Fast Tempos Made Easy

    Here's a recent question from a reader struggling with fast tempos: "Hi, I'm a saxophone player in Toronto. What might you recommend in terms of practice techniques to play on blistering fast tempos?" When it...Read More

    Here's a recent question from a reader struggling with fast tempos: "Hi, I'm a saxophone player in Toronto. What might you recommend in terms of practice techniques to play on...Read More

    How to Use ii Vs to Activate Static Progressions

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    The infamous ii V is everywhere in jazz chord progressions. In fact, the ii V defines a sense of tension and release that prevails throughout all western music... An essential key to understanding how to...Read More

    The infamous ii V is everywhere in jazz chord progressions. In fact, the ii V defines a sense of tension and release that prevails throughout all western music... An essential...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

    The Difference Between Jazz Licks and Language

    Jazz musicians and educators constantly discuss the topic of jazz licks. It's always up for debate...Should you learn them? Is it okay to play them over and over in your jazz solos? Does it matter...Read More

    Jazz musicians and educators constantly discuss the topic of jazz licks. It's always up for debate...Should you learn them? Is it okay to play them over and over in your...Read More

    Concept Application: a Framework for Practicing Tunes

    We often talk about jazz language and how a primary way to integrate it into your playing is by applying that language to specific parts of tunes. By forcing yourself to use some piece of...Read More

    We often talk about jazz language and how a primary way to integrate it into your playing is by applying that language to specific parts of tunes. By forcing yourself...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

    Mixing Jazz Techniques, Lines, And Concepts

    When we practice jazz improvisation, we zoom in on one area of study so much that we often lose sight of the whole. How do we practice in this truly focused way, while simultaneously train...Read More

    When we practice jazz improvisation, we zoom in on one area of study so much that we often lose sight of the whole. How do we practice in this truly...Read More

    6 More Mistakes You’re Making In Learning to Improvise

    In 6 Disastrous Mistakes You're Making In Learning To Improvise, we detailed some pitfalls that cause people to waste tons of time and cause years of frustration. Let's get right into it...here are six more...Read More

    In 6 Disastrous Mistakes You're Making In Learning To Improvise, we detailed some pitfalls that cause people to waste tons of time and cause years of frustration. Let's get right...Read More

    Turning Jazz Rules into Tools of Expression

    In jazz education, one thing that you encounter right off the bat are rules. There seem to be rules for every aspect of the music: Which scales you're allowed to use over certain chords, which...Read More

    In jazz education, one thing that you encounter right off the bat are rules. There seem to be rules for every aspect of the music: Which scales you're allowed to...Read More

    Going Against The Grain

    In learning most anything, there's an accepted and standard way of approaching the material. There exists a typical method that emerged over the course of many years. In many disciplines, this method came about through...Read More

    In learning most anything, there's an accepted and standard way of approaching the material. There exists a typical method that emerged over the course of many years. In many disciplines,...Read More

    Repetition: The Missing Link to Your Success

    Do you find yourself having trouble remembering the solos you've transcribed? Have you ever memorized the melody to a tune only to forget it a week later? Do you have trouble recalling the chord progressions...Read More

    Do you find yourself having trouble remembering the solos you've transcribed? Have you ever memorized the melody to a tune only to forget it a week later? Do you have...Read More

    Beginner’s Mind

    In Zen Buddhism there is a concept of the beginner's mind. To quote Wikipedia: It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at...Read More

    In Zen Buddhism there is a concept of the beginner's mind. To quote Wikipedia: It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a...Read More

    Playing the Music of Now

    Oftentimes, we get pushed down a very narrow, prescribed path when it comes to learning and performing jazz. Without question, we get complacent with the established rules of others whether it's the guidelines of an...Read More

    Oftentimes, we get pushed down a very narrow, prescribed path when it comes to learning and performing jazz. Without question, we get complacent with the established rules of others whether...Read More

    Developing Musicality: Applying Scales vs. Applying Language

    Arecurring theme on this site seems to be language - acquiring, practicing, and applying the jazz language. There is a reason behind all the repetition, however. Language is a very powerful concept when it comes...Read More

    Arecurring theme on this site seems to be language - acquiring, practicing, and applying the jazz language. There is a reason behind all the repetition, however. Language is a very...Read More

    3 Ways To Extend Your Range You Probably Haven’t Thought Of

    The extreme ranges of any instrument express extreme emotion, but they're not easy to tackle. The high register is notoriously difficult on most instruments and the low register is often under-developed and under-utilized. The standard...Read More

    The extreme ranges of any instrument express extreme emotion, but they're not easy to tackle. The high register is notoriously difficult on most instruments and the low register is often...Read More

    How to Play in 3/4 Time: Hank Mobley on Someday My Prince Will Come

    Of all the time signatures that we encounter in jazz or any other music, the most common by far is 4/4, meaning it has 4 beats per measure and a quarter note is equal to...Read More

    Of all the time signatures that we encounter in jazz or any other music, the most common by far is 4/4, meaning it has 4 beats per measure and a...Read More