Thinking About Musical Phrasing for Improvisation

    Recently I’ve been studying and transcribing a lot of Miles from around 1956-1957. Albums like Cookin', Relaxin', and Workin'. More than the notes or the harmonic devices in his solos, the one thing that sticks...Read More

    Recently I’ve been studying and transcribing a lot of Miles from around 1956-1957. Albums like Cookin', Relaxin', and Workin'. More than the notes or the harmonic devices in his solos,...Read More

    Hitting the Target: How to Accomplish Your Goals in Music and Anything Else

    On this site, we often talk about the specifics of learning improvisation: ear training, transcribing, chord progressions, language... But what about the big picture? How do you accomplish what you want to as a musician? ...Read More

    On this site, we often talk about the specifics of learning improvisation: ear training, transcribing, chord progressions, language... But what about the big picture? How do you accomplish what you...Read More

    How To Practice Scales For Speed

    Several readers have written us lately asking how to practice scales. Simply practicing them is not difficult, but attaining a high level of speed and accuracy, while keeping your sound consistent throughout all registers is...Read More

    Several readers have written us lately asking how to practice scales. Simply practicing them is not difficult, but attaining a high level of speed and accuracy, while keeping your sound...Read More

    Stuck on Rhythm Changes? Here Are 4 Coltrane Concepts That’ll Set You Free

    Every improviser has to face it at some point. We're talking about those 32 bars of music that you know as Rhythm Changes. Sure it’s easy enough to sing the melody...And you've heard all the...Read More

    Every improviser has to face it at some point. We're talking about those 32 bars of music that you know as Rhythm Changes. Sure it’s easy enough to sing the...Read More

    How One Note Can Change Your Ears and Spark Your Creativity

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    Can one note really change your ears and improve your creativity? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. But let me explain...A few years ago I took a lesson with the great trumpet player, improviser and composer...Read More

    Can one note really change your ears and improve your creativity? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. But let me explain...A few years ago I took a lesson with the great...Read More

    How To Be Mediocre

    While we typically focus on ways to improve, this article is all about how to be mediocre. Now, chances are you don't want to be mediocre, so while many of these listed points are tongue-in-cheek,...Read More

    While we typically focus on ways to improve, this article is all about how to be mediocre. Now, chances are you don't want to be mediocre, so while many of...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

    Putting on the Pressure: How to Motivate Yourself in the Practice Room

    Remember those times in school, where you were assigned a huge project and given a deadline to finish it by? You know, the ones where the teacher threw an enormous assignment at you as soon...Read More

    Remember those times in school, where you were assigned a huge project and given a deadline to finish it by? You know, the ones where the teacher threw an enormous...Read More

    Do You Know Your Four Triads?

    In the recent article Hearing in Color, Forrest discussed the technique of how to develop hearing individual chord tones in the context of triads and 7th chords. Just as the individual chord tones in a...Read More

    In the recent article Hearing in Color, Forrest discussed the technique of how to develop hearing individual chord tones in the context of triads and 7th chords. Just as the...Read More

    Why Giant Steps is Easier Than You Think… 4 Simple Steps to a Stellar Solo

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    Most improvisers cringe when they hear the words Giant Steps. Their hearts start pounding and they frantically try to remember the patterns they've worked out over the chord progression. If you've ever tried to play...Read More

    Most improvisers cringe when they hear the words Giant Steps. Their hearts start pounding and they frantically try to remember the patterns they've worked out over the chord progression. If...Read More

    Transcribing for Technique: Improving Musicianship Through Transcription

    After hours spent practicing technique: endless articulation, tone, range, and fingering exercises, are you still not matching up to what you're hearing on your favorite records? Are those same étude books and exercises you've been...Read More

    After hours spent practicing technique: endless articulation, tone, range, and fingering exercises, are you still not matching up to what you're hearing on your favorite records? Are those same étude...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

    How To Turn Frustration With Your Practice Into Musical Progress

    We all have those days in the practice room…days where you can't seem to get anything right. Where you're fighting your instrument and you want to scream... I'm sure you know the feeling of a...Read More

    We all have those days in the practice room…days where you can't seem to get anything right. Where you're fighting your instrument and you want to scream... I'm sure you...Read More

    10 Easy Options for Expanding Your Dominant 7th Vocabulary

    What’s the most important chord progression that you need to know as a musician? Well that's a good question...In the past we've explored some common chord relationships that you’ll encounter as an improviser, but there...Read More

    What’s the most important chord progression that you need to know as a musician? Well that's a good question...In the past we've explored some common chord relationships that you’ll encounter...Read More

    The Improviser’s Tipping Point

    When exactly do I become good at improvising? Is there a single point that occurs where I can finally play like I want to? These are questions that inevitably pop up and hover at the...Read More

    When exactly do I become good at improvising? Is there a single point that occurs where I can finally play like I want to? These are questions that inevitably pop...Read More

    The Forgotten Skill

    There is one important part of practicing and learning any musical instrument or musical style that many players are unintentionally missing. A necessary skill that's so obvious it often remains hidden in plain sight. It...Read More

    There is one important part of practicing and learning any musical instrument or musical style that many players are unintentionally missing. A necessary skill that's so obvious it often remains...Read More