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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...

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,...

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...

How to Practice Walking Bass Lines for All Jazz Instrumentalists

Here on Learn Jazz Standards, there are a few great posts on walking bass lines for bass players: How to Keep Your Bass Lines Interesting and How to Write a Walking Bass Line. In this post,...

Using Chord Arpeggios as Jazz Blues Practice Tools

When I’m learning a new song, one of the most important things I do is repeatedly play through the harmony of a tune. Repetition is a key component for committing new tunes to long-term...

3 Lessons Bill Evans Taught Me On “What is this Thing Called Love”

Bill Evans’s 1959 recording of “What is this Thing Called Love” from Portrait in Jazz was one of the first solos I transcribed as a jazz major in college. I learned improvisational strategies from this...

Jazz Improvisation Made Simple: A Step-By-Step Guide

You and I are not that different. We both want to become better jazz improvisers. We both have a passion for jazz music and we daydream about taking killer solos the next time we...

How to Consistently Play to Your Full Potential on the Gig

(This is a guest post by Mark Morely-Fletcher.) Bird said it best. At least, I don’t know of anyone who’s said it better since. “You’ve got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then,...

2 Pro Tips For Maximizing Your Jazz Practice Routine Results

As jazz musicians, we dream of becoming great soloists. For the vast majority of musicians that is the ultimate goal to achieve. However, it is not an easy task, and very few get to...

Why Jazz Isn’t Defined By Your Personal Taste

In recent years I’ve noticed what I feel is a troubling trend among some – but, to be fair, not all – jazz musicians and enthusiasts. Sometimes, when someone hears a style, sub-genre, or...

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