How to jazz improvise over Unrelated Chords

How to Improvise Over Unrelated Chords

One of the biggest challenges of improvisation involves coming up with melodies that make sense over chord changes that are highly chromatic. Much of the standard jazz repertoire from the post-bebop era includes songs with...
Constant structures for jazz improvisation

How to Improvise Using “Constant Structures”

A “constant structure” is a fixed set of relationships between pitches. It is related to the ideas of a “pitch cell” that can be transposed and/or sequenced. Constant structures are great for creating motivic units...

“Super Blues” Scales for Leveling-Up Your Jazz Blues Improv

The blues scale is a very useful scale, but I’ve found it doesn’t always adequately capture what jazz musicians actually play when improvising over a blues in a “bluesy” way. I distinguish the “bluesy” moments...

How to Master the “Backdoor” Jazz Chord Progression

Jazz’s harmonic language features a lot of common chord progressions that appear often in different jazz standards. For example, jazz musicians frequently encounter II-V-I’s, dominant 7th chords through the cycle of fourths, and III-VI-II-V’s...

How to Practice Triads for Max Results

Along with basic intervals and seventh chords, triads are the fundamental building blocks of jazz harmony and melody. If you want to maximize your ability to hear, visualize, and play jazz harmony, you have...
3 Dominant 7th chords all jazz musicians Encounter

3 Dominant 7th Chord Types All Jazz Musicians Encounter

Anyone who has played jazz or leafed through a jazz fakebook or “real book” probably has noticed that dominant seventh chords are some of the most common chords musicians encounter in jazz standards. But...

Voice it Right: Understanding Jazz Chord Symbols

In my time as a jazz musician, I’ve discovered that there is sometimes confusion regarding how to notate and interpret chord symbols. It’s a significant problem in the jazz world, and one that I...

3 Pivotal Exercises to Improve Technique on Your Instrument

As jazz musicians, we are all on a lifelong journey to constantly improve our technique on our instruments. Anyone who has tried to master a bebop tune or improvise at a fast tempo knows...

How to Play the Elusive Last 4 Bars of “Dolphin Dance”

Legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock’s iconic jazz composition “Dolphin Dance” is one of the most harmonically complex and compelling tunes in the jazz repertory. It is a favored jazz standard for many jazz musicians,...
How to Use Voice leading in your jazz solos

How to Use Voice Leading In Your Jazz Solos

As jazz musicians, we often talk about the importance of voice leading and using guide-tones while improvising. In this post, I want to talk about guide-tones and offer some specific examples of how to...

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