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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...

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...

How to Use Guide-Tones to Navigate Chord Changes

One of the most useful concepts which has emerged in jazz theory is the notion of guide-tones. Guide-tones are melodic lines constructed from one or two pitches strategically extracted from each chord of a...

How to Improvise Over Rhythm Changes Like a Pro

Like the Blues, “rhythm changes” is one of the most common song forms in jazz music. This 32-bar AABA form and its accompanying chord progression is derived from George Gershwin’s iconic composition “I Got...

“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...
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How to Harmonize Minor Scales With 7th Chords

This lesson is continuing off of the How to Harmonize a Major Scale with 7th Chords post. If you don't know how to harmonize a major scale or haven't checked out that lesson yet,...

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...

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...

Understanding Coltrane Changes Part 2

In the last lesson we took an in-depth look at Coltrane Changes and how they work. We talked about two types of systems that Coltrane used: the Three Tonic System and the Four Tonic...

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,...

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