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12 Beginning Jazz Guitar Voicings

Beginning jazz guitarists have a LOT of ground to cover in a short amount of time when they first start playing with a group.  I've found that these 12 voicings are a great way...

3 Concepts to Develop Solo Ideas With Stick Control

Stick Control is a book written by the great late George Lawrence Stone. It was published in 1935 and became one of the most acclaimed books in the drumming community. Stick Control is, for many,...

3 Things Music School Didn’t Teach Me

It's graduation season, and here on the bustling streets of New York the evidence is everywhere.  Caps and gowns can be seen riding the trains, hopping into cabs, and posing for graduation selfies.  You...

20 Jazz Standards for Beginners

Here are some easy jazz tunes for beginning improvisers.  These tunes are great for beginners because they have a relatively few number of chords, a stable key center, and generally easy melodies. Just because these...

4 Tips for Playing Jazz in a Small Town

Jazz is city music.  Some people claim you can hear the hustle and bustle of big city traffic in the sounds of bebop, which developed in New York amidst all the hubbub of city...

Half Diminished Chord Workout

Half Diminished Chords (m7b5) aren't often played isolated by themselves. You'll most often find them leading to or from another chord, such as functioning as a ii chord going to a V, or a...

36 Important Scales You Must Know

Recently I did a post about the 3 Most Important Jazz Scales for Beginning Improvisers.   To summarize, the most important scales to learn first are the Major, Dorian, and Mixolydian scales because they help...

How Teaching Music Has Made Me a Better Musician

I have a very vivid memory from when I was in high school. One of those memories that sticks out among others, but I can't exactly place why. Let me give you the back...

Piano Fingerings for Dorian Minor Scales

The Dorian Minor Scale is a very useful scale; it is arguably the most useful minor scale for jazz musicians.  It is the top scale choice for most jazz musicians when improvising over a minor...

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...

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