Posts by Michael Lake

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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How to play in tune by skillfully hearing your pitch

The word truism came to mind after I wrote the title for this post. The only way to play better in tune is by hearing your pitch. Skillfully. Thank you Captain Obvious! But we don’t always hear our own pitch or intonation. I discovered that after listening to a recording of me of a few…

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Bach on jazz

Last I checked, Bach was not a jazz trombonist. He was a master of improvisation, trombone back in his time was called a Sackbut and wasn’t a very resonant instrument. But Bach does provide some insight into how to improvise well on the trombone. In the early 1700s, Bach wrote his six cello suites. Hundreds…

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Do you ever wonder what is the best mic for you?

I just produced a video comparing various microphones that is embedded at the end of this post. Whether you are starting out or you own some sort of studio facility, one of the most important pieces of your equipment is the microphone. If you’re like many audio artists you may wonder what is the best…

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Right or left brain improviser: which are you?

If you are familiar with my books on improvisation, you know that I teach the means to project your inner musician through your instrument–trombone or any other. For me, improvisation is the spontaneous composition of original musical imagination. My method for improvisation, therefore, is light on scales, patterns and theory and heavy on the ear.…

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Blasting away on my nearby mountaintop

I’m a big fan of practicing outdoors. It’s harder to tounge and play with a solid tone when you blow into the void as opposed to sound bouncing off nearby walls. But harder strengthens your playing. I recently shot a video on top of a nearby mountain where I enjoy playing. I time-compressed an hour…

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This is limiting you from satisfying jazz improvisation

I’m creating a new product. It is an eBook on how to learn tunes in order to improvise really well over them. It will also have a series of packets dedicated to individual songs. Think of it like a razor and blades. The main eBook is the razor, the foundational methodology for learning tunes and…

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Keeping healthy as a musician

I recently created a video on a subject that I think is crucial for any musician. Playing a musical instrument is a physical activity and therefore requires our bodies to operate at peak efficiency. To keep ourselves at that peak state, nutrition plays an important role. I am an advocate of vegetable juicing as an…

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