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Basic Training

  • Back & BeBop – A Guide Tone Exercise

    Jazzed Magazine | April 20, 2021If you look at the last two bars of “The French Suite No. 5” by Bach, you see how he uses the guide tones of a chord to imply what the chord is. The guide tones are the three and the seven of every chord. These two notes played against the root create a melody […] Read More...
  • The Shape of Melody

    Jazzed Magazine | March 18, 2021Visualization: The Secret to Improvising Read More...
  • Learning to Circular Breathe to Enhance Jazz Saxophone Performance

    Jazzed Magazine | February 9, 2021Circular breathing is an extended technique used by performers when there is no place in a musical passage to take a breath. Read More...
  • Learning to Sub-Tone, Growl, and Use Split-Tones to Enhance Jazz Saxophone Performance

    Jazzed Magazine | October 19, 2020Special techniques which add a great deal of expressiveness and excitement to a performance. Read More...
  • Dominant Decision: The Lydian Dominant

    Jazzed Magazine | May 21, 2020Some examples of how master jazz improvisers use the Lydian dominant sound Read More...
  • Dominant Decision

    Jazzed Magazine | March 18, 2020An exploration of how Jimmy Heath and Dexter Gordon navigate some common cadences. Read More...
  • Exercises for Developing a Great Jazz Saxophone Tone

    Jazzed Magazine | May 8, 2019Developing a great jazz tone is one of the most important aspects in learning to play the saxophone. Read More...
  • Pop and Jazz: The Difference

    Jazzed Magazine | January 4, 2019What is the difference between taking a solo in Bruce Springsteen’s band and the Art Blakey band? Let’s explore the Mixolydian Mode and how the use of it makes one sound like a jazz saxophonist as opposed to a rock sax player. Read More...
  • The ‘Void Note’

    Jazzed Magazine | November 16, 2018Miles Donahue talks improvisation using the Mixolydian Mode. Read More...
  • ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ and – Confirmation – Ear Training for the Jazz Musician

    Jazzed Magazine | November 30, 2017By Miles Donahue The intuitive side of music is the natural ability we are born with that enables us to remember what we hear and accumulate vocabulary without benefit of intellectual study. Van Cliburn, who in 1958 and was the winner of the Tchaikovsky piano competition in Moscow, was only three years old when he […] Read More...
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