Archive for December 2017

Jazz reharmonization of Happy Birthday

What lead me to reharmonize the I-IV-V chords of Happy Birthday? Teaching improvisation, of course! And Happy Birthday is lesson one in my book on strengthening your ear for improvisation. It’s called Jazz Ear Savvy. I just published a video on my Youtube channel that demonstrates how the simple tune Happy Birthday can help you…

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The secret ingredient to mastering improvisation

I’m almost ready to publish my new book called Jazz Ear Savvy. The book is a deep dive into what I believe is the most fundamental skill of any really good improvisor: the connection between the musical mind, or “ear” AND the instrument. I bet that your mind can and frequently does conjure up musical ideas…

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Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

It’s Christmas Time and time again for a new carol featuring alto trombone. The year, I created an arrangement of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. You can listen to it here:       If you sign up to receive my free monthly music feed, you’ll hear musical ideas like this. Go to the home…

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The critical link between improvisation and the circle of fifths

I’m writing a book on improvisation called Jazz Ear Savvy. I consider it an extension of the ear training concepts and exercises introduced in my book Trombone Improvisation Savvy. By the way, I prefer the term ear building since ear training sounds like too much work. The listening exercises in Improvisation Savvy are limited to…

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