5 Skills You Won’t Learn in School, Skill Three: The Secret to Great Time

    Ever feel like something is missing from your solos? You spend hours learning tunes and transcribing solos from your favorite recordings, you've memorized the chord progressions and diligently practiced the tricky fingerings, but when you...Read More

    Ever feel like something is missing from your solos? You spend hours learning tunes and transcribing solos from your favorite recordings, you've memorized the chord progressions and diligently practiced the...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

    How to Practice Improvisation Less and Improve More

    A reader recently wrote in the following question: "I used to play classical guitar, then stopped for a couple of years, and am now trying to teach myself jazz guitar. Here's the thing: I'm a...Read More

    A reader recently wrote in the following question: "I used to play classical guitar, then stopped for a couple of years, and am now trying to teach myself jazz guitar....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

    Thoughts On Learning Tunes

    We practice long tones. We work on two-five progressions until our fingers bleed. We work on new ideas and concepts. The work is mostly enjoyable, sometimes frustrating, and hopefully productive... But what is all this...Read More

    We practice long tones. We work on two-five progressions until our fingers bleed. We work on new ideas and concepts. The work is mostly enjoyable, sometimes frustrating, and hopefully productive... ...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

    Another Look at Slow Practice for Jazz Improvisation

    Play it slow. Feel every beat. Subdvide. Hear every note. Concentrate on every single detail. There are dozens of different ways to describe the process of slow practice, yet it seems that the majority of...Read More

    Play it slow. Feel every beat. Subdvide. Hear every note. Concentrate on every single detail. There are dozens of different ways to describe the process of slow practice, yet it...Read More

    How to Create the Perfect Practice Environment

    Here's something that I don't tell many people...I’ve practiced my instrument huddled inside a closet, surrounded by dirty laundry. I’ve worked out scales after dark sitting in the back seat of my car. I’ve practiced...Read More

    Here's something that I don't tell many people...I’ve practiced my instrument huddled inside a closet, surrounded by dirty laundry. I’ve worked out scales after dark sitting in the back seat...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

    Why You Shouldn’t Be a Real Book Player

    Take a peek into a high school jazz band rehearsal or grab a seat at a college jazz combo concert. Better yet, walk into your local jam session or take a close look at the...Read More

    Take a peek into a high school jazz band rehearsal or grab a seat at a college jazz combo concert. Better yet, walk into your local jam session or take...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

    Slash Chords Made Simple

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    Areader recently sent in this question: "I was wondering if you could explain to me how to interpret slash chords for soloing. It seems like different sources have conflicting information. Also, what would I do...Read More

    Areader recently sent in this question: "I was wondering if you could explain to me how to interpret slash chords for soloing. It seems like different sources have conflicting information....Read More

    Killer Triadic & Pentatonic Lines Made EasyA Lesson With Kenny Garrett

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    Kenny Garrett is an incredible musician. He's arguably had one of the largest impacts on alto saxophone since Charlie Parker. In fact, when he started to gain popularity, most every alto player in the world...Read More

    Kenny Garrett is an incredible musician. He's arguably had one of the largest impacts on alto saxophone since Charlie Parker. In fact, when he started to gain popularity, most every...Read More

    5 Easy Tricks With Approach Notes That Will Make You Sound Like a Pro

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    Ever wonder how the best players seem to improvise brilliant lines without any effort? All while you're struggling to make even the simplest chord tones sound good. If you're like most players you know this...Read More

    Ever wonder how the best players seem to improvise brilliant lines without any effort? All while you're struggling to make even the simplest chord tones sound good. If you're like...Read More

    10 Surprising Secrets to Jazz Phrasing I Learned From John Coltrane

    John Coltrane is probably best known for Countdown and Giant Steps, or his earth-shattering intensity on A Love Supreme. But often overlooked is the depth and beauty of his phrasing and lyricism... When I first...Read More

    John Coltrane is probably best known for Countdown and Giant Steps, or his earth-shattering intensity on A Love Supreme. But often overlooked is the depth and beauty of his phrasing...Read More

    10 Diminished Patterns That Will Transform Your Next Jazz Solo…

    What comes to mind when you hear the word diminished? A chord? A scale? Wait, is it whole-steps and half-steps...or the other way around? If you're like most players, the diminished sound often creates more...Read More

    What comes to mind when you hear the word diminished? A chord? A scale? Wait, is it whole-steps and half-steps...or the other way around? If you're like most players, the...Read More