    For most people, half diminished chords remain a mystery. Also known as minor 7b5 chords, they seem to fall by the wayside, never getting as much attention as major, dominant, or minor chords... The...Read More

    For most people, half diminished chords remain a mystery. Also known as minor 7b5 chords, they seem to fall by the wayside, never getting as much attention as major, dominant,...Read More

    Keys to the Altered Scale

    The altered scale allows access to the beautiful tensions of a dominant chord in a flash. The effective use of this scale, however, is not easy. In this article, I've assembled what I have found...Read More

    The altered scale allows access to the beautiful tensions of a dominant chord in a flash. The effective use of this scale, however, is not easy. In this article, I've...Read More

    5 Ways to Practice Anywhere

    One of the most frustrating feelings I have, is to get to the end of the day and realize that I haven't practiced enough, or even worse, that I haven't even touched my instrument. Whether...Read More

    One of the most frustrating feelings I have, is to get to the end of the day and realize that I haven't practiced enough, or even worse, that I haven't...Read More

    Great Jazz Ears: How to Get a Vivid Aural Imagination

    The extent to which your aural imagination is developed, largely determines: the quality of lines you play, how you play those lines (articulation, swing feel, inflection), and the sound you play with. Nothing has such...Read More

    The extent to which your aural imagination is developed, largely determines: the quality of lines you play, how you play those lines (articulation, swing feel, inflection), and the sound you...Read More

    Mythbusting the Top 5 Myths About Jazz Improvisation

    Learning how to improvise is not nearly as clear as people think. And what makes it worse is that there are quite a few myths about it. Today, in no particular order, we're going to...Read More

    Learning how to improvise is not nearly as clear as people think. And what makes it worse is that there are quite a few myths about it. Today, in no...Read More

    Speaking to the Listener: 4 Ways to Perform More Effectively

    We've all seen concerts that have affected us greatly and left a lasting impression on our musical perception and even our lives. Performances that seem to transcend the stage into another form of communication and...Read More

    We've all seen concerts that have affected us greatly and left a lasting impression on our musical perception and even our lives. Performances that seem to transcend the stage into...Read More

    Navigating Altered Dominants: Strategies for the V7#9 Chord

    Areader recently asked: "I was wondering about how to play over altered dominant chords. What are some strategies for playing over Dominant 7 #9 chords, specifically." This question comes up frequently for many improvisers. It...Read More

    Areader recently asked: "I was wondering about how to play over altered dominant chords. What are some strategies for playing over Dominant 7 #9 chords, specifically." This question comes up...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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    How to Phrase Like a Pro

    Amateurs phrase in a way that sounds boring and boxy. In contrast, professionals phrase in a way that gives excitement and forward motion to their playing. In this article I'll explore some tendencies that I've...Read More

    Amateurs phrase in a way that sounds boring and boxy. In contrast, professionals phrase in a way that gives excitement and forward motion to their playing. In this article I'll...Read More

    The Underlying Purpose of Jazz Language

    Learning language is arguably the most important aspect of learning to improvise. When you start to use the language you've worked on in your solos, you start to realize how powerful it truly is. You...Read More

    Learning language is arguably the most important aspect of learning to improvise. When you start to use the language you've worked on in your solos, you start to realize how...Read More