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Jazz Theory

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...

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....

How to Use Voice Leading In Your Jazz Solos

As jazz musicians, we often talk about the importance of voice leading and using guide-tones while improvising. In this post, I want to talk...

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...
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How to Navigate Autumn Leaves

One of the most popular jazz standards of all time is "Autumn Leaves" by Joseph Kosma. It's often one of the first jazz standards...

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...
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How to Add Chromaticism Into Your Jazz Lines

One question I get asked about from time to time from beginner jazz students is "how do I get my solos to have that...

How to Play the Modes of the Melodic Minor Scale

In addition to learning the major scale in all 12 keys and the 7 diatonic or “church” modes derived from the major scale, the...

How to Play 7th Chords Like a Pro

One of the characteristics of jazz standards are the lush, colorful chords that populate their harmonies. Jazz musicians often use chords that offer more harmonic...

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...

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