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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...
video

9 Ways To Use The Minor Pentatonic Scale

The video above is based on the lesson below. The minor pentatonic scale is a fairly well-known scale, and I imagine many of you have used it before. However, I find that many musicians think about...

The “Secret” Scale to Unlock 2-5-1 Chord Progressions

Most of the time, II-V-I’s are taught as a set of discrete modes or as a collection of related modes derived from a single parent scale. We’re told the II-7 chord corresponds to a...
video

A Guide for Which Scales to Use Over 7th Chords

When it comes to jazz improvisation, it's all about learning the jazz language. We do that by learning jazz solos, licks, and just listening to jazz. These are of the utmost importance and should be...
ii-V-I (Tritone)

ii-V-I (With Tritone Sub) Chord Progression Workout

This is our ii-V-I (With Tritone Sub) Chord Progression Workout in our our series of Chord Progression Workouts. The difference between this progression and a regular ii-V-I, is that the V7 chord is being...
17 Important Jazz Scales

17 Important Jazz Scales in Tetrachords

It's important for jazz musicians to learn their scales.  While the major scales are important, they are only the beginning. Tetrachords are a wonderful way to learn your scales.  Once you understand the basic tetrachords, you...

“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...

3 Important Jazz Chord Progressions You Need to Master

For some, learning jazz can be a daunting task. It's harmonically complex, and because of this, there is a demand for a certain level of virtuosity. I often find that those who love jazz...

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,...
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...

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