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Music Advice I Wish I Knew 10 Years Ago

Lately I've been spending some time reflecting on my past and what got me to where I am now. My journey on this adventurous and sometimes bumpy road called musicianship has been quite eventful...

If You Don’t Do This, You’ll Never Be a Jazz Musician

There is so much that needs to be learned and practiced when trying to become a jazz musician. It's a form of music that demands a great deal of virtuosity and knowledge to play...

How I Make a Living as a Jazz Musician

I've been out of college for several years now, and I can confidently say that I make a full time living as a jazz musician. Meaning: all I do is music to survive, and...

Stuck On One Chord: Strategies to Improve Your Modal Jazz Solos

Very often iconic modal jazz tunes, such as Miles Davis’s “So What,” are among the first songs young, inexperienced, and newly aspiring musicians learn how to improvise on. Although modal tunes (which are songs...

2 Easy Exercises for Improving Your Jazz Improvisation

As a jazz musician always trying to improve, I'm constantly looking for different ways to practice. While the most classic tips for becoming a better jazz improviser include, learning solos by ear, licks, and...

We Don’t Improvise Scales

As a jazz educator, I try to be careful to not say "use this scale over this chord."   Using scales over chords sounds harmless enough, but we don't want to be guilty of...

3 Reasons Why You Need To Stop Playing Gigs For Free

Normal 0 Let’s imagine you and your musician friends want to host a special performance at your home.  You are sitting down to plan this event and begin thinking about this really great restaurant that...

Jazz and the Rules of a Knife Fight

Guest post by Peter Rubie. There’s a great scene near the beginning of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, when Butch (Paul Newman) returns to the Hole in the Wall Gang and is challenged for...

5 Essential Skills That Every Jazz Musician Should Develop [Infographic]

We all want to become better jazz musicians, but what are the essential skills we need to be developing? If you're wondering what you need to be working on and practicing, this infographic is for...

The Secret To Playing At Fast Tempos

Blistering fast tempos. You're at the gig or the jam session and you hear the leader begin to count off the tune...and it's fast. Really fast. "Cherokee! 1-2-1234!" You tense your body as you prepare for lift...

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