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How to Use Enclosure In Your Jazz Solos

To learn jazz language, you must be listening to the music and learning solos and lines from your favorite jazz musicians. Jazz is first and foremost an aurally learned music and it must be...
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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...

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 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 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...

Help! How Do I Improvise Over a Half-Diminished Chord?

I was recently asked if I could I do a post on the mysterious Half-Diminished chord (check out our Half-Diminished chord workouts) so here is a basic guide to improvising over this widely misunderstood chord symbol, including...

The “Mixo-Dorian Blues Scale” for Blues Soloing

Many band directors arm their beginning jazz students with the Blues scale and unleash them on the unsuspecting jazz world.  Sometimes the students haven't even heard of Miles Davis, but they can blow that blues...

Unlocking Diminished vs. Altered Scales

When you are soloing over a dominant chord, you can choose notes from several different scales in your improvised melodies.  The mixolydian and the mixolydian bebop scales work well, but sometimes you want something...

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...

2 Exercises for Practicing the Major Modes

As jazz improvisers, we want to know how to navigate our instruments competently. The ultimate goal is to have the freedom to play whatever we want, and not be tied down by our technical...

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