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Dominant Decision: The Lydian Dominant

May 21, 2020

Some examples of how master jazz improvisers use the Lydian dominant sound

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Dominant Decision

March 18, 2020

An exploration of how Jimmy Heath and Dexter Gordon navigate some common cadences.

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Exercises for Developing a Great Jazz Saxophone Tone

May 8, 2019

Developing a great jazz tone is one of the most important aspects in learning to play the saxophone.

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Pop and Jazz: The Difference

January 4, 2019

What 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.

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The ‘Void Note’

November 16, 2018

Miles Donahue talks improvisation using the Mixolydian Mode.

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‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ and – Confirmation – Ear Training for the Jazz Musician

November 30, 2017

By 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 […]

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The Jazz Saxophonist: Two Methods of Embouchure Formation for Developing a Great Tone

January 12, 2017

Without correct embouchure, a saxophonist’s tone, intonation, response, musical expressiveness, and performance enjoyment will be severely hindered.

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What was Minstrelsy?

September 6, 2016

Anyone who has ever taken a course in jazz history has come across this fascinating topic, along with dance music referred to as “cakewalk.”

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Three-Horn Writing for the Jazz Sextet

April 8, 2016

by Pete McGuinness The three-horn front line in jazz small groups has had many historical triumphs. Famous groups such as the many Art Blakey Jazz Messengers, Benny Golson and The Jazztet, and the Horace Silver “Cape Verdean Blues” LP ensemble come to mind. The various composer-arrangers of these and other important sextets found ways of […]

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Dominant Chords: Improvisational Dominance

February 5, 2015

Several approaches to dominant chords in improvisation.

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