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“There is No Greater Love” Workout

I’ve talked about voice leading with guide-tones and using chromatic surrounding/approach tones here on LJS before, and now I want to combine these two concepts and apply them to “There is No Greater Love.” The...

How to Become a Professional Musician

I get emails from readers from time to time, asking me if they should pursue music as a profession. They always start by telling me how passionate they are about music and how they...

How to Plan a Month of Effective Jazz Practicing

I get emails every week from aspiring jazz musicians asking me about practicing. They desperately want to become better jazz musicians, but they feel discouraged. They feel as if the mountain is just too...

How to Substitute a Dominant 7 for a Diminished 7

As a jazz musician, I love learning new jazz theory tricks to apply to my playing. While learning jazz language by ear should be the primary way we learn to play, conceptualizing different ideas through...

How to Consistently Play to Your Full Potential on the Gig

(This is a guest post by Mark Morely-Fletcher.) Bird said it best. At least, I don’t know of anyone who’s said it better since. “You’ve got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then,...

Stop Beating Yourself Up!

I had a great conversation today with Brent Vaartstra, who works with me on LJS, about the inner game of the musician. We got to talking about the ways in which different musicians handle...

Learning to Improvise: Schools of Thought

Learning to improvise can be a mysterious thing for people trying to learn how to do it well.  Jazz pedagogy is a relatively new thing, and it's not nearly as developed as classical pedagogy,...

Chord Progression Workouts

This is the complete list of all of our Chord Progression Workouts.  These exercises help you practice important chord progressions you will find in jazz repertoire.  Each workout includes a play-along to help you...

Easy Jazz Piano Voicings

Jazz piano voicings seem like a mysterious thing to many people.  If you know your scales, however, you can construct jazz piano voicings. There is some very basic math involved, but it's just counting...

4 Tips For Not Getting Lost During a Drum Solo (for Non-Drummers)

Drum solos are entertaining and bring a ton of energy to the performance. However, they can also be a nightmare, because keeping your place during a drum solo is not always an easy task. For...

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