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Using the Bebop Scale on Days of Wine and Roses

Days of Wine and Roses is a bittersweet tune with heart-wrenching lyrics about nostalgia and the fleeting nature of happiness and youth. It was written by American film and popular song composer...
2 Jazz Improv Concepts and an Etude Over Solar

2 Jazz Improv Concepts and an Etude Over “Solar”

“Solar” is a jazz standard written by one of the most famous jazz musicians of all time, trumpeter Miles Davis. The best-known Miles recording of “Solar” is probably from his iconic 1957 Prestige album...
Double Your Practicing Efficiency With This Bebop-Diminished Pattern

Double Your Scale Practicing Efficiency with this Bebop-Diminished Pattern

All musicians must practice scales at some point in their musical development. Scales are some of the most fundamental building blocks of Western styles of music, including jazz. As musicians, indeed we’re often told how...

3 Lessons I Learned From Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman”

Though it is practically a cliché in the jazz world today, it is nonetheless true to remark that 1959 was a profoundly significant year in jazz history. In an astonishing creative outpouring, at least five...

Hexatonic/Pentatonic Jazz Improvisation Workout

We’ve talked about pentatonics on LJS in the past both on the blog and on the podcast. In this post, I want to build on the concepts surrounding pentatonic scales and...
3 Improvisation Strategies from John Coltrane on Oleo

3 Rhythm Changes Strategies from John Coltrane on Oleo

In the 1950's, Miles Davis released a series of iconic recordings of jazz standards with his “first great quintet,” which, in its most classic format, featured Miles on trumpet, John Coltrane on tenor saxophone,...
Combining Rate Shift and Odd Groupings to Spice Up Your Rhythms

Combining Rate Shift and Odd Groupings to Spice Up Your Rhythms

There are many ways to make your solos more interesting utilizing rhythm. In previous lessons, Using Rests and Odd Groupings to Spice Up Your Rhythms and Accents and...
3 Altered Licks All Jazz Musicians Should Know

3 Altered Licks All Jazz Musicians Should Know

There are some melodic lines that are so iconic that, despite my outspoken general opposition to the idea of “lick playing,” I believe every jazz musician should practice and memorize them in all 12...
Altered Pentatonic scales

How to Use Altered Pentatonics

I’ve discussed the major pentatonic scale here on LJS before and some of its uses. In this post I want to briefly review the major pentatonic scale and then talk about what I call...
Trading 4's Like Elving Jones- Style and Analysis for jazz drummers

Trading Fours Like Elvin Jones: Style And Analysis

A few months ago, I shared with you a lesson on Elvin Jones, entitled How To Comp On The Drums Like Elvin Jones, in which I discussed the comping side of the great late Elvin...

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