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

    The Hidden Trap on the Road to Improvement

    In talking, practicing, and performing with many musicians over the years, it seems that a number of players are having trouble getting started with improvisation. Even more have a hard time moving forward, but can't...Read More

    In talking, practicing, and performing with many musicians over the years, it seems that a number of players are having trouble getting started with improvisation. Even more have a hard...Read More

    Playing the Music of Now

    Oftentimes, we get pushed down a very narrow, prescribed path when it comes to learning and performing jazz. Without question, we get complacent with the established rules of others whether it's the guidelines of an...Read More

    Oftentimes, we get pushed down a very narrow, prescribed path when it comes to learning and performing jazz. Without question, we get complacent with the established rules of others whether...Read More

    Playing Colors, Imitating Movies, & Watching TV: Bizarre Jazz Improvisation Tech …

    What if you could approach something in a completely new way than you've ever done before? What would happen? Perhaps an entire world of possibility exists from this new angle, but how do you get...Read More

    What if you could approach something in a completely new way than you've ever done before? What would happen? Perhaps an entire world of possibility exists from this new angle,...Read More

    Developing Musicality: Applying Scales vs. Applying Language

    Arecurring theme on this site seems to be language - acquiring, practicing, and applying the jazz language. There is a reason behind all the repetition, however. Language is a very powerful concept when it comes...Read More

    Arecurring theme on this site seems to be language - acquiring, practicing, and applying the jazz language. There is a reason behind all the repetition, however. Language is a very...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

    6 Common Chord Relationships that You Need to Know Now

    How do I connect chords when I'm soloing? You're asking yourself this question in the practice room and you're frustrated when there doesn't seem to be an easy answer. But you're not alone. This is...Read More

    How do I connect chords when I'm soloing? You're asking yourself this question in the practice room and you're frustrated when there doesn't seem to be an easy answer. But...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

    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

    The Truth About Ear Training and Jazz Improvisation

    What exactly is ear training? You’ve heard musicians talk about it. Your teachers have recommended it. And if you’re a regular here you’ve seen it pop up in more than a few lessons...But I'm guessing...Read More

    What exactly is ear training? You’ve heard musicians talk about it. Your teachers have recommended it. And if you’re a regular here you’ve seen it pop up in more than...Read More

    Jazz Improvisation is Hard…and Why That’s a Good Thing!

    Think about this for a moment. Your favorite musicians. Michael Brecker. Freddie Hubbard. Chick Corea. Sonny Rollins. Each and every one of them started at the bottom. Every single one of them began without any...Read More

    Think about this for a moment. Your favorite musicians. Michael Brecker. Freddie Hubbard. Chick Corea. Sonny Rollins. Each and every one of them started at the bottom. Every single one...Read More

    How to Think Like a Pro Jazz Musician: Michael Brecker and The Power of Simplicity

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    It sounds so complex. So difficult. So advanced. Great jazz musicians sound as though they're implementing highly complex and difficult concepts that mere mortals could never hope to access, but in reality, professionals think simpler...Read More

    It sounds so complex. So difficult. So advanced. Great jazz musicians sound as though they're implementing highly complex and difficult concepts that mere mortals could never hope to access, but...Read More

    Charlie Parker’s Brilliant Licks and Tricks on I Remember You

    With its unique opening chord changes, the jazz standard I Remember You poses quite the challenge to most jazz improvisers, which is surprising because the chords themselves don’t seem that difficult. But it’s not the...Read More

    With its unique opening chord changes, the jazz standard I Remember You poses quite the challenge to most jazz improvisers, which is surprising because the chords themselves don’t seem that...Read More

    What Most Players Are Missing When They Transcribe Solos…

    The typical jazz transcription process usually goes something like this...you start with a solo, you listen to the recording a few times, maybe even slowing it down a bit, then you figure out the notes...Read More

    The typical jazz transcription process usually goes something like this...you start with a solo, you listen to the recording a few times, maybe even slowing it down a bit, then...Read More

    Two Five Progressions Made Easy

    The ii V progression makes up the vast majority of chord changes within the jazz standard repertoire. Much of our success or failure as improvisors comes from being able to navigate this deceptively simple progression. ...Read More

    The ii V progression makes up the vast majority of chord changes within the jazz standard repertoire. Much of our success or failure as improvisors comes from being able to...Read More

    How to Take the Guesswork Out of Jazz Improvisation…and Unlock Your Creativity

    If you’re like me, you can picture it in your mind. Walking on stage in front of an audience and jumping right into a solo. Knowing exactly what you want to play and confident that...Read More

    If you’re like me, you can picture it in your mind. Walking on stage in front of an audience and jumping right into a solo. Knowing exactly what you want...Read More