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

    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

    Learning Tunes Your Way

    On this site we’ve frequently written about learning tunes. This is no coincidence - learning tunes goes hand in hand with improving as an improviser. Whether you're practicing, performing, or simply listening to a few...Read More

    On this site we’ve frequently written about learning tunes. This is no coincidence - learning tunes goes hand in hand with improving as an improviser. Whether you're practicing, performing, or...Read More

    5 Secrets to Learning Tunes

    Learning jazz standards is a crucial part of every jazz musician's practice routine. After all, as a jazz musician, the entire goal is to perform tunes, so it totally makes sense that they should be...Read More

    Learning jazz standards is a crucial part of every jazz musician's practice routine. After all, as a jazz musician, the entire goal is to perform tunes, so it totally makes...Read More

    Dealing With Non-standard Progressions

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    Recently we received a question about non-standard progressions, specifically the type of progressions you see in Wayne Shorter and Joe Henderson tunes... These types of tunes are notoriously difficult, as they don't seem to use...Read More

    Recently we received a question about non-standard progressions, specifically the type of progressions you see in Wayne Shorter and Joe Henderson tunes... These types of tunes are notoriously difficult, as...Read More

    Playing Longer Lines in Your Solos

    At a certain point in your development as an improviser it becomes necessary to evolve beyond just playing "right notes" and using your favorite licks and move onto playing longer coherent musical phrases that develop...Read More

    At a certain point in your development as an improviser it becomes necessary to evolve beyond just playing "right notes" and using your favorite licks and move onto playing longer...Read More

    Overcoming Obstacles in Transcription

    Whether it's figuring out difficult double-time passages, navigating advanced technical lines, or even finding the motivation to do it everyday, transcribing can be difficult. Transcribing, while essential to learning to play the jazz language, is...Read More

    Whether it's figuring out difficult double-time passages, navigating advanced technical lines, or even finding the motivation to do it everyday, transcribing can be difficult. Transcribing, while essential to learning to...Read More

    Develop a Stronger Sense of Time: Using a Metronome on 2 & 4

    The harmonic and melodic aspects of practicing jazz improvisation take up the bulk of our time. Consequently, developing a strong sense of time falls by the wayside. I'm as guilty as anyone else, thinking that...Read More

    The harmonic and melodic aspects of practicing jazz improvisation take up the bulk of our time. Consequently, developing a strong sense of time falls by the wayside. I'm as guilty...Read More

    What’s the Difference Between an Amateur and a Pro??

    Mastering jazz improvisation seems simple in theory. At least every great player makes it sound that way. And on paper it all looks pretty straight forward. Memorize the chords, learn a few scales, and listen...Read More

    Mastering jazz improvisation seems simple in theory. At least every great player makes it sound that way. And on paper it all looks pretty straight forward. Memorize the chords, learn...Read More

    Breaking Down the Jazz Repertoire: “It Could Happen To You”

    You've got a list of tunes that you're excited to learn. Song titles scribbled on a piece of paper, lead sheets saved on your phone, and videos of your favorite players killing the changes. However,...Read More

    You've got a list of tunes that you're excited to learn. Song titles scribbled on a piece of paper, lead sheets saved on your phone, and videos of your favorite...Read More

    Why You’re Bored With Standards and What to Do About it

    Why is it so difficult to learn jazz standards even when we have access to so much information about each and every one? We can bring up recordings with a few clicks of mouse via...Read More

    Why is it so difficult to learn jazz standards even when we have access to so much information about each and every one? We can bring up recordings with a...Read More