Popular Articles on Jazzadvice: 45 articles that will make you a better jazz improvisor
In the last decade, we've written a ton about jazz improvisation. And one of the most common questions we get is "There's so much!!! Where do I start?!?!?!"
With hundreds of articles to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to begin. This is why we've put together a list of the most popular articles on the site. The ones that people read over and over. The ones that are really changing how they think and play the music.
There’s a lot to explore and discover here, so take your time and make sure to subscribe to the newsletter below so you never miss a beat!
"10 Tips Every Improvisor Needs to Know"
POPULAR ARTICLES BY TOPIC
Transcribing Is NOT Transcribing: How This Misnomer Has Led You Astray - Transcribing isn’t what you think it is. Learn the truth about learning the jazz language.
10 Killer Tips For Transcribing Jazz Solos That I Wish I’d Known All Along - Ten effective techniques for getting the most out of the transcription process.
How Transcribing One Solo Can Entirely Change Your Approach To Improvising - You don’t need to know hundreds of solos to sound good, you just need to master one.
How To Create Your Own Exercises From a Transcribed Line - So you’ve transcribed a solo...now what?? Learn how to take the transcription process to the next level.
10 Brilliant Jazz Solos and What You Can Learn From Them - Don’t know what to transcribe? These 10 brilliant solos will connect you with the language of the masters.
The Importance of Language - Learn what “jazz language” is and why it’s essential to your progress as an improviser.
The Difference Between Jazz Licks And Language - Many musicians are relying on licks to improvise, here’s why language is different.
The Reason You Need to Start Thinking About Jazz Language Right Now - Understand the step-by-step process of how learning language can transform your improvising.
Why This Two-Step Approach to Jazz Language Will Take Your Improvising from Good to Great - Learn two effective techniques for developing the solos that you transcribe.
10 Ways To Make A Line Your Own - Ten actionable exercises for turning the lines you transcribe into your own musical vocabulary.
Playing and Learning Tunes
Building Your Repertoire: 10 Key Tunes - Ready to build your jazz repertoire? These 10 standard tunes are the perfect place to start.
How To Memorize Even The Most Difficult Tunes Right Now - A step-by-step process for practicing and memorizing those tricky tunes that just don’t make sense.
Why These 8 Jazz Standards Should Be Your New Practice Etudes - You don’t need a book of etudes to improve your musicianship, these 8 tunes will sharpen your technique.
Stuck on Rhythm Changes? Here are 4 Coltrane Concepts That’ll Set You Free - Improve your Rhythm Changes solos with these 4 musical concepts from John Coltrane.
How To Play The Blues Like A Pro: A Lesson With Wynton Kelly - Learn essential techniques for playing the blues with one of history’s most swinging improvisers.
How To Not Suck At Half-Diminished Chords - Learn the trick to sounding good on the half-diminished chord.
A Lesson With Bill Evans: 14 Techniques To Master The Minor ii V Progression - The secret to playing minor ii-V’s like a pro.
10 Easy Options For Expanding Your Dominant 7th Vocabulary - Ten important techniques for improvising on the versatile dominant chord.
6 Common Chord Relationships That You Need to Know Now - Master the most common chord progressions in the jazz standard repertoire.
How To Learn Chord Changes Straight Off A Recording: A Handbook - Here’s your guide to figuring out the chord progressions to your favorite tunes, straight from the recording.
Scales and Theory
Scales Are Not The Secret Short-Cut To Jazz Improvisation - Learning and practicing scales is necessary for every musician, but for improvisers they’re only the beginning.
How To Practice Scales For Speed - Get beyond traditional scale practice with these two exercises designed to boost the speed of your technique.
Everything You Wanted to Know About the Bebop Scale but Were Afraid to Ask - Learn how to use the bebop scale in your solos like a pro.
The Secret To Unlocking The Lydian Sound: From Boring Modes To Killing Solos - An in-depth look at the lydian sound and how to use it effectively in your solos.
10 Diminished Patterns That Will Transform Your Next Jazz Solo - Explore the secrets the best players use to access diminished patterns in their solos.
Practice Routines & Time Management
Keep Focus: Time Blocking & Spaced Learning - Your time is precious. Learn this effective technique for getting more done in the practice room.
What Should I Practice? The 3 Essential Pieces To Practicing Jazz Improvisation: A Free Presentation - The how, why, and what to improving your practice of jazz improvisation.
20 Practice Hacks For The Busy Musician - You’re busy, maybe even overwhelmed, but that doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your practice time or musical improvement.
2 Simple And Effective Practice Plans For Jazz Improvisation [Free Download] - Two tailor-made practice plans specifically for learning tunes and acquiring jazz language.
How To Practice: A Diagram Illustrating The 3 Essential Pieces To Practicing Jazz Improvisation [Free Download Inside] - A helpful visual diagram of the 3 pieces to practicing jazz improvisation.
Master Your Intervals In 28 Days - A 28 day, step-by-step plan for mastering your musical intervals.
Fundamental Ear Training Exercises - Start building your ear with these fundamental exercises.
Fundamental Ear Training: Seventh Chords - Learn how to hear the unique qualities of 7th chords.
Hearing In Color: Chord Tones In Context - Discover how to hear the unique color of the chords and chord tones that you play.
Jazz Education, Misconceptions, & More
How The Chord-Scale System Has Failed You - While scales and theory have their place in learning to improvise, they definitely have huge shortcomings.
How Play-Alongs Are Wasting Your Practice Time And What To Do About It - How to use play-a-longs the right way in your practice.
Jazz Education Blunders - Five common pitfalls in jazz education that are holding you back.
Why You Shouldn’t be a Real Book Player - We look at the good, bad and ugly of fake books and why you need to finally break free.
The Jazz Musician’s Most Important Tool: How To Strengthen Your Musical Memory - Learn how to develop and improve your musical memory with this important article.
Where To Start Learning Jazz Improvisation - New to Jazz Improvisation? Confused about where to begin? This one’s for you!
The Ultimate Guide to Overcoming Frustration in Jazz Improvisation - Learn how to break through your mental and musical barriers for good.
10 Things Every Comeback Player Needs to Know - Ten important tips for getting back into the swing of things after weeks, months or even years away from playing.
Why You Should Be the Worst Player in the Room - Improvement means challenging yourself and escaping your comfort zone. And sometimes it means being the worst player in the room...
7 Surprising Qualities of the World’s Best Improvisers - Find out what traits the best players have the in common, and how you can develop them too.