The Pros and Cons of Being a Multi-Instrumentalist

I received an email from an LJS subscriber a few weeks ago, which described a fairly common predicament in the music world. This musician was a multi-instrumentalist, and it seemed to be perplexing him...

How the Jazz Greats Became Great

Often when we think of jazz greats such as Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, Sonny Rollins, and a host of others, we think of them as icons of immeasurable talent. In jazz circles...

Why Scales Are Ruining Your Jazz Playing

One of the questions I get that makes me cringe the most is "What scales can I play over...(a jazz standard)". It's not that scales are bad, or that it's a dumb question. It's that...

What Jazz Will Sound Like In 10 Years

Jazz is an evolving music. It's not a music that is stuck in the past, although some may be either uneducated or mislead to believe that it is. Jazz is flexible, adaptive, and elusive....

One Thing The Best Jazz Musicians Do That Others Don’t

Since the very first day I started getting serious about jazz, I've pondered over and over again what it is exactly that made the jazz greats so great. Whenever I go to shows of...

Is Practicing With Play-Alongs Bad?

I've heard it said before that jazz musicians should not practice with play-alongs: "It's not how the music should be played!" "It's not what Bird and Diz and those guys were doing!" "A backing track...

Why Jazz Musicians Can Be The Biggest Jerks

I just can't take it any longer. I've held it in for a while, but now I just have to come out and say it: Jazz musicians have been some of the meanest, cruelest, whining, egotistical...

Does Talent Matter?

Guest post by Peter Rubie. A friend asked me the other day: “What’s more important to artistic success? Talent, judgment, or perseverance?” Now, I find questions like this one of those argumentative things people say to each...

The (Whole) Truth About Jazz Vocabulary

Guest post by Josiah Boornazian. An Important Question In this post, I want to focus on some of the philosophical and practical concerns that arise when we ask the question “how do I learn and develop...

The Most Important Jazz Albums of All Time

Normally, I would go ahead and list for you a handful of jazz records that historically have been noted as "the most important" time and time again; the ones everyone can agree upon. But I...
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