Posts by Michael Lake

Trombones swimming in the luscious reverb of Biosphere2

Gerry Pagano came to town this past week. It’s odd. Every time he comes here, remarkable music gets recorded. The first time Gerry came to Phoenix after a long absence was to record the CD Roads Less Traveled. Two years later he and Doug Yeo descended upon my studio to record the CD Fratras. This…

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Training your brain for both left and right brain improvising

Except for only the last couple hundred years–a sliver of time for us– human existence on earth has been hard. Very hard. Over 200,000 years, our brains have evolved to protect us from the dangers of being eaten by animals, surviving harsh weather, and attacks from warring factions. In order to survive, our brains have…

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Driver assist for guiding your improvisation

Last week’s video was on simplifying improvisation to the point of making it much easier for you to feel confident standing up to play a solo. I used the standard I Thought About You to demonstrate that you can play nothing but Eb major and sound good throughout the entire form of the tune. My…

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Simplifying your jazz improvisation

I’m organizing my thoughts for my next video and I wanted to use this post as a way to flesh them out a bit and to share some concepts with you. Improvising over jazz is hard. You have so many choices as the rhythm section is flowing along that it’s hard to believe improvising over…

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Answers to a few excellent questions on alto trombone

I received an email today from a trombonist who packed a lot of good questions into I was looking into getting an alto trombone and I was wondering, is a trigger really necessary? Or Would it be better just to find an alto without one? Also what alto trombone do you use and how did…

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What happened to my monthly music?

I’ve stopped composing for my monthly original music emails. But don’t worry, the three and a half year process I’ve set up to distribute my music will never end. You will continue to go through the entire three and a half year cycle to the end, and when new subscribers sign up, they will get…

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Trombone versus guitar

I’ve been watching a bunch of videos on Brent Vaartstra’s Learn Jazz Standards site. Brent has done a great job creating this terrific jazz resource. If you don’t know about him, check out: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/start-here/ One of Brent’s videos is how to get huge results from a 30 minute jazz practice session. The video is good…

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What you can do to eliminate discouragement about your playing

A friend recently suggested a topic for a video. He wrote, “How much progress should you see or perhaps if you don’t see before you get discouraged in your regular practice?” Here’s a transcription of the video I placed on my YouTube channel. A friend recently suggested this topic. He asked, how much progress should…

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The magic of practicing in New York City

Trombone practicing at the New York Courtyard Marriott

Following the video I produced a few weeks ago of my playing on top of a nearby Arizona mountain, I thought it would be interesting to create a similar time-compressed session of my trombone practicing in New York. I find myself frequently in New York these days and I always stay at the Soho Courtyard…

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