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

    Master All the Things You Are – Part I: The A Section

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    All the Things You Are is one of the first tunes musicians learn when it comes to jazz improvisation. But unlike many players think, it’s not exactly an “easy tune” or something that only beginners...Read More

    All the Things You Are is one of the first tunes musicians learn when it comes to jazz improvisation. But unlike many players think, it’s not exactly an “easy tune”...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

    The Path to Finding Your Own Voice

    The notion of being original and innovative goes hand-in-hand with the idea of improvisation. The inspired act of being in the moment, creating on the fly with others in a group setting, and ultimately developing...Read More

    The notion of being original and innovative goes hand-in-hand with the idea of improvisation. The inspired act of being in the moment, creating on the fly with others in a...Read More

    Seeking Out Words of Wisdom

    In practicing improvisation, one common pitfall that we run into is expecting to find the secrets of jazz all by ourselves. We gather our books and recordings and head into the practice room determined to...Read More

    In practicing improvisation, one common pitfall that we run into is expecting to find the secrets of jazz all by ourselves. We gather our books and recordings and head into...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

    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

    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

    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