5 Roy Hargrove Phrases to Master Yardbird Suite

    One thing that often gets lost in the music theory and technical exercises of our daily practice is the fact that improvisation at it's core, is musical storytelling... Think about it, any tune that you...Read More

    One thing that often gets lost in the music theory and technical exercises of our daily practice is the fact that improvisation at it's core, is musical storytelling... Think about...Read More

    The Sonny Rollins II-V Workbook: 8 Exercises from Pent-Up House [PDF]

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    Sonny Rollins is one of those rare musical masters that seems to have it all figured out when it comes to improvisation. And if you're a musician that's been searching for the missing answers to...Read More

    Sonny Rollins is one of those rare musical masters that seems to have it all figured out when it comes to improvisation. And if you're a musician that's been searching...Read More

    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

    Paul Desmond’s Secrets to Take The A Train

    Take The A Train is one of the most classic jazz standards you’ll ever come across. Composed by Billy Strayhorn, the tune quickly became the featured tune of The Duke Ellington Orchestra after his son...Read More

    Take The A Train is one of the most classic jazz standards you’ll ever come across. Composed by Billy Strayhorn, the tune quickly became the featured tune of The Duke...Read More

    5 Skills You Won’t Learn in School, Skill Two: How to Turn Music Theory into Mu …

    Have you ever thrown your hands up in frustration trying to understand music theory? Have you ever found yourself lost and panicking in a solo as you search for the right scale or chord to...Read More

    Have you ever thrown your hands up in frustration trying to understand music theory? Have you ever found yourself lost and panicking in a solo as you search for the...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

    7 Crucial Lessons from History’s Greatest Improvisers

    I'm guessing you've heard of Miles Davis. That you know Louis Armstrong and have listened to Charlie Parker and John Coltrane. But have you ever stopped and wondered why you know these names? Some of...Read More

    I'm guessing you've heard of Miles Davis. That you know Louis Armstrong and have listened to Charlie Parker and John Coltrane. But have you ever stopped and wondered why you...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

    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

    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

    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