Learning Jazz

3 Important Skills for Becoming Great Rhythm Section Player

If you are a pianist, guitarist, bassist, drummer, vibraphonist, or any other designated chordal or rhythmic instrument, you are a part of the rhythm section family. You are a vital part of what makes...

2 Jazz Improvisation Exercises Over Bluesette

Bluesette, composed by jazz legend harmonica player Toots Thielemans in 1964, is to harmonica players what Hey Joe is to guitarists. It is a staple for jazz chromatic harmonica and a challenging jazz waltz...

2 Solo Transcriptions From an Underrated Jazz Saxophonist

Even though the saxophone is an iconic jazz instrument in the popular imagination, the story of jazz’s earliest past often leaves the saxophone by the wayside. Despite the fact that the saxophone is, for...

3 Techniques to Improve Your Bebop Playing

So much of jazz’s musical vocabulary today comes directly or indirectly from bebop. Even though it’s over half a century old, bebop continues to capture music lovers’ ears and imaginations as a unique sub-style...

Tempo Vs. Time Feel and Tips On Improving Them

As a professional drummer and educator, I’ve taught many students and I’ve noticed that many of them are concerned about their tempo. They always ask for advice on how to improve or overcome their...

How to Avoid Musical Burnout as a Jazz Musician

It happens to all of us who are serious about music. We get passionate, practice hard, practice even harder and then we get exhausted and hit a plateau. It's our own musical version of...

Learning to Solo In The Style Of Max Roach

Max Roach was an American jazz drummer and composer. He was born on January 10, 1924, in New Land, North Carolina. He was raised in Brooklyn and studied at the Manhattan School of Music. He worked...

5 Ways to Play “Outside” on the Blues

The 12-bar blues is one of the most simple, short, and iconic standard jazz forms. As jazz musicians, we all are used to playing blues tunes frequently, which can be both a blessing and...

How to Add Chromaticism Into Your Jazz Lines

One question I get asked about from time to time from beginner jazz students is "how do I get my solos to have that jazz sound?" What they really want to know is how jazz...

How to Play the Modes of the Melodic Minor Scale

In addition to learning the major scale in all 12 keys and the 7 diatonic or “church” modes derived from the major scale, the melodic minor scale is one of the most important and...

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