The 5 Key Skills You Won’t Learn in School: A Five Part Series

    School is great...but it won’t teach you everything. Private lessons are awesome and downright necessary on your journey to becoming a better musician...yet that hour a week isn’t going to teach you every musical tidbit...Read More

    School is great...but it won’t teach you everything. Private lessons are awesome and downright necessary on your journey to becoming a better musician...yet that hour a week isn’t going 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

    6 Reasons You Should Start Composing Today

    Ican't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones - John Cage. At some point as an improviser, whether you welcome it with open arms or avoid it like...Read More

    Ican't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones - John Cage. At some point as an improviser, whether you welcome it with open...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

    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

    What to Think While Improvising

    A reader recently wrote us asking about what we think about while we improvise. He writes: "I'm a tenor saxophonist and still pretty new to the whole improvising scene. I was wondering what musicians "think"...Read More

    A reader recently wrote us asking about what we think about while we improvise. He writes: "I'm a tenor saxophonist and still pretty new to the whole improvising scene. I...Read More

    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

    Finding a Fresh Approach to Playing the Same Old Tunes

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    Repetition. It's one part of learning to improvise that's par for the course. We practice scales over and over again until the technique is securely in our fingers, we spend hours repeatedly working out ii-V7...Read More

    Repetition. It's one part of learning to improvise that's par for the course. We practice scales over and over again until the technique is securely in our fingers, we spend...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

    Overcoming Creative Blocks as an Improviser

    Despite what everyone thinks, being creative isn't easy. You don't just suddenly find yourself with talent one day and immediately start creating great works of art. It takes years of hard work to develop artistic...Read More

    Despite what everyone thinks, being creative isn't easy. You don't just suddenly find yourself with talent one day and immediately start creating great works of art. It takes years of...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

    7 Harmonic Breakthroughs that Completely Changed My Playing

    Every so often you'll make a musical discovery that will drastically change the way you approach improvisation. One day you're struggling over the same tunes, growing more and more frustrated with your own predictable patterns...Read More

    Every so often you'll make a musical discovery that will drastically change the way you approach improvisation. One day you're struggling over the same tunes, growing more and more frustrated...Read More