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

    5 Powerful Storytelling Tactics for Your Next Jazz Solo

    Think of a jazz standard that you often play. One that you've been working on in the  practice room. Picture the chord progression in your mind and imagine yourself getting ready to play the first...Read More

    Think of a jazz standard that you often play. One that you've been working on in the  practice room. Picture the chord progression in your mind and imagine yourself getting...Read More

    5 Jazz Survival Skills: Do You Have Them?

    You've seen it on TV or maybe you've even done it yourself. Trekking into the wilderness alone, armed with just a few essential tools and your own courage. Find your own shelter, find your own...Read More

    You've seen it on TV or maybe you've even done it yourself. Trekking into the wilderness alone, armed with just a few essential tools and your own courage. Find your...Read More

    Building Your Repertoire Part II: 10 Key Tunes

    In a recent post: A Blueprint for Building Your Repertoire, I outlined some ideas to ponder while creating a repertoire of tunes. Concepts like how to learn, listen to, and how to approach the Great...Read More

    In a recent post: A Blueprint for Building Your Repertoire, I outlined some ideas to ponder while creating a repertoire of tunes. Concepts like how to learn, listen to, and...Read More

    What’s the Difference Between an Amateur and a Pro??

    Mastering jazz improvisation seems simple in theory. At least every great player makes it sound that way. And on paper it all looks pretty straight forward. Memorize the chords, learn a few scales, and listen...Read More

    Mastering jazz improvisation seems simple in theory. At least every great player makes it sound that way. And on paper it all looks pretty straight forward. Memorize the chords, learn...Read More

    10 Things Every Comeback Player Needs to Know

    You’re a musician. Or at least you used to be one...You played an instrument in high school, faithfully took private lessons, and performed at dozens of recitals and concerts. Maybe you even went on to...Read More

    You’re a musician. Or at least you used to be one...You played an instrument in high school, faithfully took private lessons, and performed at dozens of recitals and concerts. Maybe...Read More

    Thinking About Transcribing a Jazz Solo? Here are 3 Things You Should Know…

    Transcribing is the single most effective method of learning how to improvise...or so everyone says. The only problem is it can be a mystery figuring out what the transcription process actually entails. You have your...Read More

    Transcribing is the single most effective method of learning how to improvise...or so everyone says. The only problem is it can be a mystery figuring out what the transcription process...Read More

    How to Steal like a Pro: 3 Incredibly Useful Tactics for Better Jazz Solos

    Your mother probably taught you not to steal…That taking something that wasn’t yours was wrong or that pocketing an item from the shelves of a store could land you into a world of trouble. But what...Read More

    Your mother probably taught you not to steal…That taking something that wasn’t yours was wrong or that pocketing an item from the shelves of a store could land you into a...Read More

    The Music of Thelonious Monk: 10 Tunes You Need To Know

    There are certain composers in the jazz tradition...ones that have such a uniquely personal style that their compositions seem to take on a life of their own, becoming part of the jazz pantheon long after...Read More

    There are certain composers in the jazz tradition...ones that have such a uniquely personal style that their compositions seem to take on a life of their own, becoming part of...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

    10 Killer Tips for Transcribing Jazz Solos That I Wish I’d Known All Along

    Transcribing jazz solos is an essential part of learning to improvise. But here's the catch: it’s trickier than it sounds, especially if you're just getting started. Many hopeful players attempt to learn solos from recordings,...Read More

    Transcribing jazz solos is an essential part of learning to improvise. But here's the catch: it’s trickier than it sounds, especially if you're just getting started. Many hopeful players attempt...Read More

    Jazz Is The Moment

    If jazz is all about being in the moment, but all our practice time is dedicated to figuring out what we want to play when we perform, then how are we supposed to be in...Read More

    If jazz is all about being in the moment, but all our practice time is dedicated to figuring out what we want to play when we perform, then how are...Read More

    Mythbusting the Top 5 Myths About Jazz Improvisation

    Learning how to improvise is not nearly as clear as people think. And what makes it worse is that there are quite a few myths about it. Today, in no particular order, we're going to...Read More

    Learning how to improvise is not nearly as clear as people think. And what makes it worse is that there are quite a few myths about it. Today, in no...Read More

    How to Turn Boring Theory into Your Next Brilliant Solo…

    You may think you know music theory. And you're probably willing to bet good money that you know the chords to your favorite tunes. Most musicians would...Hell, a few years ago I would've looked you...Read More

    You may think you know music theory. And you're probably willing to bet good money that you know the chords to your favorite tunes. Most musicians would...Hell, a few years...Read More

    If You Can Sing Happy Birthday…You Can Transcribe Your Favorite Solo

    Transcription can be a real struggle sometimes. Some days it feels like you can spend an hour trying to learn a few measures, and after a dozen frustrating attempts, you end up in exactly the...Read More

    Transcription can be a real struggle sometimes. Some days it feels like you can spend an hour trying to learn a few measures, and after a dozen frustrating attempts, you...Read More

    The Two Types of Chords You’ll Find in Any Piece of Music

    Here’s something that you've probably realized by now on your musical journey…that jazz improvisation can get very complicated, very quickly. In the blink of an eye your enjoyable musical hobby can transform into something that...Read More

    Here’s something that you've probably realized by now on your musical journey…that jazz improvisation can get very complicated, very quickly. In the blink of an eye your enjoyable musical hobby...Read More