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...

4 Ways to Make Scales Sound More Musical

Scales are some of the most fundamental building blocks of Western styles of music, including jazz. As musicians, we’re often told how important it is to practice scales and how useful they are for...
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How to Navigate Autumn Leaves

One of the most popular jazz standards of all time is "Autumn Leaves" by Joseph Kosma. It's often one of the first jazz standards that aspiring jazz musicians learn to play and for many...

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...

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...

How to Play 7th Chords Like a Pro

One of the characteristics of jazz standards are the lush, colorful chords that populate their harmonies. Jazz musicians often use chords that offer more harmonic information than simple triads. These basic types of chords are called...

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