The Importance of Language

    I'm always trying to learn new bits of language." - Michael Brecker. There are a lot of things to practice. What is truly vital to practice if you want to get better at improvising? ...Read More

    I'm always trying to learn new bits of language." - Michael Brecker. There are a lot of things to practice. What is truly vital to practice if you want to...Read More

    The Talent Myth: Why Exceptional Musical Ability Is Within Your Reach

    Talent. It's a word that's thrown around in all professions and all parts of life. From sports and academics to art and music. And nowhere is it more prevalent than in jazz improvisation. We listen...Read More

    Talent. It's a word that's thrown around in all professions and all parts of life. From sports and academics to art and music. And nowhere is it more prevalent than...Read More

    Mulgrew Miller’s Secrets to All the Things You Are

    All The Things You Are is a timeless jazz standard...Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Ella Fitzgerald, Sinatra...these are just some of the legends that recorded it. But with its traveling tonal centers and unfamiliar keys, this...Read More

    All The Things You Are is a timeless jazz standard...Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Ella Fitzgerald, Sinatra...these are just some of the legends that recorded it. But with its traveling tonal...Read More

    Charlie Parker’s Secrets to Confirmation

    Confirmation is one of those tunes that gives most people a difficult time. But somehow Charlie Parker had no problem playing the most beautiful lines over it time and time again. His lines flow naturally...Read More

    Confirmation is one of those tunes that gives most people a difficult time. But somehow Charlie Parker had no problem playing the most beautiful lines over it time and time...Read More

    8 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Practicing Jazz Improvisation

    Let's be completely honest...My amazing teachers did tell me many of the things that I'm about to tell you...I just didn't listen! Why didn't I listen? I don't know. Immaturity. Stubbornness. The belief that there...Read More

    Let's be completely honest...My amazing teachers did tell me many of the things that I'm about to tell you...I just didn't listen! Why didn't I listen? I don't know. Immaturity....Read More

    Harness the Power Of Opposites

    Things are not always what they appear to be. Sometimes the standard advice does not get you where you want to go. Here's an idea: approach what you're trying to achieve by doing the opposite....Read More

    Things are not always what they appear to be. Sometimes the standard advice does not get you where you want to go. Here's an idea: approach what you're trying to...Read More

    How to Completely Change How You Think About Practicing: Words of Wisdom from Harold …

    As he stood in the hallway, the students gathered round. You could see the crowd growing, one-by-one as the people walking by heard what was happening. Harold, animated and speaking with vibrant energy, was sharing...Read More

    As he stood in the hallway, the students gathered round. You could see the crowd growing, one-by-one as the people walking by heard what was happening. Harold, animated and speaking...Read More

    3 Simple Steps to a Productive Practice Routine

    Time in the practice room doesn’t equal improvement. Hey, wait a second...That’s right, you read that correctly. It’s time spent practicing the right things that leads to improvement. And this isn’t always the case with...Read More

    Time in the practice room doesn’t equal improvement. Hey, wait a second...That’s right, you read that correctly. It’s time spent practicing the right things that leads to improvement. And this...Read More

    Stop right there! Don’t Touch Your Instrument until You Do these 4 Simple Exerc …

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    All practice is not created equal. There’s the practice that's fun. You're in a room with your instrument and maybe a few friends and you just start playing. The minutes fly by, but you're not...Read More

    All practice is not created equal. There’s the practice that's fun. You're in a room with your instrument and maybe a few friends and you just start playing. The minutes...Read More

    Why You Should Be Hearing Music in Your Mind

    I have a vivid memory of the first time I tried to play in an early jazz group. I was in school and was asked to play the trumpet part in an ensemble that met...Read More

    I have a vivid memory of the first time I tried to play in an early jazz group. I was in school and was asked to play the trumpet part...Read More

    Learning Tunes Your Way

    On this site we’ve frequently written about learning tunes. This is no coincidence - learning tunes goes hand in hand with improving as an improviser. Whether you're practicing, performing, or simply listening to a few...Read More

    On this site we’ve frequently written about learning tunes. This is no coincidence - learning tunes goes hand in hand with improving as an improviser. Whether you're practicing, performing, or...Read More

    One Brick at a Time: That’s how you build a wall

    It's a new year. I guess that means we should be making some resolutions right about now. New beginnings, a fresh start and all that other good stuff. For most people making "resolutions" translates into...Read More

    It's a new year. I guess that means we should be making some resolutions right about now. New beginnings, a fresh start and all that other good stuff. For most...Read More

    Is Improvising Really Improvising?

    If there is one thing about playing jazz that's shrouded in mystery, it is improvisation. Improvisation exists in other types of music, even in musical traditions from the far reaches of the globe, but in...Read More

    If there is one thing about playing jazz that's shrouded in mystery, it is improvisation. Improvisation exists in other types of music, even in musical traditions from the far reaches...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

    Resetting Your Mindset About Jazz Improvisation

    The funny thing about learning a new skill is that we often carry our first experiences around with us for years. You might try drawing or you may try learning a new language and without...Read More

    The funny thing about learning a new skill is that we often carry our first experiences around with us for years. You might try drawing or you may try learning...Read More

    4 More Myths About Jazz Improvisation

    When your goal is to improve at a skill like improvisation, you will stop at nothing to gather as much information as you can. Your search leads you in every direction: out of print books,...Read More

    When your goal is to improve at a skill like improvisation, you will stop at nothing to gather as much information as you can. Your search leads you in every...Read More