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5 Sonny Rollins Licks Over “Tenor Madness”

One of my favorite jazz albums is Sonny Rollins' "Tenor Madness." It was recorded in 1956 and is especially notable because it's the only known recording that features both Sonny and John Coltrane. I used...

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...

4 Important Applications of the Melodic Minor Scale

The melodic minor scale seems to be a big mystery to many jazz musicians. The purpose of this article is to shed some light on this mysterious scale without going into too much technical...
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How to Harmonize a Major Scale with 7th Chords

Something important for all musicians (especially in jazz) to understand is that you can take any scale and harmonize it with chords. This is done by identifying the notes of a scale and then building chords off...

How to Simplify Your Lines With Major Pentatonic Scales

Though pentatonic scales have been mentioned on the LJS site before, I want to look specifically at major pentatonic scales more in depth in this post. I’ll briefly introduce the way I think about...

Secrets of the Diminished Scale

There are 12 major scales. It would seem to follow there are 12 of any other type of scale,  one for each chromatic note. However, this is not the case.  Because of their symmetry,...

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 Improvise Over “Stella By Starlight”

Stella By Starlight is arguably one of the most popular jazz standards of all time. As one of the most commonly called “workhorse” songs on gigs and jam sessions, this is a must-know tune...
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5 Jazz Chord Substitutions You Need to Know

One of the prominent characteristics of jazz music is its rich harmonic language. Not only does jazz utilize the full spectrum of diatonic harmonic movement, it includes modal harmony, and also a slew of...

Odd Times: Strategies to Improve Your 7/4 Playing

In my first odd meter post, I talked about some of the ways you can approach learning how to play better in 5/4 time. In this follow-up, I want to take some of those...

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