Music theory

My improvisation method in Jazz Ear Savvy

I was recently asked to write out my methodology for improving one’s improvisation. I have certain assumptions and beliefs on the tools and exercises that will improve the improvisational skill of a musician. They’ve worked for me and for others with whom this has been shared. Premise: The major difference between struggling amateur improvisors and…

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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 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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