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Playing jazz like your life depended on it

I’m almost half done with the video interviews I’m conducting with some of the greatest jazz players and teachers in the world. Soon, these will be made into an online event called Jazz Master Summit. Sign up on my home page in order to be notified as I get closer to releasing this unique event.…

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Putting the fun back into practicing

This morning I asked subscribers to suggest questions that I could ask Jim Pugh and Bob McChesney since I will be interviewing each of them within the next few days. I am creating a week-long event consisting of interviews with great players and teachers. I’ll be sharing more of this as the date for the…

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Getting the most out of Trombone Improvisation Savvy

I got an email recently from an owner of Improvisation Savvy who wrote that he isn’t getting what he had hoped he would from the book. He was looking for chord/scale instruction to teach him jazz improvisation and felt that the book was, therefore, for more advanced players. For anyone publishing materials for skill development,…

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How to most effectively practice your musical instrument

I received an email from a subscriber asking an excellent question. He asks how he can optimize his time in the three hours per day he dedicates to practicing. Is it better to have fewer things to work on and spend more time on those, or to practice on more things and extend the total…

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How to prepare for sitting in on a jam session

One of the most important activities a jazz musician can take part in is a jam session. Spontaneity is the essence of jazz and if you’re not in a band that plays regularly, you probably don’t play live often enough with other musicians. Play live with and in front of people is what strengthens your…

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Getting a peek at an improvisation virtual lesson

I’ve had a few people submit their playing for the end of the 30-day challenge I put out there in my video called Jazz Improvisation: Simple 30-day Exercise to Rapidly Develop Your Skills I was demonstrating how a habit of a certain type of ear training could lead to results. “Habit” is the key word.…

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How to learn difficult skills faster and more deeply

I am very excited to be finishing up my new book. The point of the book is, strengthening one’s musical ear to enable better musicianship and improvisation. That’s not the title, just the concept. The working title is Jazz Patterns for Ear. As I reached the end of creating and embedding the almost 150 audio…

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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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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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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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