How to Reharmonize Like a Pro

What is Reharmonization? Let’s do a quick review… Reharmonization is the process of replacing the chords underneath a melody with other chords that still work musically but have a different function. Chords share a variety of common tones that allow us to interchange them without wreaking havoc on the music. Take, for example, one of […]

How to Be a Great Modern Improviser

Part I: Understanding What “Modern” Improv Is First, let’s take a broad look at where improvisation started, and how we’ve ended up where we are today. Many people are unaware of the fact that improvisation began long before jazz ever existed. There was a time when the great composers could sit at the piano and […]

The Secrets to Learning Tunes Quickly and Bulking Up Your Repertoire

Building up your repertoire by learning standards is a crucial part of being a professional jazz musician. In fact, you have to learn potentially hundreds of songs just to be able to get by at a jam session without embarrassing yourself. But you already know this. Chances are, you’ve sat down to play at a […]

Funk: The Infectious and Pungent Cousin of Jazz

The great jazz educator and drummer Justin DiCioccio has one simple motto: “make everything in life feel like a groove.” This is actually a deceptively simple token of advice, commenting on finding peace and stability in the hardest of times. But, taken on a surface level, this philosophy also happens to be a pretty spot-on […]

8 Ways Bebop Revolutionized Jazz Forever

In many ways, Bebop can seem like a footnote in the timeline of jazz history.  After all, it lasted only a mere five years or so in the late 40’s, half a century removed from its historic roots in New Orleans. And it would be less than a decade before Miles Davis released his landmark record […]

Blues Through The Ages

Would you like a fantastic method for comparing pianist’s styles and learning about how harmony and improvised melody have developed? Then look no further than the 12-bar blues. Understanding and analyzing the blues has a lot of benefits. That knowledge gives you a framework for studying each and every great jazz pianist who has come […]

Why Solo Piano Can Be Even More Fun Than Playing With a Band

Getting Started with Playing Solo: When you’re first starting off, playing solo piano can be a daunting task. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be. As jazz scholars, we are often taught to play with a band before truly exploring the art of playing by ourselves. This is probably because when you get right down to […]

8 YouTube Channels That Will Take Your Playing To the Next Level

8 YouTube Channels That Will Take Your Playing To the Next Level Stop. I mean, stop clicking random YouTube videos and losing your precious practice time, because here we have a solution that will instantly save you time and lead you to best places to learn about jazz and see it performed by the greats. […]

How To Command Your Left Hand Like Bill Evans

When playing in the trio setting, a jazz pianist’s left hand is often an afterthought, a purely supportive entity that acts out of reflex rather than thought. Too commonly, pianists spend hours at a time improving their right-handed lines without paying attention to their left-handed choices. There is a trend of simply falling back on […]