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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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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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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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