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

    Why These 8 Jazz Standards Should Be Your New Practice Etudes

    Every musician has spent time in the practice room working on etudes. Diligently running through exercises that cover various techniques like articulation, the altissimo range, or diminished arpeggios. This is a good start for most...Read More

    Every musician has spent time in the practice room working on etudes. Diligently running through exercises that cover various techniques like articulation, the altissimo range, or diminished arpeggios. This is...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

    Developing Aural Knowledge: How to Turn Music Theory into Music

    Jazz is smart people music! I first heard these words from the great pianist Harold Mabern. Walking through the practice rooms at school one day, as was usually the case, a group of eager students...Read More

    Jazz is smart people music! I first heard these words from the great pianist Harold Mabern. Walking through the practice rooms at school one day, as was usually the case,...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

    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

    The Confusion Around Minor Chords FINALLY Explained

    Remember the first time you played a modal tune like Impressions and how fun it was to wail over a minor chord? Maybe you’ve had this experience, or maybe it’s in your near future, but...Read More

    Remember the first time you played a modal tune like Impressions and how fun it was to wail over a minor chord? Maybe you’ve had this experience, or maybe it’s...Read More

    How to Memorize Even the Most Difficult Tunes Right Now

    Some tunes seem to make absolutely no sense, like the chords changes are some random crazy collection of complex sounds…But with a little know-how, using the same tactics we showed you in our recent lesson...Read More

    Some tunes seem to make absolutely no sense, like the chords changes are some random crazy collection of complex sounds…But with a little know-how, using the same tactics we showed...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

    Why This Simple Jazz Transcription Hack Will Change Your Playing

    It's just past one in the morning. I'm standing on the sidewalk in lower Manhattan as garbage trucks rumble by and panhandlers hustle for loose change. I've just stepped outside of Smalls, the last note...Read More

    It's just past one in the morning. I'm standing on the sidewalk in lower Manhattan as garbage trucks rumble by and panhandlers hustle for loose change. I've just stepped outside...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

    Using Polyrhythms in Improvisation

    As melodic improvisers, we are naturally focused on the harmonic aspect of what we are playing. After all, there's nothing worse than playing wrong notes, right? Our minds are so concerned with what key a...Read More

    As melodic improvisers, we are naturally focused on the harmonic aspect of what we are playing. After all, there's nothing worse than playing wrong notes, right? Our minds are so...Read More

    Playing Transcribed Solos Backward

    Lately I've realized that to get to specific parts of a solo that I've transcribed to memory, I'm quite dependent on the material that comes before them. In other words, I've learned the solo from...Read More

    Lately I've realized that to get to specific parts of a solo that I've transcribed to memory, I'm quite dependent on the material that comes before them. In other words,...Read More

    Taking Advantage of Technology in Your Practice Routine

    Since the time of Art Tatum and Charlie Parker, the practice tools of the jazz musician have consisted of three basic things: a room, your instrument, and  a record player. If you wanted to get...Read More

    Since the time of Art Tatum and Charlie Parker, the practice tools of the jazz musician have consisted of three basic things: a room, your instrument, and  a record player....Read More

    How to Learn Chord Changes Straight Off a Recording: A Handbook [Free Download]

    Learning a tune straight from a recording is THE way to learn it. But the most difficult part is always deciphering the chord changes. And it's certainly not an easy task compared to the alternative...Read More

    Learning a tune straight from a recording is THE way to learn it. But the most difficult part is always deciphering the chord changes. And it's certainly not an easy...Read More

    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