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How to Improvise Over All The Things You Are

All The Things You Are is a popular jazz standard by Jerome Kern, and is one of those songs that every jazz musician needs to know. It's often called at jam sessions and gigs and has...
Spice Up Your Jazz Solos With Asymmetrical Melodies

Spice Up Your Jazz Solos with Asymmetrical Melodies

Once we’ve mastered some of the basic types of jazz vocabulary, we’re always striving to find new and interesting ways of breaking up and varying our improvised melodies. One of the most effective ways to...

“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...
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...

“Mixo-Dorian Blues” Scale for Bass Clef Instruments

Recently, I published an article about the "Mixo-Dorian Blues" Scale, which combines the Mixolydian and Dorian Modes with the Blues Scale to make one scale.  This scale is better than the blue scale for...

Understanding Tritone Substitution

For some reason the term "Tritone Substitution" makes some musicians freeze up with terror.  While tritone substitution sounds like a tricky concept at first, it's actually not that complicated.  Let's start with a basic...

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 Rhythmic Exercises Every Jazz Musician Should Practice

Every time I listen to an aspiring jazz musician, I find that for many of them their rhythmic game is not at the same level as the harmonic one. This is because most of...
Coltrane Changes 3

Understanding Coltrane Changes Part 3

In Understanding Coltrane Changes Part 1 I talked about the Three Tonic System and Four Tonic System and how Coltrane used these to create different formulaic cycles.  We took a look at two of his iconic...

A Beginner’s Guide To Implied Metric Modulations

Implied metric modulation is a device used to create rhythmic tension, by giving the impression of shifting to a new tempo or playing what seems to be an unrelated tempo on top of the...

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