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Learn a Jazz Tune in Three Steps

March 24, 2010

1. Melody From an accurate lead sheet, play through the melody from three to 10 times with a metronome set to a medium tempo. After you find yourself playing the song while not really reading the notes anymore, turn the sheet over and play it again from memory. If you make a mistake, just continue […]

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Where’s the Beat?

March 1, 2010

The term, “meter” can be defined as a repetitive pattern of strong and weak beats in an arranged rhythm. This does not imply that the rhythms themselves are necessarily repetitive, but a repeated pattern of pulses or beats is clearly evident. Duple meter in the music will feel like “strong/weak/strong/weak.” Triple meter in the music […]

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Ear Training 101

September 14, 2009

There are three qualities that every good jazz musician must possess: a great ear, a strong sense of time, and a unique sound. While there are many different ways to approach these skills, the first two always require a certain amount of drilling. The ear can be thought of as a muscle and to a […]

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Teaching Jazz Guitar To The Freshman Student

March 18, 2009

The student new to jazz faces many obstacles and I believe this is especially true for the student of jazz guitar. In my many years of private and group instruction, I have encountered students with a mixture of no experience, little experience, or a fair amount of prior instruction. Oftentimes, the student with no prior […]

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Applying Guide Tones to Improvisation

August 19, 2008

Many times a student has come to me and said, “I need to learn all my scales, so I can become a jazz musician!” Most scales consist of seven notes and I might say to that student, “Let’s just play one of the notes from the scale, say the 3rd or the 7th.” –

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Navigating the Be-boppers’ Harmonic Galaxy

March 11, 2008

The be-boppers’ harmonic galaxy is based on the Diminished 7th arpeggio. It is the axis upon which all is built. #149; For this reason, the first thing I do when I look at a new set of changes is to look for diminished relations. #149; These relations quickly define key centers, dominant relationships, and significant […]

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