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

    5 Secrets for Mastering the Altered Scale

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    The dominant chord is one of the most versatile chords in the jazz repertoire, and it's your best bet for adding harmonic tension and melodic interest to your lines. The only problem is that many...Read More

    The dominant chord is one of the most versatile chords in the jazz repertoire, and it's your best bet for adding harmonic tension and melodic interest to your lines. The...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

    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

    5 Skills You Won’t Learn in School, Skill One: How to Connect Your Ear to Your …

    You're a trumpet player. You play the piano or the guitar. Maybe you’ve taken up the saxophone. Out of a dozen different instruments, this is the one that you’ve chosen to amplify your musical voice....Read More

    You're a trumpet player. You play the piano or the guitar. Maybe you’ve taken up the saxophone. Out of a dozen different instruments, this is the one that you’ve chosen...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

    The Secret Behind Every Solo that You Can’t Afford to Miss

    There’s a secret hidden in every great solo. You'll find it in those old records of Louis Armstrong and those videos of Bird and Diz that you watch on YouTube. You can even hear it...Read More

    There’s a secret hidden in every great solo. You'll find it in those old records of Louis Armstrong and those videos of Bird and Diz that you watch on YouTube....Read More

    How to Be More Creative Than A Deer

    This is a box. This is your mind in a box. Many people's minds never leave the box. Why? Thinking creatively is something we all do naturally. It's our instinctive and ordinary way of being....Read More

    This is a box. This is your mind in a box. Many people's minds never leave the box. Why? Thinking creatively is something we all do naturally. It's our instinctive...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

    4 Ways to Spark the Creativity and Freedom in Your Improvising

    How creative are you each time you play your instrument? Think about it for a second...are you actually creating new musical ideas in your solos? Are you actually free when you improvise?? As a creative...Read More

    How creative are you each time you play your instrument? Think about it for a second...are you actually creating new musical ideas in your solos? Are you actually free when...Read More

    Why Transcribing A Whole Solo Has Gotten You Nowhere

    So you finally transcribed your first solo, but unfortunately, you don't feel like you're improving at the rapid rate you'd hoped for. Where did you go wrong? This is a common situation. I know people...Read More

    So you finally transcribed your first solo, but unfortunately, you don't feel like you're improving at the rapid rate you'd hoped for. Where did you go wrong? This is a...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

    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

    How to Put Chord Tones At Your Fingertips

    A reader writes: "I play trumpet and improvise fairly well, but mainly play by ear. How can I learn the chord tones and use them effectively to construct my solos? For example, it takes a...Read More

    A reader writes: "I play trumpet and improvise fairly well, but mainly play by ear. How can I learn the chord tones and use them effectively to construct my solos?...Read More

    The Inconvenient Truth About Becoming a Better Improviser…

    Making progress as an improviser is tricky business. I'm not talking about the baby steps along the way like learning a new tune, transcribing a solo, or even practicing a few scales. I'm talking about...Read More

    Making progress as an improviser is tricky business. I'm not talking about the baby steps along the way like learning a new tune, transcribing a solo, or even practicing a...Read More

    How to Not Suck at Half-Diminished Chords

    Half diminished chords are generally overlooked. They are the neglected partner of a V7 chord in a minor two-five, that never gets the attention it deserves. The result: we suck at them. Think about...Read More

    Half diminished chords are generally overlooked. They are the neglected partner of a V7 chord in a minor two-five, that never gets the attention it deserves. The result: we...Read More