3 Jazz Books to Break Through Plateaus

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Do you ever feel stuck in your musical development?

These 3 books offer some amazing insights that will help you break through these walls.

The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten

This book will challenge you to think about music in a different way.  It walks through 9 elements of music, as taught by Victor’s possibly fictional teacher named Michael.  Only 1 of these elements deals with notes/theory, and the other 8 deal with less talked about elements of music that are just as important.  Here is Victor Wooten playing “The Lesson,” which supposedly is based on several lines of music given to him as a gift by Michael himself.

Just Play by Nick Bottini

This book encourages readers to, you guessed it… Just Play! Often, we can be held back by self-doubt or attempting to fit into what we think jazz is “supposed” to be.  According to Nick, these thoughts come from external sources, and instead we should create music from the inside out. The forward, written by Jacob Collier, describes his experience growing up being surrounded by music and learning simply through playing anything and everything he could get his hands on.  Here is Jacob’s “In My Room.”

Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner

There are two main points from this book that I took away.

  • Practice should be like brushing your teeth
  • You must learn to hear every note as being “right”

Here is a video of Kenny himself discussing these topics.

Now go do some reading! I promise it will be worth it.

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