3 Tips to Sit In Like A Pro

Sitting in with a group of more seasoned musicians is an experience that every aspiring jazz pianist must encounter.  The prospect of performing with players you want to impress can be daunting.  These tips will help you to prepare and step on to the bandstand with confidence and composure!  Prepare a Tune – When you sit down at the piano, you […]

4 Guidelines for Pentatonic Improv

Don’t use pentatonics exclusively – This gets old fast. Pentatonics work best when they are mixed in with other harmonic language and textures. By combining pentatonics with chord-scale relationships, you can create countless paths to navigate changes. Start inside, take it out, then bring it back in – Pentatonics create tension. For this tension to […]

3 Jazz Piano Lessons From Golf

As Brenden likes to say, there are a lot of similarities between golf and jazz improv.  In fact, golf was Bill Evans’ favorite pastime.  Just like jazz, there are no shortcuts to success in golf.  The way to get better is to play as much as possible.  However, there are specific exercises that, along with […]

3 Jazz Books to Break Through Plateaus

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 […]

How to Practice Simplicity

Sometimes the best melodies are the simplest ones. The less you say, the more each individual note stands out. Miles Davis lived out this musical philosophy every night on the bandstand, and we can all learn a lot from how he makes the most out of the fewest notes.  Check out this track “Jean Pierre” […]

Developing Modern Repertoire

As Sterling mentioned in his last post, jazz music was built on the popular songs of the day, using them as vehicles for improvisation. There is no reason it should be any different today.  There is music being created all around us just begging to be improvised on, but sometimes we get stuck in the […]

3 Step Process to Assimilate Improv Concepts

Have you ever wanted to incorporate a musical idea into your playing but struggled to get past the “Copy and Paste” phase? This process will help you internalize musical ideas and make them a part of who you are, not just a lick that you can play. First, decide on a musical subject. Identify a […]